It had been more than two years since General Douglas MacArthur was ordered to leave the Philippines as the Japanese captured the islands. At the time, he promised to return, and he fulfilled his word on October 20, 1944 when he waded to the shore of Leyte. Back on New Guinea, the 312th Bomb Group and other units began receiving lectures and booklets about the Philippines. It wouldn’t be long before they would pack up and move to the islands.
Below is some footage from the landing as well as Gen. MacArthur’s speech to the Filipino residents.
Approximately a week prior to the start of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the 345th Bomb Group’s ground echelon was aboard two troop transports in Humboldt Bay, waiting to find out where they would be setting up their next camp. On October 20th, they found out that they would be heading for Leyte Island. They reached San Pedro Bay, located on the eastern side of Leyte Island, on the 29th. Their transports joined the hundreds of ships already in the bay in the rain, a predecessor of the typhoon that would blow through that night. It wasn’t until November 13th that the men left the ships and began to establish their new home at Rizal, followed by quick moves to Dulag and Tacloban.