One of the most celebrated battles of World War II took place in Corregidor Island more than 66 years ago.
It was April 12, 1942, three days after the Fall of Bataan, when the Japanese enemy concentrated all their long-range guns on Corregidor. From their occupied positions in Bataan and from Cavite, supplemented by air raids, the Japanese unleashed a merciless barrage against the fortress-island in the Manila Bay.
Seeking shelter in the fishbone-shaped system of bombproof tunnels from the shells that fell like rain were President Manuel L. Quezon, Vice-President Sergio Osmena and Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos joined American General Jonathan Wainwright and the 14,000 Filipinos-American soldiers and civilians.
On May 5th, the Japanese launched a two-battalion invasion on the beach of Corregidor. Two-thirds were crushed by the gallant defenders from the island but the enemy, still massive in number made a successful advance to the beach.
At 10:00 a.m., on May 6th, the front line was less than 180 meters away from the Malinta Tunnel. Lookouts reported the Japanese had already landed tanks on the island. Lacking guns to stop the tanks and aware of the damage those tanks could do inside the tunnels, General Wainwright said, “The end must surely come tonight, it is better for it to happen in the daylight.”
Exactly at noon, a white flag was hoisted at Topside as Wainwright left the Malinta Bunker for Denver Hill to meet with General Masaharu Homma of the Japanese Imperial Army.
This fateful event marked the Surrender of Corregidor.
Information source: Anita Feleo, Two for the Road