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In early Dec, Japanese bomber formations were observed flying within 20 miles of Lingayen Gulf beaches and returning to Taiwan, presumably making trial runs in preparation for the attack.
As a precaution, orders were given to move the 27th Bombardment Group B-17 bombers southward to Mindanao, out of range of the Japanese bombers.
Marshall would grossly overestimate Soviet Union's friendliness.
Mac Arthur anticipated Japanese aggression as early as late Nov 1941 when Japanese aircraft were seen over northern Luzon.
Because of the importance, the retired Army General Douglas Mac Arthur, currently serving as a Field Marshal in the Filipino military, was called back into service by President Franklin Roosevelt, and was given resources to mobilize Philippine defenses in case of a Japanese attack.
Mac Arthur was given US$10,000,000 and 100 B-17 Flying Fortress Bombers.
Starting on 20 Dec, the Japanese Army landed on Mindanao and then Luzon, quickly capturing airfields and other key strategic positions.
In Washington on 14 Dec, Chief of Staff Marshall, who had not seen the Philippine Islands since he was a first lieutenant in Manila in 1915, summoned Brigadier General Dwight Eisenhower to assess the situation.
but seemingly no attempt has been made to transport anything here....
[T]he United States has practically doomed the Philippines to almost total extinction to secure a breathing space.
The Filipino 1st Regular Division opposed the Lamon Bay landings fiercely and slowed the Japanese advance, but ultimately would not be able to hold the line.
While Japanese troops advanced across Luzon, President Manuel Quezon of the Philippines requested President Roosevelt to grant the Philippine Islands their independence so that he could announce Philippine neutrality.
On , George Marshall proudly said in a press conference that "the greatest concentration of heavy bomber strength anywhere in the world" were gathered at the Philippine Islands, ready to not only counterattack any attacks on the islands but also to strike at the Japanese home islands and set the "paper" cities of Japan on fire.