The Cost of Being Unprepared: The Last Days on Bataan "It really must be getting serious when they have to take the mechanics and armament men and make infantrymen out of them." - Jan. 9, 1942, diary entry of 2nd Lt. John Posten, 24th Pursuit Group pilot On Dec. 8, 1941, Japanese aircraft crippled several USAAF airfields in the Philippines -- within three days, the USAAF lost two-thirds of its aircraft there. After Japanese aircraft invaded Luzon, Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered a withdrawal to the stronghold of the Bataan Peninsula. With only a handful of aircraft left, many USAAF mechanics, armorers, services personnel -- and sometimes even fighter pilots -- became infantrymen. Click here to return to the Bataan Death March Overview.