The U.S. Army in Action
Leyte, Philippine Islands, 20 October 1944. The American Army
returned to the Philippines over the beaches of Leyte Island. Red
Beach was defended by the Japanese occupying a number of large, well-camouflaged
pillboxes. Immediately after their landing, the leading elements
of the 3d Battalion, 34th Infantry - one of the units of the U.S. Army's
24th Division - were pinned down by heavy machine gun and rifle fire.
The Regimental Commander, Colonel Aubrey S. Newman, arrived on the beach
and, taking in the situation at a glance, shouted to his men: "Get up and
get moving! Follow me!" News of the success of the American
Forces in establishing a beachhead on Leyte - the first foothold in the
Philippine Islands - was joyfully received by the American nation.
The President radioed congratulations to General MacArthur and added, "You
have the nation's gratitude and the nation's prayers for success as you
and your men fight your way back ......"