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During the first day of hostilities in the Philippines, the AAF lost more than half of its planes as a result of Japanese bombing and strafing attacks and aerial combat. Many AAF personnel no longer needed to maintain airplanes were transferred to ground units and were eventually captured or killed on Bataan or Corregidor. Others retreated to the southernmost island of Mindanao along with the handful of B-17s still flying, but when the last 14 B-17s were withdrawn to Australia with as many men as they could carry, those personnel left behind continued to fight on the ground. By June 9, 1942, however, the Japanese had swarmed through all the islands of the Philippines and the last of the small groups of Americans and Filipinos who had been holding out had to surrender.

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