ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ceremonies honoring members of the New Mexico National Guard’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments, many of whom were forced to march in the Bataan Death March in the opening days of World War II, are set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Bataan Memorial Park on Lomas just west of Carlisle NE.
Speakers include retired Army Brig. Gen. Jack R. Fox, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, and Philippine Consul General Leo M. Herrera-Lim.
In April 1942, Japanese captors marched about 78,000 prisoners of war – 12,000 Americans and 66,000 Filipinos – for six days on the Bataan Peninsula on the Philippine island of Luzon to a prisoner-of-war camp known as Camp O’Donnell. Many were denied food, water or medical care, and some were stabbed or bayoneted along the 65-mile route.
Among the American defenders of Bataan and Corregidor were some 1,800 soldiers from New Mexico, many with the National Guard’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments. About half did not survive the war.
According to the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico, there are about 25 former members of 515th/200th still living and about half of them reside in the state.
The ceremonies are sponsored by the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico, the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico, the Rio Grande Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society and the city of Albuquerque.