"As the Japanese tightened their grip on Bataan, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to leave Corregidor and proceed to Australia, ostensibly to take command of a relief expedition. His return to the Philippines would take years, but MacArthur’s dramatic escape by PT-boat propelled him into legend as the hero the American public desperately needed during the uncertain early months of the war.
Back in the Philippines, there was no hero worship. Faced with starvation, forces on Bataan surrendered early in April. Corregidor hung on until May 6. Where did this disastrous defeat leave America and its allies? As MacArthur hunkered down in Australia and mourned the fall of Corregidor, two aircraft carriers of the US Navy sailed into the Coral Sea to counter an invasion aimed at Port Moresby on New Guinea that threatened Australia itself."