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HOME   -   HISTORY DICTIONARY   -   BATAAN DEATH MARCH

 
   


Bataan Death March - April 9, 1942
Courtesy of the National Museum of the USAF


Bataan Death March - April 9, 1942

Image below:

The March of Death. Along the March these prisoners were photographed, they have their hands tied behind their backs. The March of Death was from Bataan to the prison camp.

Left to right, Samuel Stenzler, Frank Spear, James McD. Gallagher. May 1942

(Defense dept. USMC 114541, National Archives)



Bataan Death March

 


You are in World War II.

 

Who Marched?

American troops and Philippine troops who were captured by Japanese troops. All in all roughly 100,000 prisoners or war.


Bataan Death March: Group of American prisoners, note Japanese guard with fixed bayonet. The March of Death was from Bataan to the prison camp march at Cabana Tuan. May 1942.
Group of American prisoners, note Japanese guard with fixed bayonet. The March of Death was from Bataan to the prison camp march at Cabana Tuan. May 1942.
(Defense dept., USMC 114542, National Archives).

 

They Marched From Where to Where?

From Mariveles, southern Bataan Peninsula, to San Fernando, train to Capas, from Capas to Camp O'Donnell.

Distances:
Mariveles to San Fernando - 55 miles / 88 kilometers
Capas to Camp O'Donnell - 8 miles / 13 kilometers

All in all, they marched 63 miles / 101 kilometers.

 

Route of the Bataan Death March
Route of the Bataan Death March
PBS

 

 

"Their ferocity grew as we marched ...
They were no longer content with mauling stragglers or pricking them with bayonet points. The thrusts were intended to kill."

Capt. William Dyess, 21st Pursuit Squadron commander

 


 

Taken during the March of Death from Bataan to the prison camp march at Cabana Tuan.
Taken during the March of Death from Bataan
to the prison camp march at Cabana Tuan.
(Defense department USMC 114,540, National Archives)

 

Who All Arrived?

Only 54,000 troops.

Seven to ten thousand troops died on the march. The rest escaped into the jungle.


The march of death. Taken during the March of Death from Bataan to Cabana Tuan prison camp. May 1942.
The march of death. Taken during the March of Death from Bataan to Cabana Tuan prison camp. May 1942.
(Defense depart., USMC 114538, # 127-GR-111-114538, National Archives)

 

Who Was Responsible?

The man in charge and responsible for the Bataan Death March was Japan's General Homma Masaharu.

Or so the American military commission found. Homma had surrendered in Tokyo on September 14, 1945, was tried at Manila, convicted, and executed via firing squad at Los Baņos, Luzon, the Philippines, on April 3, 1946.

 

Homma Masaharu - Jorge B. Vargas, secretary of President Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina, and Homma Masaharu, general lieutenant in the Imperial Japanese Army, on February 20, 1943
Jorge B. Vargas, secretary of President Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina, and Homma Masaharu, general lieutenant in the Imperial Japanese Army, on February 20, 1943
Wiki

 

 

More Info on the Bataan Death March

Check the Bataan Death March in the timeline of World War II.

Go here to read General MacAthur's I Have Returned speech.

Go here for more on the annual Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico - presented by Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)

Go here for more on the annual Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico - presented by an upright citizen.

PBS has an excellent site with interviews and comments from Bataan Death March survivors. Here it is.

Here is the Bataan fact sheet presented by the National Museum of the USAF

 

Bataan Death March
Bataan Death March
Courtesy of the National Museum of the USAF