After a three-month battle to defend the last bastion of Philippine democracy at the Bataan Peninsula, Gen. Douglas MacArthur escaped by boat, promising to return to liberate the Philippines.
Japanese military forces captured Bataan on April 9, 1942 in the largest surrender in American and Filipino military history. Many died when the 72,000 starving and disease-ridden prisoners of war were forcibly transferred from Bataan to Capas, Tarlac in what is now known as the Bataan Death March.
MacArthur fulfilled his promise, returned to liberate the Philippines, and presided over the ceremony marking the Japanese unconditional surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.
– Contributed by Cynthia Ruehlig