Bataan and Corregidor, Battles of
Dangerously short of food, medicine, and ammunition, the U.S. forces still put up a furious defense of the peninsula. “The Battling Bastards of Bataan” and the defenders of “the Rock”—Corregidor—provided a tremendous morale boost after U.S. losses suffered in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam, and Wake Island. Heeding direct orders from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, MacArthur and his family escaped from Corregidor by PT boat on 11 March 1942, and upon arrival in Australia, MacArthur made his famous “I shall return” promise. By 9 April, the Japanese controlled Bataan and beseiged Corregidor. On 6 May 1942, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, commanding an ill and starving garrison, surrendered. In the infamous Bataan Death March that followed, more than 600 American and 5,000 to 10,000 Filipino and many Australian and British prisoners of war died from disease, malnourishment, and abuse as they were taken to Japanese prisoner‐of‐war camps. As with Pearl Harbor, this atrocity became a powerful motivational symbol for Americans in the war against the Japanese empire.
[See also Prisoners of War: U.S. Soldiers as POWs; World War II, U.S. Naval Operations in: The Pacific.]
D. Clayton James , The Years of MacArthur. Vol. 2, 1941–1945, 1975.
Ronald H. Spector , Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan, 1985.
David L. Anderson
"Bataan and Corregidor, Battles of." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 11, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bataan-and-corregidor-battles
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