Scott Air Force Base News

Surface Warrior Challenge II honors Bataan victims, survivors

On March 19, the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command held the Surface Warrior Challenge II to gather military members and civilians from around the base in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives during the Bataan Death March.

On April 9, 1942, the U.S. surrendered the Bataan Peninsula on the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese during World War II. Approximately 75,000 Filipino and American troops on Bataan were forced to make an arduous 65-mile march to prison camps.

They made the trek in intense heat and were subjected to harsh treatment by Japanese guards. Approximately 27,500 soldiers lost their lives before reaching the camps due to violence, illnesses and starvation.