Author Looks Back on 6th Ranger Battalion Rescue Mission

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( – This past week, author Jack Carr wrote a reflection for Fox News on a major event that turned 79 years ago on January 30. On the same day in 1945, an important rescue mission involved the Pangatian POW Camp in the Philippines was successfully completed by the 6th Ranger Battalion. 

Three days before the mission, Major. Robert Lapham, the American guerilla leader, warned that the Japanese War Ministry had issued a “kill-all order” for all the Allied prisoners at Cabanatuan. By that order, those prisoners were to be put to death right before the liberation of the island. 

According to Carr, Lapham in his message also cited that on December 14, there had been 139 American POWs put to death at the Palawan POW camp. 

The American rescue mission, led by Lt. Col. Henry Mucci, which included some elements of the Filipino guerillas and Alama Scouts, included 128 individuals who would be instrumental in the raid of the camp. At the time of planning the actions, it was believed that the camp had around 500 Japanese troops. However, it was later discovered that there were around 225 Japanese service members. Still, another 8,000 Japanese soldiers were nearby.

The Rangers started the attack at 7:45 pm on January 30. 

Carr wrote that the next day, the 6th Ranger Battalion logbook noted “Co ‘C’ and 2nd Platoon Co ‘F’ returned to Ranger Area. Mission Accomplished.” The logbook also recorded the casualties. It further pointed out that there were 510 prisoners that had been released. However, that number was later changed to 512.

A number of accounts have noted that the 6th Rangers were assigned with bringing prisoners “out alive.” 

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