Allied forces needed air bases which would be in fighter range of Lingayen Gulf, where the next major amphibious invasion was planned. Mindoro could serve as the advanced base for troops going to fight in Luzon, but the island needed airfields built.
Ahead of the Mindoro landings, the RAAF laid tactical mines to protect the naval convoys. Soldiers of Australian Military Forces Detachment Section 22 were amongst the first ashore. Behind them was the No 3 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF, which landed at Mindoro on 15 December 1944. The Australians were in control of building airfields as quickly as possible.
By nightfall, the Australians at Mindoro Island had unloaded all of their bulldozers, tractors, trucks, generators and other equipment and had moved a kilometre inland to where the first airfield was to be built.
Image: These Australians of No. 3 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF were among the first to land on Mindoro Island. Leading Aircraftman H. Quick of Exeter, SA, is in the front. RAAF engineers were unloading their LSTs (Landing Ships, Tank) within five minutes of hitting the Mindoro Island beachhead on 15 December 1944.