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MARK R. HENRY, MIKE CHAPPELL
THE US ARMY IN WORLD WAR II. THE PACIFIC

THE PHILIPPINES, 1942

1: Corporal, US Infantry, Philippines Division

This corporal is among the 23,000 US and Filipino regular troops defending the Philippines against the Japanese onslaught. His khaki cotton Class C ('chino') uniform is comfortable, but its light colour and lack of durability will be found wanting in combat; his rank chevrons are displayed on both sleeves. His helmet is the M1917A1 'dishpan' with the newer khaki chinstrap. Although a small number of M1 Garands were available in the Philippines, this soldier, like most, is armed with the standard M1903 Springfield bolt action rifle. Forsaken by the US, the 'Battling Bastards of Bataan' said that they had 'No Mama, no Papa, and no Uncle Sam'.

2: 1st Lieutenant, US Cavalry

Officers' khaki shirts differed from the EMs' in having epaulettes (shoulder straps), and in the Philippines the pocket flaps were often customised as shown. This officer wears his rank bars at the end of his epaulettes and cut-out national and branch insignia on the collar points, as required in prewar regulations. This configuration was soon changed to wearing rank on the right shirt collar and branch on the left. This cavalryman has been assigned to an infantry unit and so wears the appropriate boots and leggings. His M1936 pistol belt and supenders support his .45cal semi-automatic pistol in a russet holster, web double-magazine pouch, World War I first aid pouch and (obscured here) canteen. His Thompson SMG is the prewar M1928 model with the distinctive top bolt and 50-round drum magazine.

3: Filipino rifleman

Gen MacArthur was in the process of building up the new 100,000-man Filipino Army for the impending war with Japan which was anticipated to begin no sooner than mid-1942. Unprepared for war in late 1941, they performed poorly at first, but by the time the combined US/Filipino regulars were defending Bataan they had become viable soldiers. Filipino units were led by both Filipino and US officers. This well equipped man is armed with the World War I surplus M1917 (P17) rifle and helmet. If he survives the fighting to be captured he will probably have to endure the 'Bataan Death March' - during which more than 600 US and 5,000 Filipino soldiers would die of neglect, exhaustion and brutality. He will suffer unimaginable hardship as a prisoner in Japanese hands until liberation in 1945.

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