Role in WW2
See also: Military history of the Philippines during World War II
In 1941, the Philippine Commonwealth was a semi-independent commonwealth of the United States, with full Independence scheduled for 4 July 1946. The Philippine Commonwealth Army was commanded by American General Douglas MacArthur, and the Philippines was one of the first countries invaded by the Empire of Japan; combined Filipino and American forces maintained a stubborn resistance against the invasion. General MacArthur was ordered by the President to withdraw his headquarters to Australia, where he made his famous statement "I came out of Bataan, and I shall return". The Americans in the Philippines surrendered at Corregidor, on 6 May 1942.
Despite the official surrender, there was a significant local resistance movement to the Japanese Occupation. Elements of the Philippine Army continued their activity and were able to free all but twelve of the then-fifty Provinces of the Philippines, whilst other groups such as the Hukbalahap were also involved. While in exile, President Manuel L. Quezon continued to represent the Philippines until his death from tuberculosis in 1944. American forces under General MacArthur made their return in October 1944, beginning with amphibious landing on Leyte.