Document courtesy of Don Abbott.


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Following the seizure of the principal plain of Panay and the scattering of the remnants of the defending forces into the hills, the division, reinforced, less RCT 108 and 2nd Battalion, 160th Infantry, continued its campaign for the liberation of the Western Visaysa by mounting a shore-to-shore operation against the neighboring island of Negros.

Fourth largest of the Philippine Islands, Negros had been an important enemy air staging base during the Leyte operation. The island was also important for its many sugar centrals which the Japanese were using for the production of fuel alcohol, and for the Insular sawmill at Fabrica on the north coast, largest hardwood mill in the world. By now, however, our air attacks had rendered all of the island's numerous airfields unserviceable, and the major fuel plants inoperative.

Order of Battle estimates placed 4525 enemy combat troops, mainly elements of the 102nd Division, in the 40th Division sector (Occidental Province). The figure for service troops was placed at 4425 for the entire island, with by far the greater majority of them in the division sector. At variance with these figures, guerrillas reported a total of 14,000 to 15,000 enemy in Occidental Negros, 8000 of them in combat units. Part of this difference may have been due to the arrival, according to unconfirmed reports, of enemy evacuees from Panay and Cebu. The guerrilla estimates also included 1000 Naval Guard troops, which an unconfirmed report placed near Bacolod.

Principal enemy garrisons were reported to be at Bacolod and La Carlota with small garrisons at Murcia, Concepcion, Granada, Guimba1aon, and along the north coast.   South of the Bago River, the Jap troops numbered about 700, of which 500 were at the La Carlota sugar central. The only known enemy defensive positions in the vicinity of the selected landing beach at Pulupandan were pillboxes at either end of the Bago River bridge, which was known to be prepared for demolition. Other than the small bridge detachment of approximately 10 men, the nearest reported enemy force was the Bago town garrison of 30-50.

No field artillery units were known to be on Negros, but the airfields had been defended by dual-purpose guns of various calibers, up to and including estimated 75mm. It was probable that some remained serviceable.













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