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Leyte-Samar Naval Base was a large United States Navy base in the Philippines on the Islands of Leyte and Samar. The Base was built during World War II to support the many naval ships fighting and patrolling in the South West Pacific theatre of war as part of the Pacific War. A number of naval facilities were built on the east coast of Leyte island starting October 20, 1944. The first base was built at between the city of Tacloban and Anibong Point, a mile north of the city. Headquarters for the Seventh Fleet was built at Tolosa, 10 miles south of Tacloban on Leyte. The bases were on the large San Pedro Bay in the Leyte Gulf which provided safe anchorage for many ships. Due to the lack of dry ground in Tacloban a second base was built on the east side of Leyte Gulf, on the south tip of Samar, on Calicoan Island and Tubabao Island. At Samar, a large Naval Depot was built to support the Pacific War. Samar was about 50 miles across the Leyte Gulf from Tacloban. All construction was done by the Navy's Seabees. [1][2]

Leyte-Samar Naval Base
Location within the Philippines
LocationLeyte, Eastern Visayas, Philippines, in South East Asia
Coordinates11.250939°N 124.992726°E / 11.250939; 124.992726
Adjacent to
 United States Navy
Population67,000 Troops
at its peak June 1944
(in use 1944-1945)
Abandoned 1947
Additional information
Time zone
  • PST (UTC+8)

Leyte-Samar Bases

Leyte-Samar Naval Base was not one single base, but a number of facilities on the west, north, east shores of San Pedro Bay, and in the bay.

The USS ABSD-5 in Guiuan waters during World War II
The USS ABSD-5 in Guiuan waters during World War II
Tacloban Naval Base in 1944
Tacloban Naval Base in 1944
Aerial view of Guiuan Airfield on Guiuan Island
Aerial view of Guiuan Airfield on Guiuan Island
Map of major Leyte-Samar Naval Bases in 1944
Map of major Leyte-Samar Naval Bases in 1944


USS Artisan floating drydock
USS Artisan floating drydock
Quonset village at Tolosa in 1945. Housing for the Philippine Sea Frontier Headquarters.
Quonset village at Tolosa in 1945. Housing for the Philippine Sea Frontier Headquarters.

Before Leyte-Samar Naval Base was built the United States had to clear out the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces from the Philippines. The first main Naval event was the Battle of the Philippine Sea from June 19, 1944 to June 20, 1944. The next was the Battle of Leyte Gulf from October 23, 1944 to October 26, 1944. Battle of Leyte Gulf and Battle of the Philippine Sea were two of the largest naval battle in history. The Battle off Samar was part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944. The United States Army landed at Leyte on October 20, 1944, the start, of the Battle of Leyte. Major fighting ended on December 26, 1944. [12] On December 25, 1944, United States Seventh Fleet officially opened its headquarters in Leyte, with Task Group 72.7. Leyte-Samar Naval Base provided major logistic support for the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf on January 3, 1945. The base continued to grow and barracks ships APL-17 and APL-19 arrived in February 1945 to help with the housing shortage. On May 7, 1945, a large convoy departed the base at Ulithi, to move much of that base to Leyte-Samar Naval Base, taking operations closer the action. The convoy arrived on May 13. The second convoy departed May 19, this convoy included the floating drydock a 3,300-ton ARD-19. Also in May, the USS Ocelot (IX-110) arrived and was used a barracks ship for the quickly growing base. Many [[World War II United States Merchant Navy|Merchant Navy ships started to arrive with supplies. fuel and ammunition. The ammunition ships SS Bluefield Victory and USS Amador arrived with needed shore and ship ammunition. Also in May the USS Ajax (AR-6) a repair ship arrived and started repair work on ships, late repairing typhoon damaged ships. With many ships in the Pacific War for such a long time, Leyte-Samar Base became a major ship repair depot. More floating dry docks were added to the base including: ARD-15, ARD-18, ADR-23, ADR-25, AFDL-32, and AFD-17. In June 1945 the base had its peak population of 72,000 Troops. On July 27, 1945 the massive USS Artisan floating drydock was assembled in Leyte Gulf. Artisan was able to dry dock and repair the Navy's largest ships, like battleships. Much of the base was abandoned after the war in 1945. Leyte-Samar Base was part of a treaty in 1947" Agreement Concerning Military Bases, Manila, 14 March 1947. That noted that Leyte-Samar Naval Base could be used by the United States if determined to be required by a military necessity. In 1947 the base was abandoned.[13][1][2]

Map 1945 Philippines with South Pacific War sites
Map 1945 Philippines with South Pacific War sites

See also


  1. "HyperWar: Beans, Bullet and Black Oil [Chapter 29]".
  2. "HyperWar: Building the Navy's Bases in World War II [Chapter 29]".
  3. US Navy, The Battle off Samar
  4. Building the Navy's Bases in World War II History of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps 1940–1946. US Government Printing Office. 1947. p. 230.
  5. "NCB 93: Navy Base at Guiuan, Samar".
  6. Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force
  7. "Chapter XXIX Bases in the Philippines". Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  8., Hinundayan Gulf
  9. Anderson, Charles R. Leyte. The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-27. Retrieved 2006-05-25.
  10. "Leyte Reinforcement Convoys 23 October to 13 December 1944: Operations "TA-1" to "TA-9"". Retrieved 2006-01-06.
  13. "Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 61 Part 4.djvu/671 - Wikisource, the free online library".

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