1995 32¢ Fighting Frees Manila
WWII – 1945: Victory at Last
Issue Date: September 2, 1995
City: Honolulu, HI
Quantity: 5,000,000 panes of 20
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
The fifth and final installment of the World War II series commemorates the 50th anniversary of the war's final year. Titled "1945: Victory at Last," these 10 stamps chronicle the events leading to Germany's surrender, the Japanese surrender, and ultimately the Allied victory. Nearly 300,000 American service personnel lost their lives between 1941 and 1945.
Fighting Frees Manila
Manila is the capital, largest city, and leading port of the Philippines. The Japanese seized this city, located on the island of Luzon, just four weeks after World War II began in the Pacific. On January 9, 1945, the Allies landed on the island with the largest landing force used in the Pacific campaign, and began fighting their way to Manila. The Japanese were ready with an impressive army of 250,000 men.
But despite their size, the Japanese had been weakened by Filipino guerrilla attacks and steady bombings by U.S. aircraft. U.S. forces defeated the Japanese in the north and east, then prepared for their final drive on Manila, which coincided with the 8th Army’s drive across the base of the Bataan Peninsula. Liberation of the city began on February 3, 1945.
It took 29 days to clear the city, and in the desperate house-to-house struggle much of Manila was destroy-ed. On March 4th, the city was liberated. U.S. troops freed more than 5,000 Allied prisoners. Although small bands of Japanese remained and continued to fight, MacArthur was able to establish a base from which to invade Japan itself. The Filipinos began rebuilding Manila almost immediately. Today Manila is again the country’s chief cultural, social, and commercial city.