John Batchelor Show Author: Fighting for MacArthur: The Navy and Marine Corps’ Desperate Defense of the Philippines by John Gordon

There are many ways to study the history of the Bataan campaign, and books are a primary means of learning. Another way is through multimedia, whether documentary and other film, images, and even voice, through interviews of veterans and also of historians who study the campaign.

If you have never listened to radio show host John Batchelor, you are in for a treat. His show’s news magazine format allows for a relatively generous amount of time to allow useful discussion of a variety of subjects, as compared to other radio shows.

Radio personality John Batchelor (Courtesy JBS)

American author and host of The John Batcheklor Show radio news magazine.   (Courtesy JBS)

Batchelor also has great discussions with authors of books, including many historical books. One of pertinence to this web log is a book by John Gordon titled Fighting for MacArthur: The Navy and Marine Corps’ Desperate Defense of the Philippines, published by the naval Institute Press in 2011. Although the Bataan Campaign is not the focus of the book, it is certainly a key part of the account, given the naval and Marine role in the defense of Bataan, and chapters 6 through 11 cover actions related to Bataan. A description of the book as follows:

The cover of John Gordon's Fighting for MacArthur. (Source:  Amazon)

The cover of John Gordon’s Fighting for MacArthur. (Source: Amazon)

“Drawing on a rich collection of both American and newly discovered Japanese sources as well as official records and wartime diaries, Gordon chronicles the Americans’ desperate defense of the besieged islands. For the first time the story of the Navy and Marine Corps in the 1941-42 Philippine campaign is told in a single volume. He also explains why the Navy’s relationship with General MacArthur became strained during this campaign, and remained so for the rest of the war. Gordon offers much new information about the campaign during which the Navy and Marines, fighting in what was largely an Army operation, performed some of their most unusual missions of the entire Pacific War. Sailors fought as infantrymen alongside their Marine comrades at Bataan and on the island fortress of Corregidor. Sailors also manned Army heavy coast artillery batteries during the epic artillery duel between Corregidor and the Japanese guns that were massed on Bataan following the fall of the Peninsula. In these pages, Gordon recounts the only time in history when the Marine Corps lost a regiment in combat when the 4th Marines surrendered on Corregidor, and includes the most detailed account of the attack on Cavite that has ever been published.”

You can listen to John Batchelor’s 40-minute interview of author John Gordon from 27 September 2015 on podcast. The Bataan portion runs from about the 26 minute mark to the 31-minute mark, and discusses the naval role in the Battle of the Points (e.g. Longoskawayan Point, chapter 8 of the book):

If you are interested in a more detailed discussion of this book, the US Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) has shared a 66-minute long presentation by John Gordon about his book which you can view on YouTube.  The Bataan portion is discussed between the 35 minute 42-minute marks. View it at:


“John Batchelor,” Wikipedia entry, at:


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