General Douglas MacArthur was ordered to evacuate from the Philippines by President Franklin Roosevelt as the situation deteriorated.
The general, his wife and son escaped through the Japanese blockade on torpedo boats on March 11-12. MacArthur later flew to Australia and vowed “I came out of Bataan and I shall return.”
The general had retired from the army in 1937 but was recalled to active duty by Roosevelt in the summer of 1941.
He would now assume supreme command of Allied forces in the Pacific Theater (the story at the time called them United Nations forces).
A combination of factors had put Allied forces in the Philippines in a desperate situation. The Japanese were better equipped and the nation had a large cadre of trained soldiers having been at war for over half a decade. They had driven the defenders back here and in many of the places they were now attacking.
The Allied air force in the Philippines had been largely destroyed on the ground by the Japanese, despite warnings that war had come at Pearl Harbor.
America had underestimated the strength of Japan and when efforts were made to strengthen the islands it was too little and too late. War had arrived and there would be no further reinforcements.
About 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American troops were left to hold the peninsula for as long as they could.
In local news the city of San Luis Obispo planned to extend water service down Johnson Ave. to the power substation at Orcutt road.