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On 6 Dec 1941, surgeon Royce Lee and her maid, Hyacinth, arrive at a thatched hut on Manoi Island in the Philippines, which is the home of Royce's fiancé, Dr. Jan Stockman. The next day Royce and Jan are married by a local priest, but a Japanese squadron flies overhead as the ceremony ends and bombs the island. Hyacinth is killed, but Jan and Royce are unharmed, and they join up with a small unit of American soldiers. While continually avoiding Japanese ground forces, the troop heads toward Manila, which is 600 miles away. After Jan is shot in a scuffle with Japanese soldiers, Royce is able to treat the wound, but when their lieutenant falls ill with malaria, he commits suicide so that he will not detain the unit and thereby place them in danger of capture. Several days later, the group reaches the rocky island of Corregidor, where American forces have stationed themselves in an underground cavern. One of the soldiers, Pinky, reunites with his girl friend, whom he affectionately calls "Hey Dutch." Royce and Dan are immediately put to work in the army hospital, and Royce finds that her former lover, Michael, who had previously left her without explanation, is also there. Although Jan believes that Royce still loves Michael, Michael insists that he left her because she tried to buy his affection when he was a struggling intern. Japanese planes mercilessly bomb the island, and the men and women stationed there have little respite from the barrage. The news of the Japanese invasion of Burma soon reaches Corregidor, and after taking stock of their diminishing supplies, the commanding officers nevertheless choose to continue to defend the outpost. Dutch is injured while working as a stretcher bearer during an attack, and she and Pinky are married as she lies in her hospital bed. Dutch dies soon after, and Royce once again reassures Jan of her love, but he is resigned to the fact that she still loves Michael. When ammunition runs out, Pinky and the soldiers engage in hand-to-hand combat with the Japanese. Jan continues to work outdoors in triage even after he is shot during an attack, but he is soon killed when a bomb drops on the makeshift hospital. Below ground, Royce delivers a Filipino baby and then receives news from Michael of her husband's death. Royce and the nurses are ordered to evacuate immediately, and she reluctantly boards the plane, vowing to reunite with Michael after the war. Pinky is the tailgunner in the plane, and dies valiantly defending the lives of the nurses. At Corregidor, the lack of supplies forces Michael to operate on the wounded without painkillers or gloves, and the radio operator files his last report, fifty-five minutes before the outpost surrenders. At home in the United States, Royce sheds tears for her lost friends.