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Published on: Monday, July 8, 2024 read more ...

Jonathan M. Wainwright

In 1942, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright became senior commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines. When the Philippines fell to Japan on April 9, 1942, he and thousands of others escaped to the island of Corregidor, where they hid for a month. Facing the prospect of a Japanese attack, and running out of food and other supplies, Lt. Gen. Wainwright reluctantly surrendered the island to the Japanese on May 6, 1942. He and the remaining others were forced to endure the Bataan Death March to Japanese prison camps. More than three years later, in August 1945, Wainwright was released from a liberated prisoner-of-war camp; he had been Japan's highest-ranking American prisoner. Called "The Hero of Bataan and Corregidor," he received a Medal of Honor for his efforts to defend his men, and was promoted to the rank of four-star general in September 1945. 

Medal of Honor citation:

"Distinguished himself by intrepid and determined leadership against greatly superior enemy forces. At the repeated risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in his position, he frequented the firing line of his troops where his presence provided the example and incentive that helped make the gallant efforts of these men possible. The final stand on beleaguered Corregidor, for which he was in an important measure personally responsible, commanded the admiration of the Nation's allies. It reflected the high morale of American arms in the face of overwhelming odds. His courage and resolution were a vitally needed inspiration to the then sorely pressed freedom-loving peoples of the world."

Location at Arlington National Cemetery: Section 1, Grave 358-B.