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1944 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Nautical Chart of Manila Bay, Philippines

Philippine Islands. Manila Bay and Approaches. - Main View

1944 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Nautical Chart of Manila Bay, Philippines


Published during the World War II Philippine Campaign.


Philippine Islands. Manila Bay and Approaches.
  1944 (dated)     33.5 x 37.5 in (85.09 x 95.25 cm)     1 : 128700


This is a 1944 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey nautical chart or maritime map of Manila Bay in the Philippines. Likely published for MacArthur's 1945 campaign on Luzon, a red stamp along the bottom border dated April 1945 from the Hydrographic Office of the Navy Department suggests that this map played some role in the Philippine Campaign. The map depicts the region's coastal areas in detail, with river mouths, settlements, and roads among the highlighted features. The Bataan Peninsula's topography is also illustrated, as are some settlements and roads further inland from Manila itself. Myriad depth soundings populate the bay, allowing for much more confident navigation. Corregidor Island, where MacArthur sheltered during the Japanese invasion of 1941-42, sits at the mouth of Manila Bay and is depicted in detail. Red manuscript notations mark three beacons that were relit by the Americans after liberating the area from the Japanese.
The Philippine Campaign
Launched on October 20 of 1944, the Philippine Campaign was a World War II joint American and Filipino military operation intended to liberate the Philippine Islands from occupying Imperial Japanese forces. The Japanese Army overran most of the Philippines during the first half of 1942, retaining it for the subsequent two years. American General Douglas MacArthur began the campaign by announcing on Philippine radio, 'This is the Voice of Freedom, General MacArthur speaking. People of the Philippines: I have returned.' The campaign progressed rapidly, driving the Japanese out of one island after another. Although by this time, the Japanese were clearly losing the war, they gave no sign of capitulation and refused to surrender. During the campaign, Japan suffered nearly half a million casualties compared to only about 50,000 Americans. The campaign continued until Japanese forces in the Philippines were ordered to surrender by Tokyo on August 15, 1945, after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Publication History and Census
This chart was originally published by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in August 1940 in Manila. It was then revised several times, with this edition published in Washington, D.C. in 1944. We have been unable to locate any other examples, but with the Navy Department stamp and the manuscript notations, this piece is likely one of a kind.


The Office of the Coast Survey (1807 - present) founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The spirit of the Coast Survey was defined by its first two superintendents. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. These included using the most advanced techniques and most sophisticated equipment as well as an unstinting attention to detail. Hassler devised a labor intensive triangulation system whereby the entire coast was divided into a series of enormous triangles. These were in turn subdivided into smaller triangulation units that were then individually surveyed. Employing this exacting technique on such a massive scale had never before been attempted. Consequently, Hassler and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Unfortunately, despite being a masterful surveyor, Hassler was abrasive and politically unpopular, twice losing congressional funding for the Coast Survey. Nonetheless, Hassler led the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Bache was fully dedicated to the principles established by Hassler, but proved more politically astute and successfully lobbied Congress to liberally fund the endeavor. Under the leadership of A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey completed its most important work. Moreover, during his long tenure with the Coast Survey, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was a steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA as the National Geodetic Survey. Learn More...


Very good. Exhibits some toning and soiling. Closed margin tears professionally repaired on verso.