© Bataan Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico, Inc.

A 501-(c)-3 corporation.

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2013 Bataan Memorial Death March
Video by Staff Sgt. Xaime Hernandez

MARCH 23, 2014 - Bataan Memorial Death March, White Sands Missile Range, NM

APRIL 5, 2014 - Bataan Memorial Ceremony, 1:00pm, Bataan Memorial Park, Albuquerque, NM

APRIL 9, 2014 - Bataan Memorial Ceremony, 10:00am, Bataan Memorial Building, Santa Fe, NM

“If you wonder why you dismount at least a mile before encamping; why you walk and cool your horses, and groom and feed them first — before you eat or rest — you will understand the great reliance we place on one another. To make us a unit. We care for each other.”

 

— Col. Charles G. Sage to the “raw recruits” of the 111th Cavalry (before conversion to anti-aircraft) as remembered by Stephan H. Alex, 200th Coast Artillery (AA).

 

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When the Japanese bombed Clark Field, Philippine Islands, on December 8, 1941 — December 7th in the US — just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, New Mexico’s 200th Coast Artillery (Anti-aircraft) was the “first to fire” on the enemy. That night, in order to provide anti-aircraft protection for Manila, the Regiment was split, forming the 515th Coast Artillery, the first battle-born unit of World War II.

 

Starving and diseased, the men held out for four months against an overwhelming enemy until Bataan was surrendered on April 9, 1942, and Corregidor on May 6, 1942. Except for the few who escaped to fight as guerrillas, the survivors of those bloody battles were to suffer 3-1/2 years of the most inhumane treatment known to mankind as prisoners of war. Eight hundred of the just over 1,800 men originally deployed would perish in prison camps or on Hell Ships.

 

In 1943, while the men were suffering as prisoners of war, the City of Albuquerque vowed to build a Memorial to New Mexico’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery (Anti-aircraft) units.

 



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The Bataan Memorial was dedicated on April 7, 2002 because of the hard work, persistence, and cooperation of many individuals and organizations. The Bataan Veterans Organization, Albuquerque Chapter, never forgot the City’s promise. Leo Padilla, Agapito Silva, William Overmier and Ernest Montoya, survivors of Bataan and Corregidor and slave labor camps in Japan and Manchuria, for many years lobbied the City of Albuquerque and some State legislators for the Memorial. They persevered against many adversities, never losing sight of their dream of having their and their comrades’ contribution to freedom be remembered by generations of New Mexicans to come.