FOURTH: Independence Day in Philippines

FresnoJuly 3, 2014 

Today's Fourth of July celebrations remind us of our blessings and our obligations.


When World War II was over in 1945, my division, the 96th Infantry, was deactivated and we low-point men were placed in the 86th Division. It was the first division to be deployed from Europe to the Pacific. I was assigned to the 331st Field Artillery Battalion (FABN).

On July 4, 1946, the United States granted the Philippines its independence. On that day, there was a big parade down Dewey Boulevard (now called Rojas Boulevard) in Manila, in which units from the 86th Division, including the 331st FABN, participated. Gen. Douglas MacArthur was in the reviewing stand, as well as other notables.

There was a flyover by the new jet fighter planes, which many of us had not seen before. They almost stole the show. That was the Fourth of July to remember.

Douglas P. Burton


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