A distant view of the Cabanatuan American Memorial shows the entire plaza including a concrete pathway and two flags poles.

Cabanatuan American Memorial

Overview

The Cabanatuan American Memorial was erected by the survivors of the Bataan Death March and the prisoner of war camp at Cabanatuan in the Philippines during World War II. It is located at the site of the camp and honors those Americans and Filipinos who died during their internment. ABMC, recognizing the significance of this memorial, accepted responsibility for its operation and maintenance in 1989.

Dedicated
1982
Location
Philippines

Cemetery Information

Visiting Hours

The memorial is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact Us

Cabanatuan Memorial is managed and maintained by staff at Manila American Cemetery. Please direct queries about Cabanatuan Memorial to the cemetery.

Manila American Cemetery
McKinley Road, Fort Bonifacio
1634
Taguig City
Philippines
tel 011-632-844-0212

History

The Cabanatuan Memorial, 85 miles north of Manila, honors those who died there when it was a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Approximately 20,000 American and Allied servicemen and civilians were held there from 1942 to 1945. A marble altar rests atop a 90-foot square concrete base in the center of the area. Flanking the entrance are the West Point Memorial and the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor marker. Names of almost 3,000 U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps prisoners who died at Cabanatuan are inscribed on the wall.

Significant Dates:

April 9, 1942: 75,000 Filipino and American soldiers, prisoners of the Japanese, began their infamous march out of Bataan to Camp O’Donnell in Tarlac, Central Luzon. Thousands were killed or died en route.

MID-1942: The Japanese transferred 6,000 American POWs from Camp O’Donnell to the Cabanatuan vicinity. The POWs were assigned to work details and hard farm labor. Almost 3,000 died from executions, disease, beatings and starvation.

October-November 1944: After the American landing in Leyte, the Japanese transferred some 2,000 of the Cabanatuan prisoners to vessels sailing to Japan. Unmarked, many of these ships were sunk by US aircraft and submarines. About 500 POWs remained in Cabanatuan.

January 9, 1945: Supported by the U.S. and Australian navies, the U.S. Sixth Army made landings on the shores of Lingayen Gulf.

January 28-30: 6th Ranger Battalion, reinforced by the Alamo Scouts and Filipino guerillas, infiltrated 27 miles through the Japanese-held area southeast of Guimba. They fording the Pampanga River and established positions near the Cabanatuan camp.

January 30: 6th Ranger Battalion raided the camp, killing all Japanese and freeing 512 POWs. Filipino guerrilla units blocked Japanese reinforcements. The Rangers, with Filipino guerilla escorts, led the POWs safely back through 27 miles of hostile Japanese and Communist Hukbalahap territory without loss.

January 31: The freed survivors reached Guimba and began receiving medical care.

February 3-March 4: American troops liberated Manila.

July 5: Liberation of the Philippines declared.

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