Nearly $2000 Contributed for Plan
As Army Reveals Regiment Captured
(AP) APR. 18, 1942 —
With the bulk of more than 1400 of its sons officially
given up as lost on Bataan Peninsula, New Mexico moved
in grim earnest Friday to seek means of sending them
food and supplies through the Japanese lines . . .
Although barely a week old, the BRO was in possession of
contributions already nearing the $2000 mark, said Dr.
V. H. Spensley, chairman of the organization and the man
behind the idea.
From New York, Chicago, and Oklahoma came messages and
pledges of co-operation.
The grim realities of war were driven home when official
sources said Friday it could be presumed New Mexico's
own 200th anti-Aircraft regiment was on Bataan when it
was overwhelmed by the Japanese invader. The loss
reached into every principal city and town in the state.
Spensley said he had been amazed at the reception given
his proposal to send medical supplies, food and clothing
to “The boys out there.”
“We had hoped that possibly the idea might grow to a
statewide basis,” he said. “But the attitude of persons
outside New Mexico who have dear ones in the Philippines
has exceeded anything in our expectations.
“We are not ready to undertake formation of the BRO on a
national scale, but we would be highly pleased to see
the plan spread to other states.”
Benefit Believed Likely To
Attract Others Than Ardent Fans
By Paul Weeks
Albuquerque Journal Sports
APR. 26, 1942 — The
Albuquerque Dukes and the Army Air Base Kellys, regarded
here like the Cubs and the White Sox in Chicago, will
hook up in an exhibition at Tingley Park Sunday
afternoon, before what is likely to be the strangest
crowd ever to sit in on a game in these parts.
All receipts from the game will go to Bataan relief, and
that is expected to attract customers who never saw a
baseball game outside of the sandlots in their lives —
much les ever raised their voice at an umpire.
Mothers, fathers, cousins and friends of the gallant men
lost on Bataan plus dignitaries of the city's civilian
and military life will be on hand at 2:30 when Dr. V. H.
Spensley, chairman of the Bataan Relief Organization,
opens the affair with a few words over the public
Following the January 28, 1944 release of a joint
Army and Navy report of Japanese atrocities against
prisoners of war compiled from the sworn statements of a
group of escaped prisoners — information kept secret for
over a year — the Associated Press reported on the
meeting of 34 Bataan relief organizations headed by Dr.
V. H. Spensley in Washington, DC on February 10, 1944:
Senator Chavez, (d., N. M.) told those in the meeting
that they had “the solemn and serious business” of
seeing to it that relief goes to prisoners of the
“Toward this end, leave no stone unturned,” he urged.
“Contact your representatives in congress . . . Do not
hesitate to pester them to the point of mutual
exasperation, if need be.”
Chavez said that “because for the first time in history
an American general has had to lay down his sword, is no
reason that something should not be done” for the men
trapped by the Japanese.
He advised the organization to “act in the thought that
a dutiful government will do what it can.”
“We insist that something be done,” he declared. “You
have the right to express yourselves and petition —
that's what your boys died for on Bataan.”
Chavez said that “a month or so ago someone in the FBI
called me up and asked me if I couldn't do something to
get Dr. Spensley to keep quiet.”
He said it was alleged that Dr. Spensley was lowering
the morale of New Mexican families, many of whose sons
died or were captured in the Philippines, thru his
activities and criticism of government policy.
AUG. 5, 1943 (AP) — Washington,
D.C. — Brig. Gen. R. C. Charlton, state
adjutant general probably will stay in Washington
temporarily to act as liaison between the war department
and relatives of New Mexico's 200th, lost with the fall
of Bataan and Corregidor.
Blythe McCollum, Charlton, and Dr. V. H. Spensley,
chairman of the Bataan Relief Organization, have
conferred with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Gen.
George C. Marshall, chief of staff, and the provost
marshal of the army.
“We feel a lot better about our boys,” McCollum said.
“We've found out that every thing possible is being done
and that plans are being worked on for getting food and
medical supplies through although officials are not at
liberty to disclose such plans.”