Night Soldiers : The Success Of The Cabanatuan Pow Camp Raid

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Night Soldiers: The Success of the Cabanatuan POW Camp Raid Japan was losing the war. Everyone knew it. United States general Douglas MacArthur knew it. Japanese general Masaharu Homma knew it. The high command back in America knew it. Lieutenant Sato, commandant of the Puerto Princesa Japanese POW camp knew it. On December 14th, 1944, every one of the 150 American prisoners of war from the camp was ordered into the makeshift shelters they had constructed for themselves for protection against air raids. The prisoners were then doused with aviation fuel, and torches were thrown inside the shelters. Of the 150 men in the camp, only eleven were able to escape this grisly death. These eleven managed to escape, somehow, and reported the…show more content…
General Krueger and G-2 (US Intelligence) officer Horton White decided on Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci, and the 6th Ranger Battalion, to make the 30-mile trip, in the dark, through enemy territory to rescue the prisoners. Mucci in turn, delegated the actual operations of the mission to Captain Robert Prince, and the company of Rangers under his command, C Company. Prince would be tasked with coming up with the plan for the raid on Cabanatuan. A platoon from F Company would also be part of the raid. Mucci, Prince and the men of C and F Companies were driven to a town called Guimba, the beginning and end point for the mission. Guimba was some 30 miles away from their objective, Cabanatuan prison camp. The march towards the camp began at 2:00 PM in the afternoon. Tramping through the dry grass fields, the Rangers were very visible. The Japanese had no knowledge of their coming, but neither did the rest of the American forces. Mucci’s position was that the element of surprise, complete and overpowering, would be the key to the success of this mission. With so many moving parts to pay attention to, the Rangers could be mistaken by American soldiers for Japanese troops. This idea did not sit well with some of the Rangers. After miles of hiking through the backcountry, the Rangers met up with a

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