WORLD WAR II FOXHOLES
They made secret plans for the invasion of our country. They had already known the easy access in several points of the
country; first wave of landing by the Japanese Imperial Army was in Lingayen Gulf; second wave of landing was in Davao
followed by the successive bombings in various strategic points of our military installations.
The outbreak of World War II on December 8, 1941 was after the sneak attack of the Pearl Harbor at Honolulu,
Hawaii on December 7, 1941. But long before the war, the Japanese came to the Philippines who disguised as
businessmen, merchants, fishermen, storeowners, etc. but in truth, they were high ranking officials of the Japanese
The foxholes serves as machine guns’ nest or shelters of the USAFFE soldiers on the hills of the barangay Ilihan which
were constructed by military engineers in January 1942 right after the invasion of the Japanese Imperial Forces in
Lingayen Gulf in Luzon and in Davao, Mindanao. It was a pincher movement done by the High Command of the Japanese
landings in Cebu and other islands of the Visayas. The USAFFE Batallion Commander of the 82nd Infantry Division MG
Company was Captain Oligario Baura; below in rank were Executive Officer Lt. Bargayo, Lt. Florencio Blanco, Lt. Ramon
Dumadag, Lt. Isidro Solijon, Lt. Flores and other officers of the USAFFE who were assigned at Ilihan Defense Line.
This army division was under the command of Col. William F. Sharp who assigned in the Central Visayas by Let Gen.
Douglas Mac Arthur and subsequently under the command of Let. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright as Gen. Mac Arthur was
called immediately by President Franklin Roosevelt to take command as Supreme Commander of the Allied Power in the
Before the landing in Toledo, the Japanese Imperial Army made sightings and observations along the shores ; they found
out that the barb wire entanglement fixed in position was difficult to attack. Seeing it impossible, they sailed out of
town of Pinamungahan where they landed early dawn of April 10, 1942. Marching along the road leading to the town of
Toledo, there were shootings between the USAFFE soldiers as blocking force who later on fled as they were outnumbered
by the enemies. When the Japanese Army reached the fortified defense line of the USAFFE in the hills of Barangay
Ilihan, heavy fighting occurred; the bursting of machine guns and rifles, the crackling continuous sounds of the bullets by
the brave USAFFE Soldiers hindered the advance of the enemies. Sad to say that there were support warplanes of the
Japanese who dropped incendiary bombs near the openings of foxholes which emitted poison gas to our Filipino defenders.
At sunset, almost of the USAFFE soldiers retreated to nearby mountains with their weapons where in later months they
planned to organize Guerilla Movement in coordination/cooperation of the scattered soldiers in order to fight the enemies
until the coming of the Allied Liberation Forces led by Gen. Mac Arthur.
As we have learned during that battle, many of the Japanese soldiers perished and were wiped out particularly in the
lowlands owing to heavy firing by the soldiers along the trenches at the foothills at the top ofthe hills. This is one of the
most significant footages in the history of Toledo.