William McKenna



15 February 1945


It is late afternoon when we approach the tip of the Bataan Peninsula.   We wade ashore, unopposed, at Mariveles; a wet landing, though--the water is up to my chest.  Digging a shallow slit trench in the soft sandy beach,  I am struck by the fact that this is where Americans and Filipinos fought so valiantly to hold off the Jap forces until April, l942.  The very spot where the Death March began.   Remnants of those events are strewn about, shell casings, battered canteens, parts of gas masks.   All of it happening, just three years ago.  And for me, to find myself here, it is very sobering.  But there is little time for reflection, now. Just four miles across Manila Bay, and silhouetted in the dusk, lies Corregidor.

   Into the darkness and throughout the night there is a buzz of activity; trucks grinding along the sands,   landing craft being loaded, the troops, restless and stirring, trying hard to get some sleep.