80 years ago, the fall of Bataan

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mexicanjoe

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Jun 7, 2010
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383
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midland/odessa,texas
80 years ago tomorrow the American forces in the Philippines were forced to march for over 80 miles to POW camp. Less than half survived the horror of continuous marching without food or water. Among those survivors were my half brother and at least 4 of his friends from Carlsbad New Mexico. The 200th Anti-aircraft/ coastal artillery was the first to face the empire of Japan in declared war, and my brother said he did his duty as best he could. He did not speak of his time there, but he did mention eating cockroaches, and mice to augment their meager meals of rice. He recalled the torture during his tenure as a guest of the emperor, and swore he would never go hungry again. When he got home he weighed next to nothing, his skin had turned bright yellow and was very weak..
The first thing he did upon his return; when daddy gave him a house to live in, was to knock out walls and build a pantry which; he promptly filled to the top with canned goods. He flew a flag every day and was proud of his service, and told me that this country was worth fighting for ....
Tomorrow I will remember his sacrifice for this country and pray this republic will still stand 80 years from now.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
9,340
Location
Greenville, SC: USA
For years we had a mountain house up above Asheville N.C. and the last 2 miles up to it was a one lane road.., if you met someone going or coming who ever was closest to a drive way or such was supposed to back up to it... one day I was headed back up and met a car... there was a drive way about 20 feet behind where the old guy stopped and he just sat there until I finally backed back down about a hundred yards ... I was pissed.. as the car went by I saw the POW license plate and remembered my mother in law saying one of the folks that owned a house up there had been in the Batann death march.... I hung my head in shame for a moment and realized I should be wiling to back all the way down the mountain for that man.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
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5,891
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On the beach and in the hills
I had an uncle that escaped the Philipines after the Japanese invasion. While only a CPO he was the senior survivor of his ship. He had his ships papers and that got him a ride on a boat out. Uncle Ray went on to distinguish himself in several major Pacific battles including that little dust up the Battle of Leyte Gulf. MacAurthur wasn't the only one who returned, but most that did simply were doing their jobs.
 

Pistolero

Hunter
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
2,616
Location
Chama, NM-Our little piece of Heaven.
I have two great uncles from Santa Fe who served in 200th Anti-aircraft/ coastal artillery were POWS. Every year, except for Covid years 20-21,
families of New Mexican men who served in Bataan gather at the Bataan Memorial in downtown Santa Fe to honor the men who served there. For those who are interested I posted the article below about it.

Mexican Joe, I salute your brother, my great uncles, and all the New Mexicans who served there.

 

Simmonsburg

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Dec 28, 2021
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147
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TN
May his sacrifice never be in vein, though it seems like this country is on a slippery slope to the low ends.
 

ole442

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
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199
Location
Ohio! Way too freakin' close to the city!
I worked at a local grocery store in the late 60's / early 70's and the man I worked for was a WW2 Army vet. One day he was talking to an older gentleman (to me) and after the man walked away, my boss said to me......"He survived the Bataan Death March"! I didn't know of the actual incident but knew what that alluded to. Later, I read about it and was even more respectful of those men! You never know where a man has been just by looking at him! I always tried to put that thought into my kids life lessons!
 

RCA1504

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
83
Location
NW FL
I knew two survivors, one in Revera Beach and one in Santa Rosa Beach both in poor physical condition from the ill treatment, poor diet and malaria. Their lives in general were cut short by decades, even when they survived. Some of the prisoners that survived were put on freighters and shipped to Japan, in route the un-marked freighters were then strafed by American planes and some were sunk. The story is documented in the book Give Us This Day. The Army vet from Santa Rosa Beach was one of the prisoners sent to Japan on the strafed freighters, he lived out in the woods.
 

6GUNSONLY

Hunter
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
2,840
Location
Alabama, in the bend of the Tennessee River
One of my great uncles died in the Philippines after being wounded in action then contracting malaria. I'm not sure exactly when. My grandmother's brother. Three of her other brothers were WW2 vets as well. We owe those men our lives and freedom. Truly the greatest generation.
 

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