Texas museum remembers Fall of Corregidor

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Corregidor, the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas featured on May 6 the documentary film “Forgotten Soldiers.” Guests packed the theater and additional seating had to be brought in to accommodate the crowd.

In the film, narrated by Hollywood actor Lou Diamond Phillips, 10 Philippine Scout survivors describe the battles of Bataan and Corregidor, and the Death March itself, over photographs, reenactments, and actual footage of the events. Much of the film was captured from the Japanese at the end of the war.

Museum Programs Director Helen McDonald opened the afternoon presentation and welcomed guests who had traveled from Houston, Fort Hood, Austin and San Antonio for this regional premiere of the film. Historian Chris Schaefer, who wrote the script for the film, introduced the movie.

Two Philippine Scout veterans, Eulalio Arzaga of the 26th Cavalry Regiment and Frankie Ramirez of the 91st Coast Artillery, were present at the event with members of their families, some of whom traveled from Arizona, California and Louisiana to participate. The two Scouts were joined onstage by John Oliver, a veteran of the 19th Bombardment Group on Mindanao Island, to take questions from the audience.

Visitors to the museum were able to tour the extensive exhibits of the new George H.W. Bush Galleries, where the story of the Pacific War is told in detail, beginning with the early histories of competition and animosities in the Asia-Pacific region that ultimately culminated in World War II.

The fall of Bataan and Corregidor and the Bataan Death March can be explored in detail in the galleries’ exhibits.

The National Museum of the Pacific War is dedicated to perpetuating the memory of the Pacific Theater of World War II in order that the sacrifices of those who contributed to our victory may never be forgotten. The museum was originally established by the Nimitz Foundation. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was commander-in-chief in the Pacific during World War II, and then lieutenant George H.W. Bush flew an attack bomber in his command.

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