Tagaytay City marks World War 2 paratrooper landing

(from left, bottom) Cavite eighth district Rep. Aniela Tolentino, a war veteran, and Defense Assistant Secretary Restituto Aguilar with (top) historical reenactors

The City Government of Tagaytay led the recent commemorative program to celebrate the 78th anniversary of American paratrooper landings at the ridge during the last months of World War 2.

On February 3, 1945, thousands of troops from the 511th Parachute Regiment, 11th Division of the United States Eighth Army under the command of Lt. Gen. Robert Eichelderger, made airborne landings at the Tagaytay Ridge to assist in liberating Manila from the Imperial Japanese Army.

Held at the Tagaytay Rotunda along Aguinaldo Highway, the annual memorial event also paid tribute to the 11 surviving nonagenarian and centenarian Filipino guerillas who helped secure the drop zones to ensure the zero-casualty landing of the paratroopers.

In photo is PVAO deputy administrator and DND assistant secretary Restituto Aguilar pinning a war medal to a veteran, witnessed by Cavite eighth district rep. Aniela Tolentino, who was also a guest of honor in the commemorative program.

The veterans, mostly coming from Cavite province, were awarded the Philippine Liberation Medal and the World War 2 Campaign Medal by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) of the Department of National Defense (DND).

The City Government also held a historical forum with the Sons and Daughters Association Inc. of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, and the Tagaytay City College on the vital role played in World War 2 by the 41st Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

The legendary Division trained in Tagaytay under the Philippine Commonwealth government in the mid-1930s and was commanded by Gen. Vicente Lim, the first Filipino graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. The 6,000-strong Division figured in significant battles in Bataan and other sites in the archipelago throughout the Pacific War.

The event is also supported by the Provincial Government of Cavite, Republica Filipina Reenactment Group, and the community and tourism stakeholders in Tagaytay City.

Tagaytay Ridge Landing 78th anniversary commemorative event