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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.