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Following the surrender of Bataan on April 9, 1942, to the Imperial Japanese Army, prisoners were massed in Mariveles and Bagac town During the march, prisoners received little food or water, and many died. Prisoners were subjected to severe treatment including being beaten and tortured. On the march, the “sun treatment” was a common form of torture. Prisoners were forced to sit in sweltering direct sunlight, without helmets or other head covering. Anyone who asked for water was shot dead.
Survivors of the march continued to die at rates of up to several hundred per day, which amounted to a death toll of as many as 20,000 Americans and Filipinos when they finally arrived at camp O Donnel (which is shown in the background of the photo). The allies treated the march as a Japanese war crime and several officers and men were subsequently executed.