"ONE OF THE GREATEST CASES OF FRIENDSHIP THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN"
Having to inform the Wake Marines of the atoll's surrender was the most distasteful duty of Major Devereux's career--and one of the blackest moments in his life. He referred to the experience as the "death of pride." If Devereux felt dismay in relaying Cunningham's surrender order, the defenders of Wake Island were also reluctant to comply. Like Devereux, every Latherneck in the garrison believed that surrender was too degrading for those who wore the globe and anchor. Some of the major's men thought that no Marines had ever surrendered at any previous battle in the history of the corps. The atrocities that characterized Japan's brutal war with China convinced many Wake Islanders that surrender was not only shameful but unwise. The Wake Marines were determined to go down fighting rather than be butchered like sheep.1
Furthermore, many in the garrison saw no need to surrender. They did not think defeat was inevitable--even after Admiral Kajioka's SNLF companies stormed ashore. Quite the contrary, on some parts of the atoll the Americans thought they were winning the battle.2
Devereux's success in compelling his men to lay down their arms is a tribute to the control he exercised over the Wake Island Detachment. At the outset, the only American to accompany Devereux was Sgt. Donald Malleck, who carried a white flag. The rest of the surrender party was Japanese--a junior officer who spoke English, another officer who walked behind the Marine major flourishing an unsheathed Samurai sword, and twenty jumpy SNLF men. Bypassing Battery E and Peacock Point, which had already received word of the surrender by telephone, Devereux calmly trudged up to the other defense points along Wake's south shore and