H-Hour of Revenge
GEN. MacARTHUR'S HQ IN THE PHILIPPINES, Oct. 20 (AP)—
American, troops were driving inland toward the fertile valleys of Leyte Island tonight in a powerful shell- and bomb-prepared invasion which brought Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur, accompanied by every able-bodied s u r v j v o r of Corregidor. back to the Philippines.
Operations are proceeding according to schedule tonight. The Japanese were caught strategically off guard by the attack.
MacArthur said, in a message to Gen, George C. Marshall, U.S. Army chief of staff, that his troops had sustained "extremely light losses," and that the enemy was taken unawares because he expected an attack farther to the south.
The attack left the Japanese forces on Mindanao—large island just south of Leyte—"no longer important" because
In one of the most dramatic strokes of the war, MacArthur thrust his advanced headquarters600 miles north from Morotai,
split the Japanese defenses in half and brought his forces within 415 miles of the Philippine capital, Manila.
The ground forces which poured ashore in the Gulf of Leyte from a huge convoy under the protection of a terrific naval
and air bombardment knifed their way on to the east coast of Leyte Island and swiftly seized three strong beachheads
along an 11-mile stretch.
While the .American troops were pouring ashore from northern and southern attack forces under shattering fire from
battleships, cruisers and destroyers, augmented by hundreds of Adm. William F. Halsey's fighters and bombers, rocketfiring
ships were working close inshore, lending direct support to the infantry.
On D-Day-minus-three, a combat team landed on the northern tip of Dinagat Island and on the southern portion of Homohon Island bordering the entrance to Leyte Gulf, securing and capturing enemy installations.
Set Marker Beacons
These forces set small marker beacons as a guide for the convoy. Prior to D-Day, minesweeping units and special naval demolition squads cleared the approaches to the objective area. Tons of steel from naval units blasted the landing areas in preliminary bombardment attacks yesterday and last night.
No Jungle to Fight on Leyte
LEYTE ISLAND. Oct. 20 (AP)—
For the first time since Gen. MacArthur started fighting his way back to the Philippines his army will have room to
maneuver. Previously his troops have always had to fight a jungle campaign.
Leyte is the eighth largest Philippine island, and orderly rows of palm trees fringe the sandy beaches of the eastern
coastline for 40 miles south of Tacloban.
Skirting the coast is an all-weather road joined at several points by lateral roads leading through a broad valley.
MacArthur's artillery will have wide fields of fire in the battle for the valley roads and for the island's half-dozen airfields,
of which Tacloban, three miles from the town, is the most important.
Nature may take a hand in the battle. This is the beginning of the rainy season, and near the end of the typhoons. Scores
of rivers and streams criss-cross Leyte Valley.
Trap SS Remnants
In Aachen's Outskirts
The week-long battle for Aachen ended at 3:30 PM yesterday when U.S. First Army doughboys cleared the last fanatical SS troops from the ruined frontier city—the first German city of importance to fall in this war.
A small pocket of Germans was still holding out beyond the city limits, but the city itself was completely in the hands of Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges's army.
Dispatches said that for all practical purposes Aachen was destroyed. Its famed cathedral was almost undamaged, however. indicating how accurately American guns and Allied planes had struck against purely military' objectives '" The punishment administered the city after the Nazi commander had rejected surrender terms offered on Oct. 10.
Ordered by Hitler to hold the city at all costs, because its fall would have an ominous significance for every other city
in the Third Reich, the SS troops held out to the last.
A 155-mm. gun literally blew apart the building which the Nazis had turned into a last strong point.
On in Hungary