General Douglas MacArthur and staff, accompanied by Philippine president Sergio Osmena (right), land at Palo Beach, Leyte, on Oct. 21, 1944. Less than four months later, Americna forces, led by MacArthur, would enter the Philippine capital of Manila, liberating it from the Japanese. File Photo by US Army/UPI
Manila has fallen to victorious American troops and the city, although looted by the Japanese "still stands nearly intact," Royal Arch Gunnison, correspondent for Mutual Broadcasting System, reported last night after a trip into the Philippine capital.
"Manila is liberated," Gunnison said in a broadcast from outside the city, relayed by Luzon Radio, Gen. Douglas MacArthur's "Voice of Freedom." Gunnison entered the city briefly, came out, and then flew over the capital at an altitude of 300 feet in a Piper Cub plane.
Gen. MacArthur "was down in the outskirts of the city, but he did not enter the city proper," Gunnison said.
"I did not see a single Jap except a few dead," said Gunnison. "A great smoke pall still hangs low over the city. Bright fires spot the systematized scuttling of the important Jap installations or ammunition dumps."
There was scarcely any tumult in the American entrance into Manila, Gunnison indicated.
"It was a pathetic entry. Filipinos timidly came out of their homes.
"Victory," they cried and many called, "You'll never know how we missed you."
Gunnison flew 100 feet over Santo Tomas internment camp in a plane piloted by Lt. Eugene Gravis of Cedar Rapids, La., an artillery spotter. Gunnison spent many months at Santo Tomas as an internee before he was exchanged on the liner Gripsholm.
"I saw many of my friends and prisoner colleagues waving happily to me," Gunnison said.
Gunnison said he saw Jap soldiers sprawled across the pavement, "obviously killed by units of the 1st Cavalry which spearheaded directly to Santo Tomas civilian concentration camp."
"I saw a number of road blocks set up by the Japs along the wider streets down near the Pasig River. These blocks were topped by rusty, junked automobiles."
Gunnison, deviating from the wording of the official communiqu