Today in World War II History—Mar. 19, 1942 POSTED: Sunday, March 19, 2017 by Sarah Sundin US soldiers listening to radio broadcast on Bataan Peninsula, 1942 (US Army Center for Military History) 75 Years Ago—Mar. 19, 1942: On the Bataan Peninsula, US and Filipino troops are put on quarter-rations. Lt. Gen. William Slim assumes command of British forces in Burma. Japanese begin drive in Sittang Valley in Burma, opposed by Chinese troops.