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American Experience; Bataan Rescue

Part of Stories of East and South East Asia.

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American Experience
Bataan Rescue
Program Number


Series Description

As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

In late 1941, tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers fought a desperate battle to defend the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines from the Japanese. When they lost, they were marched to prison camps in sweltering heat through mosquito-infested jungles with little or no food or water. Many thousands died along the way. Three years later, with the war in the Pacific coming to an end, only 500 men in the Cabanatuan camp had survived the brutality of their captors and epidemics of tropical diseases. Fearing the Japanese would murder their captives before the U.S. Army could liberate the camp, the Americans sent an elite Ranger battalion to rescue the prisoners. The rangers sneaked 30 miles behind enemy lines and with the help of courageous Filipino resistance fighters, they mounted an astonishing rescue that was fraught with danger yet ultimately triumphant.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Social Issues - Violence
Military Forces and Armaments
War and Global Conflict
Global Affairs
Axelrod, David (Executive Producer)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “American Experience; Bataan Rescue,” GBH Archives, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “American Experience; Bataan Rescue.” GBH Archives. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: American Experience; Bataan Rescue. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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