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Jap invasion forces gain coast of Luzon

By
Frank Hewlett

MANILA -- A Japanese expeditionary force today fought through a rain of American bombs to consolidate a foothold on the coast of Luzon island for an invasion of the Philippines.

American bombers rained high explosive on the Japanese landing transports, singing of damaging at least three. The Japanese air force countered by sending flight after flight of silver-colored bombers high over Manila to attack key U.S. air and naval bases around the capital.

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(Tokyo claimed Japanese forces also landed on Guam this morning. The Japanese landings in Guam and Luzon were the first invasion of American soil by sea since the British landings in the war of 1812.)

(The first U.S. war communique issued at Washington reported three Japanese transports hit and three damaged when American forces repulsed the initial Japanese landing attempts on Luzon.)

Japanese landing operations were being attempted along a 150-mile stretch of Luzon's northwest and north coasts. Japanese forces actually were ashore at Aparri on the north coast.

By mid-day four flights of Japanese raiding planes had droned over Manila while American anti-aircraft guns barked sharply and American fighter planes roared into the sky to challenge them. Three Japanese planes were reported shot down.

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I stood atop the eight-story Wilson building int he heart of Manila watching the Japanese come over. The fourth flight apparently was the largest. I counted 57 planes, passing over the capital at altitudes between 12,000 and 15,000 feet.

The Japanese planes flew over Manila in perfect formation, their silver wings blending with the sky. The city proper escaped damage but what were described as "a few costly blows" were scored by Japanese attackers on American military objectives.

U.S. antiaircraft guns hammered away at the attackers but this correspondent, watching the raids from the eight-story Wilson building in the heart of the city, saw no bombers fall. The planes were flying at about 15,000 feet and it appeared that the antiaircraft fire was falling short.

American officials said because of attacks on the Nichols field area it had been decided to evacuate the Paranaque district adjoining the air base. About 10,000 persons live in Paranque.

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