Bataan Road

Bataan, a peninsula in the Philippines, was an early World War II battleground, the fight lasting from January to April 1942. Although the Japanese Army emerged triumphant – over 10,000 American and Filipino soldiers were killed and 76,000 captured – it cost them crucial time in conquering other U.S. bases in the Pacific and was thus considered a long-term victory for the Allied forces. Bataan Road itself was born in 1906 as Voorsanger Avenue (namesake unknown but possibly Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger, a San Francisco-based lecturer who was known throughout California). In October 1942, the street’s residents petitioned City Council for the name change, writing that Voorsanger had “no sentimental, patriotic or historic background for any of us” and that it was “difficult to pronounce, to spell and to write.” They suggested Bataan Road “in honor of our brave boys who at Bataan wrote one of the most glorious pages in our history.”