OCT 10, 1945 — Medics evacuate the charred remains of American POWs burned alive at Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island, Philippines.

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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.

DEC 14, 1944 — To prevent rescue of prisoners of war by the advancing allies, the Japanese herded the 150 POWs at Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island, into three covered trenches which were then set on fire. As prisoners tried to escape the flames they were shot down. Some escaped by going over a cliff that ran along one side of the trenches, but were later hunted down and killed.

 

Five New Mexicans — 200th Coast Artillery men — died in the slaughter. Eleven men escaped by going over the cliffs and hiding out until rescued by Filipinos. One of those was the 200th's Alberto Pacheco.