Current News – Bataan Mile Markers

Bataan mile marker, before and after.

CLARK AIR BASE, Philippines – Jungle moss and roadwork are threatening historical markers along the Bataan Death March trail in the Philippines, says an American who’s waging a lonely battle to preserve them.

Bob Hudson’s father, Tech. Sgt. Richard Hudson, was among tens of thousands of troops forced to march nearly 70 miles from the Bataan Peninsula to Japanese prisoner-of-war camps after the surrender of U.S. and Filipino forces on April 9, 1942. Thousands perished during the trek, which included intense heat and harsh treatment from the guards.

Bataan Death March

The government of former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos installed the first markers — made of metal — along the path in the 1960s, Hudson told a group of veterans last month in Angeles City, Philippines. In 2000, the Filipino-American Memorial Endowment, or FAME — an organization seeking to preserve the nation’s war memorials — replaced them with 139 white concrete markers.

Bob & Rosalie Hudson

Those markers are sturdier than the old ones, some of which were stolen as souvenirs or sold for scrap metal. But the inexorable growth of the surrounding jungle and the tropical heat and humidity are taking a toll on them.

“These markers require a lot of maintenance,” Hudson said.  Since 2012, he and his wife, Rosalie, have spent many weekends along the Death March trail pulling weeds and cleaning and repainting the markers, which quickly get covered in mold and moss.

Rosalie Hudson working.

Hudson said he started the work to honor his late father, who on his death bed asked his son to track down a daughter he left behind in the Philippines during the war.

The elder Hudson — who survived the death march, a voyage to Japan in a “hell ship,” forced labor in a mine and the atomic bombing of Nagasaki — returned to the Philippines to look for his fiancé after the war. He found out that she had been raped and murdered by Japanese troops, and that their daughter had been adopted.

The younger Hudson moved to the Philippines in 2012 and tracked down the children of his half-sister, Leonida Hudson Cortes. Though he learned that she died in 1999, his work on the Death March markers continues.

A local power company is helping maintain 11 markers at the start of the trail, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Angeles City is looking after the final seven. Hudson said that leaves 1

“I’m almost 70 years old,” he said. “It is getting to be a difficult project for me.”

Recent damage to some of the markers by road workers hasn’t made it easier, he said.

FAME provides the couple with paint and the VFW recently donated some money to help fund the project. Those who want to help can find more information at: http://filipino-americanmemorials.org/donate/

Article is from Stars and Stripes magazine.

Click on images to enlarge.

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More Current News – you up for the challenge?

A Special Request (2018 Navy SEAL Swim/Ruck Challenge)
This summer, 6 June 2018 to be specific and during part of the annual D-Day remembrance festivities a very unique and special event will take place:  The 2018 Navy SEAL Swim/Ruck Challenge.  A friend of the Sons of Liberty Museum and the Army Air Corps Library and Museum and an active duty SEAL, will take part in this event and along with 24 other participants will swim in the English Channel, climb cliffs on Omaha Beach and Ruck to St. Lo. this event supports our friends of the Navy SEAL Museum and Trident House in Fort Pierce, FL.  Read More & Support This Event

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Military Humor –

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Bryce Blakely Jr. – Orleans, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, gunner, 828/485/15th AF

John Cunningham – San Francisco, CA; US Navy, WWII & Korea

Thomas Evans – Buffalo, NY; US Navy, WWII, APO, radioman

Gunnar Frey Jr. – Des Moines, IA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 12th Air Force

Cop Howard – Whangamata, NZ; NZ Army # 230124, WWII

Marion Jenkins – Portland, ME; US Coast Guard, WWII

Alex Littlefield – Daytona Beach, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, pilot

James ‘Bill’ Majors – Fort Payne, AL; US Navy, WWII, ETO

Guillermo Green-Sanchez – Coamo, PR; US Army, WWII, Korea, Sgt.FC

Stanley Stegnerski – Gastomia, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII. ETO, 2nd Lt., P-51 pilot, KIA

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 8, 2018, in Current News, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 113 Comments.

  1. Hi GP 🙂
    Great work being done here! Thanks for highlighting it!
    I was watching “CBS This Morning” and they profiled this young man who is reaching out to our remaining WW II veterans to try to chronicle their stories. As I have said before, it is of critical importance to preserve this history.
    Sometimes we don’t know what we have until it’s gone 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is there a museum or archive that might accept donations of 11th Airborne photos, memorabilia from the WWII campaign? I have my father’s parachute, some photos and a few other items that I will gladly donate if you have any suggestions. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have been collecting, not only my father’s memorabilia, but others from WWII. As a member of the Stephen Ambrose Society, everything is being cataloged and will be shipped to the National Museum Of WWII in New Orleans. Should you wish your father’s memories accompany my collection, let me know. (everything would remain in your father’s name… as donated by…you).

      Like

  3. So very upsetting the history. Very close to home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is a heartbreaking story, GP. The stories need to be kept alive though, so that younger generations know that war is not just a video game.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very good article Sir, I am going to reblog this one for you, and for those men.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a moving story, which included not just the hard work and dedication of the younger Hudson, but the amazing strength and endurance of his father, and the love for his fiancee and heartbreak of discovering her story… great piece,thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The atrocities that were done by the Japenese during the Bataan Death March should not be forgotten. It is a shame that the markers are falling into disrepair but they can be remembered by more than those markers like well-written accounts by writers like you in books and essays among other ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m starting to wonder how long these markers and anything remotely similar anywhere, will last, I have the feeling that when those of my generation and the generation following me are gone, there will be no more interest except perhaps from a few dedicated historians and like minded people

    When I first arrived in Australia in 1951 the ANZAC Day marches, the men and women who had served,and the hundreds of thousand people turning out for the dawn service and watching the parades nation wide it was a solemn day of remembrance and honoring those that fought and died and those that lived.

    Everything was closed for the day. It was a to Public Holiday where you had nothing to think about but the 2 wars.

    Now everything’s open, clubs, pubs, bars, football matches movies dances everything, a day to get drunk and have “”fun””??? Fun? What about the ANZAC’s I doubt that there are many who really know and understand and more to the point care. Except for the few thousands that now turn out to honor the servicemen and women and the remaining few WWII veterans.

    Sadly, I think the only way that the ones left, will only understand if there is a WWIII, except after a WWIII there will be nothing and no one left, then, to remember.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Same here for our Memorial Day. Everyone thinks it was put on the calendar to signal the start to summer and they go have a picnic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They don’t give a damn GP. Who’s fault is it? I don’t think it’s anyones fault, it’s just time and a feeling of detachment from the past for the young, Something to read about, if you’re interested, and there’s nothing on the telly, and there’s no rock group in town.
        It’s just something in the history books and what a few old timers like you do by way of posting, “Lest we forget”
        Thank you GP

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Your cartoon is a little too close to the truth for comfort!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A noble cause resulting from an ignoble beginning.Time and again ordinary people prove to be so noble.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s a very touching story, but as you know I’m a history buff specially abouty armed forces and conflict because at the end of the day we like it or not their deeds is what I have become and be alive, did told you I was in in the Spanish Legion deployed and all that thing, but what I most curious about is the AMERICANS that did what they did, I was in a volunteer army,
    but this generation my generation is not either better or worst than it was then, people think about WW2 as the good and evil, but, it was messy reall messy as what we did in Afhghnis-sit, had to put that, I did become a history buff, specially about past military actions and I today I saw this video, I know know it is a miniseries and this are real people, just thought
    although your just two years older than me but much more smart that you might like it

    Liked by 2 people

    • Any war is a real mess, in my opinion, Charly. I can not even fathom what you experienced in Afghanistan. I try to keep thtis WWII history alive, not just to have the men recognized for their service, but to show how many and much all sides lost. I know I will not change the way of human nature, so since our school systems seem to be dropping the ball on teaching history – maybe I’ll reach one or two.
      I’m sorry but the link will not play.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You just said it, “you can’t change human nature”, and wha in the world did I enlist voluntarely into to the spanish legion and like me some quite other thousads, and i will tell you this that the first time we where on in spain is called in the us when the captain and and some other idiot came by on our basic training or in spanish “formacion basca militar” with really transate to “basic military formation”, so the first thing these guys I was with was “when are we are going deployed?” Honest to God, that was what we as a group wanted, tricky thing, and those guy around you they will fuck with you, and you with them and get into fights wit others that are not with us, so that is thew bond and in my liv e as a civilian can neve nor to I spect to have that kind of relationship, talk about pumppig your self off and stat screaming and be out off he top with adrenaline, only there

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Give Me Liberty and commented:
    An important piece of history we can not afford to lose.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great work. I remember a first-hand account of the march as one of the most heart-breaking times of my research.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Excellent post gp, amazing some of the story’s involving Love, that eventuate from War time moments, Clark Air force Base was well known in my Vietnam days.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a loving tribute to his Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s touching to see someone work so hard to preserve the history. That’s so important. Thanks for sharing this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautiful tribute to his father. With 160 billion increase to defense surely some could go to remember those that were LEFT behind in the Philippines. There’s talk about the aping the likes of North Korea and have a grandiose Military show of force down Pennsylvania Ave. How about some of that money to help keep up the memorial?
    One of the finest men I ever knew was a survivor of the March and the death camp that followed. I choke up every time I think of that March and those we left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. And history fades away. Even things we should never forget. I have nothing but admiration for Bob. In ways, I am reminded of markers along the Mason-Dixon Line that were put out ever so long ago. I found one hidden under a bush that I used to locate my Ancestor’s property that had been laid out prior to the Revolutionary War using the marker. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  19. People sometimes don’t understand that when they say, “Let the government pay for it,” they’re only encouraging our representatives’ willingness to spend and spend without any accountability. In truth, the government never was meant to be a social services agency for the population at large, but of course that’s not a popular opinion these days.

    Maintaining these markers is a wonderful gesture. I hope that more funding can be found, and even more importantly, people willing to do the work.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. They really do a good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s only numbers, GP … don’t fret. I posted once (a while ago now) how the IS Nat Debt in dollar-notes form would reach to the moon.

    And back.

    About nineteen times …

    But that was a few years ago now.

    And so the beat goes on … (but if ever Gummints do decide to cut back on costs, guess who is the first to cop the cuts?)

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What a dreadful thing q to happen. Perhaps the best thing to do though would be to collect them all and keep them safe in some kind of special museum. Are there any U.S. bases that could help?

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are bases in the Philippines, but I am unaware of what projects they are currently involved with. I wonder if they even know about it, actually. Now that’s a thought. My 11th A/B Division Assoc. is still involved at Los Banos by supplying scholarships to high schoolers – I just might mention it to them!

      Liked by 2 people

  23. What a wonderful tribute, but a sad story about his extended family. I was hoping for a happier ending. Once again, you bring us the stories that would be so hard to find, otherwise. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Respect voor het werk van die man en waar blijft Amerika met de hulp dat is toch het minste wat ze kunnen doen voor hun soldaten van toen

    Liked by 1 person

    • De VS is niet zo rijk als iedereen denkt. Volgens een valuta-omzetter, de Amerikaanse nationale schuld is meer dan 20 biljoen dollar – de equivilant ongeveer 16792719260 euro.
      I don’t think the transltor said Trillion correctly, the US debt is over 20 Trillion.

      Like

  25. Such a horrific thing… Kudos to Bob for trying to preserve the markers. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. “Damaged by a road crew,” were sad words indeed. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. There is no honour for those who died in the world today ….The face these who died provided a structure for those of today does not matter … Hope sharing this will help this guy to get more help ..The US debt clock is amazing yet scary and capitalism has led us to put #ProfitB4People …Ian

    Liked by 1 person

  28. What a determined man to honor his father and help preserve this dreadful piece of our history.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Great post, GP! Had to share with my readers!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Reblogged this on Subli and commented:
    Help fund this project to keep the memory of Bataan Death March. Those who want to help can find more information at: http://filipino-americanmemorials.org/donate/

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Wonderful tribute to his father, tracking down his half-sister. I’m very touched by what Bob & Rosalie are doing. It’s a wonderful project that should continue.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Great respect for this man…I hope he gets help soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Perhaps some funding of this worthwhile project should come from the government of the Philippines in recognition of their liberation by the American Forces in 1945.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. What a marvellous labour of love

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Nice to see that dedication to preserving those memorials. Something the US government could easily fund without even noticing the cost, surely? The least they could do, to remember the sacrifice of their soldiers.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: Current News – Bataan Mile Markers | PenneyVanderbilt

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