I Shall Return
The hardest blow in the Pacific came in the Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), commanding 55,000 Filipinos and Americans, made a heroic stand on the Bataan Peninsula, but at last, in February 1942, was ordered to escape to Australia to assume command of the Allied forces in the southwestern Pacific. Regretfully, MacArthur left his troops to their fate. “I shall return,” he pledged—but it would take until 1944 for the Allies to put him into a position to redeem that pledge.
Under Lieutenant General Jonathan M. Wainwright, the Filipino-American forces held out until May 6, 1942, when they surrendered and were subject to unspeakable brutality at the hands of Japanese captors.