Published April 29, 2015
The invading Japanese controlled the Philippine media, which portrayed imperial forces as helpful liberators. In reality, the Japanese were committing brutal war crimes like the Bataan Death March. This front page claims that Japanese occupation will bring peace and tranquility to the Philippines. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Prisoners of war on the Bataan Death March. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Members of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor reunion group look at the Bataan Death March exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
"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
With few aircraft left, U.S. Army Air Forces personnel fought as infantry to hold the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. Although they suffered from malnourishment and disease, these men battled valiantly until they were ordered by their commander to surrender on April 9, 1942.
Then followed the barbarity of the Bataan Death March, during with thousands of U.S. and Filipino prisoners of war died as a result of their captors' merciless brutality. Worse still, the majority of those who survived the March later perished in transit on "hell ships" to Japan or in POW camps.
Click on the following links to learn more about the Bataan Death March.
The Cost of Being Unprepared: The Last Days on Bataan
Buying Time in the Pacific: The Battle of the Points
Desperate Defenders: The Provisional Air Corps Regiment
One Man Scourge: William E. Dyess
The End in Bataan
Bataan Death March
Angels of Mercy
Master Sgt. Charles B. Causey
Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)