Today is the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which is common knowledge. But I wonder how many folks, especially Americans, know that Pearl Harbor was not the only U.S. territory attacked by the Japanese that day.
Because of the international dateline, it was already December 8 when the Japanese attacked the Philippines, which was an American colony. About three weeks later, the Japanese army marched unopposed into Manila.
MacArthur had declared Manila an open city and withdrew to the Bataan peninsula and the fortress island of Corregidor to make a stand against the invasion. The Bataan forces surrendered in early April 1942, the largest surrender of American troops in history. The Corregidor garrison surrendered in early May.
One of my Manila high school friends’ parents were in Manila when it was bombed. He has posted an article to his Manila Nostalgia blog about the attack and the fall of Manila, using first hand accounts and with many photos.
So I’m linking to that article.
Military history fans might enjoy the “Pacific Paratrooper” blog of the son of a paratrooper who served in the 11th Airborne Division. The division saw action in the Philippines, including a dawn airdrop, with assistance from Filipino guerillas on the ground, on an internment camp behind Japanese lines at Los Banos which freed over 2,000 American and other Allied civilians facing execution. A number of my friends’ parents or relatives were in that camp.