The story

History of Abatan - History


Abatan

A river located in the southwestern part of Bohol Island in the Philippines.

(AW - : dp. 22,350, 1. 523'6", b. 68', dr. 30'10", s. 15.1 k., cpl
265; a. 1 5", 4 40mm.; el. Pasig; T. T2-SE-A2)

Mission San Lorenzo was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1827) on 9 June 1944 at Sausalito Calif, by the Marinship Corp.; renamed Abatan on 25 July 194i in anticipation of her acquisition by the Navy and simultaneously designated AO–92 for naval service as an oiler, launched on 6 August 1944, sponsored by Mrs. John A. MeCone, transferred to the Navy on 28 November 1944 at the Mare Island Navy Yard Vallejo, Calif.; converted there for naval service; completed as a distilling ship; redesignated AW–4 on 24 August 1944; and placed in commission on 29 January 1945, Lt. Comdr. E. Norman Eriksen in command.

Late in February the new distilling ship got underway for shakedown training off the coast of southern California. She left the continental United States on the 28th and shaped a course for the Western Caroline Islands. After pausing en route at Eniwetok, Abatan reached Ulithi on 21 March and remained there for more than six months providing potable water to various types of landing craft, patrol vessels, and escort ships. During this period of her service, Japan capitulated in mid-August.

The ship sailed for Okinawa on 1 October, and stopped en route at Samar Philippine Islands, to take on fresh water before continuing on to the Ryukyus. She reached her destination on 11 October and began issuing water to various fleet units. The shiy left Okinawa on 15 November and set a course for Shanghai China. She touched at that port on the 18th and remained stationed there through April 1946. The vessel left Chinese waters on 2 May and sailed via Okinawa to the Marshalls.

Abatan reached Eniwetok on 31 May and assumed duties in eonneetion with Operation "Crossroads," a series of tests eondueted to determine the effects of atomic explosions upon warships. She was involved in this project until 27 June, when she weighed anchor and got underway for Kwajalein. The distilling ship arrived there the next day and remained in port providing potable water through 17 July. She then eommeneed a voyage to the east coast of the United States

The vessel visited Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in late July; transited the Panama Canal; reported to the AtlanticFleet in midAugust; and then proceeded to Philadelphia, Pa. She arrived there on 20 August and entered a preinaetivation availability. Abatan was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 27 January 1947 and was berthed at Philadelphia. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1960, and the ship was transferred to the Maritime Administration for layup in the James River. Abatan was reacquired by the Navy and reinstated on the Navy list on 27 September 1962 for use as a backup fresh water storage ship at the Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She was again struck from the Navy list on 1 May 1970 but was retained as a hulk for storing water at Guantanamo Bay. Late in 1979, all desirable equipment was removed from the hulk which was used as a target to destruecion early in 1980.


‘Bataan’: Hollywood’s First Combat Film

If you’re of a certain age, you’ve probably turned on the television late at night and stumbled upon Bataan, a 1943 film about a squad of American soldiers caught up in the doomed defense of the Philippines. It’s unlikely you gave the film much thought. If you did, you might have told yourself, “This isn’t Sands of Iwo Jima” (1949), or possibly “This isn’t Saving Private Ryan” (1998). Or, for that matter, The Big Red One (1980), Platoon (1986), or American Sniper (2014). But all these movies share something in common: they are examples of the combat film genre. And, film historian Jeanine Basinger argues, they all owe a debt to Bataan, an otherwise forgettable movie made entirely on a Hollywood backlot.

The success of a genre film depends upon the assumptions that audiences bring with them into the theater. When we see a certain kind of movie—a Western, an action thriller, or a romantic comedy, for example—we come with expectations. The cavalry will arrive in the nick of time to save the embattled settlers the hero will hurtle from one heart-pounding peril to the next the guy will meet the girl, lose the girl, and then get the girl. We feel cheated when these genre conventions aren’t observed. We are delighted, shocked, or plunged into thoughtful silence when they are observed in an unexpected way.

In 1978, Basinger began searching for the first example of the World War II combat film, which she argues is a distinct genre in a way that the war film is not. (A war film is merely any film that prominently features a war The Bridge on the River Kwai, released in 1957, is a war movie, but so is the 1958 musical South Pacific.) She began by looking for “what presumably every member of our culture would know about World War II combat films—that they contained a hero, a group of mixed types, and a military objective of some sort.” After viewing dozens of movies, she settled upon Bataan as the first to fully combine all of these genre elements.

Bataan was a product of the Golden Age of Hollywood, when the major studios cranked out hundreds of films on a nearly assembly-line basis. It was the 28th film directed by Tay Garnett, best known for The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). It was the 37th film for lead actor Robert Taylor, who played Sergeant Bill Dane, a noncommissioned officer of the U.S. 31st Infantry Regiment assigned to take an improvised squad of 11 men to blow up a strategically vital bridge to prevent the advancing Japanese army from rebuilding it.

It’s a doomed mission—and as the film progresses, we see them perish, one by one, down to Sergeant Dane himself. But we also get to know them. They represent a racial and ethnic cross section of America—six WASPs, as Basinger calls them a Mexican American a Jew a Pole an Irishman and an African American, as well as two Filipinos. And they are recognizable types among them, the Hero (Sergeant Dane) the Youth (a wet-behind-the-ears navy musician, played by Robert Walker) the Comic Relief (Tom Dugan as a wisecracking mechanic) and the Hero’s Adversary—a cynical, shadowy corporal acted flawlessly by Lloyd Nolan, who, Basinger writes, is “an important stand-in for audience doubts, and for its unwillingness to face the hardships the war will bring.”

When my editor inquired about my next column’s topic and I told her it would focus on Bataan, she asked if I could have a draft to her by a certain date. That would not be a problem, I replied. “The problem,” I added, “will be having to watch the movie again. Yes, it’s the foundation of the combat film genre and, in that sense, important. But it’s pretty hokey.” I did re-watch the film, of course, and when I did, I felt a sense of disappointment. Not in the movie, however, but in myself.

Bataan is actually competently written, well-directed, capably acted, and surprisingly realistic considering its limited budget and filming locations restricted to studio sets. Yes, it has its hokey moments, as when Private Felix Ramirez fiddles with a shortwave radio until he finds a big band orchestra playing live in the U.S. “That’s Tommy Dorsey from Hollywood!” he tells Sergeant Dane giddily. “Oh, he sends me, Sarge! He makes me lace up my boots!…. Give me some of that trombone talk, Tommy!”

But for the most part, Bataan holds up well. If it seems mundane, it’s only because the genre conventions it first assembled are now so familiar, having influenced some of the finest war films ever made. Bataan, I realized, is one of those things in life we often overlook: an exquisite gift right in front of us, if we only had eyes to see. ✯

This article was published in the April 2021 issue ofWorld War II.


Key Facts & Information

INTRODUCTION

  • Beginning on April 9, 1942, the entire distance marched from Mariveles to San Fernando and from the Capas Train Station to Camp O’Donnell is variously reported by differing sources as more than 60 miles.
  • The marchers made the trek in extreme heat and were subjected to harsh treatment by Japanese guards. Thousands perished in what is known today as the Bataan Death March.

BATAAN DEATH MARCH: BACKGROUND

  • After bombing Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japan began the invasion of the Philippines on December 8, 1941, with the goal of dominating Asia and the Pacific.
  • At that time, the United States of America controlled the Philippines and held important military bases there.
  • As the Japanese troops approached the Philippines, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur moved the U.S. forces from the city of Manila to the Bataan Peninsula, hoping that he could save the city from destruction.
  • After three months of fighting, the Japanese defeated the combined U.S.-Filipino army at the Battle of Bataan.
  • On April 9, 1942, General Edward King, Jr., with his forces being crippled by starvation and disease, surrendered his more than 75,000 troops.

THE PLAN

  • Japanese General Masaharu Homma knew he had to do something with the big army he had captured.
  • The plan was to move them to Camp O’Donnell, about 80 miles away, which the Japanese would turn into a prison.
  • From Mariveles, the prisoners would march north more than 60 miles to a village called San Fernando.
  • From there, the prisoners would ride by train for 25 miles to the town of Capas and then march on foot once more for about 7 miles to Camp O’Donnell, which had been a Philippine army post.
  • The size of the captured army took the Japanese by surprise. The Japanese thought there were only around 25,000 Allied soldiers, but the number was closer to 76,000.
  • They split the army into smaller groups of 100 to 1,000 men, took their weapons, and told them to begin marching.

THE DEATH MARCH

  • The prisoners had to march in intense, hot conditions.
  • They were given almost no food or water along their journey. Because of the extreme thirst, some men took risks, such as trying to drink dirty water from the side of the road.
  • As the prisoners became weaker and weaker, many of them began to fall behind the group, and those that fell behind were beaten and killed by the Japanese.
  • Some exhausted prisoners were run over by trucks and other army vehicles.
  • The exact number is unknown, but it is believed that thousands of troops died due to the brutality of their captors, who starved and beat the marchers and bayoneted those who were too weak to walk.

END OF THE MARCH

  • The march lasted for six days, although it went on for up to 12 days for others.
  • When the soldiers reached the camp, conditions didn’t improve much. Thousands more died at the camp because of starvation and disease over the next few years.

AFTERMATH

  • The Bataan Death March made the Philippines get involved in World War II.
  • The Japanese army had forced marches in different places it had conquered, and it worked thousands of British, Dutch, and Australian prisoners of war to death, but those crimes did not make headlines until later.
  • Even the Bataan Death March was a secret for many years.
  • It was not until January 27, 1944, that the U.S. government informed the American people about the march when they published sworn statements of military officers who had escaped.
  • Shortly, the stories of the escaped officers were emphasized in a LIFE magazine article that sparked outrage in the United States.
  • After the end of World War II, the Japanese officer in charge of the march, General Masaharu Homma, was executed for “war crimes against humanity” on April 3, 1946.

POST WAR COMMEMORATIONS

  • On September 13, 2010, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada gave apologies to a group of 6 former American soldiers who had been held as prisoners of war by the Japanese.
  • The soldiers, their families, and the families of two deceased soldiers were invited to tour Japan at the cost of the Japanese government.
  • Multiple memorials (including monuments, plaques, and schools) dedicated to the dead prisoners during the Bataan Death March exist in the United States and in the Philippines.
  • Several varieties of commemorative events are held to give honour to the victims, such as holidays, athletic events like ultramarathons, and memorial ceremonies held at military cemeteries.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • General MacArthur personally intended to remain and fight at Bataan but was ordered by President Roosevelt to evacuate.
  • When the Japanese first arrested the army, they executed about 400 Filipino officers who had surrendered.
  • The Japanese tried to cover up the event by having the local newspaper report that the prisoners were treated humanely. The truth about the march was revealed when escaped prisoners told their stories.

Bataan Death March Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Bataan Death March across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Bataan Death March worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Bataan Death March which was when the Japanese forced about 78,000 Filipino and American troops to march roughly 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula in April 1942 during World War II.

Complete List Of Included Worksheets

  • Bataan Death March Facts
  • Guess What?
  • Introductory Essay
  • The Three Nations
  • Places in the Philippines
  • Historical Ladder
  • America vs Japan
  • A Soldier’s Poem
  • Fact March
  • Through Painting
  • Propaganda Poster

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History

In early accounts of Maribojoc, the town was called MALABOJOC coming from a tree belonging to the family of pine also known as “agoho” (Casuarina equisetifolia). Augustinian Father Felix de la Encarnacion describes the meaning of “Malabojoc” in the Diccinario Español Bisaya as a kind of tree that has leaves similar to pine needles. Boiled branches and leaves are very good for washing a person, who may have been crippled and suffered numbness. Its’ bark can cure tumors, swellings and external abscesses. Water wherein the root was cooked or soaked can heal relapses and especially to those women occasioned by childbirth. Root with betel and lime is also a medicine for women who suffer from suppression of menstruation. (Romanillos: 2005, pp.2-3).

Though archival records showed that it was only in the 19th century that the name Maribojoc was frequently used instead of Malabojoc, a 1793 bell in the town of Cortes, a former satellite parish of the town was already inscribed as “Maribojoc” (Trota Jose: 2001,p.82). This means that in the 18th century, there were church officials that used the name “Maribojoc.”

The town of Maribojoc has a very rich history and cultural heritage. It is not only rich in the colonial elements that influence the town but also in its pre-Hispanic community and its participation in the resistance of foreign influence and religion, the Tamblot Rebellion. Its’ role as mother parish of the 2 adjacent towns, Cortes and Antequera, explains the vastness of the theocratic power and control of the town. Cortes was separated from Maribojoc in 1794 and, Antequera in 1880.

Maribojoc: The Foundation of a Town

Before the Spanish colonizers came, there were no political enclaves called towns. Pre-Hispanic settlements in the archipelago were either in primitive communal, baranganic or sultanate system. There was no concept of a nation and the state as well.

According to Simplicio Apalisok, there are many circumstances in determining the foundation of a town. There are towns that were thriving populated villages before the Spaniards came and all the Spaniards have to do is to make them official towns, built churches and carried on their native names and boundaries. Other towns were originally founded as encomiendas and others as overgrown barrios that separated politically from their parent towns. Others originated as missions or visitas of missionaries expansion of their Order’s territory. (Apalisok: 1992, p.1).

As for the case of Maribojoc, it was a visita of the Jesuit Mission in Bohol. A visita is a settlement where the church was the center of the activities of the community. (Apalisok: 1992, p.1) In 1595 when Jesuit priests, Fr. Juan de Torres and Fr. Gabriel Sanchez, came to Bohol, established its mission in Baclayon and moved later to Loboc to protect themselves from the raiders. In the account of Fr. Valerio Ledesma SJ, rector of Cebu, missions were sent to Maribojoc by 1600 particularly in the settlement along the river, it was then called VIGA. (Chirino: 1604). A church was erected by Fr. Gabriel Sanchez along the river now known as Abatan. (Chirino: 1604). The primitive communal society where known to be fierce warriors were converted into Christianity. Initially, Viga later known as Maribojoc was among the missions that the Jesuits founded in early 1600s. The other missions were Baclayon, Loboc, Dauis, Jagna, Talibon and Inabanga.

The Spanish Friars were the catalyst in the erection of the pueblos “towns not only in Bohol but across the country. They first established the core institution, the Church, and around it the other institutions. As the saying goes, “the Spanish history in the Philippines begins and ends with the friar.” (Illustre: 1973).

From a visita, the settlement near the river grew into a parish. By 1768, it was canonically recognized as “Holy Cross Parish” with the last Jesuit friar Fr. Juan Soriano, SJ as its first parish priest. It was also the latter who brought the Relics of the Holy Cross from Jerusalem via Rome. Later that year, the Jesuits were expelled from the country. The Recollects replaces the Jesuits as administrators of the Parishes and the community. The second parish priest was a Recollect, Fr. Julian de Santa Ana. The administration of the Recollects in Maribojoc lasted until 1899. (Echavia: 2006). It was the time of the Recollects that the present stone church as built.

From the given data, there was no indication of the separation of the Church and the State. The Church has the full autonomy over the spiritual as well as the political, economic and social aspects of the community. It was a “theocratic state,” much more a “frairocracy.” The creation of a separate political enemy known today as towns came into existence as an off-shoot of the reforms generated from the Spanish Revolution and the rise of the ideas of Liberalism and Reformation in Europe. A separate political entity, a regular pueblo, was established in October 15, 1860.

Going back to the circumstances of the foundation of the town, Maribojoc was founded as a visita, a mission by the Jesuits in early 1600s in the settlement near the river that evolved and later became a parish in 1768. More or less, the town now is 400 years basing on the early Jesuit mission near the river and 240 years old base on the foundation of the parish as the full authority over the spiritual, political and social matters of the whole population of the community.

Maribojoc through the years

Maribojoc was the first town in the province of Bohol to be mentioned in the historical accounts of the early Philippines. According to the accounts of Gaspar de San Agustin in his work Conquistas de las Islas Pilipinas (1698), the surviving men of Magellan, headed by capitan heneral Juan Lopez de Carvalho, sailed southward to Bohol after their misfortune in Cebu and Mactan. The fleet dropped anchor in the bay of Maribojoc. They gathered provisions from Conception and transferred it to Victoria and Trinidad. Later, they burned and sank Conception, the oldest ship of the fleet in the coast of Maribojoc before they sailed back to Spain and arrived in September 6, 1522. From the shores, people watched the activity of the foreigners. (Romanillos: 2005, p.2)

The coastal area of Maribojoc was known and traditionally called as “Dungguan.” The physical terrain of the place is ideal for anchoring ships. Jesuit Historian Francisco Collin describes Maribojoc as a place located at the foot of a mountain that possessed the beautiful harbor. (Romanillos: 2005, p.2) The change of name from “Dungguan to Malabojoc” happened when a Spaniard asked a native what is the name of the place. Not understanding what the foreigner was asking answered Malabojoc “like hair” as the native was referring to the rows of agoho trees in the coastline. (Apalisok, 1992, p.155)

Aside for the coastal settlement of Malabojoc, there exists a river-based settlement called Viga, which today is part of Antequera. The Viga settlement had constant interaction of the people of Dita and Marabago, parts of Antequera and Cortes respectively, which were also along the river known as the Abatan River. In Pedro Chirino’s Relacion de las Islas Pilipinas, the people of Viga, known to have unruly and fierce warriors, were converted to Christianity by the Jesuits under Fr. Gabriel Sanchez. (Chirino: 1604) Such event marked the Spanish intrusion in the settler’s way of life.

Not long after the population along the Abatan River was converted to Christianity, a revolt erupted against the Jesuit Mission. This was headed by Tamblot, a local babaylan, who urged the people to go back to their old beliefs and practices. The Tamblot revolt was the first serious revolt in the country. It gave the Spaniards pain in the neck but hope and opportunity to other Visayan islands to follow suit. The Spanish oppression was the main cause. The people of Malabojoc, who wanted freedom from oppression, sided with the revolt leader. It was momentous for the visita to join the first ever call for arms against the Spaniards. The Abatan River was on the battle sits of revolt. Among the original visitas that the Jesuits established, only Baclayon and Loboc did not rise in arms.

Had Tamblot revolt been successful, every island in the Visayas or the Land of the Pintados will be free from the Spanish influence and culture intact. However, the scheming “divide and rule” tactic was used against the native, where people from Sialo (Carcar), Cebu and Pampanga fought together with the Spanish armies against the resisting of locals and crushed the revolt.

As Christianity continues to occupy the lives of the people of Maribojoc, the visita founded by the Jesuits developed into a parish in 1767, a year before the Order was expelled out of the country. The construction of a stone church began in 1798 in a swampy area of the town proper. The parishioners were ordered to bring a piece of rock from the sea weighing not less than 4 pounds, whenever they went to church. Disobedience would mean receiving several lashes. Construction of the church was facilitated through polo y servicio (force labor). The church was completed in 1816, 18 years after. (Putong) The current massive stone church was constructed in 1856 under the initiative of Fr. Manuel Plaza. The church was finished in 1872 under the leadership of Fr. Fernando Rubio. (Trota-Jose: 2001, p.82)

The town architecture is best described by Regalado Trota Jose in his book “Visita Iglesia”:

“Maribojoc, like some old towns in Bohol is composed of a “downtown” and an “uptown”. The church convent is located at the edge of the uptown with the back of the church facing downtown and the sea. Both components are linked by a stone stairway completed in 1842. The approach of the church façade is a causeway bridging the swampy depression. Maribojoc must be the only church in the country with a ravine in front of its entrance, instead of a plaza. There must be a defensive purpose for this kind of location. There are plazas on either side of the church – one grassy, one now a basketball court… According to oral traditions, the grassy field flanking the gospel side of the church was once a graveyard. Parts of the wall bordering their space are still standing.”

Furthermore, the establishment of major public and ecclesiastical edifices was done during the time of the Recollects as indicated in the Book of Noteworthy Events of Maribojoc (Cosas Notables). (Romanillos: 2005, p.8)

The Fort of St. Vincent Ferrer (Fuerte de San Vicente Ferrer) known as Punta Cruz Watchtower located three kilometers from the church was finished in 1796 under Fr. Manuel Sanchez de Nuestra Sra. Del Tremedal. The fort was build to establish a defense system against the pirates. The Punta Cruz Watchtower is the only tower-fort structure in the country shaped in a perfect triangle.

The school and casa tribunal were built during the time of Fr. Manuel Plaza in 1855. Five bridges were built in separate periods. Leguana bridge made by Fr. Lucas Martinez in 1892 Merced bridge by Fr. Manuel Plaza in 1856 Morella bridge by Fr. Manuel Plaza in 1856 and reconstructed by Fr. Fernando Rubio in 1871 the fourth one was Aorislag by Fr. Manuel Plaza in 1856 and fifth bridge, Punta Cruz was built by Fr. Antonio Cortes in 1841. (Romanillos: 2005, p.9)

The construction of the wharf began after the church was completed in 1816. It was finished in 1864. In the wharf, a stone building was erected in 1881 which was used to monitor the pirates and served as an office for collection of fees from sailboats that docked in the port. (Putong: 1965, p.122) The building was also used as waiting area for the passengers.

The establishment of the major edifices of the town by the Recollect priests was an indication of the supreme power and authority of the Church over the temporal authority in the Spanish period. #

Agoncillo, Teodoro. History of the Filipino People

Apalisok, Simplicio (1992). Bohol Without Tears: Bohol’s 47 Towns and 1 City. Vol. 2_____. (1999). Bohol Without Tears: Land of Country’s Most Battered People. Pre-hispanic, Past to Present. Vol. 3.

Blair, Elma and Robertson, James. The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898. Volume XIII., 1604-1605. Internet Source: E-book by Project Gutenberg www.gutenberg.net

Chirino, Pedro (1604). Relacion de las Islas Filipinas. Internet source: E-book by Project Gutenberg www.gutenberg.net

Echavia, Oriel (2006). History Bits of “Holy Cross Parish, Maribojoc. A paper read on the occasion on the “1st Shrinehood Anniversary, May 5, 2006.

Illustre, Jennie (1973). Philippine History-Story Worth Retelling. A book review of Christianization of the Philippines by: Fr. Miguel A. Bernard, SJ.

Maribojoc District Teachers (1990). Maribojoc: Past, Present and Future.

Putong, Cecilio M. (1965). Bohol and Its People. Pp. 121-122.

Romanillos, Emanuel Luis (2005). History of Maribojoc, Bohol up to the 19th Century. A paper read at the Holy Cross Parish of Maribojoc, Bohol last April 24, 2005.

Trota Jose, Regalado (2001). Visita Iglesia Bohol: A Guide to Historic Churches. National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

* The author is a faculty member of the Social Sciences Division of UP (University of the Philippines) Cebu College teaching Philippine and Asian History, Philippine Institutions (Rizal), Political Science subjects: Southeast Asian Politics and Philippine Foreign Policy and Political Geography. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters in Political Science at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City.


History of Abatan - History

The Bataan (LHD 5) is the U.S. Navy's first amphibious assault ship designed and built from the keel up with accommodations for female sailors. This "Women at Sea" modification provides it with living areas for nearly 450 female officers, chiefs, enlisted personnel and embarked troops. Overall, the ship has living areas for nearly 3,200 crew members and troops. USS Bataan was commissioned September 20, 1997.

July 10, 1998 Capt. David C. Taylor relieved Capt. Craig W. Wilson as commanding officer of the Bataan.

USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group left homeport of Norfolk, Va., on September 15, 1999, on a six-month deployment a few days earlier in order to evade Hurricanes Floyd and Gert.

After spending some time in the Atlantic Ocean doing hurricane evasion, the amphibious assault ship picked up the 22nd MEU at Onslow Bay off the coast of North Carolina. ARG ships, including USS Whidbey Island and USS Shreveport proceeded early to relieve the USS Kearsarge ARG in the Mediterranean Sea operational area. Throughout the deployment, three ships served as the Strategic Reserve Force for the Balkans and supported regional security through presence operations in the Adriatic Sea.

February 21, 2000 The Bataan pulled into Valletta, Malta, for a liberty port visit.

March 15, USS Bataan returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a six-month Mediterranean deployment.

From April 27 through May 11, 2001, the Bataan ARG participated in PHIBRON/MEU Integration Training (PMINT).

June 29, Capt. Martin R. Allard relieved Capt. John B. Strott as CO of the Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship in Norfolk.

From July 10-20, USS Bataan ARG conducted Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise (MEUEX). A Marine, from the 26th MEU, jumped overboard on July 17. He was recovered by the ship and MEDEVAC to a shore side hospital where pronounced dead a few days later.

From July 30 through Aug. 20, the Amphibious Ready Group participated in Joint Forces Exercise (JTFEX), Supporting Arms Coordination Exercise (SACEX) and Special Operations Capability Exercise (SOCEX).

September 11, In response to emergency sortie orders following the terrorist attack on New York and Washington, D.C., the Bataan recalled her crew and was underway 11 hours after receipt of the sortie orders with 80 percent of her crew and ready to participate in Operation Noble Eagle. Returned to homeport on Sept. 15.

September 20, USS Bataan departed Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled six-month deployment.

After transiting Suez Canal Nov. 14, USS Bataan arrived on station in the North Arabian Sea, launched combat sorties into Afghanistan, in support of OEF, and sent troops to Kandahar in support of Combined Task Force 58.

April 20, 2002 USS Bataan returned to homeport after a seven-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

October 8, The Bataan completed the four-month Planned Maintenance Availability (PMA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in Portsmouth, Va.

November 28, Capt. Earle S. Yerger relieved Capt. Martin R. Allard as CO of the LHD 5 during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship at Naval Station Norfolk.

January 12, 2003 USS Bataan deployed with Amphibious Task Force-East (ATF-E), with embarked North Carolina 2nd MEB, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Global War on Terrorism Transited the Suez Canal southbound on Feb. 4.

February 20, The Bataan offloaded Marines, their equipment and ammunition while anchored off Kuwait Naval Base, Feb. 16-20. From Feb. 3 through March 10 the ship supported Operation Enduring Freedom and from March 10-19, Operation Enduring Force.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, from March 20 through May 31, USS Bataan embarked 24 AV-8B aircraft from VMA-223 and VMA-542 plus two additional from USS Boxer (LHD 4), for a total of 26 AV-8Bs aircraft, making it the largest operational "Harrier Carrier" LHD. USS Bataan launched 797 combat sorties in Irak and Afghanistan and expended 122 tons of ammunition.

June 6, The amphibious assault ship pulled into Lisbon, Portugal, for a six-day port visit.

June 25, USS Bataan returned to Naval Station Norfolk after five-and-a-half month combat deployment.

September 16, The amphibious assault ship departed Norfolk before hurricane "Isabel" arived. More than 40 ships left the Naval Station Norfolk to avoid any potential damage from high winds and seas generated by the hurricane.

January 19, 2004 USS Bataan departed homeport for a surge deployment to the Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility (AoR) in support of the Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 (OIF 2) force rotation. LHD 5 embarked a mixed complement of 39 USMC rotary aircraft plus two MH-60S SAR aircraft from HC-6.

USS Bataan offloaded Marines, their equipment and ammunition into Kuwait from Feb. 20-22 for their scheduled seven-month tour of duty in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Marines from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, headquartered at Camp Lejeune, N.C., are part of a 25,000 member air-and-ground task force that is contributing to the largest rotation of U.S. forces since World War II to help stabilize Iraq. The major II MEF units that offloaded from Bataan included 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment and 8th Communications Battalion from Camp Lejeune and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 261 and Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 167 from Marine Corps Air Station, New River, N.C.

February 22, Capt. Nora W. Tyson relieved Capt. Earle S. Yerger as CO of the Bataan.

March 31, USS Bataan returned to homeport after a 72-day deployment. The ship also visited Valletta, Malta, from March 8-11, and Rota, Spain, from March 16-19.

October 27, The Bataan departed for a two-day sea trials after five-and-a-half month Drydocking Phased Maintenance Availability (DPMA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

January 27, 2005 USS Bataan along with USS Trenton responde to assist in rescuing the eight members from a MH-53E, of the HM-14, that went down during a routine training mission in the Atlantic Ocean Jan. 25 approximately 28 miles off the coast of Virginia at 3 p.m. All eight have been rescued and are being transported by two MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. Their conditions are unknown. The U.S. Coast Guard also supported the rescue with two C-130 Hercules and one HH-60 Jayhawk by providing initial on scene rescue coordination.

April 11, LHD 5 completed Final Evaluation Period (FEP) earlier than scheduled while underway off the coast of Virginia, from March 28 through April 1. Along with FEP, the amphibious assault ship had to complete the Command Assessment of Readiness and Training (CART II), Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA I/II/III), and Specialty Training in order to complete the Basic Phase.

April 25, USS Bataan arrived at Port Everglades, Fla., to kick-off "Fleet Week" 2005.

May 1, The Bataan departed the South Florida region steaming back toward its homeport of Norfolk and will soon go back to sea for flight operations later this month.

May 10, The amphibious assault ship is currently in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine trainings.

June 9, LHD 5 is currently at sea conducting operational testing of the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

July 3, USS Bataan is currently in Boston port to take part in Boston's annual Harborfest festivities.

July 26, The Bataan is currently in Ingleside, Texas, loadind equipment in preparation for the exercise PANAMAX, a joint exercise between Panama, the U.S. and sixteen other countries on simulated terrorist threats to the Panama Canal.

August 18, USS Bataan served as the flagship for PANAMAX 2005 while underway in the Caribbean Sea, in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) August 4-16. As part of PANAMAX, she worked with HM-14 and HM-15 to conduct Mk 105 Minesweeping Sled mine warfare operations. The Mk 105 is a helicopter-towed, hydrofoil-mounted Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) System designed to provide a reliable and safe method of detonating magnetic influence mines.

August 25, The amphibious assault ship departed the south-western Caribbean after wrapping up a successful liberty port visit in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, from August 19-21. Curacao is the first foreign port call it has had since visited Rota, Spain, after it's participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

August 31, USS Bataan is currently operating in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 100 miles South of New Orleans. The ship&rsquos involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations is an effort led by the Department of Defense in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She has been tasked to be the Maritime Disaster Relief Coordinator for the Navy&rsquos role in the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina hit the Southern Gulf Coast States.

September 5, LHD 5 completed its seventh day of Hurricane Katrina humanitarian relief efforts in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region. Four MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15, based out of Corpus Christi, Texas, five MH-60 Seahawks from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, based out of Norfolk, Va., and Bataan&rsquos air department have conducted flight operations almost around the clock to assist in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. To date, the two squadrons have transported 1,613 displaced people and delivered more than 100,000 pounds of cargo. The amphibious assault ship also provided 8,000 gallons of fresh drinking water to the ravished Gulfport, Miss., area.

September 20, LHD 5 will depart Mayport, Fla., today or Sept. 21 after resupplying and embarking four MH-60 Black Hawk and two MH-53 Pave Low helicopters, with the intent of following behind aproching Hurricane Rita. The hurricane near the Florida Keys strengthened to Category 2 today and is forecast to strengthen further as it moves westward into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Capt. David C. Hulse relieved Capt. Nora W. Tyson as commanding officer of USS Bataan during the ship&rsquos change of command ceremony while pierside in Mayport Naval Station on Sept. 20.

September 23, USS Bataan returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a 66-day underway period in support of exercise Fuerzas Aliadas (PANAMAX 2005) and 19 days in support of Joint Task Force Katrina search, rescue and relief efforts in the New Orleans and Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss., areas.

January 13, 2006 The amphibious assault ship is currently underway off the Atlantic coast conducting damage control, engineering and combat systems exercises.

February 10, The Bataan is currently working with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., to complete over water qualifications. It is on a regularly scheduled underway training and certification period in the Atlantic Ocean, in preparation for the upcoming deployment later this year.

February 23, LHD 5 is off the coast of Onslow Beach conducting invasion exercises as part of the well deck certification.

March 16, USS Bataan is currently underway in the Atlantic Ocean, preparing for an upcoming deployment.

May 17, The Norfolk-based amphibious assault ship departed its homeport for the Dutch led Joint-Caribe Lion 2006 (J-CL06) exercise. Three U.S. Navy ships, including USS Taylor (FFG 50) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), with nearly 2,000 Sailors will join France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea from mid-May to early June.

June 6, The Bataan is currently off the coast of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.

June 14, USS Bataan pulled into Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, for a liberty port call. The port visit is the first stop for ship since completing the Dutch-led exercise Joint-Caribe Lion 2006 (JCL 06).

June 23, USS Bataan returned to its homeport after spending more than five weeks underway in support of the Dutch-led exercise, "Joint Caribbean Lion 2006." Before returning to homeport, the crew welcomed aboard family and friends during a Tiger Cruise which originated in Mayport, Fla., and a Family Day Cruise off the coast of Virginia. Bataan embarked more than 600 friends and family members, in addition to nearly 150 friends and family members the ship picked up in Mayport, June 20.

July 14, Former Commander of Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Rear Adm. Michael P. Nowakowski, relieved Rear Adm. Curtis A. Kemp, as President of Board of Inspection and Survey, during a change-of-command ceremony held aboard the Bataan in Norfolk, Virginia.

August 15, LHD 5 departed Naval Station Norfolk to conduct an Expeditionary Strike Group Integration (ESGINT) with USS Shreveport, USS Oak Hill, embarked elements of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Two and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in preparation for an upcoming regularly scheduled deployment.

October 11, The amphibious assault ship is currently underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting training in preparation for an upcoming deployment.

October 27, USS Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group is currently underway conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise. ESG is comprised of embarked elements of Amphibious Squadron 2, the 26th MEU, USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), USS Underwood (FFG 36), USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), and USS Scranton (SSN 756). Joining the LHD 5 ESG for COMPTUEX is the French ship, FS Degrasse (D612), providing invaluable coalition training, along with USS Hawes (FFG 53), USS Ashland (LSD 48) and USS Kaufman (FFG 59), who are deploying separately.

November 30, The Bataan is currently underway for Certification Exercise (CERTEX) with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

December 5, USS Bataan completed an ammunition transfer with the amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) during a routine underway off the coast of Virginia on Dec. 2.

January 4, 2007 USS Bataan ESG-2 departed Norfolk for a six-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.

January 23, USS Bataan recently departed Palermo, Sicily, after a scheduled port visit Transited the Suez Canal on Jan. 30.

February 21, The amphibious assault ship is currently underway in the Arabian Sea conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO).

March 5, Six U.S. service members were safely rescued and evacuated to USS Bataan after their UH-1N Huey helicopter crashed near Manda Bay, Kenya, during a scheduled training exercise with Kenyan armed forces. The aircraft, from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 264 (Reinforced), was participating in exercise Edged Mallet, a bilateral military training exercise with the Kenyan military.

March 22, Capt. Richard P. Snyder relieved Capt. David Hulse as CO of USS Bataan, during a change of command ceremony held aboard the ship, in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

April 25, The 26th MEU completed the off-load of personnel and equipment from the ships of the LHD 5 Expeditionary Strike Group into Kuwait on April 22 to begin two weeks of sustainment training at the Udairi Range complex. The Bataan is currently underway in the Arabian Gulf conducting Maritime Security Operations.

June 1, USS Bataan ESG departed the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), after transiting the Suez Canal.

June 20, LHD 5 departed Rota, Spain, after a scheduled port visit.

July 3, USS Bataan returned to Norfolk after a six-month deployment.

August 14, The amphibious assault ship conducted ammunition offload Aug. 6-10, at Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J.

September 5, USS Bataan pulled to NNSY for a nine-month dry-dock phased maintenance availability.

February 15, 2008 USS Bataan moved out of dry dock to her new berth at Norfolk Naval Shipyard Feb. 7 as part of her depot planned maintenance availability (DPMA) period.

May 5, LHD 5 departed NNSY after an eight-month DPMA. Some major jobs completed aboard the Bataan were completion of a seawater compensated fuel system modification and upgrades to support the newest vertical/short take off and landing Marine Corps aircraft, the MV-22 Osprey. The main machinery rooms also received repairs and upgrades. The ship had four fuel oil manifolds removed many fuel tanks were combined into four groups and are now compensated with sea water.

June 5, The amphibious assault ship is currently in the Atlantic Ocean conducting flight deck certification.

July 1, USS Bataan pulled to Boston, Mass., to celebrate the 4th of July and the 27th annual Harborfest.

July 31, LHD 5 returned to homeport after a 10-day underway period to provide support for the Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 08-4 "Operation Brimstone," in preparation for the upcoming deployments of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) CSG and USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) ESG.

September 2, USS Bataan departed Naval Station Norfolk to participate in Hurricane Exercise 08-002. HURREX is a Commander, U.S. Second Fleet directed exercise designed to test the ship's ability to respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief needs during the 2008 hurricane season.

September 11, The amphibious assault ship returned home after completing a four-day HURREX exercise and landing qualifications for VMA-542 and VMM-263 pilots.

September 18, Capt. Samuel C. Howard relieved Capt. Richard P. Snyder as the 9th CO of USS Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk's Pier 12.

November 12, The Bataan departed New York City after completing a seven-day port visit, celebrating Veterans Day and supporting the reopening and re-christening of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

November 23, LHD 5 returned to Naval Station Norfolk after completing a four-week Expeditionary Strike Group Integration (ESGINT) exercise with the 22nd MEU.

February 3, 2009 USS Bataan ESG and embarked Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit departed Norfolk to participate in a Composite Training Unit Exercise off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina. Also participating in COMPTUEX are the French ships Tonnerre (L 9014) and La Motte-Picquet (D 645) USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196), USS Carr (FFG 52), USS Simpson (FFG 56), USS Boise (SSN 764), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Hawes (FFG 53), USS Kauffman (FFG 59), USS Doyle (FFG 39), USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Nicholas (FFG 47).

March 10, Elements of the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group and the 22nd MEU, are currently off the Atlantic Coast for a Certification Exercise (CERTEX), the third and final certification before their deployment later this spring.

May 5, USS Bataan departed for a one-day Friends and Family Day Cruise.

May 13, USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) departed Norfolk for a scheduled Middle East deployment.

May 30, The amphibious assault ship departed Palma de Mallorca, Spain, after a three-day port visit.

June 20, LHD 5 transited the Suez Canal to conduct maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet AoR. The Bataan recently departed Souda Bay, Greece, after a routine port call.

September 7, The Bataan recently pulled to Manama, Bahrain, for a routine pot visit after completing the mine countermeasure exercise with the U.S. and Royal Navy ships.

September 29, USS Bataan recently departed Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, after a scheduled port call.

October 7, The Bataan ARG entered the Mediterranean Sea after transiting the Suez Canal.

October 14, The three ships are currently participating in a joint training exercise Bright Star 2009, off the coast of Egypt, from Oct. 10-20.

October 22, Capt. Paul L. McElroy III relieved Capt. Jack L. Sotherland as Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 2, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Bataan, while in port of Aqaba, Jordan.

November 6, Ten MV-22B, from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced), were launched in three waves from USS Bataan, off the coast of Pakistan, for a flight to Camp Bastion where they will be transferred to VMM-261 and used to support the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. This is the first time the Ospreys will be used in Afghanistan.

November 16, The Bataan arrived in Izmir, Turkey, for a three-day port visit.

December 8, USS Bataan returned to homeport after a seven-month deployment.

January 14, 2010 USS Bataan departed Norfolk Naval Station to conduct humanitarian relief exercises in preparation for Haiti relief efforts after a magnitude-7.0 quake devastated the impoverished nation Tuesday afternoon. The amphibious assault ship will be joined by USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and the 22nd MEU.

January 18, The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group arrived off the coast of Port-au-Prince in support of Operation Unified Response.

February 1, Detachments from the HSC-9, HSC-26 and HM-14 embarked USS Bataan after spending more than two weeks operating from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

February 19, Capt. Steve Koehler relieved Capt. Samuel C. Howard as CO of the Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony om the ship's flight deck.

March 25, LHD 5 anchored off the coast of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay for an environmental wash down on the ship's equipment Offload at Morehead City, N.C., on April 1.

April 3, USS Bataan returned to Norfolk after two-and-a-half month underway period in support of OUR.

April 12, The amphibious assault ship entered the BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair facility for a four-month Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA).

August 18, USS Bataan returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a two-day sea trials. The ship will now begin a four-week continuous maintenance availability period where a series of additional upgrades and repairs will be completed before returns to sea to begin a certification cycle designed to prepare the crew for their next deployment.

September 16, USS Bataan successfully completed an air certification, the final of a three-phase aviation qualification process, proving the ship's ability to safely launch and recover aircraft and support multiple air operations. The amphibious assault ship also passed an aviation readiness qualification (ARQ) and aviation certification (AVCERT).

September 29, LHD 5 successfully completed its amphibious warfare certification (AMW) that will allow the ship to conduct amphibious operations for the next two years.

October 22, The Bataan returned to Norfolk following a week of deck landing qualifications, with the Medium Tiltrotor Squadrons (VMM) 263 and 261 Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 464 Light Attack Helicopter Squadrons (HMLA) 169, 269 and 467 and a detachment from Helicopter Sea Squadron (HSC) 26.

October 29, The amphibious assault ship returned home after a three-day underway period, completing the Unit Level Training Assessment for Certification (ULTRA-C).

November 19, Capt. Steven J. Yoder relieved Capt. Thomas M. Negus as Commodore, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Bataan at Naval Station Norfolk.

January 21, 2011 USS Bataan successfully completed the onload of nearly 1,000 pallets of ordnance during the four-day evolution at Naval Weapons Station Earle.

February 11, LHD 5 is currently conducting routine training in the Atlantic Ocean.

March 23, USS Bataan ARG departed Norfolk for a surge deployment in the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet AoR.

April 12, The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed the three-week pre-deployment emergent integrated training (PDEIT), off the coast of North Carolina, with Special Operations Training Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), and Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic (SFTL).

April 27, USS Bataan ARG arrived on station off the coast of Libya to relieve USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) ARG.

May 27, The amphibious assault ship pulled into Palermo, Italy, for a four-day port call.

June 29, The Bataan ARG completed a nine-day bilateral Spanish Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2011, off the coast of Spain.

July 3, LHD 5 pulled into Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for a four-day port visit.

July 24, USS Bataan arrived in Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, for a scheduled port call.

August 1, Capt. Erik M. Ross relieved Capt. Steve Koehler as the 11th CO of the Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship in Souda Bay.

August 13, USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) relieved USS Boxer (LHD 4) ARG in the U.S. Central Command AoO.

October 22, The Bataan recently pulled into Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for a port visit to Dubai.

December 7, A helicopter rescue crew, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 Detachment 2, aided distressed mariners in the Gulf of Aden, pulling from the water nearly two dozen people including women and children.

December 19, USS Bataan recently moored in the Port of Salalah for a routine visit to Oman.

January 4, 2012 The Bataan recently arrived at Aqaba Naval Base, Jordan, for a routine port call to conduct agricultural counter-measure washdowns of all embarked equipment.

January 10, The Amphibious Ready Group transited Suez Canal after concluding its operations in the 5th Fleet AoR.

January 16, USS Bataan pulled into Naval Station Rota, Spain, for a routine port call.

January 20, LHD 5 arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, for a five-day port visit.

February 7, USS Bataan returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a two-day Tiger Cruise from Morehead City, N.C., completing the longest deployment, by U.S. Navy ship, since record 327 days set by USS Midway (CV 41) in 1972/73.

March 19, The Bataan returned to homeport after offloading ammuniton at Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J.

June 8, The amphibious assault ship is currently undergoing a Planned Maintenance Availability (PMA) while moored at Berth 5, Pier 7 on Naval Station Norfolk Underway for sea trials in September Moored at Berth 6, Pier 12 after underway for local operations on Oct. 16 Underway again on Oct. 22.

November 2, USS Bataan moored at Wharf F in Naval Station Mayport, Fla., in preparation for the Navy-Marine Corps Classic basketball game, between the University of Florida Gators and the Georgetown University Hoyas, that will be played on board the ship on Nov. 9 Returned home on Nov. 15.

December 11, USS Bataan departed Norfolk for a week-long underway to conduct Group Sail operations with the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50).

January 11, 2013 LHD 5 is currently underway for routine training and certifications with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR).

February 11, Capt. George J. Vassilakis relieved Capt. Erik M. Ross as CO of the Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship at Naval Station Norfolk.

April 8, USS Bataan recently departed homeport for routine training and certifications.

May 2, The Bataan participated in a multinational synthetic naval amphibious exercise Bold Alligator 2013, while pierside at Naval Station Norfolk, from April 22- May 2. BA 2013 is designed to train staffs primarily from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) and Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 in an effort to continue revitalizing and improving their ability to integrate and execute large-scale operations from the sea.

May 16, USS Bataan departed Naval Station Norfolk for a week-long underway to participate in the hurricane preparedness exercise Citadel Gale 2013.

June 4, The amphibious assault ship is currently underway for routine training and qualifications. Returned home on June 5 Underway again from July 1-3.

July 22, Four Sailors from USS Bataan and three civilian instructors from the Center for Security Forces were injured aboard a rigid hull inflatable boat when it collided with USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) during a small boat training exercise, near Thimble Shoals Channel, off the coast of Hampton Roads, Va., while the LHD 5 was underway for a Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) assessment. All injuries are considered non-life threatening.

September 8, USS Bataan moored at Leonardo Pier in Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey, for ammo onload afer a two-day transit from Naval Station Norfolk.

September 20, The Bataan departed homeport for a two-week underway to conduct Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT), with the 22nd MEU Underway for COMPTUEX from Oct. 21- Nov. 13 Underway for CERTEX from Dec. 3-18.

February 8, 2014 USS Bataan departed Norfolk for a scheduled deployment Anchored in Onslow Bay, N.C., for onload from Feb. 9-10.

February 22, The Bataan ARG anchored off the coast of Sierra del Retin, Spain, to participate in Spanish Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) from Feb. 24-26 Inport Naval Station Rota from Feb. 25-27.

February 27, USS Bataan moored at Santa Apolonia Passenger Terminal in Lisbon, Portugal, for a three-day port visit Transited the Strait of Messina southbound on March 6.

March 8, An MH-60S, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 Detachment, rescued two mariners from a Turkish-flagged container vessel Yusuf Cepnioglu, that run aground Friday afternoon, off the northern coast of Mykonos, Greece. They were transferred later to the Hellenic Coast Guard.

From March 8-10, the Marines from 1st Bn, 6th Regiment and Aviation Combat Elements (ACE) from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), embarked aboard the Bataan, participated in a bilateral training exercise with the Hellenic Army, at the Glafyra Range near Stefanovikio, Magnesia Prefecture, Greece.

March 13, USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) entered the Red Sea after transiting Suez Canal Transited the Bab el-Mandeb Strait southbound on March 16.

March 23, The Bataan commenced offload of Marines and equipment at Arta Beach, Djibouti, for sustainment training exercises with the French military Backload from April 6-7 Completed backload off the coast of Djibouti on April 28.

May 22, LHD 5 anchored off Aqaba, Jordan, to offload Marines and equipment for participation in annual multinational exercise Eager Lion 2014, from May 24 through June 8 Moored at Aqaba Naval Base from May 23-26.

May 27, USS Bataan transited the Suez Canal northbound for any possible evacuation of American personnel from Libya if needed.

June 6, USS Bataan, along with the USS Elrod (FFG 55), rescued 282 people in distress and provided them with food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter, after receiving a report that an Italian military marine patrol aircraft sighted six small vessels, one of which was sinking, in the central Mediterranean Sea.

June 29, The Bataan transited Suez Canal southbound en route to Arabian Gulf. Transited the Strait of Hormuz northbound on July 7.

July 15, USS Bataan moored at Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP) in Hidd, Bahrain, for a 10-day upkeep.

August 12, Three MV-22B Ospreys, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced), landed at Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq for humanitarian assessment mission in support of displaced Kurdish civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

From August 15-16, the Bataan was anchored off Kuwait Naval Base to offload vechiles for agricultural counter-measure washdowns Conducted backload from Aug. 22-24.

August 26, USS Bataan pulled into Jebel Ali, U.A.E., for a four-day liberty port visit to Dubai.

September 8, AV-8B Harriers, assigned to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223 Detachment, conducted its first air strikes on ISIL militants near the Haditha Dam in northern Iraq. Until Monday, the Harriers have been conducting only Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in support of the Iraqi government.

September 22, LHD 5, escorted by USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), transited the Strait of Hormuz southbound after concluding its operations in the Arabian Gulf Transited the Suez Canal northbound on Oct. 2.

October 4, USS Bataan moored at Cruise Terminal in Kusadasi, Turkey, for a three-day port visit.

October 10, The Bataan moored at Pontile Vittorio Emanuele II Wharf East in Port of Naples, Italy, for a four-day port call Transited the Strait of Gibraltar on Oct. 16 Inport Rota, Spain, from Oct. 16-18.

October 27, The Bataan ARG recently arrived in Onslow Bay, North Carolina, for offload and to embark friends and family members for a Tiger Cruise.

October 31, USS Bataan returned to homeport after an extended nine-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AoR).

November 5, Capt. John A. Carter relieved Capt. George J. Vassilakis as the 13th CO of Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship.

December 10, BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair was awarded an $115 million undefinitized contract action as a modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-11-C-4407) for the Bataan's Drydocking Phased Maintenance Availability (DPMA). Work is expected to be completed by November 2015.

December 14, The amphibious assault ship departed Pier 3 at Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., after a six-day ammo offload Returned to Norfolk after a 10-day underway on Dec. 15.

January 26, 2015 USS Bataan entered the Titan Dry Dock at the BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair for a ten-month DPMA Undocked and moored at BAE Systems shipyard's Pier 1 on Sept. 30 Moved "dead-stick" to Berth 5, Pier 11 in Naval Station Norfolk on Dec. 14.

January 28, 2016 The Bataan departed Norfolk for a four-day underway to conduct sea trials off the coast of Virginia.

February 26, LHD 5 moored at Berth 1, Pier 7 on Naval Station Norfolk after a four-day underway for flight deck certification.

March 25, USS Bataan moored at Berth 5, Pier 11 on Naval Station Norfolk after a week-long underway for well deck certification and deck landing qualifications with the 8th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) Underway for local operations on April 9.

April 14, The Bataan anchored off the coast of Camp Lejeune, N.C., for amphibious training with the Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment Conducted deck landing qualifications off the coast of North Carolina from April 15-17 Returned home on April 22 Underway again on April 28 Onload off Camp Lejeune on April 29.

May 2, USS Bataan moored at Berth 19/20 in Port Everglades, Fla., for a week-long port visit to participate in the 26th Broward County Navy Days Ft. Lauderdale.

From May 10-11, the Bataan was underway in the Jacksonville Op. Area Underway off the coast of North Carolina from May 12-14 Anchored at Lynnhaven Anchorage "A" for a brief stop to conduct exercise with two MK VI patrol boats, from the Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 4, on May 15 Moored at Berth 5, Pier 11 on May 16 Underway again on May 23.

May 25, USS Bataan moored at Manhattan's Pier 88S in New York City, N.Y., for a six-day port visit to participate in annual Fleet Week celebration Returned home on June 2.

June 10, Capt. Eric S. Pfister relieved Capt. John A. Carter as CO of the Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship at Berth 1, Pier 7.

July 8, USS Bataan departed Naval Station Norfolk en route to Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey Conducted deck landing qualifications with two U.S. Air Force's CV-22 Osprey, assigned to the 8th Special Operations Squadron (SOS), on July 9.

July 10, The Bataan moored at Berth A2/A4, Pier 3 on NWS Earle for a five-day ammo onload Moored at Berth 6, Pier 11 on July 18 Underway for DLQ and in support of Career Orientation Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) program from July 22-29.

From August 15-26, the Bataan participated in a synthetic, scenario-based simulation exercise Bold Alligator 2016, with the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and 2nd MEB, while moored at Pier 11 in Naval Station Norfolk.

October 6, USS Bataan moored at Berth 5, Pier 10 on Naval Station Norfolk after a 23-day underway for Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT), with the 24th MEU, and routine training off the coast of Virginia.

December 18, The Bataan moored at Berth 5, Pier 11 on Naval Station Norfolk after a 19-day underway for ARG/MEUEX.

January 29, 2017 LHD 5 moored at Berth 2, Pier 10 on Naval Station Norfolk after a 19-day underway for Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) Underway for a Missile Exercise (MISSILEX) on Feb. 20 Moored at Pier 14S on Feb. 21.

March 1, USS Bataan departed Norfolk for a scheduled Middle East deployment after a one-day delay due to "minor engineering issue."

From March 2-3, the amphibious assault ship was anchored in Onslow Bay, N.C., to onload Marines and vehicles.

March 12, USS Bataan anchored off the coast of Rota, Spain, to conduct offload in preparation for Spanish Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2017 at Sierra del Retin Moored at Berth 3, Pier 1 on Naval Station Rota from March 12-13 Anchored off Rota for backload from March 14-15 Transited the Strait of Gibraltar on March 15.

March 17, The Bataan moored at Cruise Quay 2 in Port of Valencia, Spain, for a two-day liberty visit Transited the Strait of Sicily eastbound on March 21 Transited the Suez Canal on March 24.

April 5, USS Bataan, along with the USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15), commenced a two-week multilateral amphibious exercise Alligator Dagger, off the coast of Arta Beach, Djibouti, as part of the sustainment training with the French 5th Marine Regiment.

May 7, USS Bataan moored at Aqaba Naval Base, Jordan, for a three-day port call to conduct offload in support of the annual multinational exercise Eager Lion Moored at Aqaba Naval Base for backload from May 16-17.?

June 5, USS Bataan moored at Berth 58, Quay 9 in Port of Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for an eight-day upkeep Transited the Strait of Hormuz southbound on June 13.

August 28, LHD 5 moored at Aqaba Naval Base, Jordan, for a four-day port call to conduct agricultural counter-measure washdowns of all embarked equipment Transited the Suez Canal northbound on Sept. 3.

September 4, Four AV-8B Harriers, assigned to the Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223 Detachment, landed at Chania International Airport, Crete, for a two-day bilateral training exercise with the Hellenic Air Force's 115 Combat Wing.

September 7, BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair Inc. was awarded a $13,5 million for delivery order N0002417F138 under a previously awarded contract (N00024-16-D-4411) for the execution of USS Bataan's Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA). This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $45,8 million. Work is expected to be completed by July 2018.

September 8, USS Bataan moored at Berth 28, Poniente Pier in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for a four-day liberty port visit Transited the Strait of Gibraltar on Sept. 14 Conducted ammo offload with the USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 9) from Sept. 18-19.

September 23, USS Bataan moored at Berth 5, Pier 10 on Naval Station Norfolk following a seven-month deployment.

November 6, The Bataan moved "dead-stick" from Naval Station Norfolk to Pier 1 on BAE Systems shipyard.

November 10, Capt. Bradley W. Busch relieved Capt. Eric S. Pfister as the 15th CO of Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship.

October 30, 2018 USS Bataan moved "dead-stick" from BAE Systems shipyard to Berth 3, Pier 9 on Naval Station Norfolk.

February 28, 2019 Capt. Gregory J. Leland relieved Capt. Bradley W. Busch as CO of the Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship, while underway off the coast of Virginia.

March 17, USS Bataan moored at Berth 3, Pier 12 on Naval Station Norfolk for emergent repairs after a 25-day underway for sea trials, well deck and flight deck certifications Underway again on March 19 Moored at Berth 4, Pier 10 on March 22 Underway for a Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) preparations from May 26-27 Underway for INSURV assessment from May 28-29 Underway for deck landing qualifications from June 1-3 Underway again on June 4.

June 6, The Bataan moored at Berth A2/A4, Pier 3 on Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., for a three-day ammo onload Returned home on June 10.

July 19, USS Bataan moored at Berth 4, Pier 10 on Naval Station Norfolk after an 11-day underway for Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT), with the 26th MEU, in the Cherry Point Op. Area.

July 23, Rear Adm. Erik M. Ross relieved Rear Adm. John B. Skillman as Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Bataan.

August 1, USS Bataan moored at Berth 4, Pier 10 on Naval Station Norfolk after a four-day underway, off the coast of Virginia, for Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise Underway for ARG/MEUEX on Aug. 22.

September 8, The Bataan ARG recently arrived off the east coast of Great Abaco Island, The Bahamas, for possible Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR) operations, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195) on Sept. 9 Conducted offload in Onslow Bay, N.C., from Sept. 14-15 Arrived off the coast of Virginia Beach on Sept. 16.

September 17, USS Bataan moored at Berth 4, Pier 14 on Naval Station Norfolk Underway for a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) on Oct. 9 Moored at Berth 3, Pier 10 on Nov. 7.

December 13, USS Bataan departed Norfolk for a scheduled Middle East deployment.

December 31, The Bataan conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12), while underway in the eastern Atlantic Transited the Strait of Gibraltar eastbound on late Friday evening Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196), while underway southwest of Crete, on Jan. 8.

January 11, 2020 USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) transited the Suez Canal southbound Moored at Aqaba Naval Base, Jordan, from Jan. 19-22 Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean on Jan. 23 Transited the Bab el-Mandeb Strait southbound, escorted by USS Farragut (DDG 99), on Jan. 26.

January 23, The Bataan ARG conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8), while underway in the Gulf of Aden Conducted a replenishment-at-sea again on Jan. 31 Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean, while underway in the North Arabian Sea, on Feb. 10 Transited the Strait of Hormuz northbound, escorted by USS Carney (DDG 64), on Feb. 12 Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193) on Feb. 13.

February 14, USS Bataan moored at Berth 6, Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP) in Hidd, Bahrain, for a four-day liberty visit to Manama Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean on Feb. 26 Transited the Strait of Hormuz southbound on Feb. 27.

March 4, The Bataan ARG conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean, while underway in the North Arabian Sea Transited the Bab el-Mandeb Strait northbound, escorted by USS Truxtun (DDG 103), on March 14.

March 19, An MV-22B Osprey, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 365 Reinforced, evacuated Amer Fakhoury from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and transported him to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete, while the USS Bataan was underway in the northern Red Sea. The "Butcher of Khiam," a faithful supporter of U.S. President Trump, was arrested while visiting his native Lebanon in September on charges that he had tortured prisoners while fighting with an Israeli-backed armed group during the 1990s.

March 24, The Bataan conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean, while underway in the Red Sea Transited the Bab el-Mandeb Strait southbound on March 28 Participated in a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), while underway in the North Arabian Sea, on April 2 Transited the Strait of Hormuz northbound on April 3 Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS Walter S. Diehl on April 5.

April 8, The Bataan conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean, while underway in the Arabian Gulf Conducted a replenishment-at-sea again on April 17 Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5) on April 25.

May 16, USS Bataan, along with the USS New York (LPD 21), conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS Robert E. Peary?, while underway in the southern Arabian Gulf Transited the Strait of Hormuz southbound, escorted by USS Stout (DDG 55), on May 31 Transited the Bab el-Mandeb Strait northbound, escorted by USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), on June 9 Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean on June 11 Transited the Suez Canal on June 15.

June 16, Capt. Bryan K. Carmichael relieved Capt. Gregory J. Leland as CO of the Bataan during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship.

June 23, USS Bataan conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS William McLean, while underway in the central Mediterranean Sea Participated in a maritime training exercise with the FS Mistral (L9013), FS Guepratte (F714) and ITS San Giorgio (L9892) on June 24 Transited the Strait of Gibraltar westbound on June 27 Conducted a replenishment-at-sea again on July 2 Conducted ammo offload with the USNS William McLean from July 8-9.

July 12, Capt. Jason E. Rimmer relieved Capt. Lance L. Lesher as Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8 during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Bataan, while underway in the western Atlantic.

From July 13-14, the Bataan conducted offload of Marines and vehicles, assigned to the 26th MEU, off the coast of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

July 18, USS Bataan moored at Berth 5, Pier 9 on Naval Station Norfolk following a seven-month deployment.

August 5, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) was awarded a $106,9 million contract for the USS Bataan's Selected Restricted Availability (SRA). Work is expected to be completed by December 2021.

October 27, The Bataan moved "dead-stick" from Naval Station Norfolk to Berth 2E on NASSCO shipyard.


Ecomuseum at Abatan River, first in the Philippines

Another breakthrough attraction in Bohol is in the making and not only is it a first in the Province, but also a first in the Philippines. The Abatan River Ecomuseum will be the first ecomuseum to be established in the Philippines and will be another achievement in Bohol. The famous Abatan River which flows through the municipalities of Cortes, Maribojoc, Antequera, Balilihan and Catigbian, is already known for their eco-tourism activities such as the community life tour, firefly watching and kayaking.

The newly-forming ecomuseum will add to the already existing ecotourism activities which would open a lot of opportunities for people to learn more about the culture, history and environment of the Abatan River through thematic routes and selected sites wherein visitors will also be able to experience how locals use the resources of the river for their livelihoods.

Although an ecomuseum retains all the feautures of a regular museum, it is not housed in any building nor does it display exhibits in display cases. Ecomuseums showcase selected elements of the locale in situ, from historic buildings and production sites to natural landmarks and testimonials from local people. Selected elements of an ecomuseum highlight the identity of an area.

The Abatan River Ecomuseum aims to spread cultural and educational awareness about the abatan river through community engagement, promote the interconnection of new and existing attractions to help preserve the heritage and traditions of the local community, raise awareness of the importance of native flora and fauna found in the abatan river and finally to create a well-balanced co-existence of nature and culture of the abatan river that will positively contribute to the livelihood of the local people.

The Ecomuseum will definitely generate income for local communities and LGUs as well as provide environmental and cultural heritage protection. Aside from that, it will also create new business opportunities which will also pave way for more Boholanos to be employed.


Labor Camps

The hell ships arrived in different places, but many were destined for labor camps in Japan. At these labor camps, the POWs sometimes engaged in acts of sabotage, bending the fins of bombs and stealing food, explain Rogers and Bartlit. The cruel treatments continued as punishments included forcing two POWs to strike each other in the face until both were bloody, as well as beheadings with samurai swords.

On August 9, 1945, some POWs witnessed the mushroom cloud from the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. One POW from Bataan, Sergeant Joe Kieyoomia, was actually in a Nagasaki prison, and survived the bombing, protected by the thick prison walls.

Following the Japanese surrender, the remaining POWs received aid as planes dropped medicine and food. Eventually they would return to the US in hospital ships, where they were permitted to eat anything they wanted. According to Rogers and Bartlit, in one navy ship, they were served rice. The POWs promptly protested and threw rice all over the ship.


Morong Bataan History, Tourist Spots, Festivals, Officials

Morong is a 3rd class coastal municipality of Bataan Province in Region III or Central Luzon, Philippines.

Morong (Bataan) Municipal Hall (Credit: Facebook Page)

Profile of Morong Municipality (Geography)
Location –> Northern Part of Bataan (See map below)
Neighboring Towns and Cities –> Olongapo City in Zambales (north), Dinalupihan (northwest), Hermosa, Orani, Abucay, and Balanga City (east), Samal (south)
Area –> 219.20 km2 (84.63 sq mi)
Population –> 29,901 (2015 Census)
Terrain –> Mountainous with narrow coastal plains
Industries –> Agriculture, Trading, Tourism
Major Products –> Rice, Fish, Vegetables, Poultry, Handicraft, Home-made Food Items
People/Language –> Tagalog, Kapampangan, Ilocano, English
Barangays –> 5
Revenue (2016) –> 120,865,448.71
Legislative District –> 1st
Government Officials
Congressman –> Geraldine Roman
Mayor –> Cynthia Estanislao
Vice Mayor –> Jose T. Calma Jr.
Predecessor –> Maria Chona L. Garcia (+)
Councilors (Sangguniang Bayan or SB Members)
Esmeraldo Sulangi Jr.
Katherine Taba-Maglaque
German Noriega
Bienvenido Vicedo Jr.
Tirso Bautista
Manuel Calma
Elisea Bernados
Ruben Pastelero – LNB President
Carl Francis Cariaso – SK Federation President
Manolito Muana – IP Representative


Conservation benefit: Protection of Abatan River and the mangroves along Maribojoc Bay for 10 years

Community benefit: Rebuilt docks and amphitheater for ecotourism

This project supports a local conservation-based tourism initiative.

This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.

The lush Abatan River estuary is home to one of the most diverse mangrove forests in the Philippines. It covers almost 1,000 acres and includes 32 mangrove species. Eight species of firefly congregate along the river one of them is very rare and endemic to the Philippines. The estuary is a perfect spot for wildlife conservation and ecotourism.

Before tourists can come, however, facilities at the Abatan Main Village Center need extensive repairs. In 2013 and 2014, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake and two supertyphoons severely damaged them. The docks at the visitor centers, and the amphitheater where cultural shows were staged, are unusable. Without tours run by local nonprofits, villagers cannot sell their hand-woven products and local delicacies without taking them to town centers or paying middlemen.

A Seacology grant will fund repair of the docks and amphitheater. The Abatan River Development Management Council, which promotes conservation of the river, has pledged to protect the mangroves along the river and in Maribojoc Bay (where the river empties) for 10 years.

Seacology will partner with PROCESS Bohol, a well-regarded NGO that since the 1980s has been working for sustainable resource management in poor Philippines communities. We have worked with PROCESS Bohol on two other successful projects.


History of the 192nd Tank Battalion

Many of them were kids. Some were still in high school. Others had been in the National Guard for years. It was 1940 and the new men had joined the National Guard because a federal draft act had recently been passed, and they knew that it was just a matter of time before they would be drafted into the army.

Having heard that the federal government was going to federalize National Guard units for a period of one year of military service, these men decided joining the National Guard would be a good way to fulfill their military obligation. Many believed that in a year, when the companies were released from federal service, they could begin planning their lives.

Company A came from Janesville, Wisconsin, Company B from Maywood, Illinois, Company C from Port Clinton, Ohio, and Company D from Harrodsburg, Kentucky. On November 25, 1940, they traveled to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where they came together to form the 192nd GHQ Light Tank Battalion. The battalion was what the U.S. Army termed, “an independent tank battalion.” They trained together and, at first, often fought each other. They came from farms, small towns, and the big city. Finally, they took pride in the fact that they were the 192nd Tank Battalion.

In January 1941, since none of the tank companies wanted to give up their tanks, Headquarters Company was formed by taking men from the four letter companies of the battalion. After this was done, the army attempted to fill the vacancies in the companies with men from the home states of each of the National Guard companies.

After taking part in the Louisiana maneuvers in the late summer of 1941, on the side of a hill at Camp Polk, they learned that they were being sent overseas. So much for one year of military service. Those 29 years old or older were given the chance to resign from federal service. Many of those who were left went home on leave to say their goodbyes.

Replacements were sought to fill the vacancies created by the resignations. Many of these men came from the 753rd Tank Battalion which “just happened” to have been sent to Camp Polk from Fort Benning, Georgia. None of the soldiers, who remained or who were new to the battalion, had any idea what lay ahead of them.

Traveling west over different train routes, the companies of the 192nd Tank Battalion arrived in San Francisco and were ferried to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. One soldier recalled thinking, as they passed Alcatraz Island, that they too were prisoners on an island. At night, they looked across the bay at the lights of San Francisco. For many, this was their last image of the United States.

Sailing from San Francisco for the Philippine Islands, they stopped at Hawaii. Many noticed that the climate there was one of preparation for war. Posters warned of unintentionally providing information to spies. Other posters asked that men volunteer for fire brigades.

West of Hawaii, the ships sailed under complete blackout. One member of the battalion got into trouble for dropping an apple core into the ocean. An officer yelled at him that the apple core could reveal their location to the enemy. What enemy was he talking about? The United States wasn’t at war. Only after convincing the officer that apple cores didn’t float, did he get out of trouble.

In another incident, an escort cruiser took off after a ship that was spotted in the distance and had failed to identify itself. One man recalled that the front of the ship came out of the water. As it turned out, the ship belonged to a neutral country. Two other intercepted ships were Japanese freighters hauling scrap metal to Japan.

Arriving in the Philippine Islands at Manila, they were rushed to Ft. Stotsenburg and Clark Field. Upon arriving at Ft. Stotsenburg, they were greeted with chants of “suckers” from other American soldiers. Their dinner was a stew thrown into their mess kits. Some men needn’t even get that to eat.

It was at this time that D Company was attached to, but not transferred to, the 194th Tank Battalion. Since their barracks were unfinished, they lived in tents. For a little over two weeks they worked to prepare their tanks for the maneuvers they were expecting to take part in What they were about to take part in was totally unexpected.

On Monday, December 8, December 7 on the other side of the International Dateline, just ten hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, they lived through a surprise attack on Clark Field. The attack wiped out the American Army Air Corps, and the first member of the battalion was killed during the attack.

At Lingayen Gulf on December 22, 1941, a platoon of B Company’s tanks engaged enemy tanks. This was the first time American tanks fought enemy tanks in World War II. Another soldier died during the engagement and four battalion members became Prisoners of War. A little under two weeks later, C Company’s tanks would engage and destroy a company of Japanese tanks.

For the next few weeks, the members of the battalion fell back toward the Bataan Peninsula with the other Filipino and American troops. At Plaridel, the tankers fought a frantic battle against the Japanese to allow the southern forces to withdrawal into Bataan. They were asked to hold the position for six hours to allow most of the Filipino and American troops to cross the Pampanga River they held the position for three days.

As they fell back, they were constantly strafed and shelled. Since they had no air force, no place was safe from enemy planes. The 192nd Tank Battalion was the last American military unit to enter the Bataan Peninsula just moments before the last bridge over the Pampanga River into the peninsula was blown up by the engineers. There, they would continue to fight without food, without adequate supplies, without medicine, and with only the hope of being reinforced. There was always talk that American ships had been seen off the coast of Bataan.

The belief that reinforcements were coming was also lost when they heard the Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, on the radios of their tanks. In his speech, he spoke of how some Americans had to be sacrificed if the war was to be won. The soldiers knew Stimson was speaking of them. It was at this time that many made the decision that they would rather fight to the death than surrender.

On April 8, 1942, General King sent his staff officers to meet with the Japanese for terms of surrender. One of the jeeps was driven by a member of the battalion. The white flags on the jeeps were extra bedding from A Company.

At 6:45 in the morning, the order “CRASH” was given. Upon hearing it, most of the tankers destroyed their tanks and other equipment before surrendering to the Japanese. It was on the morning of April 9, 1942, that many of the members of the battalion became Prisoners of War. Having heard that the Japanese were looking for them, they stripped their uniforms of anything that indicated they were tankers.

Some of the soldiers wondered what people at home would think of them because of this. Others escaped to the Island of Corregidor to fight on for another month. Three joined the guerillas. Two of the three would be killed by the Japanese, while the surviving man spent the entire war as a guerilla fighting the Japanese. The rest made their way to Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan. It was there that they started what became known as the Bataan Death March.

The march was long and hot. The Japanese had not expected such a large number of prisoners and were not prepared to handle this number of prisoners. Most of the POWs, if not all, were sick.

Many of the POWs went days without food or water on the march. Some of the members of the battalion died of exhaustion or were executed simply because they had dysentery and had tried to relieve themselves. As one member of the battalion said, “We were all sick. It was more of a trudge than a march.”

The battalion members trudged their way for days attempting to reach San Fernando. It took some of them two weeks to complete the march. Often they marched at night. At times, they stumbled over the bodies of Filipinos and Americans who had died or been executed.

At San Fernando, they were crammed into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane. They were packed in so tightly that those who died remained standing. At Capas they disembarked, the bodies of the dead fell out of the cars as they did so. The POWs walked the last few miles to Camp O’Donnell.

Camp O’Donnell was an unfinished Filipino Army base that the Japanese pressed into service as a prison camp. Disease and the lack of food and medicine took their toll on the weak. There was one water spigot for the entire camp. As many as 50 men died a day. The burial detachment worked nonstop to bury the dead.

To escape the camp, members of the battalion went out on work details to rebuild what they had destroyed weeks earlier as they had retreated. Others worked recovering scrap metal that was sent to Japan.

When a new camp at Cabanatuan opened, the “healthier” POWs were sent there. It was in this new camp that they were joined by the battalion members who had escaped to Corregidor. Most of those POWs who remained at Camp O’Donnell died. For some battalion members, Cabanatuan was where they would spend the remainder of the war.

Other battalion members were sent to satellite camps in other parts of the Philippines. Still, others were boarded onto cargo ships and sent to Japan or another occupied country.

As the war went on and American troops got closer to the Philippines, most of the members of the battalion, who still remained there, were sent to Manila for shipment to Japan. This was done to prevent them from being liberated.

Many members of the battalion died in the holds of Japanese cargo ships. Some died from the heat, some passed out and suffocated, one was murdered by another American for his canteen. Most died when the ships they were on were torpedoed by American and British submarines. The reason this happened was that the Japanese refused to mark the ships with “red crosses” which indicated they were carrying Prisoners of War.

After the American armed forces landed in the Philippines, four of the battalion’s members were burned to death on Palawan Island, with other POWs, by the Japanese. They simply did not want the POWs to be liberated by the advancing American army.

The luckier battalion members were freed when American Rangers liberated Cabanatuan on January 30, 1945. Some were freed when Bilibid Prison was liberated on February 4, 1945. They were the first to come home and tell their stories of life as Japanese POWs.

Those battalion members who had been sent to Japan, or another Japanese controlled country, were used as slave labor. They worked in factories, they worked in condemned coal mines, they worked in copper mines, they worked in steel and copper mills, they worked as stevedores loading and unloading ships, and they hauled hazardous chemicals. They worked for weeks without a day off and with very little food.

What kept them going were the rumors and the planes. The bombings of Japanese cities became more frequent. American planes flew overhead both day and night. At night during an air raid, one member of the battalion recalled peeking out of the window of his barracks to watch the fires from the bombing. He thought they were beautiful.

One day, a member of the battalion watched an American bomber circle above the shipping docks where he was working. The plane dropped leaflets to the POWs working on the docks of the Japanese port. The leaflets indicated that the Americans knew where the prison camps were located.

The POWs began to sense that it was just a matter of time before the war would be over. The only question they asked themselves was, “Would they be alive to see the end of the war?”

Rumors began to fly that the war was over and that Japan had surrendered. Some of the POWs had heard the Japanese emperor on the radio. Others had witnessed a great explosion over Nagasaki. Even after being told by interpreters that Japan had surrendered, they did not believe that the war was over. It was only when the guards vanished from the camps that they knew the rumor might be true. This belief was confirmed when American B-29s appeared over the camps and began dropping food and clothing to the men in the camps.

Most of the surviving members of the battalion were returned to the Philippines to be “fattened up.” The United States government did not want them to be seen until they were healthier looking.

Many of the surviving members of the battalion returned home, married, and raised families. They tried to get on with their lives. Some were successful at doing this while others never really recovered from their years as Japanese POWs.

Of the 596 soldiers who left the United States in late October 1941, 325 had died. Some in combat, some were executed, but most died from disease or malnutrition while Japanese Prisoners of War. Many died in the holds of ships that were sunk by Allied submarines.

Today, all the surviving members of the 192nd Tank Battalion are gone, and those who chose to share their stories with us have since passed away. Often, doing this was a very painful experience. As one member of the B Company said to us over twenty years ago, “You’re asking me to tell you about something that I’ve spent the last fifty-five years trying to forget.”

It is our hope that this project keeps their story alive just a little longer.

List of site sources >>>


Watch the video: Halsema Highway Abatan 90 (January 2022).