“My God! What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be dead!” the Admiral told Lanikai's skipper when she finally sailed into port
On March 18, 1941, eighty-two days out of Manila, all sails set, rigging taut, a small, green, weathered schooner entered the port of Fremantle, Western Australia. Atop her afterdeck house a small-caliber, slim-barrelled cannon sat on a brass pedestal. Faded, tattered Philippine and United States flags whipped from her spanker gaff. Above them, at the main peak, floated a wisp of bunting that the intrigued onlookers aboard the Allied warships present thought might be a man-o-warsman’s commission pennant. Read more »
“The Rock” was a proud island fortress, impregnable to attack from the sea. Unfortunately, the Japanese didn’t come that way. Its capture climaxed the bitterest defeat in our history
In 1941, Manila Bay was the focus of United States power in the Orient: all of our war plans emphasized its importance. The Orange—or War with Japan—plan envisaged a naval campaign: if United States and Filipino forces could hold the Bataan peninsula and the fortified islands at the entrance to Manila Bay, thus denying their use to an enemy for a period of three to six months, the Pacific Fleet would fight its way westward from Pearl Harbor and relieve and reinforce the defenses.
To most Americans, in 1898, the Philippine Islands seemed as remote as the Land of Oz. But suddenly, after Commodore Dewey’s smashing victory at Manila Bay, they appeared to be ours for the asking. But matters were not so simple, for the Philippine people were in revolt against the Spaniards, who had been their masters for three and a half centuries. When American troops finally landed near Manila, they faced not only the Spanish garrison but hostile and suspicious Filipinos.
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