ROTC Participates in Bataan Memorial March
Contact: Katie Thomas
WARRENSBURG - 04/13/2007 - UCM's Army ROTC competed in the 18th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, NM March 25, achieving their best finish in the team's history of participation.
Individual and Team Competitions
Team members included Tanner Smith, Kyle Robinson, Clayton Hammer, Chris Kinsel, and James McGregor in the ROTC Light Category. Participants in the Male Military Light Category individual competition were Derek Hirtz, Justin Reeves, Bradley Wulff, and Andrew Carlson. The team placed second in their division, bettering last year’s time by 50 minutes.
Cadet Andrew Carlson finished first in his division. Justin Reeves, Derek Hirtz, and Bradley Wulff also placed fifth, seventh, and ninth within their age divisions.
Event Includes 26.2-Mile March
Two-thousand fifty individuals and 173 teams competed in the event. The 26.2 mile memorial march route starts on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and crosses rugged desert terrain before circling a small mountain and returning to the main post. Elevation ranges from about 4,100 to 5,300 feet.
Preparation Includes Training
UCM cadets trained extensively for more than 40 hours and covered 125 miles while preparing for the competition. Although poor weather conditions prevented many additional hours of critical training, the team still outperformed previous results.
Honors World War II Heroes
The Bataan Memorial Death March honors a special group of World War II heroes who were responsible for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor, and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines. The soldiers fought in malaria-infested regions with outdated equipment and virtually no air power, surviving on half or quarter rations with little or no medical help.
These American and Filipino soldiers were forced to surrender to the Japanese military on April 9, 1942. They were marched in the scorching heat for more than ninety miles over 6 days from the Mariveles to Camp O’Donnell and were later moved to Camp Cabanatuan. Thousands died and those who survived faced the hardships of a prisoner of war camp. Others were wounded or killed when unmarked enemy ships transporting prisoners of war to Japan were sunk by U.S. air and naval forces.