Lipa, Batangas in Ruins: Photos taken right after World War II

Original caption:  View of the municipality of Lipa, Batangas, showing destruction; looking west from the Lipa Cathedral.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 8 October 1945.
Original caption:  View of the municipality of Lipa, Batangas, showing destruction; looking west from the Lipa Cathedral.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 8 October 1945.
A memorandum from General Headquarters of the United States Army Forces in the Pacific Office of the Theater Advocate War Crimes Branch to the Prosecution Section1, with the subject “Lipa Massacre,” included as exhibits several photos showing how badly the municipality of Lipa (as it was in 1945) was destroyed in World War II.

Although the photos were intended to be used for the prosecution of Japanese war criminals, to be fair American planes flying from aircraft carriers to “soften” Lipa for the advance of United States land forces were just as responsible for the reduction of the municipality into rubbles.

The photos from the original document have been treated with graphic software to lighten the dark spots and make these more visible. Each is captioned as originally written in the memorandum with the name of the photographer included.

Original caption:  Ruins of the Minor Seminary2, on the Rosario Road, near Lipa, Batangas Philippine Islands. Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson of the 168th Photo Signal Batallion on 25 September 1945.
Original caption:  Ruins of the Minor Seminary2, on the Rosario Road, near Lipa, Batangas Philippine Islands. Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson of the 168th Photo Signal Batallion on 25 September 1945.
Original caption:  Photograph of destroyed Japanese garrison at Lipa, Batangas.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 5 October 19845.
Original caption:  Photograph of destroyed Japanese garrison at Lipa, Batangas.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 5 October 19845.
Original caption:  Exterior view of the Lipa Cathedral showing destruction.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 6 October 1945.
Original caption:  Exterior view of the Lipa Cathedral showing destruction.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 6 October 1945.



Original caption:  Interior view of the Lipa Cathedral showing destruction.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 5 October 1945.
Original caption:  Photograph of Real Street3, Lipa, Batangas, looking east, showing destruction.
Original caption:  Photograph of Real Street3, Lipa, Batangas, looking east, showing destruction.
Original caption:  Photograph of Real Street, Lipa, Batangas, looking west, showing destruction.  Photo taken by Pfc Robert Wilson on 5 October 1945.



Original caption:  View of the municipality of Lipa, Batangas, showing destruction; looking north from the Lipa Cathedral.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 8 October 1945.
Original caption:  View of the municipality of Lipa, Batangas, showing destruction; looking north from the Lipa Cathedral.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 8 October 1945.
Original caption:  View of the municipality of Lipa, Batangas, showing destruction; looking south from the Lipa Cathedral.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 8 October 1945.
Original caption:  View of the municipality of Lipa, Batangas, showing destruction; looking south from the Lipa Cathedral.  Photo taken by Pfc. Robert Wilson on 8 October 1945.

Notes and references:
1Lipa Massacre,” a memorandum to the Prosecution Section from the General Headquarters, United States Forces Pacific, Office of the Theater Judge Advocate, War Crimes Branch, dated 24 October 1945, online at the Bataan Legacy Historical Society.
2 The building in the picture was likely the one erstwhile occupied by the Japanese Army in Barangay Antipolo south of the town center. “History of the Seminary,” online at St. Francis de Sales Major blog on Tumblr.
3 Real Street or Calle Real in the Spanish era is present-day C.M. Recto Avenue of Lipa City.

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