Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II, which resulted in the deaths of 11,000 prisoners. The march was 97 km (60 mi) long. They were given no food or water for the first three days. The monument at Capis reminds us of their arrival by rail after the deadly march to Balanga and then on to San Fernando. At San Fernando, they were packed into train cars (100+ per box car) and taken to Capis. From there they faced another march of nine miles to Camp O'Donnell, which had been turned into a holding camp for prisoners, and there they remained until the end of the war.
Clark Air Base is a former United States Air Force base on Luzon Island in the Philippines located 3 miles west of Angeles City, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila. Clark Air Base was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991. The base covered 14.3 square miles (37 km²) with a military reservation extending north that covered another 230 square miles (596 km²).The base was a stronghold of the combined Filipino and American forces until it was overrun by Japanese forces in early January 1942. The base then became a major center for staging Japanese air operations. Japanese aircraft flying out of Clark participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, considered to be the largest naval battle of the Second World War. During the war, the Allied prisoners of the Bataan Death March passed by the main gate of Clark Air Base, as the soldiers followed the direction of the railway tracks north, towards Camp O'Donnell. Clark Air Base was recaptured by Americans in January 1945, after three months of fierce fighting in the Philippines. Clark grew into a major American air base during the Cold War, serving as an important logistics hub during the Vietnam War, and until 1975, it was a backbone of logistical support during the Vietnam War. The base was later closed due to the refusal by the Philippine Government to renew the lease on the base. After extensive damage from the Mount Pinatubo eruption, the Philippine Government attempted to reopen base lease talks, but terms could not be reached and the lease was not extended. In November 1991, the United States Air Force lowered the Stars and Stripes and transferred Clark Air Base to the Philippine government. With the United States military's withdrawal from Clark, the base was systematically looted and was left abandoned for several years. It finally became the Clark Freeport Zone and the site of Clark International Airport (CIA), renamed to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in 2003. It is also the home of a very nice Holiday Inn.....where we stayed during our visit to Angeles! It was amazing how it felt like being in the U.S. as soon as we passed through the main gate......wide roads, a 36 hole golf course, regularly spaced traffic lights, and well marked street signs, just to mention a few things we noticed right off. It was a great experience being here.