Pacific War Memorial Museum – Beautiful Sunday
My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108
and #sublimesunday by @c0ff33a
Welcome back to another part of our adventure in the historic island of Corregidor in the Philippines. We have explored the beauty of nature, visited the gigantic cannons, wandered thru ruins and even took the courage to explore the haunted hospital. Our travel here has been most delightful so far, which has led to learning and discovery. Today I will take you with me to visit the museum on the island. Filled with relics and history from the time of war. Take a step back with me thru time as we explore the museum.
Pacific War Memorial Museum
Catch up on our previous adventures on the island by visiting the links below.
Part 7 The Mile Long Barracks
Last week we saw the ruins of the Mile Long Barracks and fortunately some of the tourist attractions are close by. We needed some rest from all the walking that we did just to reach each site.
The museum was funded by the United States government. Along with the other structures of the memorial, it was handled by Weldon Construction Company in 1968. It houses a lot of war memorabilia, photos, artifacts and weapons.
As you enter the museum, you will be greeted by a large map of the island. It indicates your current location on the island and other sites on Corregidor.
The place is well maintained and every room is air-conditioned. It is quite a relief from heat outside that is slowly building up as the sun goes high.
This is the Corregidor flag which is the first American flag that was hoisted on the island. It waved up high from December 2, 1898 up until May 14,1899. If you would notice it beared only 45 stars and it was years later until 5 more stars were added to the American flag.
On display is a photo of TIME magazine that has General Jonathan Wainwright on the cover. Up until now I had no idea who he was. As I did some research, I found out that he was the American commander of the Allied forces in the Philippines. He was the commander during the time when Philippines fell to the Japanese.
During his captivity he was the most high ranking prisoner by the Japanese. It has been documented how unpleasant the soldiers were treated in POW camps and the general was no exception. He gained much respect from the other POW soldiers and was known as the fighting general as he prepared to go thru foxholes with the soldiers during combat. He beared the burden of his surrender of Corregidor all throughout his three years in captivity and felt that he let his country down. In 1945, the prisoners were liberated when Japan surrendered. The general became very thin and malnourished due to the abuse and harsh treatment during captivity.
At his time in the prison camp in 1942 it was proposed that the general be awarded the Medal of Honor. General Douglas MacArthur strongly objected as he believed that Wainwright should not have surrendered Corregidor Island. In 1945, it was proposed again for the award to be granted and this time it was no longer opposed by MacArthur. At the time of his rescue, his first question was what the Americans back home thought about him. It was a relief from his burden to know that the Americans considered him as a hero.
On display are photos of Philippine and American generals that were appointed during the War of the Pacific. Each has their own stories to tell during the war.
The uniform of major general Albert Jones is preserved in a glass enclosure.
Not all artifacts are from the island, these badges and medallions are from Australia. Australia is an ally during the war and has their of stories of valor.
Here is a sample of a war ration book. The book included removable stamps for different types of rationed items. Due to resources shortage it was necessary and you are only allowed to certain amount of supplies per month. You cannot buy a certain item without the appropriate stamp that goes along with it. These day most people waste a lot of food and never realized how hard it was to acquire food supplies during war.
Here are other pins, patches and insignia on display.
Here a few samples of Philippine currency during this time. When I was young my grandmother told me how much value our currency had during the day. That one peso bill on the lower right hand corner of the photo is already enough to buy you groceries. Today it’s worth can only buy you one piece of candy.
Other relics found on the island which looks like to be made of brass.
The Japanese Senninbari also called the thousand stitch banner. It is known that the material is made up of 1000 stitches to give it strength. Japanese soldiers brought these banner or handkerchiefs and was used as amulets for good luck. They say that the 1000 stitches imparted it’s strength to the bearer, gave courage and protection from harm. Kamikaze pilots wore the senninbari on their suicide missions as they believe it will allow them to gain a position to bring the most damage as they give up their life for the Emperor.
Other Japanese artifacts there were recovered. My grandmother lived thru the war and I believe we have scissors very similar to the one on the photo.
An old antique map of the island and was probably used as they planned their means of defense.
This area gave me some goosebumps as I saw dog tags on display along with an old American flag. As we know these are used to identify soldiers in the event they are wounded or killed in action.
Most of them had holes in them and some are tainted. These belonged to soldiers who have given up their lives during the war. It is a sad sight to see and made me imagine the stories behind each name on the tag. Could have been a father, a brother or a son who faced the ugly face of war.
The museum gave these names honor and immortalized their sacrifice for our country. We will forever be grateful to those who gave their lives to stand against evil.
Let me leave you with a quote from Edmund Burke. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Thank you for spending a little time with me again in our visit to this museum. This tour is not over yet as next time I will be sharing with you the weapons that were recovered and used on the island. If you are interested in antique weapons you will be in for a treat.
Hope to see you again soon and make love and not war.
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All photos are original and taken with
Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens