Battling Bastards Of Bataan
The 75,000 American and Filipino forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur on Bataan and Corregidor were to become known as the Battling Bastards of Bataan. The bulk of the soldiers were untrained, unequipped, and communication between the troops was difficult. Many of the U.S. and Filipino soldiers who were left behind felt abandoned and the song below sarcastically reveals the feelings of the weary and hungry soldiers.
After surrendering to the Japanese in Bataan the surviving U.S. & Filipino soldiers were forced on a brutal march to Camp O’Donnell in Northern Luzon. Of the 70,000 prisoners of war forced on the Bataan Death March nearly 10,000 died. Those who were glad the march was over found no relief; in a little more than a month over 22,000 died in Camp O’ Donnell. Disease, exhaustion and torture led to one of the highest rates of POW death in World War II. Liberation for most of the Battling Bastards of Bataan came in August 1945. One third of the prisoners who were liberated later died within a year, their bodies and minds ravaged by their experiences.
We’re the Battling Bastards of Bataan,
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam,
No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces,
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces,
And nobody gives a damn. Nobody gives a damn.
Written by Frank Hewlett in 1942
A memorial to the Battling Bastards of Bataan in situated at the Capas National Shrine in Tarlac a few kilometres from the start of our trekking point. Our tour will include a visit to the Capas National Shrine and memorial if requested by our clients.