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    Mariveles Bataan Province | Luzon Philippines
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US Army c1941
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JAAF c1942

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90th BG Feb 16, 1945

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Justin Taylan 2006
Location
Lat 14° 26' 10N Long 120° 29' 9E  Mariveles is located as sea level on the southern edge of the Bataan Peninsula in Bataan Province on Luzon in the Philippines. To the north was rice fields and beyond Mount Mariveles (Mt. Mariveles). To the south is the Pucot River with the mouth emptying into Mariveles Harbor and beyond Manila Bay and Corregidor Island.

Wartime History
During the American defense of the Bataan Peninsula, Mariveles was the U. S. supply area for the southern Bataan Peninsula where vessels could deliver supplies to Mariveles Harbor. By early April 1942, U. S. Army Major General Edward P. King had no remaining options to oppose the Japanese and there was no sign of relief arriving and unable to mount any meaningful defense. By April 7, 1942 King had individually decided on his own imitative and without orders to open surrender negotiations with the Japanese to save his men. Calling his staff to a meeting, King accepted full responsibility stating: "I have not communicated with General Wainwright, because I do not want him to be compelled to assume any part of the responsibility." King estimated the Japanese would be capable of shelling Mariveles by the evening of April 9, 1942.

Meanwhile, notice of the surrender were communicated to the defenders with orders to prepare for demolition were issued on April 8, 1942. At the edge of Mariveles Harbor, the U. S. Army chemical warfare depot dumped their supplies  into Mariveles Harbor. At 9:30pm a natural earthquake of large proportions shook the entire Bataan Peninsula adding to the confusion and urgency. Around 10:30pm the U. S. Navy (USN) began destroying their installations on Mariveles Harbor including scuttling Dewey Drydock, Canopus, Napa and Bittern. Into the night, explosions were heard and flames illuminated the night. Meanwhile, key personnel including Army nurses were evacuated on a motor launch to Corregidor. In addition, roughly 2,000 personnel including 300 survivors of the 31st Infantry, U. S. Navy personnel and Scouts from the 26th Cavalry, and Philippine Army used small boats to escape to Corregidor.

Starting after midnight on April 9, 1942 Luzon Force Headquarters issued the official order to demolish equipment although some units had already begun the process hours earlier. At 9:00am General King departed Mariveles wearing his last clean uniform with his entourage aboard two jeeps to meet General Nagano near Limay.

In the chaos that followed, the American and Filipino force became Prisoners Of War (POW) and were forced that were exhausted, starving and sick were forced to begin the "Bataan Death March" and were forced to walk northward to San Fernando where they were loaded onto rail cars and transported to Cape O'Donnell (Capas) where they were detained.

During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Mariveles was occupied by a small Japanese force. In late December 1944, the Japanese Army 10th Division, 39th Infantry Regiment minus the 1st Battalion under the command of Col. Sanenobu Nagayoshi were assigned to the Bataan Peninsula with most stationed in the Bagac area against an anticipated attack by American forces. Only a small force of roughly 300 Japanese were stationed in the southern Bataan Peninsula area with few in Mariveles.

After the January 9, 1945 U. S. Army landing at Lingayen Gulf and advance southward on Luzon, American forces reached the north of the Bataan Peninsula by the end of January 1945. Starting in early February 1945 American bombers began bombing and strafing the Mariveles area and in support of advancing U. S. Army soldiers.

American missions against Mariveles
February 8, 1945–February 17, 1945

On February 14, 1945 the "South Force" comprised of the U. S. Army, 38th Infantry Division, 151st Regimental Combat Team (151st RCT) embarked at Olongapo aboard destroyers from U. S. Navy Task Group 78.3 (TG 78.3) in Subic Bay and proceeded southward for an an amphibious landing bound for Mariveles to liberate the southern end of the Bataan Peninsula to secure the flank of Manila Bay and ahead of operations to liberate Corregidor.

On February 15, 1945 at 9:00am the destroyers conducted mine sweeping of Mariveles Harbor while destroyers bombarded the shore with support from 5th Air Force aircraft. During the operation, two destroyers were damaged by sea mines at the entrance of Mariveles Harbor and guns on Corregidor Island fired at the force. As the destroyer APD's readied their LCVP landing craft for the landing a near miss wounded 17 soldiers aboard one landing craft.

At 10:00am the destroyer ADP launched their LCVP for the amphibious landing of the U. S. Army 151st RCT made an amphibious landed at Mariveles meeting no resistance ashore and managed to advance several miles inland before enemy forces were encountered at sunset. During the night, a force of approximately 75-100 Japanese attacked the 3rd Battalion's perimeter roughly three miles to the northeast of Mariveles but repelled the attackers killing roughly 60 Japanese. By the end of the first day, the Americans losses were 14 MIA, 3 KIA, 43 WIA.

Over the next few days, the Americans secured the entire Mariveles area and began patrolling northward with one prong advancing to the northeast and by February 18, 1945 reached Limay by February 18, 1945. The other prong advance to the northwest and reached Bagac by February 21, 1945.

Mariveles Airfield
Used during the defense of the Philippines

Mariveles Seaplane Base
Used by the US Navy at the start of the war

Mariveles Zero Kilometer Marker (Zero Kilometer Marker)
The Mariveles Zero Kilometer Marker (Zero Kilometer Marker) is located at Poblacion Road in Mariveles near the edge of Mariveles Harbor. This white marker erected in 2002 reads "Death March" and "KM 00" indicating the starting point of the "Bataan Death March". Nearby is a memorial with U. S. and Philippines flags. The road the marched followed was to the north. The memorial was donated by the Filipino-American Memorial Endowment Inc (FAME) and the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

General Wainwright Surrender Site
Located about 12km from the Zero Kilometer Marker at a fork in the road at Barangay Town Site, Mariveles is the General Wainwright Surrender Site marked by a small plaque written in Tagalog. On May 6, 1942 U. S. Army Lt. General Jonathan M. Wainwright officially surrendered Corregidor in a house at this location that no longer exists.

References
U. S. Army in World War II - The Fall of the Philippines Chapter XXVI Surrender pages 454-467
U. S. Army in World War II - The Fall of the Philippines Chapter XXVII The Siege of Corregidor pages 473, 484, 489, 494
U. S. Army in World War II - Triumph in the Philippines Chapter XVII Back to Bataan pages 331-332, 333 (map), 334, footnote 69
The 25 Best World War II Sites (2002) Chapter 22 Bataan pages 196 (photo), 197-198, 199 (map), 200 (memorials)

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Last Updated
February 24, 2020

 

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