Sgt. First Class Curt Loter, a United States Army Artist in Residence with the Center of Military History, painted his interpretation of the March 19, 2023 Bataan Memorial Death March titled “Better with a Team.”
The 18” x 36” oil painting on canvas depicts a group of Soldiers from the Washington Army National Guard in the Medical Detachment coming together as a group and Soldiers from the United States Army Special Operations Command congratulating each other after finishing the 2023 Bataan Memorial March.
The Bataan Memorial Death March is held in honor of a group of heroes who were surrendered in the Philippines on April 9, 1942, at the outset of World War II, and forced to march in the scorching heat 65 miles over treacherous terrain. Thousands of Americans, to include members of the 200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard, and Philippine Soldiers died along the route and in prisoner of war camps.
Loter said the painting was produced for an international art exhibition through coordination with the French Combat Art Program and the French Museums. The theme for the exhibition is "Cohesion, Together to Act."
“Esprit De Corps was the main focus for my documentation,” Loter said. “In my experience, the best esprit de corps moments in the Army come from hardships with teammates, the Bataan Memorial Death March embodies that spirit. After documenting most of the day at various parts during the march, I witnessed the camaraderie between various Soldiers after the finish line. I knew then, that was the focus of my future piece.”
Loter said over 300 hours went into the painting from April to July.
“While producing the piece, all without a name during production, a theme was forming. Groups of competitors or Soldiers came together to embrace and conclude the hardship they had just endured, all the while single competitors seemed isolated. The name “Better with a Team" was born.”
WSMR will receive copies of the art piece for display.
The 35th Bataan Memorial Death March is scheduled for Saturday, March 16, 2024, at 7 a.m. here at White Sands Missile Range. It's the first time the race will take place on a Saturday.
The Bataan Memorial Death March is a weekend filled with commemorative events that culminate with a 26.2-mile standard route or a 14.2 honorary route taking marchers through tough, hilly desert terrain and the dreaded sand pit obstacle. After the race, participants and supporters can enjoy an exclusive concert and choose from a variety of food trucks provided by local vendors.
White Sands Missile Range will provide further information on the registration opening date, early bird specials, and an exclusive discount for past participants of the 2023 race.
The 2024 Bataan Memorial Death March will be live and in-person with no COVID restrictions.
For more information visit bataanmarch.com