By Christopher Miskimon May 1942 was a dark time for Colonel Nicoll F. “Nick” Galbraith and his fellow American soldiers in the Philippine Islands. The war was six months old, and so far it seemed things were going the way of the Japanese. Much of the U.S. fleet was sunk or out of commission following the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941; what was left was busily fighting defensive actions, unable to achieve a relief of the American-Filipino force struggling to hold off the invading Japanese. The troops in the Philippines were left almost entirely on their own. Despite the odds against them, a severe lack of supplies, and near-total isolation from the United States, those troops had managed to put up a bitter, five-month-long battle that began with Japanese air attacks following close on the heels of the Pearl Harbor raid. The defenders had been compelled to fall back on the Bataan Peninsula, fighting their way gradually southward until all that was left was the bastion island of Corregidor and a few scattered units sheltering in the jungles. Nick Galbraith was one of the men caught in this maelstrom. Born in 1896, he was the grandson of a Civil War Union cavalry officer. Feeling the calling of that military tradition, Galbraith joined the Army the day the United States entered World War I. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Nick Galbraith photographed at the Bataan peninsula, January 1942. Although he was the lo


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