MacArthur’s paratrooper recalls WWII experience in the Philippines

MacArthur’s paratrooper recalls WWII experience in the Philippines
IMAGE WIKIPEDIA/COURTESY OF MANILA HOTEL

In time for the observance of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) today, Richard Adams, an American paratrooper who served under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, recalled their assault in Corregidor on February 16, 1942.

Adams recently visited the Philippines to grace the opening of the newly refurbished MacArthur suite in Manila Hotel, the penthouse where the general once lived when he serves as Military Advisor of the Philippine Commonwealth from 1935 to 1941.

In the video above, Adams narrates his experience working in the Philippines with MacArthur and shares his observation on how much has changed in the country since the war.

Also known as Bataan Day or Bataan and Corregidor Day, Araw ng Kagitingan is a national observance which commemorates the fall of Bataan during World War II.

On April 9, 1942, against the orders of generals MacArthur and Jonathan Wainwright, Major General Edward P. King, Jr., the commander of the Luzon Force, Bataan, surrendered over 76,000 starving and ill soldiers (67,000 Filipinos, 1,000 Chinese Filipinos and 11,796 Americans) to Japanese troops.

Majority of these prisoners of war were forced to walk the infamous Bataan Death March to Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. During the 87-mile journey, thousands died from heat, dehydration, injuries and execution. The few who survived were transported to San Fernando, Pampanga, only to endure another 25 miles of marching.

Of the 76,000 prisoners, only 54,000 survived. About 5,000 to 10,000 Filipinos and 600 to 650 American prisoners of war died before reaching Camp O’Donnell. by Erwin Cagadas Jr. / Philstar.com

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