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The Lingayen Gulf is an extension of the South China Seamarker on Luzonmarker in the Philippinesmarker stretching . It is framed by the provinces of Pangasinanmarker and La Unionmarker and sits between the Zambales Mountainsmarker and the Cordillera Centralmarker. The Agno River drains into Lingayen Gulf.

History

During World War II, the Lingayen Gulf proved a strategically important theatre of war between American and Japanese forces. On the 22 December 1941, the Japanesemarker 14th Army under Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma landed on the Eastern part of the gulf at Agoo, Vaba, Santiago and Bauang, where they engaged in a number of relatively minor skirmishes with the defenders, which consisted of a poorly equipped contingent of predominantly Filipino and American troops, and managed to successfully invade and occupy the gulf. Following the defeat, the next day General MacArthur issued the order to retreat from Luzonmarker and withdraw to Bataanmarker. For the next three years, the gulf remained under Japanesemarker occupation prior to the Lingayen Gulf Landings.

On 9.30 AM, January 9, 1945, the US 6th Army conducted an amphibious landing on the gulf, following a devastating naval bombardment, with 68,000 troops landing on the first day alone and a total of 203,608 in subsequent landings along a beachhead, stretching from Sual, Lingayen and Dagupan (XIV Corps) to the west, and San Fabian (I Corps) in to the east. The total number of troops under the command of MacArthur was reported to have even exceeded the number that Eisenhower controlled in Europe.

Despite their success in driving out the Japanese army stationed there, they suffered relatively heavy losses, particularly to their convoys due to Kamikaze suicide attacks. From January 4 - 12, a total of 24 ships were sunk and 67 damaged by Kamikaze planes, including the battleships USS Mississippi and USS Colorado (accidentally hit by friendly fire), light cruiser USS Columbia, and minesweeper USS Long and the USS Hovey . Following the landings, the Lingayen Gulf was turned into a vast supply depot for the rest of the war to support the American and Filipino assault on Manilamarker.

Commemoration

On January 9, 2008, Gov. Amado Espino, Jr. and Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas institutionalized the commemoration to honor the war veterans. The resolution named January 9 as Pangasinanmarker Veterans’ Day. In the 63rd anniversary commemoration of the Lingayen Gulf Landing, President Fidel Ramos appealed to US President George W. Bush for 24,000 surviving war veterans, to pass two legislative bills pending since 1968 at the US House of Representatives – the Filipino Veterans’ Equity Act of 2006 and the Filipino Veterans’ Equity of 2005 sponsored by former Senator Daniel Inouye.

Features

The gulf has numerous islands, the most famous of which are in the Hundred Islands National Park. This tourist attraction features 123 islands, the majority of which are relatively small in size. A number of cities are found along the gulf's coast such as Dagupan Citymarker and Alaminos Citymarker in Pangasinan, and San Fernando Citymarker in La Union. Lingayenmarker, the capital of Pangasinan also lies on the shores of the gulf.

Economy

Fishing and salt-making are the primary industries on Lingayen Gulf. In fact, the name Pangasinan literally means “place where salt is made” in Tagalog. Salt is collected from seawater through evaporation, leaving the crystalline salt behind.

References

  1. Encyclopedia of American History
  2. Pacific wrecks - Lingayan Gulf
  3. Abs-Cbn Interactive, 63rd anniversary of Lingayen Gulf Landing commemorated





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