of Luzon Force Report II
Medical, Supply and Personnel
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A.(1) The report of the Surgeon, Luzon Force, indicates
that the defensive combat efficiency of the Luzon Force
had been reduced more than 75% during the final weeks.
This was due to malnutrition, avitaminosis, malaria and
intestinal infections and infestations. Those men on a
duty status were incapable of any long sustained physical
effort. Malnutrition had made troops particularly vulnerable
to disease. By 2 March 1942, individuals had used up their
reserve and they were deteriorating rapidly in the physical
sense and by 1 April, the combat efficiency was rapidly
approaching the zero point.
The half ration was inaugurated 6 January. In terms of
energy units the ration averaged 2000 calories during
January, 1500 calories during February, and 1000 calories
during March. The nature of the terrain in which the defense
of Bataan was conducted required, conservatively estimated,
an energy output of from 3500 to 4000 calories per man
per day. By 1 March, serious muscle wasting was evident.
The ration was deficient in vitamins A, B, and C and beriberii
became universal. This, in combination with malnutrition,
was the cause of thousands of hospitalizations.
Bataan is a malarial infested region. The supply of quinine
was inadequate for prophylaxis and by 1 March, there were
500 daily malarial admissions to hospitals and by 1 April,
this had reached the rate of 1,000 cases daily.
A serious shortage of drugs for treatment of all types
of dysentery and hookworm was existent during the Bataan
campaign. Convalescence from all disease was slow, due
to the inadequate diet and blood building drugs. At the
time of surrender, there were over 12,000 patients in
rear area hospitals.
(2) The ailment of nerve fatigue became prevalent due
to constant enemy bombing, shelling, and the absence of
any counter activity, particularly in the air, on the
part of our forces. During the early stages of the defense,
it was noted that Philippine Army stragglers, in rear
areas, kept their arms and equipment and could be rallied
and returned to the front. However, during the latter
stages of the defense, stragglers carried neither arms
nor equipment, and it was impossible to return them to
the front except by force. They were surly and physically
exhausted, as well as mentally unequal to further combat
duty. It had been impossible to relieve front line troops
and send them to quiet areas in the rear for rest periods.
There was no quiet area in Bataan, due to incessant enemy
bombing and strafing.