About 20 Aggies who participated in the Corregidor Muster — A&M’s most famous Muster, where 24 Aggies held a Roll Call for the Absent via radio under enemy fire — will be honored at the 2016 Campus Muster.
The Corregidor Muster took place April 21, 1942 during a WWII Japanese bombardment on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines that eventually overwhelmed the United States and Allied forces fighting to keep hold of it. Despite the ongoing battle, Gen. George Moore, Class of 1908, tracked down the 24 Aggies stationed on the island and held a Roll Call for the Absent by radio. When the battle ended less than a month later, survivors were sent to prison camps throughout the region.
A few months after WWII ended with an Allies victory, a famous picture was taken of 124 Aggies again gathering on the island of Corregidor on April 21, 1946 to honor the battlefield Roll Call and the Aggies who took part in it. The 2016 Campus Muster is the 70th anniversary of the photo, and survivors of the Battle of Corregidor along with those in the photo have been invited back to Texas A&M’s campus to be honored.
Marikit Tomlinson, Muster Committee awareness subchair and kinesiology senior, said Muster Committee has invited back the survivors of the 1942 Muster and the Aggies in the 1946 photo to honor their commitment to the Aggie spirit.
“When they did the Roll Call over the [radios], it came back to the U.S. and that was the first news that their families had gotten that they were still alive,” Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said the survivors from both Corregidor Musters — about 19 men from the photo and three from the actual battle — have been invited to the 2016 Campus Muster and plan to attend. They and their comrades who have died will be honored with the returning Aggie Class of 1966.
Tomlinson said when the Association of Former Students approached Muster Committee to notify them of the photo’s 70th year anniversary, members immediately knew it was something they wanted to do.
“There’s no question that we would want to invite them back to campus and celebrate that, especially because they are getting up there in age — they’re about 92 now,” Tomlinson said. “There’s probably not going to be another time for them to be honored on campus with such a sizeable group of them to be here.”