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41st Division (Philippines)

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Branch  Philippine Army
Size  Division
Type  Infantry Division
Part of  South Luzon Force
41st Division (Philippines)
Active  28 August 1941 - 9 April 1942
Country  Commonwealth of the Philippines

The 41st Infantry Division was a division of the Philippine Army under the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).



The division has an authorized strength of 7,500 men. As of March 1942, the division has less than 6,000 men. The 41st Field Artillery Regiment had sixteen 75-mm. guns and eight 2.95-inch pack howitzers.


It was active from August 28, 1941 to April 9, 1942, whereupon it surrendered when Bataan fell. Previously it was active in the City of Manila, Southern Luzon. BGen. Vicente P. Lim (PA) (USMA, 1914) was the division's commander, and Col. Malcolm V. Fortier was the division's Senior Instructor, desperately trying to get the new recruits of the division (nearly the entire cadre) up to par in a record amount of time.

The First Days

After the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in December 1941, it formed part of South Luzon Force (activated December 13, 1941) under BGen. George M. Parker Jr. The South Luzon Force controlled a zone east and south of Manila. Parker had the Philippine Army's 41st and 51st Infantry Divisions and the 2nd Provisional Artillery Group of two batteries of the U.S. 86th Field Artillery Regiment (Philippine Scouts).

When the Japanese began landing at Lamon Bay on December 24, 1941, South Luzon Force was badly dispersed. The 41st Division (PA) on the west coast was in position, but elements of the 51st Division along the east coast were in the process of movement.


The 41st Division is one of the first units to reach Bataan. The division was in position along the Mt. Natib trail and Balantay River and defended the center of the Abucay line, against Japanese assaults until ordered to retreat on 22 January.

The division held the extreme left of the II Corps line on the eve of the last Japanese offensive in Bataan on April 3, along with the 31st Division. Such was the effect of bombardment that even before the Japanese tank-infantry attack had begun to roll, the 41st Division had ceased to exist as an effective military organization. The units most affected by the bombardment and the assault were the 42d and 43d Infantry. The first, in the center of the division front where bamboo fires burned fiercely, had retreated in a disorderly fashion, some of the men following Trail 29 into the 41st Infantry area, and others drifting eastward to join the retreating 43d on the western slopes of Mt. Samat. Only the 41st Infantry on the extreme left of the line, which had escaped the full weight of the preliminary bombardment, had withdrawn in an orderly fashion.

Despite the attempt to stem the Japanese advance, by 4 April the division was routed. On 9 April, the inevitable bitter end came. MGen. Edward P. King Jr., commander of Bataan Defense Force, surrendered to prevent the unnecessary slaughter of his war-torn troops, negotiating the surrender of the Bataan troops with the Japanese High Command.

BGen. Vicente Lim was initially able to evade capture by the Japanese. He helped lead guerrilla resistance forces on Luzon—many of his men from the 41st Division were among those he led in guerrilla activities. Among the newly ongoing regular troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army units were need to added of the resistance fighters and irregular force to operate against the Japanese Occupation. In the summer of 1944, Lim was sought out by agents of Gen. MacArthur, who wanted him to help plan the retaking of the Philippines, which would begin that Fall. On his way to a Negros Island rendezvous with an American submarine that would take him to Australia, Lim and his party were spotted off the coast of Batangas, Luzon, and captured by a Japanese patrol boat. Once they realized who he was, he was taken back to Fort Santiago, where he was tortured; and after transferring him to Old Bilibid prison, he was executed by the Japanese on 31 December 1944.

Order of Battle

  • 41st Infantry Regiment (PA)
  • 42nd Infantry Regiment (PA)
  • 43rd Infantry Regiment (PA)
  • 41st Field Artillery Regiment (PA)
  • 41st FA Regt HQ Company
  • 1st Bn/41st FA Regt (PA) (75mm guns, 16x)
  • 2nd Bn/41st FA Regt (PA) (2.95-inch pack howitzers, 4x)
  • 3rd Bn/41st FA Regt (PA)
  • 41st Engineer Battalion (PA)
  • 41st Division Units
  • 41st Division Headquarters & HQ Company
  • 41st Medical Battalion
  • 41st Signal Company
  • 41st Quartermaster Company (Motorized)
  • 41st QM Transport Company (Truck)
  • References

    41st Division (Philippines) Wikipedia

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