The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Batan Island (121.98E
20.45N) is a small island located between Luzon and Formosa.
It is politically a part of the Philippines. Though
lacks a good anchorage, in 1941 it
had a primitive grass airstrip at Basco.
Because of the potential value of the island for basing
air power within easy range of the Phillipines, the island had been
identified by the Japanese as an early objective in the event of war with the United States as early as 1937. Third
Surprise Attack Force
accordingly seized the airstrip on the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack (8
December 1941, local time) to provide air cover for landings at Aparri. Fighters from 24 and 50 Air Regiments began arriving almost at once. However, the unexpectedly swift collapse of American air
power in the Philippines meant that the Nates
on the island were almost irrelevant to the outcome of Aparri landings or the Phillipines campaign.
Evans and Peattie (1997)
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2006, 2008, 2013 by Kent G. Budge. Index
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