From Nuffnang

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recalling "The Great Raid" in Cabanatuan

The 2005 film The Great Raid is based on the liberation of more than 500 prisoners-of-war by a force comprising over 126 Filipino resistance fighters and American Rangers at a camp held by the Japanese Imperial Army in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. 

Cabanatuan, The Great Raid
Promotional material for The Great Raid, which opened in Philippine theaters on August 10, 2005

Preparatory action for the daring rescue started on January 27, 1944 when Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger, the US Sixth Army commander, tasked Lt. Col. Henry A. Mucci and his 6th Ranger Battalion (also known as the Alamo Scouts) to undertake the mission.

A pair of Alamo Scout teams, each under 1st Lt. William Nellist and Thomas Roundsville, infiltrated behind Japanese lines to survey Cabanatuan. Lt. Col. Mucci and a 107-strong Ranger company led by Capt. Robert Prince sneaked through enemy lines in Guimba.

On January 28, Lt. Col. Mucci met with USAFFE guerilla Capt. Juan Pajota, who had knowledge of the camp's terrain. The raid was postponed for another day based on the information gained from Capt. Pajota.  The job of determining how to get the Rangers in and out of the camp with minimal casualties was assigned to Prince.

On January 30, 1945 the raid was successfully conducted. Prince's strategy involved sending two groups of guerillas, one under Capt. Pajota and the other under Capt. Eduardo Joson, in opposite directions to hold the main road that passed by the camp. The Rangers were then divided into those who would go to the front gate and those who would come through the rear.

Following are the list of the actors and the parts they played in the 2005 film. It can be noted that there are some differences between the real-life event and the film.

Cesar Montano as Capt. Juan Pajota
Richard Joson as Capt. Eduardo Joson
Benjamin Bratt as Lt. Col. Henry A. Mucci
James Franco as Capt. Prince

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