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Bataan Poem

As we moved back into Bataan

We were preparing for our final stand.

The Japs moved quickly in a big rush,

We had to hide our supplies in the brush.

Many supplies were left behind

As the Japs closed our line.

Now it’s time to make a stand,

We have to depend on every man.

Guns were cleaned, ready to shoot

But were old and not worth a hoot.

Jap planes bombed and strafed

It was hard to find a place that was safe.

Before we could dig in to fight,

The Japs would break through the lines at night.

Then it was pick up and move back,

Men did not have time to get their pack.

To see men killed was nothing new,

They died with honor for they had killed a few.

It did not matter how many came,

We shot them as if it were a game.

Everyday we had to fight,

And send patrols out every night

Try to find the Japs on a spot,

So each man could get a shot.

Awake to find the Japs all around,

It’s time to give more ground.

Move back closer to the hill,

Dig in quiet and lie still.

Each man knew what he had to do,

Killings now were nothing new.

As our ranks would disappear,

We wondered if the end was near.

Food was getting hard to find,

But no one could leave the line.

Now we are as far back as we can go,

Your number may come up, but you did not want to know.

You could see Japs coming across the field,

Just pick out one you want to kill.

Shoot them as fast as you can,

When the search light makes its span.

You had to shoot or be killed,

No one wants their bones upon this hill.

What you do now, no one will ever know,

So shoot every Jap in a row.

Dismiss it from your mind,

Keep shooting every Jap you can find.

They are coming in waves,

More than we have seen in days.

Their bodies are stacking high,

It’s important not to let just one by.

Things are bad, our line is about to fold,

The number of dead will never be told.

Our line of defense has broken down,

There are bodies covering the ground.

It’s hard to see a grown man cry,

All you can say is goodbye.

It’s hard to believe what you see,

You look up and thank God, it’s not me.

Why am I saved during this savage fight?

For I never knew what I did was right.

Looking back at this killing field,

Makes you shake and feel ill.

The fight is over, our work is done,

Your body was so frail, you could not run.

The Battle of Bataan was over, the Japs have won,

The gun smoke would have to clear to see the sun.

Being captured in this place,

You could see the horror on each man’s face.

Some men had arms and legs blown away,

When the Japs came what could they say?

The hardest thing the men had to face,

Was becoming a P.O.W.; the Japs considered it a disgrace.

There is nothing more that could be done,

Because they never sent one gun.

The men on Bataan were a sacrifice,

Doomed to hell and a small bowl of wormy rice.

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