About National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day
April 9th is National Former POW Recognition Day.
It is the day in 1942 that Major General Edward P. King Jr. surrendered the Bataan Peninsula, Philippines – against General Douglas MacArthur’s orders – and 78,000 troops (66,000 Filipinos and 12,000 Americans), the largest contingent of U.S. soldiers ever to surrender.
It is also the start of the 85-mile Bataan Death March, the forced march from the tip of Bataan (for most) and a hellacious box car train trip followed by another forced march to a makeshift POW camp at O’Donnell that had only one spigot for water. Thousands of American and Filipino troops died.
The events of this day are also marked by the Day of Valor, a national holiday in the Philippines