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Wednesday, April 26, 2017 32° Partly cloudy

Bataan Death March survivors mark anniversary in US

Updated

By Associated Press

Military officials and a dwindling number of World War II veterans and survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippines have marked its 75th anniversary with a 21-gun battery salute and a ceremony in San Francisco’s Presidio Officers’ Club.

From left, Retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, Brig. Gen Brently White of the U.S. Army Reserves, and Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto salute during a wreath laying ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March at the Presidio's World War II West Coast Memorial Saturday, April 8, 2017, in San Francisco. On Saturday a dwindling band of veterans of the war were at the Presidio to honor the soldiers who died on the march and those who made it to a prisoner of war camp only to die there. They'll also commemorate the mostly Filipino soldiers who held off Japanese forces in the Philippines for three months without supplies of food or ammunition before a U.S. army major surrendered 75,000 troops to Japan on April 9, 1942. (Credits: AP Photo | Eric Risberg | Manila Bulletin)

From left, Retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, Brig. Gen Brently White of the U.S. Army Reserves, and Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto salute during a wreath laying ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March at the Presidio’s World War II West Coast Memorial Saturday, April 8, 2017, in San Francisco.  (Credits: AP Photo | Eric Risberg | Manila Bulletin)

In 1942, Japanese soldiers forced tens of thousands of U.S. and Filipino soldiers on a 65-mile (105-kilometer) trudge through hot jungle to a prison camp.

On a wet and windy Saturday, retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, Brig. Gen. Brently Whitely of the U.S. Army Reserves and Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto placed a flower wreath at the Presidio’s West Coast World War II Memorial while a ceremonial bugle played.

Some of the veterans who survived the death march attended an indoor ceremony at the Presidio’s Officers Club held later Saturday.

The event Saturday will also honor the mostly Filipino soldiers who held off Japanese forces in the Philippines for three months with little food or ammunition until they surrendered.

More than 250,000 Filipino soldiers served in World War II.

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