Sunday, February 4, 2007

Villa Verde Trail, San Nicolas

Named after a Spanish Missionarry who used it to bring Catholicism to people in the mountains of northern Luzon. This 27 mile trail runs climbs over 5,000' from Santa Maria to Santa Fe along ridgelines large enough for foot traffic and horses. It terminates to the junction with Route 5 and the Cagayan Valley.

Battle of Villa Verde Trail

After the American landing at Lingayen Gulf on January 9, 1945, Japanese forces of the 'Shobu Group' defended this location, including 10th Recconssaiance Regimen and survivors of the 7th Tank Regiment from the battle of San Manuel. The US Army 32nd Infantry Division's 127th Infantry Regiment advanced along this trail beginning on January 30, 1945. The rough terrain made it impossible for vehicles to support the battle, Igorot laborers were employed to carry supplies and evacuate wounded.

32nd Infantry Division Villa Verde Monument
In 1987 with the help of the veterans of the 32nd and cooperation of the Santa Maria East the monument was restored from March - September 1989. The memorial's brass plaque reads: "Erected by the officers and men of the 32d Infantry Division United States Army in memory of their gallant comrades who were killed along the Villa Verde Trail Januray 30, 1945 - May 28, 1945".