Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Leyte invasion began on the morning of 20 October 1944. The main landings at Tacloban and Dulag were accompanied by a full bombardment from battleships, cruisers, destroyers and rocket ships. HMA Ships Australia and Shropshire passed through the battle line and opened fire on enemy positions on the shore before sailing further out to sea to protect the flanks of the invasion fleet.

By the afternoon the situation was secure enough for President Sergio Osmeña and General MacArthur to wade ashore through the water to the sands of Red Beach where MacArthur made the famous broadcast:

“People of the Philippines, I have returned…. At my side is your President, Sergio Osmeña, worthy successor of that great patriot, Manuel Quezon, with members of his cabinet. The seat of your government is now therefore firmly re-established on Philippine soil.”

Image: Forward 8 inch turrets of HMAS Australia. Commanding Officer, Captain (Capt) E.F. Dechaineux DSC, RAN is on the bridge. Capt Dechaineux was killed on 21 October 1944 during the Battle of Leyte.

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