‘Forgotten Soldiers’ to screen April 29 at George Washington University

By Chris Schaefer

When the Japanese launched their Pacific attack, General Douglas MacArthur’s United States Army Forces in the Far East included 10 divisions of newly recruited and poorly equipped Philippine Army soldiers, and one U.S. Army infantry division with supporting units–the Philippine Scouts.

“Forgotten Soldiers” follows the U.S. Army’s Philippine Scouts as they protect the fledgling Philippine Army during their retreat from Lingayen Gulf to Bataan, and the movie then relives their heroic stands on Bataan and Corregidor.

Bataan, then Corregidor, were the U.S. Army’s first two battles of World War II and the last Allied strongholds to hold out against the Japanese in the Pacific. These prolonged actions bought the U.S. time to reorganize its Pacific defenses and rebuild the U.S. Navy fleet the Japanese had destroyed at Pearl Harbor.

Eventually, a Japanese naval blockade starved out the soldiers on Bataan and Corregidor, and the men on Bataan were subjected to one of the worst atrocities in modern history–the Bataan Death March.

Even after the horrors of the Japanese prison camps, Philippine Scout survivors continued their resistance and prepared to participate as U.S. Army soldiers in the invasion of Japan. Scouts who survived World War II went on to serve in the U.S. Army in Korea and in Viet Nam. Philippine Scout veterans who fought on Bataan and suffered through the Bataan Death March tell their personal stories on-screen and describe the action and events over photographs, reenactments and actual footage of the battles, much of it captured from the Japanese at the end of the war. They were the United States Army’s Philippine Scouts, America’s forgotten soldiers.

Catch the award-winning documentary at the George Washington University on April 29 at 6:45 p.m. Reservations required. Please contact Chris Cordero gwpcs.president@gmail.com or Mitzi Packard mitzip888@gmail.com.

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