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Welcome to the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society

Our mission is to preserve and perpetuate the story of the men and women who defended the Philippines and other Allied outposts against overwhelming odds during the first months of World War II in the Pacific and later became prisoners-of-war.

The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society (ADBC-MS) is the only sanctioned successor to the original American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor organization formed by surviving POWs of Japan in 1946. We have been entrusted with preserving the legacy of the POWs of the Pacific. 

The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society is dedicated to promoting education about the POW experience in the Pacific during WWII and supporting programs of reconciliation. In addition to our annual conventions, we offer scholarships to descendants of POWs, provide grants for projects that educate and involve people of all ages in activities that bring meaning to this history, sponsor Bataan Memorial Marches, and support the building of monuments to honor the POWs in Japan. We are also involved in a number of other educational activities around the United States and internationally, working with historians and scholars to write curriculums for educational institutions.

The ADBC-MS is the point of contact for all official U.S. Governmental activities concerning American POWs of Japan. These include the Japan/POW Friendship Program that sends former POWs to Japan for healing and reconciliation; Veterans’ Day Breakfasts with the President; and submission of recently deceased information to the Freedom Foundation. At the request of the Senate and House Veterans’ Committees, the ADBC-MS provides written Statements for the Record at their annual service organizations hearings.

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PRESS RELEASE: PACIFIC WAR POWS

TO BE

IDENTIFIED AND HONORED

AT THE PUNCHBOWL

 

Honolulu, HI, August 6, 2018/ American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society (ADBC-MS)/ -- A leading voice for Pacific War veterans and their families, the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society (ADBC-MS) will dedicate a memorial stone on Wednesday, August 15th at 1:00pm at the Courts of Honor in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Honolulu, Hawaii. Read more.

 

Participate

American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society

Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society

Dedication

Enoura Maru Memorial Stone

a memorial to Imperial Japan’s hellships

August 15, 2018

1:00 to 2:00 PM

Chapel at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

2177 Puowaina Drive

Honolulu, Hawaii

Reception Follows

The Officers Club

Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay

502 Reed Road, Kailua

If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to defray costs of the stone and ceremony, CLICK HERE

All are welcome to the dedication of a memorial stone on Wednesday, August 15th at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The stone commemorates the 400 servicemen and mariners who died in January 1945 aboard two unmarked Japanese hellships docked in Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. The 400 are now buried as “Unknowns” in 20 graves in the Cemetery.

The men aboard these two ships were the survivors of the sinking of the hellship Oryoku Maru when U.S. planes bombed it near Subic Bay. By the time the remaining ship Brazil Maru arrived in Japan less than 600 of the original 1,600 POWs were alive. Of these, barely 400 survived the war.

The 400 men were among thousands of prisoners of war (POWs) taken by the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942. The POWs included, in addition to Americans, soldiers and mariners from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, and what is now the Czech Republic. In violation of international law, the Japanese used the POWs as slave laborers in Japan and other territories under Japanese control.

The POWs were transported in the holds of unmarked ships whose conditions were so abysmal that they were known as “hellships.” The 400 servicemen recognized by the memorial stone were among the last shipment of prisoners from the Philippines. By the time they reached a stopover in Takao Harbor (today’s Kaohsiung Harbor), Formosa, the POWs were in the hellships Enoura Maru and the Brazil Maru. On January 9, 1945, planes from the carrier USS Hornet bombed the Enoura Maru. The bombing killed approximately 300 POWs; another 100, aboard both hellships, died of starvation and disease.

These 400 were buried in a mass grave near the harbor. In 1946, a U.S. military recovery team retrieved the remains and sent them to Hawaii for interment. The memorial stone reminds us of the sacrifice made by the 400 men and other POWs, while establishing that they have returned home to American soil.

The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society (ADBC-MS) represents surviving POWs of Japan, their families, and descendants, as well as scholars, researchers, and archivists. Our goal is to preserve the history of the American POW experience in the Pacific and to teach of the POWs’ sacrifice, courage, determination, and faith. The ADBC-MS is a nonprofit organization and donations are tax-exempt under U.S. law.

Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society works to recognize and memorialize the former Commonwealth and Allied prisoners of war in Taiwan who suffered at the hands of Imperial Japan during World War II. The Society helps organize and participate in an annual memorial service for the Taiwan POWs at Jinguashi every November on Remembrance/Veterans Day.

  

 


Photos from ADBC-MS Convention Albuquerque 2018

  

  

  

  

  

 

Statement for the Record: Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee

American Prisoners of War of Japan Protecting the History of World War II