HomeNewsArticle Display

913th Airlift Group Teams Prepare for WWII Memorial March

Airmen, carrying 35-pound rucksacks, participate in the 2016 Bataan Memorial Death March with 6,600 other participants March 20 at White Sands Missile Range. The 27th annual march was 26.2 miles long and served as a reminder for today’s generation of the harsh conditions World War II prisoners of war endured during the 60-mile Bataan Death March to a prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Airmen, carrying 35-pound rucksacks, participate in the 2016 Bataan Memorial Death March with 6,600 other participants March 20 at White Sands Missile Range. The 27th annual march was 26.2 miles long and served as a reminder for today’s generation of the harsh conditions World War II prisoners of war endured during the 60-mile Bataan Death March to a prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Peruvian Air Force exchange Officer Maj. Javier Camacho, center, and U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Corbin Aldridge, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial port flight commander, cross the finish line of the 27th annual Bataan Memorial Death March, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 20, 2016. The 19th LRS team completed the World War II memorial ruck march in less than nine hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Peruvian Air Force exchange Officer Maj. Javier Camacho, center, and U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Corbin Aldridge, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial port flight commander, cross the finish line of the 27th annual Bataan Memorial Death March, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 20, 2016. The 19th LRS team completed the World War II memorial ruck march in less than nine hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Military members, civilians, volunteers and veterans begin a 26.2-mile journey during the 2016 Bataan Memorial Death March, March 20, 2016, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The annual event draws more participants each year and provides today’s generation with a reminder of  harsh conditions that World War II veterans were forced to endure during their 60-mile march to a prisoner of war camp in the Philippines (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Military members, civilians, volunteers and veterans begin a 26.2-mile journey during the 2016 Bataan Memorial Death March, March 20, 2016, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The annual event draws more participants each year and provides today’s generation with a reminder of harsh conditions that World War II veterans were forced to endure during their 60-mile march to a prisoner of war camp in the Philippines (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Participants of the 2016 Bataan Memorial Death March trek across the desert sand during their 23rd mile, March 20, 2016, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The march is 26.2 miles long and honors prisoners of war, survivors, and those lost during the notorious Bataan Death March in the Philippines.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

Participants of the 2016 Bataan Memorial Death March trek across the desert sand during their 23rd mile, March 20, 2016, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The march is 26.2 miles long and honors prisoners of war, survivors, and those lost during the notorious Bataan Death March in the Philippines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Members of the 913th Airlift Group are training to prepare for the March 17, Bataan Memorial Death March held in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

April 9, 2019 marks the 77th Anniversary of the Bataan Death March. According to the event website, the New Mexico State Army ROTC Department began sponsoring the Bataan Memorial Death March in 1989 and the number of participants have grown to 8,000.

“The story of the Bataan Death March is incredible,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Womack, 96th Aerial Port Squadron non-commissions officer in charge of aerial port operations. “I’ve coordinated teams from Little Rock for the past five years. It’s incredible to see and interact with the wounded warriors and Bataan survivors.”

On April 9, 1942, the U.S. and Filipino soldiers surrendered after seven months of battle. The tens of thousands of U.S. and Filipino soldiers were forced to become prisoners of war to the Japanese Forces. The captive soldiers were marched for days, approximately 65 miles through the scorching jungles of the Philippines. Thousands died and those who survived faced the hardships of prisoner of war camps.

“The military history and story of courage commemorated by this event draw me to it,” said Womack. “I’m not a marathon guy, but this is a great team building event. I help train and guide the teams to complete the 26.2 miles within eight hours.” 

 

Peruvian Air Force exchange Officer Maj. Javier Camacho, center, and U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Corbin Aldridge, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial port flight commander, cross the finish line of the 27th annual Bataan Memorial Death March, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 20, 2016. The 19th LRS team completed the World War II memorial ruck march in less than nine hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)
Peruvian Air Force exchange Officer Maj. Javier Camacho, center, and U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Corbin Aldridge, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial port flight commander, cross the finish line of the 27th annual Bataan Memorial Death March, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 20, 2016. The 19th LRS team completed the World War II memorial ruck march in less than nine hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)
Peruvian Air Force exchange Officer Maj. Javier Camacho, center, and U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Corbin Aldridge, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial port flight commander, cross the finish line of the 27th annual Bataan Memorial Death March, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 20, 2016. The 19th LRS team completed the World War II memorial ruck march in less than nine hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)
Bataan
Peruvian Air Force exchange Officer Maj. Javier Camacho, center, and U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Corbin Aldridge, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial port flight commander, cross the finish line of the 27th annual Bataan Memorial Death March, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 20, 2016. The 19th LRS team completed the World War II memorial ruck march in less than nine hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Harry Brexel)
VIRIN: 160320-F-GE514-100

Those interested in learning more about the event or joining the 913th AG team should contact Womack at 501-804-4487.