The Island of Corregidor was bathed in blood during WWII. First American and Filipino blood, then Japanese blood. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, shortly thereafter they attacked the Philippine Islands.

The Japanese attacked the Philippines, among other places, at Bataan, which is on the Filipino mainland, across from the Manila Harbor island of Corregidor. Through February, 1942, Bataan remained unconquered, which upset the Japanese Prime Minister, Hideki Tojo. Bataan had become a symbol of Allied resistance to Japan's conquest of the Philippines. The holding out at Bataan was important, not only to the Japanese as it caused worry as to how long the resistance at Bataan would last, but it also became clear to the Filipinos that the Americans had not deserted them and would stand with them. Therefore, the Japanese determined that Bataan had to be conquered. And conquered it was in a most terrible way. April 3, 1942 was Good Friday to the Christian Filipinos and it was Jimmu Tenno Day to the Japanese, the death anniversary of the mythical first Japanese Emperor, Homma. 50,000 Japanese troops, including 15,000 new arrivals faced 78,000 American and Filipino troops. However, 9,000 of these were sick in forward areas; 25,000 were sick in unit areas; and 12,000 were confined sick in rear areas. Only 27,000 American and Filipino troops were combat effective, the others having been weakened by dysentery, malaria, starvation and beri-beri.

The first shell of the Japanese final assault exploded at 9:00 A.M. on April 3, 1942. At 6:00 P.M. on April 9, 1942, General Edward King, Jr., commander of the American and Filipino troops on Bataan surrendered. With the fall of Bataan, the battle for Corregidor commenced, and a bloody several years ensued, before this island fortress was solidly back in American and Filipino hands.

Corregidor is the largest of five islands, which are actually all giant boulders sticking above the ocean. The other four islands are: Caballo; Carabao; El Fraile; and La Monja. Before WWI, the U.S. had spent $150,000,000.00 to fortify Corregidor. Corregidor is tadpole shaped. The Spanish, when they owned the Philippines and later the Americans, saw that the fortification of Corregidor would help or prevent an attack on Manila from the sea. From Bataan on the Northwest around to Cavite on the Southeast, Manila Bay is like a semi-circle with the City of Manila, the Capital, somewhat in the middle. Corregidor is somewhat like a cork in the bottle, as ships going into Manila Bay must pass by this Island on either the North Channel or the South Channel. Naval guns on Corregidor could reach ships miles away. Therefore, once Bataan fell, it became imperative to the Japanese to take out the guns on Corregidor Island.

The Philippine President during WWII was Manuel L. Quezon, who had worked out a system of national defense for the Philippines. On New Year's Day, 1942, two Japanese columns were at the outskirts of Manila, but Pres. Quezon, chose to rebuke those Philippine leaders who were going to surrender. He chose to fight on, as did the Filipinos and Americans on Corregidor, for a long time, with little ammunition, food, water and other supplies. When Bataan fell, the source of fresh water for Corregidor was cut off.

Several times U.S. President Roosevelt ordered Gen. MacArthur to leave Corregidor. The second time was on February 22, 1942 and the third time was on March 11, 1942. President Quezon had left the Philippines on February 20, 1942 to go to the United States and head a government in exile. When he left, he put his signet ring on Gen. MacArthur's finger telling Gen. MacArthur "When they find your body I want them to know you fought for my country". Gen. MacArthur left Corregidor on March 11, 1942 with his wife, son and a contingent who went with him in four P.T. Boats. They arrived at Bogo dock of the Del Monte Pineapple canning plant in Mindanao at 7:00 A.M. on March 13, 1942. They remained there until March 16, 1942 when they left for Australia by plane arriving at Bachelor Field, south of Darwin, Australia on March 17, 1942, and then continued on south to Alice Springs, a three hour additional flight. When Gen. MacArthur left Corregidor, he uttered his famous words "I shall return" and left Gen. Wainwright in charge of Corregidor to hold out as long as possible.

On May 6, 1942, Corregidor surrendered, after one of history's greatest sieges ended, with the Americans and Filipinos virtually without food, water or ammunition left and most of the men too ill to fight. It was January, 1945, when the American forces retook Corregidor with bloody fighting and this time with many Japanese deaths, as they also held out for some time before Corregidor was retaken.

Your curator had the privilege of visiting Corregidor in February 2002 and collecting a few things from the Beaches of Corregidor. One of the amazing things to me, on Corregidor were the white rocks with pink splotches. When these got wet, the pink turned to blood red. It was as if some of the rocks on the Island of Corregidor were cognizant of the human blood shed for this solid chunk of rock projected up out of the Ocean.

Here is a rock sample when dry
exhibit #1 Dry
Here is a rock sample when wet
exhibit #1 Wet
Collection of items picked
up on Corregidor Beach
exhibit #1 Collection
Here is a rock sample when dry
exhibit #2 Dry
Here is a rock sample when wet
exhibit #2 Wet
Water Worn Rock
exhibit #1
Here is a rock sample when dry
exhibit #3 Dry
Here is a rock sample which
has had a spot made wet
to show the contrast
exhibit #3 Wet
Unidentified black rock
exhibit #2
Water worn coral
exhibit #3
Muscle shell
exhibit #4
exhibit #5
Cowrie Shell
exhibit #6
Cowrie Shell
exhibit #7
Cowrie Shell
exhibit #8
Bi-valve shell
exhibit #9
Bi-valve shell
exhibit #10
Water worn
bi-valve shell
exhibit #11