On April 9, 1942, more than 75,000 American and Filipino soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces. The Americans captured included service members in the United States Army, Army Air Corps, Navy and Marines. They were responsible for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines.
Upon their surrender, the U.S. and Philippine forces were marched for days through the Philippine jungles under dire conditions including disease, starvation, dehydration, heat exhaustion, untreated wounds, and arbitrary executions. Thousands died.
Those who survived faced the hardships of a prisoner of war camp. Others were wounded or killed when unmarked enemy ships transporting prisoners of war to Japan were sunk by U.S. air and naval forces.
The Bataan Memorial Death March honors the sacrifice of the service men that defended the Philippines during World War II with a challenging 26.2 mile trek through the challenging high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
Over 3,200 participants, including a team from Supercircuits along with teams from the armed forces, Federal agencies, police and fire departments from across the nation, came together to participate in the 22nd Annual Memorial March to experience, in part, what soldiers endured during their long forced trek through the Philippines. In honor of the code of “no one left behind,” teams were required to finish with their members no more than twenty seconds apart.
In their first year of participation, Team Supercircuits placed 12th in the Civilian Marathon Division with a time of 8H:18M:52S. Jake Lahmann, George Farley, Cid Fragoso, David Martin and John Clark are looking to beat their time next year.
We encourage you and your organization to compete in next year’s march. To learn more about the event and its history please visit the Bataan Memorial Death March website.