By M Hamlin Cannon
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Extra resources for Leyte : the return to the Philippines
43. towns are situated on the main road system of the island, and the larger coastal barrios (villages) have roads of a sort. The road system is divided into a northern and a southern coastal road net. The former, which is the better, was designed for the transportation of agricultural produce from the northern interior areas to Tacloban. The latter is composed of narrow, roundabout roads that are constantly in need of repair. The two systems are joined by a road, scarcely better than a trail, which runs west of Abuyog and corkscrews its way through heavily forested mountains to Baybay.
General MacArthur, who had left Luzon in a motor torpedo boat, was to return to the Philippines with a vast armada—the greatest seen in the Pacific up to that time. The Tactical Plan The Southwest Pacific Area was the command responsibility of General MacArthur. He had under his command Allied Air Forces, Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney com- manding; Allied Naval Forces, Vice Adm. 23 Thomas C. Kinkaid commanding; Allied Land Forces, Gen. Sir Thomas Blarney commanding; United States Army Services of Supply (SWPA), Maj.
Southern Leyte, which had known few Japanese, was "reinvolved" on 8 December 1943. The guerrillas withdrew and hid in the interior. It was thought that after a month the troops would leave and be replaced by constabulary officers. But after two weeks the Japanese turned their attention to the civilians. Some they arrested and imprisoned for days without food and water, others they tortured Japanese Punitive Expeditions and executed. Houses were broken into, In the latter part of 1943 the Japanese property was looted, and food was stolen.