Fall of Corregidor

corregidor-surrender-to-japanese                    U.S. forces in the Malinta Tunnel surrender on Corregidor.

By George Morris

Once Japan invaded the Philippines shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, American military leaders quickly realized the islands were a lost cause. But, if U.S. and Philippine forces couldn’t defeat the enemy, it could accomplish something else — delay them.

Delay had its last major stand at Corregidor.

A hunk of rock 2.5 miles long and a half-mile wide. It would have been a worthless piece of real estate had it not been situated at the mouth of Manila Bay. About 12,000 soldiers and Marines were ordered to hold it at all costs.

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The Katyn Massacre

Katyn_massacre_1Mass grave discovered in 1943 in Katyn, USSR.

 

By George Morris

Dachau. Bataan. Katyn. Generations of post-war Americans have grown up knowing about the first two places, but few have heard of the third.

But Sophia Grebocki Denham was aware. She lost her husband there.

“People should know what happened there,” Denham said in 2000.

What happened there was an atrocity.

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The long, awful march from Stalag Luft IV

stalag luft IV evac                                                                                POWs being evacuated from Stalag Luft IV, early 1945 (Source: http://www.dvrbs.com/camden-heroes/CamdenHeroes-FrankGramenzi.htm)

By George Morris

The sound of an approaching army — especially a mechanized one — is impossible to miss, particularly when it is engaged with its enemy. In January 1945, Allied prisoners of Stalag Luft IV heard the Soviet army driving westward through Poland.

“We could hear the gunfire, the cannons,” said Russell McRae, a Baton Rouge resident. “We could see the flashes at night. We knew we were going to get overrun, and we thought we’d be liberated.”

They would — some of them, anyway. But not for a long time, and not by the Soviets.

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Bataan Death March

Bataan Death March
Prisoners of war on the Bataan Death March. (U.S. Air Force photo)

By George Morris

When their ship passed under the Golden Gate Bridge on Nov. 1, 1941, all J.S. Gray and his buddy, Cletis Overton, knew was they were heading to Manila, Philippines. As they left Hawaii, though, ships carrying their airplanes left the convoy. Gray, an ordnance specialist, and Overton, an airplane mechanic with the Army Air Forces, received no explanation. They learned after the war that the planes went to Australia.

“We were looking out watching them, and they just turned south, and we never saw them again,” Gray said.

They would soon see airplanes, but they weren’t American.

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Missing in Action

RemiDelouche052.jpg
Remi DeLouche (Photo by Patrick Dennis, published Nov. 10, 2013, used by permission of The Advocate.)

By George Morris

Considering that Remi DeLouche was captured not once, but twice — and by the armies of two different nations, no less — he thought somebody would have told his family of his circumstances.

It was only when he was reunited with them that he found out otherwise.

“When I got home, my mother and my dad came out and man, they were crying. It was like I was dead,” DeLouche said. “They said, ‘You’ve been missing.’ Apparently no one noticed that I’d been captured.”

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