Bataan Death March
The Bataan Death March was a forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of between 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war (POW) from the municipalities of Baguc and Mariveles on the Bataan Peninsula to Camp O'Donnel via San Fernando.
|Bataan Death March|
|Part of Battle of Bataan|
(World War II)
A burial detail of American and Filipino prisoners of war uses improvised litters to carry fallen comrades at Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, 1942, following the Bataan Death March
The transfer began on 9 April 1942 after the three month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. The total distance of Mariveles to San Fernando and from the Capas Train Station to various camps was 65 miles (105 km) long. Sources also report widely differing prisoner of war casualties prior to reaching Camp O'Donnell: from 5,000 to 18,000 Filipino deaths and 500 to 650 American deaths during the march.
The march was characterized by severe physical abuse and wanton killings. If an American POW was caught on the ground or fell, he would be instantly shot. After the war, the Japanese commander, General Masaharu Homma and two of his officers, Major General Yoshitaka Kawane and Colonel Kurataro Hirano, were tried by the United States military commissions for war crimes and sentenced to death on charges of failing to prevent their subordinates from committing atrocities. Homma was executed in 1946, while Kawane and Hirano were executed in 1949.