The Sources

Few military disasters of modern times are as sparsely documented or inadequately recorded in the official records as the defeat of America's forces in the Philippines in the first six months of World War II. Cut off from the United States almost immediately and encircled by a tightening blockade, the Philippine garrison soon became the only island of resistance in the rising tide of Japanese victory. Its sole remaining means of communication with the outside world was by radio. Occasionally an airplane or submarine reached Manila Bay with vitally needed supplies, carrying back on the outward voyage to Australia and Hawaii small and selected cargoes. Space was at a premium and there was room only for the nurses, correspondents, officials and their families, selected officers and enlisted men, and precious commodities such as the gold of the Philippine Commonwealth. Under the circumstances, records did not enjoy a high priority, and only a small number of official documents survived the campaign. Unofficial records and Japanese documents are far more numerous, and, with published works, constitute the main sources on which this volume is based.

Official Records

Among senior commanders in the Philippines there was a strong desire to justify their conduct of the campaign to their countrymen. This, they realized, could be done only if the record was preserved, and on at least three occasions during the course of the battle precious air and submarine space was set aside so that the most important records might be sent back to the United States. The first of these occasions was in February 1942 when General MacArthur sent out by submarine, in the custody of Francis B. Sayre, the High Commissioner, a footlocker filled with personal and official papers. This footlocker reached the United States safely and was stored in a bank in Washington for the duration of the war. It was then returned, by officer courier, to General MacArthur and has remained in his possession since. Though its contents are not known, there is reason to believe that the footlocker contains material of value on the early part of the campaign.

The second shipment of records came in April 1942 when General Wainwright took advantage of the presence of two small aircraft on Corregidor to send to General Sharp on Mindanao fifteen packages of records, of undetermined bulk, to be delivered "in person to General Sutherland for forwarding to the Adjutant General, Washington, D. C."* Included in this shipment were General Wainwright's diaries and the general staff journals, with supporting documents. Only the five packages of G-3 records were inventoried and these consisted of ten journal files covering the period from 28 November to 10 April and twenty supporting documents including G-3 periodic reports, general and field orders, training memoranda, and the journals or reports of all the major commands in the Philippines.


The evidence that these records were received in Melbourne and placed in a vault in General Sutherland's office is indisputable. Their disposition thereafter is not known. The seven packages of G-4 records may have reached Washington, for there exist in the files of The Adjutant General, eight feet (one file cabinet) of records sent from Corregidor. These records, which deal largely with supply matters, have been used extensively in the preparation of this volume and were especially valuable in the study of shortages in food and medicine. When used, they were physically located in the Departmental Records Branch, AGO (Accession No. A51-75), and designated USAFFE-USFIP Records.* They have been cited throughout this volume by title and AG number, followed by the abbreviation Phil Rcds.

Assuming that the USAFFE-USFIP Records are a part of those sent from Corregidor in April 1942, the disposition of the remainder of the fifteen packages—the G-2 and G-3 journals, General Wainwright's diaries, and supporting papers (altogether eight packages)—remains a mystery. A careful search of the files of The Adjutant General in Washington and of GHQ, Far East Command (FEC) in Tokyo, successor to the 1942 headquarters in Australia, has failed to produce them, and the principals, Generals Wainwright and Sutherland, assert they have no knowledge of their whereabouts.

The third shipment of records from Corregidor was by submarine on 3 May, just before the fall of the harbor defenses. There is no description of these records other than the statement that they included "records and orders," but many, if not most of them, were probably finance and personnel records. Their final disposition is unknown, but it is entirely possible that the eight feet of USAFFE-USFIP records described above came from this shipment rather than the earlier one which went to General Sutherland in Australia. If that is so, then all fifteen packages of the second shipment have been lost.

Though there was little prospect that their records would survive, most of the units in the Philippines did their best nevertheless to maintain proper records in accordance with existing army practice. The quality of these records apparently varied considerably, depending on the unit's proximity to the enemy and on the interest and ability of commanders and clerks. Higher headquarters, which usually had the necessary personnel and equipment, kept the most complete records. Those of combat units, however, were sketchy. These units, composed largely of Filipinos, hastily mobilized and inadequately trained, had little opportunity to keep records. Some, even if they had wished to do so, could not have complied with regulations. They lacked clerical personnel and, in some instances, had first sergeants who could neither read nor write. To these difficulties was soon added another, the shortage of paper. The men had not been on Bataan long when paper became so scarce that orders had to be issued on the reverse side of prewar mimeographed regulations and administrative memoranda.

On Corregidor and the adjoining islands of the harbor defenses more careful records were kept. The units there were composed


of regulars—Americans and Philippine Scouts—trained and disciplined and accustomed to maintain records. Though subjected to air and artillery bombardment, they were in fixed positions and had ample opportunity to continue to keep accurate administrative and operational records. These, like the records on Bataan, were destroyed when the order was given to surrender.

With the capitulation of Corregidor and of the islands to the south, all communication with the Philippines came to an end. The entire garrison, an army of 140,000 men, passed into captivity and, except for the handful who escaped, no word of their fate reached the United States. Though most of the Filipinos were ultimately released from prison camp, there was no way by which they could communicate with the Allies except through the clandestine intelligence organization kept alive by funds and equipment from Australia. Nominally free, the former Filipino troops of MacArthur's and Wainwright's army were as effectively prisoners of the Japanese as if they had remained in prison camp.

It was only at the end of the war, with the return of the thin, emaciated American prisoners from Japanese camps in the Philippines, Japan, and Manchuria, that the War Department received an official report of the campaign. During their years in prison camp, higher commanders and their staff officers, on orders from General Wainwright and under the eyes of the Japanese, had begun the preparation of an operations report in anticipation of the day when they could present their own account of the disaster that had befallen American arms. These preliminary reports, written from memory, were ultimately collated into a single report by General Wainwright and a group of his former staff officers at Fort Sam Houston in 1946.

Entitled Report of Operations of USAFFE and USFIP in the Philippine Islands, 1941-1942, Wainwright's report covers the period of prewar preparations as well as the entire period of the campaign. It includes, therefore, the activities not only of his own command, USFIP, from 21 March to 6 May, but also those of MacArthur's earlier command, USAFFE, which was transferred with the general to Australia in March 1942. Since neither General MacArthur nor any members of his staff had assisted Wainwright in the preparation of his report, that report cannot be considered an authoritative statement of decisions made by USAFFE or of the operations conducted by that headquarters. But in the absence of a report from General MacArthur, it is the only account by a senior American commander, and the author has been obliged to rely upon it, despite its shortcomings on the level of command and decision. One copy is located in the Departmental Records Branch, AGO, and another is on file in the Office of the Chief of Military History. All references in this volume are to the latter.

The report is an ambitious and large work, with little form. Actually, it is a collection of separate reports, each organized and prepared differently, and attached to the basic report as an annex. There are eighteen such annexes, eight of which deal with the operations of major tactical commands, four with the activities of certain special staff sections, and six with miscellaneous matters, such as citations, lists of


units, and the organization of various headquarters.* Unfortunately, it contains the report of only one of the divisions, the Philippine Division, which fought on Luzon, and none of any unit smaller than a division. Missing also are the reports of the ordnance and artillery officers, and of many of the service and administrative headquarters.

Despite its deficiencies and its uneven nature Wainwright's report contains much of value. Some of the annexes are ambitious reports in their own right with numerous appendixes of their own. Annex XI, Maj. Gen. William F. Sharp's report on the Visayan-Mindanao Force, for example, contains thirty-seven appendixes and fills more than seven hundred pages. Comparable reports are those by Maj. Gen. George F. Moore, commander of the Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays, Brig. Gen. Charles C. Drake, the quartermaster; and Col. Wibb E. Cooper, medical officer on MacArthur's and later Wainwright's staff. Unfortunately, not all the annexes are as adequate, the most deficient being those of the tactical commands. The report of the Luzon Force, for example, which covers the critical period of the fighting on Bataan between 12 March and 9 April, is only eight pages long, and the supporting reports of the general staff fill only ten more pages.

Official records on the prewar period, and on the place of the Philippines in the strategy of the war are far more plentiful than those dealing with the campaign itself. Most of these are in the custody of The Adjutant General, filed at this writing in the Departmental Records Branch. The most useful for this volume were those numbered: 320.2 (7-28-41), which deals with the organization and reinforcement of USAFFE; 381 (11-27-41) Far East, which consists of seven separate bulky folders and contains most of the messages sent to the Philippines; and 400 (8-12-1), which contains material on the supplies sent to the Islands. The organizational records of GHQ, Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA), MacArthur's headquarters during the war, also contain some material of value, especially those files numbered 370.05, 384.1, and


384.3, Philippine Islands. When used they were physically located in the Kansas City Records Center, AGO. Wherever cited in the text, these files have been indicated by the symbol GHQ SWPA.

Most of the strategy and policy papers relating to the Philippines were filed originally in the War Plans Division (WPD), or its wartime successor, the Operations Division (OPD, now G-3) of the General Staff. These files when used were located in the Operations Division, but, with certain exceptions, have now been transferred to the Departmental Records Branch, AGO. Their integrity has been maintained, however, and they still bear the original WPD and OPD file numbers, which have been used throughout this volume. Included in this collection is the WPD Message File, the WPD Ready Reference File (Philippines), and the OPD 381 Philippine Islands File, all of which were particularly useful. The Chief of Staff files were handled in the same manner and are now also located in the Departmental Records Branch, AGO. Those files prepared before March 1942 are identified by the symbol OCS preceding the number; thereafter, by the symbol WDCSA. Most valuable for this volume are those designated OCS 18136, WDCSA 370.05 (3-17-42) Philippines, and WDCSA 381 (3-17-2) Philippines.

Though most of the WPD and OPD records of the 1941-1942 period have been turned over to The Adjutant General, G-3 still retains possession of certain files dealing with strategy and policy. Those used in the preparation of this volume are the former executive office files and the highly confidential strategy papers of the Registered Documents Collection of the Operations Division. The former contains about a half-dozen folders relating to the Philippine campaign, the most useful of which are the messages between General Marshall and Generals MacArthur and Wainwright. Materials from these files are identified in the notes by the abbreviations OPD Exec O and OPD Reg Docs.

Many relevant documents are included in the forty volumes produced as a result of the hearings of the Joint Committee (79th Congress) which investigated the attack on Pearl Harbor. Eleven of the volumes consist of hearings, eighteen of exhibits presented during the course of the hearings, and one of the majority and minority reports of the committee.

For air operations the author has relied largely on secondary accounts, but where necessary has extended his research into the files. In the case of the attack on Clark Field, the author has gone beyond the official Air Forces account, and has used all available files as well as interview material. Particularly valuable were the author's interviews with Lt. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, the notes on which are filed in the Office of the Chief of Military History.

The Office of Naval Records also contains some material of value for this campaign. The reports of Admiral Thomas H. Hart and Rear Adm. Francis W. Rockwell, the former as commander of the Asiatic Fleet and the latter as 16th Naval District commander, were especially useful. Rockwell's report, which covers the period from 1 December 1941 to 19 March 1942, contains a number of supplementary reports as well as a portion of the War Diary of the 16th Naval District.

The operations of the 4th Marines are covered briefly in the postwar report of its commander, Col. Samuel L. Howard, filed in the Historical Division, USMC. Its regimental records, like those of Army units,


were destroyed when Corregidor surrendered, and the story of the 4th Marines must be reconstructed from memoirs and interviews. Fortunately, this task had been accomplished in part for the author by Hanson W. Baldwin in a four-part article entitled "The Fourth Marines at Corregidor," published in the Marine Corps Gazette (November 1946-February 1947).

Unofficial Records

The inadequacy of the records dealing with operations, and the absence of journals, message files, map overlays, and after action reports from units lower than corps, would have made it impossible to write a detailed account of the Philippine campaign had it not been possible to supplement the official files with a wide variety of unofficial records. During the period in which this volume was in preparation, a total of approximately six feet of records of this type has been accumulated. These are filed in the Office of the Chief of Military History, and are so located when first cited in the footnotes.

Perhaps the least satisfying aspect of the USAFFE-USFIP Report of Operations was the absence of supporting reports by division and regimental commanders. Except for the report of the Philippine Division and the elements of the Visayan- Mindanao Force, Wainwright's report and accompanying annexes describe the campaign from the viewpoint of corps headquarters or higher. To have relied on it for combat operations, therefore, would have been most unsatisfactory and every effort was made to secure material on the operations of units smaller than corps. Fortunately, many American officers who commanded such units felt as strongly as their superiors the compulsion to leave a record of their experiences. During their years in prison these men had discussed and compared their operations endlessly with their fellow prisoners and jotted down in cheap Japanese notebooks or on scraps of paper all they could remember and had learned. So scarce was writing material that the men covered every inch of space in the notebooks and wrote in characters so small as to be scarcely legible. These notebooks, hidden most ingeniously from the Japanese guards and brought back after the war, form the basis for the most important single collection of records dealing with combat operations of American and Filipino units in the Philippine campaign.

To secure this material the author embarked on an ambitious letter-writing program, made trips to various parts of the country, and induced many officers to support his requests by letters of their own. It was obviously impossible to reach every officer who had served as a unit commander or staff officer during the campaign, and no effort was made to do so. But letters were written to every division and regimental commander, the senior American instructors in Philippine Army units, and the most important staff officers. Only in exceptional cases were letters sent to battalion and company commanders.

The response to this campaign for material entirely justified the time and effort spent. Only in rare cases did officers refuse categorically to make their notebooks, diaries, and personal papers available. Some who had no records in their possession even volunteered to prepare reports for the author, offers which were gratefully accepted. As this material reached the author it was reproduced, usually by photostat and with the permission of the donor, a copy retained


in the files of the Office of the Chief of Military History, and the original returned to the owner. Where the owner had carbon copies there was no necessity for reproduction. In rare instances, the originals were presented to the author as representative of the Office of the Chief of Military History. One such gift came from the widow of General Sharp who turned her husband's papers over to the author on that officer's death from a heart attack in 1947.*

The nature of this collection almost defies description. Included in it are letters written over a three-year period in prison camp but never sent, diaries, notes, poems, unit histories, reports, memoranda, accounts of single incidents or battles, memoirs, and preliminary narratives intended as the basis for a later, larger work which the writer hoped would be published. They vary widely in size and quality. Some are only one page long and others are ambitious works numbering several hundred pages. Some are written in the dullest prose imaginable; others have real literary merit. Some are accurate and detailed; others replete with loose generalizations. Common to all is the note of bitterness at what they believed to be their abandonment by their government and the desire to justify themselves to the future.

Among the records thus secured were accounts, written in prison camp, of the operations of most of the divisions and a large number of the regiments that fought on Luzon. Brig. Gen. Kearie L. Berry lent the author his account of the operations of 3d Infantry, 1st Regular Division (PA), which is actually a history of that division. From Col. Ray M. O'Day, senior instructor of the 21st Division (PA), came a history of that division in two thin typescript volumes. Brig. Gen. Clifford Bluemel's report on the operations of the 31st Division (PA), with its supporting documents, proved extremely useful, as did Col. Malcolm V. Fortier's notebook and notes on the 41st Division (PA). Maj. Gen. Albert M. Jones, who commanded in turn the 51st Division (PA), the South Luzon Force, and I Corps, has perhaps left a more complete record of his experience than any other commander, and his accounts, supported by those of his chief of staff, Col. Stuart C. MacDonald, form one of the basic sources for a history of the campaign. Completing the roster of division histories for operations on Luzon is Col. Clyde A. Selleck's Notes on the 71st Division (PA) which covers the activities of that division as long as it remained under his command. The operations of the divisions south of Luzon are described in the Visayan- Mindanao Force Report, which includes among its appendixes accounts by each of the division and sector commanders. Brig. Gen. Bradford G. Chynoweth prepared a separate account of the 61st Division (PA), at this author's request, and it has been used in preference to other reports.

It has not been possible to obtain accounts from three of the division commanders. Missing from the records, therefore, are the histories of the 2d Division (PC), composed of Constabulary troops, and two Philippine Army divisions, the 11th and 91st. Of these, the absence of a report from Brig. Gen. Luther Stevens on the 91st Division is the most serious, for it was that division which failed to hold at Cabanatuan, thereby permitting the Japanese to break through and imperil the withdrawal to Bataan. The lack of reports from the other two commanders is not as serious, and is compen-


sated for, in the case of Brig. Gen. William E. Brougher's 11th Division, by regimental reports as well as excellent accounts of the division's most important engagement on Bataan, the Pocket Fights.

Supporting these unofficial division histories, as well as the official history of the Philippine Division, are unofficial accounts of the operations of many of the regiments and battalions. Perhaps the best are those of the 31st (US), 45th (PS), and 57th Infantry (PS), Philippine Division. In the case of the 45th—which figured largely in the Abucay fight, the Battle of the Points, the Pocket Fights, and the counterattack of 6 April—there is an account for each of the battalions. The operations of the 11th Infantry, 11th Division, are well covered in three separate reports, two of which were written by Col. Glen R. Townsend, the regimental commander. Operations of its sister regiments, however, are only sketchily covered in brief accounts. Reports from the regiments of other divisions are similar to those already noted, the weakest usually being just those where the division report itself is inadequate. There are accounts also of the operations of nondivisional units, such as the 26th Cavalry (PS), including a separate report by the commander of the 2d Squadron; the 192d and 194th Tank Battalions (US); and the 86th, 88th, and 301st Field Artillery. Unfortunately, the commander of the Provisional Air Corps Regiment, which for more than two months held a sector of the second line on Bataan, never prepared a report but the operations of other Air Corps units serving as infantry—the 17th, 21st, and 34th Pursuit Squadrons, which fought in the Battle of the Points—are briefly covered in separate accounts.

The most valuable single collection of small unit histories—including some of those already mentioned—are those which were gathered in prison camp by Capt. Calvin E. Chunn, 45th Infantry (PS). Resolved to write a history of the campaign if he survived the ordeal, Chunn began to collect material shortly after he reached Cabanatuan. He spoke with officers from almost every unit and secured from them information for an account of their operations. This information, together with other material, such as maps, diaries, statistics, orders, affidavits, he transcribed into his notebooks. Before he was transferred by the Japanese from Cabanatuan to a camp in Japan, he buried his voluminous notes in the prison compound at Cabanatuan where they were found after the war. Copies of the material in the notebooks were made and the originals returned to Captain Chunn, who by this time had reached the United States. One set of the copies was obtained by the author of this volume and is on file in the Office of the Chief of Military History. When used in this volume it is identified as Chunn Notebooks; the individual accounts are credited to the officer who supplied Captain Chunn with the information contained in the notebooks. Chunn, since separated from the service, is, at this writing, still at work on his history of the Philippine campaign.

The diaries, memoirs, and notebooks prepared in prison camp were often as useful in the preparation of this volume as the unofficial unit histories. Col. James V. Collier's four notebooks, which were written as a letter to his sons and cover the entire period of the campaign, were of particular value, since the writer was successively Assistant G-3 of USAFFE and G-3 of Luzon Force. The Bataan Diary (two volumes) of Col. Richard C. Mallonée, senior instructor of the 21st Field Artillery (PA), is a


thoughtful and accurate account which deals with many more matters than one would expect from an officer who saw the war from a regimental headquarters. Though called a diary, it is actually a sustained narrative. Col. Paul D. Bunker's 190- page diary, closely written on sheets measuring 12 by 16 inches, is a true diary and consists of daily entries. Colonel Bunker was commander of the Seaward Defenses of Corregidor and his diary was especially valuable for those chapters dealing with operations there. Unfortunately, it contains no entries for the critical period between 29 April and 17 May 1942, when the Japanese landed and took the island.

The diary of Maj. William J. Priestley is unlike either Mallonée's or Bunker's. It is a compilation of the activities of various units, written by Priestley in prison camp on the basis of information supplied by other officers. Organized in a haphazard manner, it contains all sorts of miscellaneous information difficult to obtain elsewhere. Other diaries useful for a study of the campaign are those of Col. Alexander Quintard, commander of the 301st Field Artillery; Lt. Col. Arthur L. Shreve, artillery officer of the South Luzon Force; Maj. Achille C. Tisdelle, General King's aide; Maj. John McM. Gulick, commander of Battery C, 91st Coast Artillery (PS)—a work of genuine literary merit; and Capt. Roland G. Ames, commander of Battery Chicago, 60th Coast Artillery (AA).

After the reconquest of the Philippines and the release of the prisoners of war, a section was formed in MacArthur's headquarters for the processing of the survivors. This section, called the Recovered Personnel Section, G-1, soon began to receive finance, personnel, hospital, and prison records, as well as diaries and notebooks, prepared in the same way as those mentioned above, all of which had been carefully wrapped and buried on Bataan, Corregidor, and the prison grounds to keep them out of Japanese hands. Before these records were sent to Washington or, in those cases where the papers were of no official value, returned to their owners or heirs, they were carefully screened for any information of value they might contain about the enemy. The entire collection was then microfilmed and deposited in the Records Administration Center, AGO. The author, however, has avoided references to the microfilm file and has used the originals, or photostat and typed copies, which, together with an 80- page index to the entire collection, is available in the Office of the Chief of Military History.

Despite the large amount of material thus collected, there was still little information on the operations of small units, of company and battalion size. In some cases the action of these units had been decisive and an accurate account was essential. This gap was filled largely with no effort on the author's part. On their return from prison camp, many of the survivors had been assigned as students at various schools of the Army—at The Infantry School, The Armored Force School, and at the Command and General Staff College. Required to write a term paper before completion of the course, most of these officers had naturally found a subject in the only campaign of World War II they had knowledge of. Since most of them had served as company and battalion commanders, it was natural also that they should write about the operations of small units.

To date about twenty such papers have been prepared. More than half of this number deal with elements of the Philippine Di


vision, which was officered by Americans. The rest cover operations of elements of the 1st, 11th, 41st, and 91st Divisions, and miscellaneous units. Among this group is the only report of the Provisional Air Corps Regiment, prepared by Lt. Sheldon H. Mendelson while he was a student at The Infantry School, as well as an account entitled The First U.S. Tank Action in World War II, prepared by Lt. Col. Thomas Dooley, General Wainwright's aide, during his assignment to The Armored Force School. All of these papers were borrowed from those schools where they were prepared and returned there after they were used. Their location is indicated in the footnotes.

Though the unofficial unit histories, diaries, notebooks, and term papers made possible for the first time a reasonable reconstruction of the Philippine campaign, there were still many gaps which needed to be filled before a complete and authentic account could be written. Only the officers who had participated in the actions for which the accounts were incomplete or nonexistent, or who had been present when an important decision was made, could provide the missing information. This information the author secured in two ways, by letter and by interview. The letter-writing method was used when information of an operational nature was required, or when the distance was too great to permit personal conversation. Interviews were conducted with those officers who were readily available, or where the information needed could not easily be put in writing. The response to both methods was very gratifying and yielded an important body of records dealing with the campaign.

The correspondence file is of especial value, and the author has relied on it more heavily than on the interview. Those asked to supply information in writing usually produced more complete and accurate answers than those who gave their information orally. Often they drew sketches to illustrate their answers, and drew upon personal papers of whose existence the author had been unaware. Many officers asked to answer one or two questions wrote lengthy accounts of actions which had been imperfectly described in existing reports, thus creating an additional important source. Moreover, the signed letters constituted an important addition to the written record of the campaign.

Altogether the author has collected three thick folders of such material representing the replies of over one hundred officers, which are on file in the Office of the Chief of Military History. To these must be added the comments of those officers who read this volume, in whole or in part, while it was still in manuscript. These comments and additional information were carefully considered and are cited in the notes where applicable.

Unlike the correspondence carried on by the author, the interviews did not add greatly to the written record, although they were of great value during the preparation of the volume. To have made them a part of the record would have required the author to take copious notes during the interview, write up a report of the meeting, and then submit it to the officer interviewed for comment and signature. Without this last step, the notes would represent only the author's recollection and interpretation of the conversation. Such a procedure was not considered practical, although the author in many cases made his own notes of the interview to remind him of the more important points. It was felt that the presence of a secretary or the taking of notes would inhibit


the conversation and destroy the chief value of the interview—the free expression of opinion. They were conducted therefore on a most informal basis, in home and office, in hotel lobby and restaurant, and, when the officers could be reached, by telephone or by walking along the lengthy passages of the Pentagon—almost daily during the preparation of the volume. The information thus secured was incorporated directly into the text and credited in the footnotes.

Japanese Records

The enemy records for the Philippine campaign fall into three major categories. The first and most important of these is composed of a group of histories or reports, part of a collection written by Japanese Army and Navy officers at the direction of G-2, Far East Command (FEC). These officers, working as civilians in the 1st and 2d Demobilization Bureaus, the former Army and Navy Sections of Imperial General Headquarters, prepared a large number of reports collectively titled Japanese Studies in World War II. The total number already completed and translated is well over one hundred and more are in preparation. Though the series contains large gaps and the individual studies vary widely in quality, it constitutes the most important single Japanese source on Japanese operations in the Pacific and in Asia during World War II.

Of this large collection, the author used three reports extensively. On the whole, these are more accurate and complete than those for later operations. The Japanese won this campaign and their records therefore were more complete. They did not have to rely, as they did for histories of later operations, on memory. Indeed, there is reason to believe that one of the six studies used was written during the war by 14th Army officers in the Philippines.

For this volume the most valuable Japanese source was the two-volume history entitled 14th Army Operations. In a sense, all other Japanese documents are supplementary to it. It is detailed, reasonably accurate, and as complete as the after action reports of most units of comparable size. The first volume consists of the basic report, in narrative form, of 14th Army's operations on a day to day basis and includes the text or paraphrase of many important orders. In the second volume are the supporting documents: maps, intelligence reports, terrain studies, plans, as well as some brief but informative notes written by General Homma shortly before the opening of the final offensive on Bataan.

Neither the air nor naval accounts of Japanese operations in the Philippines are on the same scale as the 14th Army history. The air force report, entitled 5th Air Group Operations, contains a brief history of that headquarters as well as the history of its successor commands. It is extremely detailed in operational matters, providing in many instances the number and weight of bombs dropped on a single target, but somewhat vague in matters of decision and command. The naval history, Naval Operations in the Invasion of the Philippines, is the briefest and least satisfying of the reports on the Philippines, and contains hardly more than a brief account of naval surface and air activities in the opening days of the war.

Two other histories in the Japanese Studies in World War II, those of the Army Section, Imperial General Headquarters and of Southern Army, contain material of value on the Philippine campaign. Translated copies of these, as well as of the other histories, are on file in the Office of the


Chief of Military History, together with copies of the Japanese originals which were checked in every important case.

The second major category of Japanese source material for the campaign is the collection of the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) of General MacArthur's headquarters. During the war this section screened all enemy documents taken on the field of battle, translating and publishing those of immediate value. At the conclusion of hostilities, ATIS turned its attention to records of a historical nature and interrogated a large number of Japanese officers about their part in the war. These, like the wartime translations, were published in the ATIS series and distributed to interested agencies and commands. A complete set of these publications is on file in the Office of the Chief of Military History, as well as in the Military Intelligence Library, Department of the Army.

Those ATIS documents most useful in the preparation of this volume were the after action reports of the 65th Brigade and 16th Division. For the brigade there are two reports, one for the period 9-27 January 1942, when it fought in the Mt. Natib area, and another for the period 26 January-29 February 1942, covering operations in the vicinity of Mt. Samat (ATIS Enemy Publications 151 and 289). Together they provide a complete account of the brigade's operations during the first part of the siege of Bataan, as well as casualty figures, operations orders, maps, and similar material.

The report of the 16th Division (ATIS Enemy Publication 355) covers the period 24 December 1941 to 3 January 1942 and was issued two days after the conclusion of the operations it describes—the Japanese landings at Lamon Bay and the advance through south Luzon to Manila. Unfortunately, it lacks supporting documents and maps and is therefore of limited value.

Other ATIS documents of value are the postwar interrogations, statements of Japanese officers, and the answers to questionnaires sent to key officers by the author. Many of the interrogations were made specifically for historical purposes, either at the request of the G-2 Historical Section of MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo or of the Office of the Chief of Military History. These, together with the statements secured from Japanese officers in response to specific queries, are available in the Office of the Chief of Military History and form an important supplement to the Japanese accounts already described.

Except for General Homma, who was executed in Manila in April 1946, almost every Japanese officer who had held an important post during the Philippine campaign has contributed to this volume. The Army headquarters was represented by Lt. Gen. Masami Maeda, Homma's first chief of staff; Col. Motoo Nakayama, senior operations officer; Lt. Col. Yoshio Nakajima, intelligence, then later, operations officer; Lt. Col. Monjiro Akiyama, air officer; and other lesser figures.

On the division level, information about the 48th Division was secured from Col. Moriji Kawagoe, division chief of staff, and Maj. Makoto Nakahara, operations officer. Lt. Gen. Susumu Morioka was questioned about the activities of his 16th Division, while Lt. Gen. Kenzo Kitano supplied information about his own division, the 4th. Both interrogations were supplemented by statements from staff officers of the two divisions. Among these the most useful, perhaps, were those of Col. Motohiko Yoshida, 4th Division chief of staff, and Lt. Col. Hiromi Oishi, operations officer. Interroga-


tion of 65th Brigade officers was inadequate, but this deficiency was no handicap to the historian who had the two excellent after action reports of that brigade.

The third major Japanese source consists of the transcript and exhibits of the trial of General Homma by an American military tribunal held at Manila in January and February of 1946. The thirty volumes of testimony and more than four hundred exhibits constitute a storehouse of information on the campaign—on plans, operations, the condition of Japanese troops, the "death march," the occupation of Manila, and the American surrender. Its chief value, however, lies in the fact that Homma's testimony constitutes a statement by the enemy commander of his conduct of the campaign, together with an explanation of the factors which influenced his most important decisions. In this respect, the enemy sources are more rewarding than the American. The records of the trial when used were in the custody of The Judge Advocate General but have recently been transferred to the Departmental Records Branch, AGO. Citations of the testimony at the trial and to interviews and statements retain the rank of the officers at the time of the action described in the text. In almost all cases, however, these officers had been demobilized and had no military status.

In addition to these three categories of Japanese material, the author has used a number of other enemy sources in the preparation of this volume. These include the numerous postwar interrogations and reports of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS), which conducted a detailed study of many facets of the Japanese war effort. The published work of the survey consists of a summary report, two volumes of naval interrogations, and a large number of volumes on the Japanese war effort. There are also many unpublished interrogations in the USSBS files, copies of which are available in the Office of the Chief of Military History.

In The National Archives of the United States is a large collection of untranslated Japanese military and naval documents obtained at the end of the war and returned to this country. These consist mainly of war diaries, usually of small units, and in some cases of collections of orders. The systematic use of these records would have required the services of a staff of translators for several years, a project which was neither practical nor profitable. Little use was made of this collection, therefore, except to scan it for the most relevant and useful documents.


To the difficulties of securing material on the tactical level must be added the lack of the type of maps and overlays required by the military historian. At the start of the war there were only four militarily significant maps of the Philippines in existence. Two of these were U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey maps: one for the entire archipelago at the scale of 1:600,000; and the other, a topographic map consisting of seventeen sheets and covering the major islands, scaled at 1:200,000. The other two maps had been prepared by the Army engineers. The first of these was a topographic map and was based on a military survey made between 1911 and 1914. It covered only a portion of Luzon and was scaled at 1:63,360. The other, also a topographic map, was based on a more recent survey made in 1934 and 1935. Scaled at 1:31,680, it covered an even more restricted area than the 1:63,360, being limited to certain sectors of Luzon consid-


ered most critical for defense. There were enough copies of the first three of these maps for ordinary needs, but the last was available only in blueprint and in limited quantities.

The disadvantages of so inadequate a map coverage were perhaps not as serious as might be supposed. Many of the troops were fighting on their home islands in country they knew well. The Americans and Scouts had been over the ground many times before and had maneuvered on Bataan as late as January 1941. Those Filipinos who came from islands other than Luzon found the terrain little different from their own. Maps in the quantities needed by American forces in the Pacific later in the war were therefore not required in this campaign.

Facilities for map reproduction in the Philippines were excellent. The plants of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and of the Commonwealth Bureau of Public Works were both available to the military and operated until the evacuation of Manila, though the first was bombed on 23 December. Part of the equipment was then moved, with much difficulty, to Corregidor where the printing of maps on a limited basis was continued several months longer.

Facilities for the making of maps were not nearly as satisfactory. There was no headquarters base map plant, such as existed later in the war, in the Philippines at that time, no aerial photography, and only a few small mapping detachments in the field. Men trained to make maps were scarce, and in those days the making of maps was a long and arduous task. Little had been done during the years of peace to remedy these deficiencies. Like other military activities, map making had been severely curtailed for reasons of economy. It was fortunate indeed that the few areas mapped were those where most of the action took place and where most Americans had maneuvered time and again.

During the first part of the campaign, the withdrawal to Bataan, the two maps most in demand were the 1:200,000 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and a road map of the island. The engineers had little difficulty meeting this demand, but when the troops moved back into the Bataan peninsula, having lost most of the maps distributed earlier, there were few up-to-date, large-scale maps available for distribution. By utilizing every field expedient the engineers were able to reproduce enough copies of the 1:63,360 and 1:31,680 maps, both of which, fortunately, included the peninsula, for general distribution to the troops. But both maps were hopelessly out of date and had to be supplemented by schematic sketches and overlays which were not based on any actual survey. As new road and trail information became available the sketches were revised and corrected prints in limited editions circulated to the units most directly concerned.

Like the records, the maps in the hands of the troops were destroyed just before the surrender. Those that were not, were appropriated by the Japanese as souvenirs and have since been lost without a trace. A few reached Australia, probably among the possessions taken out by Brig. Gen. Hugh J. Casey, the engineer officer of USAFFE, when he left with General MacArthur. But so scarce are these maps that General Wainwright could find only one—the 1:63,360 trail map of Bataan corrected in prison camp by an engineer officer—to include in his report. The rest of the maps in the report are of a later period.

The author has sought in vain for copies of the maps used by the troops in the Philippines, and for accompanying overlays, to secure exact information on troop disposi-


tions, the location of gun emplacements, fields of fire, wire entanglements, demolitions, and the like. If the maps have survived, their owners treasure them too highly to allow their use by others. The author has found copies of the 1:63,360 and 1:31,680 engineer maps, but these lacked the information needed. Moreover, the latest maps of Bataan found are dated February 1942 and do not show the trails built between that time and the end of the campaign. Two of the engineer sketches showing the location of gun emplacements, demolitions, and similar installations, have been found, but these lack exact terrain information and troop dispositions.

To secure the information required in a tactical account the author has utilized every source open to him. Officers interviewed were asked to place their units on a map and to make whatever corrections or additions they could. With the numerous letters requesting material went maps and an added request to supplement and correct the information shown. Sketches drawn by others and data from later maps were also used. All this information was collated, but the result was not entirely satisfactory. Terrain descriptions varied; trails were differently numbered or named; the same name or number was applied to different trails; rivers were named and located differently on various maps and by different officers ; boundaries between units could not be exactly fixed; and even the front lines described in the various accounts could not be reconciled. No final resolution of these and other discrepancies is possible since the original map and overlays have been lost.

The Japanese had difficulties of their own with maps, and for the invasion probably used a road map of the Philippines and hydrographic charts of their own. This lack was filled soon after the occupation of Manila when they captured a detailed U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey photostat map of Bataan. This they lithographed and printed, then distributed to their own troops. A copy of this map, with Japanese troop dispositions and place names marked on it, was introduced as evidence in the trial of General Homma. It proved invaluable for fixing enemy positions and following enemy movements; without it the account of Japanese operations would have been less exact in many places.

Published Works

The number of books and articles dealing with the Philippine campaign and its aftermath is especially large, but of limited use. The dramatic defense by the Philippine garrison captured the imagination of the American public immediately, and articles began to appear early in 1942 as officers, public officials, and correspondents made their way by submarine and aircraft through the Japanese blockade. Throughout the year articles on the Philippines continued to appear in service journals and elsewhere, but in steadily diminishing numbers as American forces embarked on new ventures in North Africa, in the Solomons, and in New Guinea. Thereafter until the end of war, a period when those who could have written authoritatively about the Philippine campaign were in prison camp, there were few published works on the Philippines. To this early period belong such works as Lt. Col. William E. Dyess, The Dyess Story (New York, 1944); John Hersey, Men on Bataan (New York, 1942); Lt. Col. Allison Ind, Bataan, The Judgment Seat (New York, 1944) ; and Carlos P. Romulo, I Saw the Fall of the Philippines (New York, 1942).


The release of the prisoners, first those in the Philippines and then, after the surrender of Japan, those in Formosa, Japan, and Manchuria, was the prelude to a second large outpouring of books and articles about the campaign and about life in a Japanese prison camp. Like the first group, few of these are of real value for the student of military operations. The most significant is General Wainwright's Story, written with the aid of Robert Considine and published in 1946. Though it left much to be desired as a definitive account, General Wainwright's Story very possibly forestalled the publication by other commanders and staff officers of their own version of the campaign. Reluctant to engage in public controversy or disagree with their chief, they remained silent. Only Col. Ernest B. Miller, a National Guard officer and formerly commander of a tank battalion, has chosen to express his opposition to General Wainwright's views publicly in a volume entitled Bataan Uncensored (Long Prairie, Minn., 1949).

Other postwar volumes and articles by survivors deal mostly with prison camp, or with the isolated actions and operations of specific units. In the latter category are Lt. Col. William E. Chandler's three-part history of the 26th Cavalry (PS) in the Armored Cavalry Journal (March-August 1947); Lt. William F. Hogaboom's account of the action of the marines on Bataan in the Marine Corps Gazette (April 1946); Lt. Col. Harold K. Johnson's "Defense Along the Abucay Line" in the February 1949 issue of Military Review; Col. William C. Braly, "Corregidor—A Name, A Symbol, A Tradition," Coast Artillery Journal, LXXX, No. 4 (July-August 1947), pp. 2-9, 36-44, which is based on the official report of the commander of Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays; the story of the naval battalion in the Battle of the Points, written by William F. Prickett and published in the Marine Corps Gazette (July 1950); and Lt. Col. Bruce Palmer, Jr., "Covering the Withdrawal into Bataan," in the July 1950 issue of the Infantry School Quarterly.

At about the time these books and articles were published, the memoirs and histories of the war began to appear. Many of the former, written by men who had occupied high political and military posts during the war, touched briefly on the Philippines and cast additional light on obscure points. The most useful of these are: Manuel L. Quezon, The Good Fight (New York, 1946); Lt. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton, The Brereton Diaries (New York, 1946); Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (New York, 1948); and Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York, 1948).

Histories of the period first appeared in print in 1948, and, like the memoirs, were still coming out at the time this volume was completed. Most of these were and still are being prepared under the sponsorship of the armed forces, each of which maintains its own historical program. The Army's program, under which this volume was prepared, contains several volumes which deal with this period. Three of these, Mark Skinner Watson's Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, Ray S. Cline's Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, and Maurice Matloff's and Edwin M. Snell's Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, have already been published in this series. Others which were used in manuscript and which are scheduled for early publication are Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coak-


ley, The Logistics of Global Warfare, 1941-1943, and Rudolph A. Winnacker, The Secretaries.

In the Air Forces series, nominally part of UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II but prepared separately and published by the University of Chicago Press, the first volume, Plans and Early Operations: January 1939 to August 1942 (Chicago, 1948), edited by Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate, was especially useful. Though not a part of the official history, Walter D. Edmonds' They Fought With What They Had (Boston, 1951) belongs, in a sense, to this category since the author, a well-known novelist, secured much of his material during the war on a special mission for the Air Forces. The 14-volume history of naval operations, written by Samuel Eliot Morison and published by Little, Brown & Company, includes eight volumes on the Pacific. The first of these (Volume III of the series), The Rising Sun in the Pacific, covers the first four months of the war and includes naval operations in the Philippine campaign.

In addition to these service histories, each of which presents a segment of the same war from a different point of view, there are other histories which provide valuable material and fresh points of view. These include J. F. C. Fuller, The Second World War, 1939-45 (London, 1948); Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (New York, 1948); Hanson W. Baldwin, The Great Mistakes of the War (New York, 1950); and Herbert Feis, The Road to Pearl Harbor (Princeton, 1950).

It is impossible to write about the Philippine campaign without dealing with the controversial figure of General MacArthur. Even before his relief from the Far East command in April 1951 he had already become the subject of numerous books and articles, few of which were objective in tone. His relief was the signal for a fresh flurry of books and articles dealing with his career, and some of these reviewed his conduct of the Philippine campaign. Like the earlier works, almost all of these were by stanch champions or violent critics. None contained any significant new material on the campaign. At the time this volume was completed at least two more books about MacArthur were scheduled for early publication and there was every indication that others would appear in the near future.

In this connection, one final note must be added. The manuscript and published sources here described represent the best material available at the time of writing. Undoubtedly additional material will appear. Some of the missing records may turn up in private collections or be found in some obscure corner of The Adjutant General's files. Still to be heard from are General MacArthur and his principal staff officers, most of whom are now retired; General King; and the men who commanded corps and some of the divisions on Bataan. Only then, when the full story of these men is known, will it be possible to fill in the gaps and round out the tactical detail of this volume.


Return to Table of Contents

Search CMH Online
Last updated 1 June 2006