PGH 1945: Days of terror, nights of fear
(Editors Note: The author, a retired officer of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, is the youngest son of the late Chief Justice Ramon Q. Avanceña, who served during the American and Commonwealth eras.)
The battle for the liberation of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on Taft Avenue in Manila was only one of a series of street-by-street, house-to-house and building-to-building fights that was the story of the liberation of the city in 1945. It was also one of the fiercest.
American and Filipino soldiers who participated in the liberation of Manila, which took place from Feb. 3 to March 3, 1945, told civilian survivors it took them three days to cross the intersection of Padre Faura Street and Taft Avenue, advancing toward Paco Cemetery.
The automatic weapons fire that raked the American lines from heavily defended buildings of the hospital and the University of the Philippines forced them to call for armor assistance in spite of the heavy artillery carpet barrages that the area was subjected to for one week.