Aggies Dedicate Muster Monument On Corregidor Island
Susan "Sue" Owen '94
September 18, 2015 4:47 PM
updated: September 7, 2016 10:31 AM
On April 21, 2015, Aggies went back to Corregidor – this time to dedicate a permanent monument with nearly 200 names, honoring bravery, sacrifice and Aggie Spirit.
At this tiny spot in the Pacific in 1942, a simple roll call of names – those of the Aggies pinned down with the rest of the island’s defenders under bombardment from Japanese planes -- made headlines across the United States and gave hope to a nation. As the siege went on, more than a third of the twenty-four Aggies defiantly holding fast were killed. Most of the rest returned to hospitals in the States.
In 1946, Aggies gathered on Corregidor to honor them, and took the famous photo that now calls Aggies to Muster each year. (See an interactive display at AggieNetwork.com/Corregidor.)
Nearly seventy years later, an Aggie’s idea to commemorate them quickly blossomed. Donations flooded into a fund set up through The Association of Former Students. Everything that was needed was given by a few individuals and A&M Clubs.
In April 2015, an Aggie delegation made the 18-hour air journey to the Philippines, joined by friends and family members of the men who had Mustered there.
The monument designed by A&M architecture students bears the names of the 27 Aggies known to have been there in 1942, the Aggie troops who returned in their honor in 1946 and all Aggies who defended Corregidor and Bataan in World War II.
The highlight of the ceremony was remarks from Capt. Bob Epstein '44 –the only member of the '46 Muster in attendance.
Epstein said, "This is a great day to be an Aggie.”