Desperate Defenders: The Provisional Air Corps Regiment

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The Provisional Air Corps Regiment (PACR) was created in January 1942, from USAAF air base, supply and flying squadrons. Some were still waiting for their aircraft to arrive from the United States. For others, their aircraft had been destroyed in December or evacuated to continue the fight elsewhere. Numbering between 1,000 and 1,400 men, the PACR took its place on Bataan's defensive line in January 1942. Through February and March, they prepared defensive positions, practiced using their weapons and repulsed Japanese infantry patrols while conducting reconnaissance patrols of their own. On the night of April 6, in the final offensive, a heavy Japanese armored attack to the west broke through and turned into the PACR positions. Without anti-tank weapons or artillery, men of the PACR were helpless to stop them. With the Japanese in close pursuit, they fell back to establish another defensive line. Eventually, the American surrender of Bataan ended their courageous but futile efforts.

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