American general surrenders troops to Japanese colonel, marks fall of Bataan

Written by
  • Perla E.
  • 8 years ago

    The surrender discussion between King, commander of USAFFE in Bataan, with three senior officers  and Japanese Col. Motoo Nakayama, senior aide of Gen. Masaharu Homma, with another Japanese officer, was captured in a life-size monument from an old picture.

   The surrender meeting on April 9, 1942 actually happened on the exact site near the old Balanga Elementary School that served as the headquarters of Gen. Homma.

   Mario Magat, Executive Director of the Bataan World War II Museum, said King initially offered the surrender in Lamao, Limay town but the Japanese refused it, asking for Gen. Jonathan Wainwright who was the commander of the United States Forces in the Philippines.

   “Ginawa nilang hostage si King at ilang senior officers at dinala sa Balanga ,” he said. King and his officers were held hostage at the old building of the Balanga school.

   Prof. Ricardo Jose in his book “The Battle for Bataan” said that because King was not the senior officer in the Philippines, the Japanese refused to accept the surrender of the whole Bataan force and instead accepted the surrender of each unit as they laid down their arms.

   “The surrender was a long process that started in Lamao and ended in Balanga,” Magat said.

   On why one of the American officers seemed to be so sad in the picture, Magat said surrendering was not an easy decision.

   “Dapat talagang malungkot kaya lamang wala na silang magawa dahil wala nang ibubuga ang mga sundalo dahil sa sakit, pagkagutom at kakulungan na ng armas,” the museum executive director said.

   The museum that opened only February this year is located adjacent to the Surrender Site Monument. 

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