From: The Honorable David B. McKinley
Cosponsor H.R. 4766, to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor
Please join me in becoming a cosponsor of legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor – recognizing and honoring their superior service, perseverance and sacrifice in defense of the Philippines during World
As you may be aware, United States military personnel defended the Philippine Archipelago until Major General Edward King surrendered the Bataan Peninsula on April 9, 1942. Over the next week American soldiers, sailors, marines and other personnel were
forced to march 65 miles without any food, water, or medical care – in what famously came to be known as the Bataan Death March. On May 10, 1942 General Johanthan M. Wainwright surrendered Corregidor and all remaining Allied Forces in the Philippine Archipelago.
In May 1942, the Japanese transferred the American POWs by sea in what were known as Hell Ships – many died in transit due to the lack of food, water and air. The POWs were placed in camps throughout Japan, the Philippines, China, Wake Island and Guam.
Many were beheaded, buried alive or lost to the horrible living conditions on the ships and in the camps. While in these camps, POWs were forced to work for companies which supported Japan’s war effort against the United States. The prisoners who survived
the three and a half years of confinement and torture were finally liberated in September 1945.
Over the years the men and women who participated in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor formed support groups, were honored in local and state memorials, and told their story – and the few who are still with us continue to tell their story to this day.
Although some such as Generals Wainwright, King and Douglas MacArthur received honors after the war, many of the thousands of Americans who fought to defend the Philippines or endured hardships and suffered and died over the course of three and a half years
in POW camps did not. It is time for the men and women who defended Bataan and Corregidor to be collectively recognized for their service and sacrifice during World War II.
Thank you for your consideration to honor these men and women. To become a co-sponsor, or request additional information, please contact Octavian Jordan on my staff at 202-225-4172, or
David B. McKinley, P.E.
Member of Congress