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Author Topic: WWII, 2nd Ranger Batt. POW Raid in the Phillipines  (Read 916 times)

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WWII, 2nd Ranger Batt. POW Raid in the Phillipines
« on: 21 Oct 2002, 16:50:24 »
I just finished reading a book called Ghost Soldiers, by Hampton Sides. It's about two groups of men, the fighting soldiers of Bataan, in the Phillipines, and their war with the Japanese, as well as their time as POW's, courtesy of the Japs themselves.

The second group of man are the 2nd Ranger Battalion, and the Phillipino Geurilla's.

The first group of men surrendered to the Japanese General Homma. Over 500'000 men surrendered to the Japanese, they were to be moved to a Japanese POW camp, but the Japanese had grossly underestimated the amount of men who would surrender, so they had nowhere near enough transportation to move them. So they had to travel on foot, with a line kilometers long and 5 men across, they walked, with little or no water, and the same with food, a lot of men were deseased, making it near impossible for them to make the walk, if they dropped to the ground they were dead, a Japanese soldier would come up and gut him with a bayonet, because bullets were to precious. This has now become known as the Bataan Death March. And these men, the Ghosts of Bataan. They were moved into one of many POW camp's, this one though, was by far the worst, named O'Donnel, it was right next to the city of Cabanatuan. The men were brutalised and killed on a regular basis for three years, fed little food and water, which was usually extremely inadequate and probably deseased, men died at a rate of 50 a day, from heat exhaustion, starvation, beatings, disease or by being murdered by the Japanese soldiers, the majority of which were cruel and heartless to men they told would be treated with the utmost care and respect.

A group of POW's were sent to work on another camp, smaller by a large margin, but only to build an airstrip, which was bombed by the American's on a regular basis, one day though, a man was running around screaming that the planes were coming to bomb them all, everyone jumped into their self-dug bomb shelters, alongside their airstrip. Soon eonugh the men realised that something was wrong, they couldn't hear planes, the Japanese soldiers pured litre upon litre of fuel into the shelters, and then set it alight, anyone that come out the exits were beheaded by a swift blow from a Japanese sword. A few escaped out of a hole they had found in one of the shelters, that led to the lower part of a cliff-face, on a beach, the few that got out hid in the sea weed and rocks, as soldiers prodded everything with bayonets, a few did make it out to sea though, and then had the 9 or so hours of swimming to the closest island, this is how the U.S. Government found out and this is how the raid of the O'Donnel POW camp was set in motion.

The 2nd Ranger Battalion was given the job, the leader of the group, Col. Mucci, said that he only wanted men that "felt lucky" on this one. Not a single man stayed behind. although this is only a small part of the story, i feel the raid would make an awesome mission or three, since two others could easily have been made by the parts the two Phillipino Guerilla groups played.

If someone want's more info I'd be happy to give it out, and I'd love to hear how you guy's think this would go as a mission.