Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Departure of General Douglas A. MacArthur and the Loss of Corregidor

With the Philippines quickly under Japanese control in early 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered General Douglas A. MacArthur, USA, to relocate to Australia.  On March 11, MacArthur and his staff successfully departed by PT Boats, led by Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley, USN, for a journey in stormy seas.   When arriving in Australia, MacArthur spoke his famous line, "I came through and shall return."   In October 1944, he returned during the Invasion of Leyte.  Following the loss of Bataan, General Jonathan Wainwright led the Filipino soldiers, U.S. Army, Navy, and Nurses to defend the garrison.   Despite severe lack of food and water, the forces held out until May 6, until surrender.  U.S. Navy submarines continued to help guerillas until liberation by supplying goods.   Additionally, U.S. soldiers escaped to the jungle where natives protected them as they fought side by side against the Japanese enemy.  

Image:  NH 94703-KN:  "David and Goliath"  Artwork by James Sessions, depicting Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley's PT-34 torpedoing a Japanese ship at Binanga Bay, Bataan, Philippines, January 19, 1942.  This ship is depicted as a cruiser but was actually a freighter.  Courtsy of the Navy Art Collection.  U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.