The Long Road

American prisoners marching through Camp O’Donnell, the last area of the Bataan Death March. Hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese invaded the Philippines. The U.S. were sent to the Philippines to aid their comrades. During the battle, the allies lost a lot of soldiers and were even forced to surrender. While being prisoners of war, the Philippine and American soldiers had to march on this grueling path where they had a small amount of food and hardly and rest.

What is in the bag? A body of a soldier that died from exhaustion, dehydration, and hunger from the Bataan Death March. The March is 85 miles long and the prisoners of war only had a very small ration of food for the entire trip.

Where is the Bataan Death March? The Bataan Death March is located in the Philippines and west of the capital city, Manila.

Attack on the Harbor

Source On December 7th, 1941 made an attack on the U.S. military in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Who is that? Firing the machine gun turret is navy Messman Third Class Dorrie Miller who was registered as a mess attendant as well as a cook. 2.5 million black men registered for the draft and thousands of black women joined auxiliary units. African American men and women were separated into different groups which had little to none combat. During the attack, Miller got ahold of a Caliber machine gun and shot down the Japanese military planes.

What is this? This is a Japanese fighter plane that attacked U.S. military ships in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Leading the invasion were fighter planes and bombers followed by warships. 129 Japanese soldiers died in battle. 29 pieces of aircraft followed by 5 warships were destroyed.

Siege on the Coast of France

source On June 6th, 1944, 160,000 Allied military forces infiltrated the coast of France and was led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Many movies and video games like Saving Private Ryan, the Overlord, and Call of Duty WWII started with this scene from World War II

Soldiers were deployed from a small boat a few feet from the beach. On land, it was heavily armed with Axis soldiers manning machine guns.

When leaving the boat, soldiers are carrying hundreds of pounds in gear. Keep in mind that their clothes are wet and adding more weight.

3 Replies to “The Long Road”

  1. This is a great curation of the different images from WWII. Your focus provides a richer and more personal story into what American soldiers went through during that time.

    Something that makes me think about is the story about Dorie Miller. His work was really impactful and inspiring and yet, he fought in a war for a country that still had yet to grant him full and equal rights.

    1. I agree, I think that the inclusion of Dorie Miller really adds another complex racial dimension to the story of Pearl Harbor. I also like how you incorporated this historical drawing with real images from the event.

      I also find it fascinating that although the marching soldiers were exhausted, they still chose to carry the extra weight of their dead with them rather than leaving them behind. This is a very inspiring detail.

      Great post, Cris!

  2. Excellent selection of images around a theme. On the surface they are all about WWII. But at a deeper level they each speak to the common soldier called to action and individual sacrifice in the face of bigger geopolitical forces.

    The Bataan march is tragic to think about – these pairs of men carrying a third. Imagine that they would sacrifice their last bit of energy to do that.

    And the men exiting the landing craft into water. Attacking a beach with not a bit of shelter in sight. Knowing the enemy was well dug in. Those ominous dark clouds on the horizon.

    Miller’s story is a famous one. Manning an anti-aircraft gun with no training. Fighting back and tending to wounded men. Fighting for a country that didn’t grant him full respect and civil rights. What a symbol.

    Miller has had a frigate named for him for years, but I saw in the news that the Navy has an aircraft carrier being built now that will also be named for him. Great recognition of his heroism.

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