Occupied territory

13 01 2008



By milkfish, shot with HP Scanjet G3010 at 2008-02-02
Philippines, Scott N27, 1943, 33mm x 23mm

Issued to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. A Japanese infantry man with fixed bayonet stands to one side, the Imperial Japanese war ensign and a pair of warships along the other side, and a map of Manila harbor (helpfully captioned in English) makes up the central section of the design.

Some 90000 American and Filipino prisoners of war were forcibly marched almost 100 km during the infamous Bataan Death March as a result of that conquest, suffering heavy losses along the way. The natural island fortress of Corregidor was besieged for five months under constant bombardment before it was taken about a month after Bataan. This marked the end of organized resistance to the Japanese resistance in the Philippines, until the 1945 landing and subsequent victory by the Allied forces.

My parents were living as youngsters in the Philippines at that time – my mother in Manila (though she was sent to the provinces for safekeeping) and my father on Corregidor itself. Their families were effectively dispossessed as a result, one of the main reasons they emigrated to the United States in the 1950s. So, from my biased point of view, some things worked out okay.

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