Corregidor

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Corregidor

(kərĕ`gĭdôr'), historic fortified island (c.2 sq mi/5 sq km), at the entrance to Manila Bay, just off Bataan peninsula of Luzon island, the Philippines. From the days of the Spanish, Corregidor and its tiny neighboring islets—El Fraile, Caballo, and Carabao—guarded the entrance to Manila Bay, serving as an outpost for the defense of Manila. The Spanish also maintained a penal colony on Corregidor. When the Americans acquired the Philippine Islands after the Spanish-American War (1898), they elaborately strengthened those defenses. Corregidor was honeycombed with tunnels to serve as ammunition depots, and Fort Mills and Kindley Field were established. Fort Drum was built on El Fraile, Fort Hughes on Caballo, and Fort Frank on Carabao. The new fortifications were deemed so formidable that Corregidor became known as the Gibraltar of the East, or "the Rock." In the early phase of World War II, Corregidor's batteries guarded the entrance to Manila Bay—denying that splendid harbor to the Japanese for five months—and protected the flank of the large U.S.-Filipino army concentrated on Bataan peninsula. During those months Corregidor was subjected to one of the most intense continuous bombardments of the entire war. Its surface was churned to rubble, and the garrison was forced into the caves and tunnels. After the fall of Bataan, about 10,000 U.S. and Filipino troops under Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright fought gallantly on for a month. They were hopelessly cut off from all supplies and aid. Corregidor was finally invaded early in May, 1942, and the garrison was forced to surrender. The island was recaptured in Mar., 1945, by U.S. paratroopers and shore landing parties. It is now a national shrine.

Bibliography

See J. and W. Belote, Corregidor: The Saga of a Fortress (1967).

Corregidor

 

an administrative and judicial post in Spain and its colonial possessions; it was established in the 13th century in Asturias.

The corregidor was appointed by the crown, and his principal function was the supervision of the local administrators and judges. After the conquest of Central and South America by Spain in the 16th century, districts known as corregimientos were created in all regions with a predominantly Indian population. These districts were headed by corregidors who were in charge of organizing forced Indian labor and the collection of taxes. Analogous functions were carried out by corregidors in the Philippines. The post of corregidor was abolished in the Spanish colonies in the 18th century and in Spain in 1835.

Corregidor

an island at the entrance to Manila Bay, in the Philippines: site of the defeat of American forces by the Japanese (1942) in World War II