MacArthur wades ashore at Leyte.

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Families of prisoners maintained hope and encouraged one another both through prayer and action. The Bataan Relief Organization was founded in Albuquerque and their motto soon became, “We will not let them down.” Mothers and daughters joined together in a group called the Gold Star Mothers to raise relief funds and prepare Red Cross packages for their loved ones.

OCT 23 to 26, 1944: The Battle of Leyte Gulf — the largest Naval battle in WWII.

 

OCT 24, 1944: The Arisan Maru, an unmarked Hell Ship carrying 1,783 POWs to slave labor camps in Japan, is sunk by USS Shark or USS Snook. It remains the worst maritme disaster in American history. Over 100 New Mexicans were lost. Calvin Graef of Carlsbad, New Mexico  is one of only 9 prisoners who survive the sinking.