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BATAAN FALLS! 36,800 IN TRAP


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Hi everyone,

Today is the 69th Anniversary of the fall of Bataan. In memory of all those who served there, I would like to share with you this Chicago Herald-American Newspaper.

 

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Here is the main article.

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WASHINGTON, April 9. - Bataan fell today to numerically superior Japanese forces, entrapping 36,800 heroic American-Filipino troops who were physically exhausted from five days of terrific bombardment, a shortage of rations, and the ravages of disease.

 

Announcement was made in a brief communique issues at 4:15 A.M. (Chicago time), followed later by a statement from Secretary of War Stimson that the fate of the encircled defenders is not known, although they apparently face death or surrender.

 

The end came when Gen. Wainwright reported from Corregidor that the valiant little band of Americans and natives on Bataan had been outflanked and that efforts to relieve them had failed.

 

At a press conference later, Stimson expresses conviction the brave defenders of Bataan will be avenged.

 

"I believe this will be a temporary loss," Stimson said. "We will ultimately drive out these invaders. We shall not stop until this is done."

 

Island Forts Fight On

 

The secretary said Corregidor and other island forts are fighting on and that President Roosevelt has left to Gen. Wainwright the decision for future action in the Philippines.

 

Details of the disastrous Japanese break through are not available, Stimson said. He appeared deeply moved as he described the collapse of the Bataan defenders.

 

"I have nothing but praise for the men who have conducted this epic chapter in American history," Stimson said.

 

Also on the peninsula were 20,000 native civilians who followed Gen. MacArthur into the peninsula for safety and protection.

 

It was presumed this large number of civilians were fed partially or wholly from American army stores and this fact contributed to the eventual downfall of the peninsula.

 

The secretary said that every effort was made to get supplies and food to the embattled Philippine army, but said that those efforts were only partially successful.

 

As early as January 17, Stimson said American officers arrived in to do everything possible to break the Japanese blockade. Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Hurley was authorized to take every step to secure food and ammunition for Gen. MacArthur's forces, Stimson said.

 

Stimson said undisclosed number of ships succeeded in running the blockade in the Philippines, but for every ship that arrived, at least two were lost. He asserted:

 

"Because of these of these actions, I am glad to say that the Philippine forces have never been short of ammunition."

 

"But they have been on short rations since MacArthur put them on January 11and that strain has been a potent factor in wearing down the defenders."

 

"We do not know what has happened since that communique, but it is evident as stated therein that the defenses on Bataan have been overcome."

 

"A long and gallant defense has been worn down and overthrown." [Emphasis added by the newspaper]

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Here is General Jonathan Wainwright with a Philippine Division DI. Unbeknownst to him, General E.P. King surrendered Bataan today, 69 years ago.

 

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Because it was a Chicago paper, it honored the Chicago-area troops serving in the Maywood-based B Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. They arrived on September 26, 1941 in the Philippines and fought in the Bataan Campaign until the time of surrender.

 

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Proviso Township High School in Forest Park, IL did a great job in doing research on the men pictured in the newspaper. For those curious to learn more, I'll provide links to the biographies of these men of the 192nd Tank Battalion.

 

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[Top row] Lt. Matt. S. MacDowell, Sgt. Warren Hilderbrandt

[bottom row] Cpl. William E. Burns, Pvt. Laprade Brown

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This might be a good place to post this envelope I bought at a Stamp show yesterday.

 

Apparently the Japanese issued 2 new postage stamps for use in the Philippines to commemorate the one year anniversary of the surrender of Bataam and Corregidor. The "first day of issue" stamps are postmarked on May 7, 1943 in Manila. Also note the Japanese censor rubber stamp.

 

Paul

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Garandomatic

Rest their souls, if they still roam that damned road over there. I did a crummy job of teaching the Death March this year because we were hurting for time due to weather and our other pacing. Gotta get 'em better next year.

 

Four men from my town were with the 192nd, only one returned.

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