Corregidor Island, a small island at the entrance to Manila Bay….

Corregidor Island, a small island at the entrance to Manila Bay. It is an important strategic point – whoever controls the island, controls Manila. And with it the Philippines. Since the Spanish first built a base on the island in 1570, Corregidor has been captured, and held, by the Dutch, the British, the Americans, the Japanese, and the Americans again.

It was taken in May 1942 by Japanese forces after months of near-constant bombardment. Corregidor marked the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese Empire. When American forces retook Corregidor in February 1945, it was another marker of the long, slow, and inexorable island-hopping campaign to push the Japanese back into Japan. That 1945 battle was the last action that Corregidor saw.

Today, it is an open-air museum. All across Corregidor are the ruins of the World War II military base, with bomb-ravaged buildings left as they were and many large guns still in place.