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Sunday, April 10, 2005

OPERATION MAVERICKS — U.S. Marines, assigned to Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, await extraction during Operation Mavericks, an operation Marines conducted to capture suspected anti-coalition forces in the vicinity of Methar Lam, Afghanistan, March 21, 2005. The battalion is conducting security and stabilization operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. James L. Yarboro

The Bataan Death March

On this day in 1942, one of the most infamous chapters of military history began.

On April 9, Filipino and American forces on the island of Luzon surrendered to the Japanese. The next day, the 75,000 who surrendered began a forced march to a prison camp. They were forced to cover 85 miles in 6 days. During the entire journey, they were permitted only one meal - rice.

The list of atrocities commited during the march included:
-- One man being flattened by a tank when he collapsed in exhaustion. Other soldiers, stopped in their tracks by this horror, were hit by passing Japanese trucks.

-- P.O.W.'s being forced to stand by a fresh stream, forbidden to drink from it. When one soldier broke, ran for the stream, and fell in face first to drink, a Japanese guard drew a sword and decapitated him.

-- They were permitted to drink from a stream contaminated with a maggot-filled corpse. As they drank, the guards laughed.

Many fell and died on the road, some crying for water.

The final destination of this march was a train that would take them to the camp. Of those that survived to reach it, few lived to see General MacArthur return to liberate the island in 1945.

In the Philippines, on the national holiday of Bataan Day, large groups of Filipinos retrace the steps of the March, in solemn tribute to those who went before.

To learn more about the Bataan Death March, see:

In Recent News
Mississippi Armed Forces museum to observe Bataan Death March
Amputees join 3,500 in Bataan Death March

Wikipedia: Bataan Death March
Bataan, Corregidor, and the Death March: In Retrospect
Bataan Memorial Death March
Bataan Death March - A Survivor's Story: The Bataan Death March
Battling Bastards of Bataan
Bataan Death March - Introduction
BATAAN DEATH MARCH - Ghost of Bataan

Sgt. 1st Class Michael McNaughton greets a Bataan survivor at the memorial march's opening ceremony March 20 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (Miriam Rodriguez)

In Today's News - Sunday, April 10, 2005

Quote of the Day
It's my birthday, and I'll blog if I want to.
-- Pam Associated Press
Pakistani diplomat kidnapped in Iraq
Sharon heads to Texas meeting with Bush
Anti-Japan protests continue in China

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Israel killings worst since cease-fire

The US News: Iraq News
Use of violence dividing Iraq's insurgent factions
Mosul a test of handoff to Iraqis
DOD offers separate Iraq, Afghan medals .....
Army May Shorten Tours in Iraq and Afghanistan .....
US Seeks New Ways To Fight Roadside Bombs in Iraq, Afghanistan .....
Marine Reserves who lost 12 return to Wis.
Officials deny Iraqi troops were killed

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
Pakistani Consul Goes Missing in Baghdad
In Iraq, rekindled hope

Fox News
Pakistani Diplomat Kidnapped in Iraq
CBS Freelancer Probed in Iraq
Gunfire Showers Cleric's Supporters
GI Wants to Bring Iraq Family to U.S.
Iraqi PM's First Interview
U.S. Denies Taking Women Hostage
Protesters in Israel as Sharon Vies for U.S. Support
Minister Demands Apology for Anti-Japan Protest
Hong Kong Term Limit Disputed
Haitian Rebel Chief Shot Dead
Gitmo Stories Released
Cairo Blast an 'Individual Act'

Department of Defense
18 Recovered from Afghanistan Crash Site — Story
Special Report: Two Years in Iraq

Marines Embark on Friendship Patrol
Battalion Helps Renovate Agricultural College
Reconstruction Chief Retires After 2,000 Projects

Two Years in Iraq
'Gitmo' Detainee Camp

Blast Kills Soldier; Reporter Detained
Area Gets Rebuilt Police Stations
Iraq Daily Update
Iraq Reconstruction
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Enduring Freedom Marks 3 Years
Afghanistan Daily Update

Department Goal: More Linguists
Adaptability Key to Success
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Services Make Distinct Contributions
Army Personnel Chief Optimistic
New Campaign Medals Announced
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Casualties — Story

Today in History

1790 - The U.S. patent system is established.
1795 - H.M.S. Astraea captured French frigate Floire off Brest.
1809 - Austria declares war on France.
1862 - Union forces begin the bombardment of Fort Pulaski in Georgia.
1865 - General Robert E. Lee issues his last orders to the Army of Northern Virginia.
1902 - South African Boers accept British terms of surrender.
1912 - The Titanic begins her maiden voyage.
1930 - The first synthetic rubber is produced.
1932 - Paul von Hindenburg is elected president in Germany.
1938 - Germany annexes Austria.
1941 - U.S. troops occupy Greenland to prevent Nazi infiltration.
1942 - The Bataan death March begins.
1945 - In their second attempt to take the Seelow Heights, near Berlin, the Red Army gains one mile at the cost of 3,000 killed and 368 tanks destroyed.
1945 - Allied troops liberate Buchenwald north of Weiner, Germany.
1974 - Yitzhak Rabin replaces resigning Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir.
1981 - Imprisoned I.R.A. hunger striker Bobby Sands is elected to the British Parliament.

- Matthew C. Perry, American naval officer, opened Japan to trade with the west.
1827 - Lew Wallace, Civil War general, lawyer, diplomat and author of Ben Hur.
1880 - Frances Perkins, U.S. labor secretary, first female cabinet member.
1903 - Clare Boothe Luce, reporter, U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
19?? - Your humble blogger (me!)