USA-P-PI-25

THIS WEEK IN WORLD WAR II

US Surrender in the Philippines

On May 6, 1942, U.S. Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright surrenders all U.S. troops in the Philippines to the Japanese.

The island of Corregidor remained the last Allied stronghold in the Philippines after the Japanese victory at Bataan (from which General Wainwright had managed to flee, to Corregidor). Constant artillery shelling and aerial bombardment attacks ate away at the American and Filipino defenders. Although still managing to sink many Japanese barges as they approached the northern shores of the island, the Allied troops could hold the invader off no longer.
General Wainwright, only recently promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and commander of the U.S. armed forces in the Philippines, offered to surrender Corregidor to Japanese General Homma, but Homma wanted the complete, unconditional capitulation of all American forces throughout the Philippines. Wainwright had little choice given the odds against him and the poor physical condition of his troops (he had already lost 800 men). He surrendered at midnight. All 11,500 surviving Allied troops were evacuated to a prison stockade in Manila.General Wainwright remained a POW until 1945. As a sort of consolation for the massive defeat he suffered, he was present on the USS Missouri for the formal Japanese surrender ceremony on September 2, 1945.

JONATHAN M. WAINWRIGHT (1883-1953). Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright. American army officer. President Harry Truman decorating General Wainwright with the Congressional Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony, 10 September 1945.

JONATHAN M. WAINWRIGHT (1883-1953). Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright. American army officer. President Harry Truman decorating General Wainwright with the Congressional Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony, 10 September 1945.

He would also be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman. Wainwright died in 1953-exactly eight years to the day of the Japanese surrender ceremony.

 

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2 responses

  1. Birgit says:

    Look at how thin he is when he receives the medal. I don’t know but I feel not enough is talked about how ruthless the Japanese soldiers (not all) were to the soldiers and civilians. There was such brutality, starvation, beheading etc… that I feel the people who suffered do not receive the same outpouring of emotion that the people and soldiers dealt with at the hands of the nazi regime. Actually many allied soldiers in POW camps in Germany were treated more humanely than the POW’s in the Japanese camps.

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