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Bataan Death March Begins: April 9, 1942

April 9, 1942, marks the beginning of the Bataan Death March, in which tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were forced on a grueling 65-mile trek across the Philippine island of Luzon, following their surrender to the Japanese. Thousands of men died on the march, and thousands more would die later in POW camps.

Fold3 Image - Photos from the Bataan Death March
Directly after the bombing at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese bombed Clark Field in the Philippines as part of their campaign to take control of Southeast Asia. This and other raids left the Philippines without air power when the Japanese landed 43,000 troops on the main island of Luzon on December 22, 1941. The American and Filipino troops, under General Douglas MacArthur, retreated to the Bataan peninsula, where they resisted the Japanese for months, enduring starvation, disease, and exhaustion in addition to the fighting.

Finally, on April 9, 1942, Major General Edward King surrendered all 76,000 American and Filipino troops under his command to the Japanese. (General MacArthur had by this time evacuated first to Corregidor, then Australia.) The prisoners of war were divided by the Japanese into groups of 100 to begin the journey to the POW camps at Camp O’Donnell.

The arduous 65-mile trek in blazing hot temperatures lasted about 5 to 10 days, and the already enervated men were allowed little food or water. They also faced numerous instances of brutality by their Japanese captors, from beatings to killings

The men were marched dozens of miles to a rail station at San Fernando, where they were crammed a hundred at a time into boxcars meant for 40. Additional men died on this train journey from suffocation, exhaustion, and dehydration. Estimates vary widely, but at least 500 Americans and 2,500 Filipinos (though likely far many more) died on the march and in the boxcars.

Things did not improve for the tens of thousands of men who survived to reach the POW camps. There were far more prisoners of war than the Japanese had anticipated, and conditions in the camps were horrific. Several hundred men died a day, with total deaths in the camps estimated at around 1,500 Americans and 26,000 Filipinos.

After the war, the Bataan Death March was designated a war crime, and various Japanese military leaders were executed or imprisoned for their role in it.

Do you have any relatives who are Bataan survivors? Share their stories with us! Or find more information about the battle and ensuing march by searching on Fold3.


  1. I knew Sgt. John Potts, survivor of the Bataan Death March, personally. I served with him in the 31st Inf. Reg. during the occupation of South Korea. Gen. Douglas MacArthur came to South Korea to celebrate their independence August 15, 1948.Gen MacArthur came to Sgt. Potts and personally thanked him. I will never forget either of them.

  2. Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

    Hi! My uncle Elmer W. Vanderburg was one of those VERY many US and Filipino soldiers who was forced to walk that incredibly horrible Bataan Death March. He did survive the march, only then to be forced into the POW camp of Camp O’Donnell. He was treated brutally, as were many, many others, starved, and he finally died of malaria on (what we have been told) was May 19, 1942. Three of his platoon buddies watched him die, and thankfully they survived. I’m not sure if any of them are still living, but they were up until about 15 years ago or so. One lived in MY, one in Georgia, and the third I don’t know where he lived. Years ago, (like maybe 30 years ago) another uncle of mine (Elmer’s brother AND my dad’s brother) was on a house exchange vacation in NY and one evening he was reading a copy of Reader’s Digest that this other family had in the home. He cam across an article about the Bataan Death March, and lo and behold, THERE was a photo of his brother Elmer (this uncle I’m telling you about) with his three buddies sitting on the ground with those three buddies, under the rifles/bayonets of the Japanese captors. My uncle Van knew immediately that this was his brother, and to make a really long story short, he contacted Reader’s Digest, and then was able to be in contact with two of these “buddies”, where upon he found out what actually happened to Elmer. For more than 50 years none of our family actually knew what happened to him for sure, and he’d actually been considered MIA/POW by the military for most of that time. As a kid I always wondered what he looked like and if maybe sometime I may have crossed paths with him and never knew it. I always loved him, even though I never knew him. Then, through the military we were able to find out that he was buried (or maybe more like memorialized) in the American Military Cemetery in Manila. One of my aunts went to the Philippines about 20 years ago and actually saw his headstone/cross at his burial plot, but when I wrote to them about 5 years ago, they never responded back to me if my uncle’s actual remains are buried there on not, or if it’s just a plot memorializing him. I still want to know if his remains are actually buried there or not, because if they are, I’d love to have them exhumed and brought back to the cemetery here in the US where my parents and other family members are buried so he can have a place of honor there. There’s a veteran’s memorial park at the cemetery, as well as in town (Holland, MN) and my uncle’s name holds a very special place in that memorial park as a “GOLD STAR SON” because of how he died. I’m also still REALLY upset about how our own government abandoned those soldiers, telling them to surrender, and then they (like Mc Carthur) fleeing the island to safety, letting ALL those people die. He DID abandon them; the lied about saying “We will return”, and then the NEVER did! They/he took my uncle away and because of that, I never got a chance to know him, and I’m sure if he did, he would have been much like my dad and some of my other uncles and I’d have loved him very much. Thanks for listening.

    • Linda says:

      Doreen. I would suggest that you read a factual book about the Death March. There are many available. I’m not certain that your statements about being left behind by their own command are accurate.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Hi Linda- It’s matter of historical fact that our government told those in command in the Philippines to surrender to the Japanese and that’s why things like the march could happen, and it’s also a well known fact that General MacArthur left the Philippines (my words… he fled!) and told the forces that were left behind that he’d be back, which he never did. So much suffering because of our governments actions, or more likely, lack there of.

    • Beverly Atkins says:

      Thank you for sharing your heart felt story. It makes it so very real. It is good to honor your uncle this way as he lives on in your heart.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Thank you, Beverly….it’s nice to know that someone cares!

    • Michele Anderson says:

      Doreen, contact the American Battle Monuments Commission to see if you can find out more about your uncle’s internment. This organization is in charge of our overseas cemeteries. The Manila superintendent should be able to tell you more about his burial. You can also request his file from St. Louis that may also provide more information about his time in service.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Interesting that you should mention that….I JUST got a reply email back from the American Manila Cemetery 3 days ago about a note I had sent them regarding my uncle’s “interment”. A VERY nice woman by the name of Carol Tyler was able to locate my uncle’s grave and cross, photograph it along with some other pictures of the cemetery there and then she sent them to me! I was VERY touched and will be sharing them with my cousin who also is big into family genealogy like me. She also answered a 75 year old question for our family. We’d always wondered if my uncle’s actual remains are there at the cemetery or is the cross only there as a memorial to him, and she told me that ANYONE there with a cross of any kind, that soldier’s remains are there. A few times before when I tried to find this out, no one would give me an answer, so now I’m really happy that I know he had a dignified burial after such a horrific last 6 week of his life.

    • Anton Vesely says:

      Thanks for sharing that touching story; I now feel less separated from the human race.

    • Donna Beverley-Meise says:

      Hi Doreen
      Have you obtained a copy of his I.D.P.F. ( Individual Deceased Personnel File)?
      If you haven’t, I strongly suggest you do.
      When I obtained the files for my family members, they were housed at Fort Knox – now I believe they are located at the National Archives…their website should have information.
      You will find a wealth of information within his file – but be prepared as it will be very emotional to read.

    • Nancy G Chesnutt says:

      Actually, MacArthur did return to the Philippines. Haven’t you seen his much published photo wading ashore and getting his trousers wet? My father was stationed in Australia and New Guiana during World War II and had friends on the Death March. I would not buy a Japanese made car as long as he was living. He did not even want my husband and me to make a trip to Japan years after the war. When Truman fired MacArthur he came home for lunch that day and said he had been ordered not to discuss it. I think it is true that the ship carrying prisoners to Japan was actually bombed by our people because they did not know it carried American prisoners. Can anybody comment on that>

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Yes, but MacArthur never returned to the Philippines until AFTER 1945! All those years that our poor service men/women suffered, over three years, while he was sitting safely in Australia.

    • Jerry C. says:

      There is a memorial to Elmer on Find A Grave, which also has the Reader Digest magazine photo showing Elmer in a large group of POW’s. A link to the page is:

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Hi Jerry-
      Yes, thank you. I placed it there about 10 days ago. I like to try and find ways to honor his memory. Thanks for noticing it!

    • John says:

      I agree about reading some history about the incident. The men were left behind…true. The government knew what would happen if they became POWs (they hoped different…but we had plenty of info by then about the Japanese bushido code, and its contempt for POWs). But there were no reinforcements…NONE. We were at the beginning of a war for which we were not prepared and in which our Republic had endured terrible blows (Pearl Harbor, Wake Island…). We were not ready to strike back until April 1942 when we finally struck back with a handful of B-25s flying off of a carrier (which was not an approved flight maneuver…never done before) to bomb the Japanese mainland. Read the history…know the truth. Research what happened to these men who sacrificed so much for the Republic.

  3. Theron P. Snell says:

    Last week end, groups held a memorial march at White Sands in memory of and honor of the Death March. Two NM National Guard outfits were in the Philippines and the men experienced the death march. IT is still a living moment here in New Mexico.

  4. B L Bailey says:

    My cousin William Wight was on the march and survived only to die when the ship on which he was being sent to Japan was sunk. His brother Don was on Corregidor and survived the war and is still living. Had 5 other cousins, a missionary and his family who were also imprisoned and rescued from Los Banos camp by US army and the Phillipine guerrillas.

    • Burley Johnson says:

      Hi B L Bailey, My grandfather was on the march and also ended up on a Japanese ship that was sunk by our own weapons. My mother, who had been in the Phillipines with her father prior to the war, heard of the nature of his death years after the war ended. My grandfather’s name was George Zimmerman and he was an army veterinarian who took care of the horses used by other servicemen in the Phillipine Islands. My mother is still living and is 93 years old. Do you have any more information or references about the Japanese ship or the soldiers who perished on that ship? I would appreciate anything you can share. Thanks to all your family for their service.

    • JL Davis says:

      I have a relative that was a nurse on Corregidor. She has passed and would never discuss it with us. Does anyone have information about the nurses at Corregidor?

    • Mannie says:

      JLDavis, read “We Band of Angels” about the nurses on Bataan. It’s on Amazon.

    • JLDavis says:

      Many thanks, I will

  5. Deanna Rainwater says:

    Anyone remember Earle Gene Hilliard?

  6. Sherri Andrews says:

    My late father was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. His name was Harold Kinney Burns. He didn’t talk about it much but suffered the rest of his lie, both physically and emotionally. Always my hero.

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      His memory is being kept alive here in NM.

    • Doreen Bruhnke says:

      Oh……………………….a TRUE hero!! Bless him (and you for caring for him so much!) You’re SO lucky to have in your life still. He must be in his 90’s, huh? My uncle who died because of the after-affects of being on the death march (beatings, starvation, malaria) would have been 102 this June if he HAD survived. SO bless your whole family!

  7. Julia McMurray says:

    I recently read a book “We Band of Angels” by Elizabeth Norman that told the story of the nurses that were imprisoned by the Japanese on Bataan. It is a story not often told of the role of women during WWII. For anyone searching for women in nursing during that period, it is a great resource.

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      Many civilians and some of the nurses were interned at the Santo Tomas. This included the civilian crew of the S.S. CAPILLO. No picnic at all either; six of the crew died in the camp.

    • Don Propp says:

      This blog is a fascinating read! Thanks everyone for sharing your families’ tragic stories about Bataan and the death march.

      Does anyone know if some of the female nurses mentioned in this comment were forced on the march? It was hard enough for battle-toughened soldiers. I can’t imagine what it would have been like for women who didn’t receive combat training and were there solely to help the wounded, and not to kill.

    • JL Davis says:

      Thank you. I have a relative that was a nurse there

    • JL Davis says:

      Thank you

  8. Dave Derryberry says:

    I worked at Brookhaven Lab in NY with Bill Patton, who was a survivor, but wouldn’t talk about it much. The thing I remember most is that he was terrified of snakes, because he’d seen many buddies die of snakebite while on the march.

  9. Edith G Smith says:

    Pvt. Johnnie Alonzo Smith was one of those brave men who survived until release after Victory in Japan. Johnnie was only 17 years old when he enlisted in 1941 and was on Bataan for the death march. His stories of that march and the Hell Ships that took the boys to Japan for forced labor only were really told after the war department finally released them from their orders not to talk. Johnnie elected to enter the Air Force after the war where he rose to Master Sergeant. He was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base when I married his brother Charlie in 1949. While there he was a witness to several of the test bombings in the desert. He was a victim of continued bouts of malaria as a result of his POW days, but would not report them for fear of being discharged. Before his death a few years ago, Johnnie received all 7 of the Purple Hearts that were his due. We loved Johnnie so much and greatly appreciated his sacrifices for us and for this great land of ours.

  10. Suzanne Dunkley says:

    My grandfather, Albert Russell Ives, was captured and somehow managed to survive the march and imprisonment despite the horrors he endured. He actually kept a journal which is in the possession of another family member. He was an officer at the time and was permitted to ride on a cart for part of the march. Officers were treated better than their lower ranking compatriots, so he managed to pass some of his insignia to other men in order to ease their ordeal.

  11. Edward D White says:

    My uncle Gerald E. Edson survived the Bataan Death march to be interned at camp O’Donnell. He died April 22, 1942 while imprisoned. Our family never knew the cause of death. I was only 3 months old when he left for the Philippines and was the only nephew he ever saw. I only knew one other survivor of the death march, but he never really talked about it.

  12. Herman Meyer says:

    The parents of a friend were on the March. As Quaker missionaries they undoubtedly posed an obvious threat to the Japs.

  13. Victoria Doane Drougel says:

    My uncle Archie Doane survived the march, but died in the POW camp.
    My grandpa and dad & mom met the train with the flag draped coffin.

  14. Christine Matranga Banks says:

    My uncle, Luke Mondello, was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He spent 3 years in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp. The Japanese let him make a recording that was sent to my mother but they told him what to say. I still have the record. He was a wonderful man

  15. Constance Sickenger says:

    My husband’s uncle, Richard C Prettner, survived the death march but died in the POW camp on May 20, 1942, of malaria. Is there anyone who remembers him or knows anything about him?

  16. Debbie says:

    My Dad’s Cousin, James Frank Snyder, soldier of the 31st Army Infantry, was stationed in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded the Island. James survived the March and but was sick with dysentery. When he was sick he told a friend that if he doesn’t survive, that when he is free to go to Dillsboro, NC and find his father Theodore Snyder who lives there. Tell him what happen to me and the rest. James did survive and his friend did just that after the surrender. There is a book by Abie Abraham, Oh, God, Where are You? Abraham who was in the Death March as well, kept notes of the soldiers he met, names, hometowns and their own words were written throughout this book. James was mentioned twice. It’s a fascinating, well written book. For the family of James, it had to of been a comfort to see his named written and the words he spook there to read. James body is still in the Philippines, his Dad was afraid it wasn’t his son so they buried him there. I urge everybody to read this book, your relative maybe mentioned within those pages.

  17. Lauretta Friese says:

    My late Husband, Roy Edward “ED” Friese, was on Bataan then Corregidor in WW II. He was not on the Death March but was surrendered a month later then suffered for 3 1/2 years as a prisoner of the “Japanese Imperial Army”. We married in 1974 so I attended many reunions with him. It was my privilege to meet, besides the Military, the Nurses, Missionaries & Civilians who had been interred. They ALL had such a bond with each other because “no one else could understand what we went through”. It was after he met Japanese people who had also suffered in their own nation during those years that he was able to somewhat forgive but he could never forget! He still had PTSD symptoms ’till he passed away last November at age 94. He had a happy, cheerful disposition — being thankful to God for the extra years he’d been given. Most of all, he looked forward .to that great resurrection day when he’ll be reunited around God’s throne with so MANY of his old buddies. They’ll be able to swap war stories through eternity but only recalling the happy experiences they shared. No more tears, no more sorrows, most of all , no more wars !!!

  18. Charlene Culp Knop says:

    My father made the March the rest of his life.

  19. George Thompson says:

    My uncle Marion Thompson of Lancaster County, South Carolina, is one of the valiant American heroes who did not survive the Bataan Death March. Years ago (1977) his son, Sidney, told me that after the war his dog tags were found with a skeleton. My father’s brother now lies honorably buried in the peninsula where he died.

  20. Gail Fail says:

    When I was a little girl, our family doctor, whose name I don’t remember, was a survivor of the march. He had several fingers missing. They had been cut off by Japanese soldiers when he disobeyed or tried to help the sick and injured around him.
    He could no longer do surgery but was a wonderful and compassionate family doctor.

  21. J. Blakemore says:

    In remembrance of two Bataan survivors that I personally knew. Art Funk, a co-worker of my father, I knew as a child.
    As a college art student, I knew Joseph Memoli and displayed my paintings in his restaurant.
    Much respect for both men.

  22. Charles A. Rau says:

    This is my Mom’s cousin.

    Leland Doyle Mayfield
    Born: 08 Jan 1921 Copan (Co-pan), Washington, Oklahoma
    Died: 20 Nov 1942, Phillippines
    Father: Elmer (Ell) A. Mayfield
    B: 19 Jun 1872 Arkansas
    D: 16 May 1950 Bartlesville, Washington, Oklahoma buried in Elcado
    Cemetery, Peru, Chautauqua, Kansas
    Occupation : Oil Field Pumper
    Mother: Hettie May Stabler
    B: 15 May 1878 Cascade, Kansas
    D: 04 Mar 1938 Bartlesville, Washington, Oklahoma buried in Elcado
    Cemetery, Peru, Chautauqua, Kansas
    Married: 20 Nov 1899 Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas
    Sister: Pauline Jewel Mayfield (Busmann)
    B: 31 Dec 1901 Kansas
    D: 14 Feb 1966 buried in Sunnyside Cemetery, Caney, Montgomery,
    Married: Kansas to Amos Busmann
    Brother: Wayne Boyd
    B: 1906 Kansas
    Occupation: Lineman for Telephone Company
    Sister: Corinne
    B: 13 Dec 1911 Belleville, Chautauqua, Kansas
    D: 25 Dec 1918 Kansas buried in Elcado Cemetery, Peru, Chautauqua,

    Brother: Lowell Neil
    B: 03 Feb 1915 Kansas
    D: 02 Jun 1982 San Diego, San Diego, California

    Married: 1947 to Ruby J. Todd
    Divorced: Aug 1973 Oxnard, Ventura, California.

    Married: 06 Apr 1974 to Elizabet L. Pirie, San Diego, San Diego, California

    Military: Enlisted in US Navy 14 Sep 1940, released 08 Apr 1960.
    During WWII was Aviation Machinist on the Casablanca Class Escort
    Carrier CVE-87 USS Steamer Bay from mid 1944 until end of the war.
    Was a guard at Point Mugu Naval Base in 1963.

    Time Line:
    Family lived in Copan (Co-pan), Washington, Oklahoma in 1920.
    Family lived in Bartlesville, Washington, Oklahoma in 1930.
    Graduated ‘College High School’, Bartlesville, Washington, Oklahoma 1939.
    Enlisted into US Army at Tulsa, Oklahoma 26 Jul 1940 for the Infantry.
    Requested to go to the Phillipines.
    Transferred to USAAC (United States Army Air Corps).
    Sent to Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas for training.
    Assigned to 34th Pursuit Squadron 28th Composite Group.
    Squadron reassigned to Hamilton Field, California 30 Nov 1940 as part of the West Coast Defense Force.
    Squadron personnel moved to the Port of Entry, San Francisco, California and departed on the SS President Coolidge, arriving in Manila, Philippine Islands on 20 Nov 1941.
    Upon arrival, Squadron was assigned to Del Carmen Field, Luzon and attached to the 24th Pursuit Squadron.
    Japanese started air attacks in Philippines on 08 Dec 1941.
    Planes were obsolete to the Japanese aircraft and by 12 Dec 1941 most had been shot down in combat or destroyed on the ground and only 8 airworthy planes left out of over 40.
    Orders received to move to Bataan Peninsula 20 Dec 1941 with only 5 planes left.
    Last two planes flew to Mindanao 11 Jan 1942. Remaining ground personnel were ordered into ground combat. As an infantry unit, the men were engaged in beach defense of the Bataan Peninsula.
    Sgt. Leland Mayfield was assigned to Second Platoon led by Lt. Pagel.
    Sgt. Mayfield s/n 18019761 was captured 02 Apr 1942.
    Major General Edward Postell King, Jr. surrendered forces on Bataan 09 April 1942.
    Lieutenant General Jonathan Mayhew “Skinny” Wainwright IV surrendered forces on Corregidor 06 May 1942.
    Sgt. Mayfield survived Bataan Death march and was placed into O’Donnell POW Camp.
    Moved to Cabanatuan POW Camp and placed in Camp 1 in July 1942.
    Died in camp from *Pellagra Disease on 20 Nov 1942.
    Leland was buried in a mass grave #718 about a mile and a half outside the camp perimeter with 12 other men who died that day.
    According to Military records, after the war the remains in grave #718 were found and all 13 men were identified. The men in the prison camp kept track of who, when and how the other men died.
    A lot of the dead were buried at Manila at a cemetery according to the ABMC Tablets of the Missing. (American Battle Monuments Commission). This Commission was created by General Pershing after WWI and responsible for foreign soil Cemeteries for American War Dead. Leland’s name was not listed as an X-File in this document.
    Documents show that Leleand’s body was sent home along with another soldier. It shows Elmer A. Mayfield as NOK (next of kin).
    Application made for Military Headstone made by his Father Elmer (Ell) on 15 Jun 1949.
    Headstone marker placed on cemetery plot in Elcado Cemetery, Peru, Chautauqua, Kansas..

    *Pellagra Disease
    Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency disease most frequently caused by a chronic lack of niacin (vitamin B 3 or vitamin PP, from pellagra-preventing factor) in the diet.

    Every soldier who passed away during the war has an IDPF (Individual Deceased Personnel File) which shows information about how, where and when he died and where his body was sent and buried. There is an application to get this form from the military. I’m sure there is a fee for this.
    Through the above website, there is a suggestion that not all of the right remains got to the right families. This is a possibility for the DNA test. The other serviceman that came back to the states with Leland may be in question and they want to make sure of the right person. It also has the address at Ft. Knox, Tennessee to write to help in getting his IDPF.

  23. MPTodd says:

    More of a curiosity than a comment. My father was a Marine and served in the Pacific. He passed on the story of the Battle of Bataan. The town I grew up in was Maywood, Illinois. It is said that besides the street memorializing the awful action, Bataan Drive, runs along the south side of the Eisenhower Expressway from Maywood through Broadview; there is a tank in the park on Fifth Avenue along with a plaque with the names of many that lost their lives. The location was chosen, as I was told, as many of the men were from Maywood and other local areas. Does anyone know if this is true? I have always admired all of those in the Pacific of WWII. Thank you for your time.

    • WithMuchRespect says:

      To MPTodd:

      I, too, lived near Maywood Illinois. Here’s the intersection of Maywood and a place in history.

    • MPTodd says:

      Thank you.

    • Lauretta Friese says:

      So encouraging to know those people have not been forgotten! My Husband, Roy Edward Friese , was a lifetime member of the American Defenders of Bataan And Corregidor. This organization has been taken over by their descendants & is still very active — the ADBC Memorial Society. For a lot of information go to

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Hi! I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’m going to find out because I live not too far from there, so I will let you know what I find out, and post my finding here again!

    • MPTodd says:

      Thank you.

  24. Nora Clark says:

    This book is out of print but available through It is an excellent account of the Bataan Death March as well as transport to Japan, etc. Well worth your time to read.

  25. Mary Cipolla says:

    My dad, Wilson Harman Snow, was in the Bataan Death March. He was a Staff Sargent in the Army. He was transferred to a POW camp on Pine Tree Island, Japan. The Americans did not know the camp was there and it took several days after the bombing of Nagasaki to finally find them. Wilson weighed 80 pounds and suffered from 9 diseases when repatriated. He never talked about his experiences but became a firefighter when he returned. Thank you for your service Dad.

  26. Beverlee Lanning says:

    Here’s a great book!
    Beyond Courage: One Regiment Against Japan 1941-1945 by Dorothy Cave

    • Jean Gerry says:

      I was going to suggest this book. Dorothy married my uncle, Jack Aldrich, after my aunt died. My dad, Robert Aldrich and his brother Jack both survived the Bataan Death March and 3 1/2 years in prison camp. They were from New Mexico. Both have passed but they will always be my hero’s.

  27. Celinda Williams says:

    My Uncle Robert E Williams was killed just days before the march; he was MIA for 3 years before the family was notified. And it was another 3 years before his body was returned to the United States. A good reading is “Tears in the Darkness” about Ben Steele who did survive the March. From what I can tell Ben was stationed with my Uncle in the 7th Materiel Squadron/Provisional Air Corps Regiment. One of my Uncle’s friends Edward Hayes also enlisted at the same time as my Uncle. My father, having known Edward has always wondered what happened to him. Perhaps one of you may know of Edward. I always wished I could have known my Uncle Robert.

  28. One is humbly grateful for the suffering individuals and families endured for the future benefits of those of us who could not.

  29. Shelba Davis says:

    Mary Chestnut – My dad’s cousin was among the captives who were
    being taken to Japan to be used as slave labor. According to a survivor/friend, the ship transporting them was not marked with a red cross which would have told our planes that it had POWs on it, thus our planes bombed the ship. According to him many of the prisoners on the sinking ship jumped into the ocean and were attempting to swim to a nearby island. The Japanese began machine gunning the swimmers. Dad’s cousin died, but his friend survived and told our family.

  30. Janet MacKenzie says:

    My mother was engaged to a Dr. Art Bennison. She found out he was on one of the ships that was blown up by US planes. One of the nurses told my mom at the end of the march he was about 80 lbs and had malaria. Mom later married a Captain in the Air Force who had survived WW2 in Europe. After she died we found many letters from “Benny” some from “Art”. Tough times for sure. Anyone seen his name any place?

  31. Sandra Merrill says:

    My grandfather Donald McCutcheon was at the Bataan Death March in April 1943 becoming a POW for over 3 years of Japan until Sept. 5, 1945! When he was finally released in 1945 he went back on another ship just a short while after release despite being severely malnourished, having various tropical diseases, the many physical beatings he had to recover from & who knows what mental trauma. No respite, no months of rehab, no counseling and served the Navy for several more years. My mom & Aunt were very young so they don’t remember. Sadly he died in 1953…a homeless man, under a bridge, wrapped in a military blanket found by police.

  32. Elizabeth Sinor says:

    My grandfather Cmdr Jackson M Rightmyer (although not that rank at the time) was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He was a POW for 5 years, I believe. He passed in 2000.

  33. George B. Martin says:

    My father-in-law, Diosdado (“Dado”) Garcia, was in the Photographic Squadron in the Philippine Army Air Corps at the time of Pearl Harbor. The Philippines, of course, was a U.S. commonwealth at the time, so all branches of the Philippines military service were under U.S. command. Dado was one of the lightly trained Filipinos who were told to hold out on Bataan the best they could, but they were easily overpowered and captured by the well-trained Japanese troops. Like so many others, Dado was forced to endure the Death March from Bataan to the prison camp in Tarlac.

    As many have eloquently described, the conditions endured by the prisoners, during the march itself and afterwards in the prison camp, were horrific. Dado was fortunate enough to survive, barely, in part by his assignment of distributing the putrid rice to other prisoners. Kernels that stuck to the ladle meant extra portions for him! When they passed through sugar cane fields, he got a little (okay, very little) added nutrition by chewing on the sugar cane and getting some sugar into his mouth. Dado contracted malaria, scurvy, dysentery, and other ailments. He was 5’10” tall and his weight was down to 75 pounds.

    After some months in the prison camp, his Japanese jailers basically let him out to die, which he did – more than 70 years later! Some released prisoners were treated to a feast, which often proved fatal. The sudden large food intake after a lengthy period of severe malnutrition was too much to adjust for. Dado’s wife was a nurse. She understood the circumstances, and she just gave him water immediately, and only gradually did she increase his food intake. Dado made a full recovery, but it took quite some time. His recurring chills from malaria lasted an additional six months.

    I first met him in 1979 – four years after he migrated from the Philippines to Canada. He maintained remarkably good health well into his nineties. He died in 2014, four months before he would have turned 100 years old. I would note two interesting things about the aftermath of his war time experience. One is that he never had any lingering resentment or anger toward the Japanese people. It was like: war is hell, and for everybody who is a part of it. The second thing is that we made an interesting discovery when he was 97 years old (and had been a widower for a long time). At that time, his health began to fail and it became apparent that he could no longer live in his independent apartment. Some of his children went through the contents of his apartment, to see what items should be kept, and what should be disposed of. In his dresser drawer, my wife found her father’s Purple Heart. Dado had that item for over 60 years, and none of his children knew anything about it!

    He was one of the most remarkable people I have ever known.

  34. Edward Blume says:

    My dad wasn’t in the Philippines until the battle of Leyte Gulf aboard the Battleship U.S.S. Tennessee (BB-43) as a Radioman who aided in the liberation of the Philippines. On the night of his 18th birthday, 20 October 1944, he was ordered along with the rest of division to hunkered down during that night, as his Battleship and as part of the Third Fleet participated in the Battle of Surigao Strait, in decimating Nishimura’s “Southern Force”.

  35. Joanne Andres says:

    My Grandfather Procopio S. Esguerra was one of the people who rescued the American Pows. He used the name of a family member, Joson, who was more known than he was to be able to gather the men needed to follow him in his pursuit to free the pow’s. Joson, who was my grandfather’s brother in law, agreed with my grandfather to use his name while Joson was in Manila. My grandfather gathered the men and was the actual person who orchestrated the attack on the Japanese to be able to release the American pow’s. General McArthur gave my grandfather his gun and received a metal but Joson’s name was the one in the history books.
    I remember my grandfather used to tell us these stories over and over again and we didn’t want to listen anymore. My mother knows more of the stories he used to share than I do. I also remember him taking a book about “The Great Raid” and he would take a pencil and cross out things and add things to it. We lost the book during the move. When my grandfather wanted to visit Philippines to see his family after moving to California with us, he immediately returned because he was threatened in Philippines by Joson. Joson’s sister even flew here to CA to meet with my grandfather to ask him to not go home to the Philippines anymore because his brother was plotting to kill him if he did go back to Philippines. Joson feared that my grandfather would tell the truth to others and the word would get out that my grandfather was the actual hero and not Joson. My grandfather never went back to the Philippines and died here as a veteran hero in CA.

  36. J Gallivan says:

    I was born in WW2 and raised in Carlsbad NM where many soldiers on the march were from.
    I remember seeing physical disasters of returned soldiers leading the Veterans Day parade. One lived near me.
    There is a bridge over the Pecos River named the Bataan bridge.

  37. Michelle Dorene McGough Couch says:

    My dad was a Bataan Death survivor. His name was Rudie Mark McGough. Along with two other prisoners of war the three helped each other walk,shared food , and kept each other a live. All three died in their late 30’s and 40’s , because of what they went through . They were prisoners for 42 months and saw the dust of the bombs that we dropped on Japan. My dad was 46 when he died ,I was only 13 . I have his papers of his account of what he went through that he had to give our government .

  38. Gerry Lindsly says:

    What an incredibly touching story. It brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to you. My dad was in the navy and served in the Philippines a couple of years after that horrific march. Fortunately, he came home safe, but so many did not.

  39. Genevieve Miller says:

    My husband’s paternal grandfather, Kirk Miller, was a survivor of the Bataan Death march. Would have liked to know more about his experience but not much was passed down to the family. It must have been too difficult to share this. After his return to the US, he parted ways with his Filipino family and returned to his family in Pennsylvania and started a new life. He is still a hero in our hearts and minds.

  40. Monica Dobbyn Watkins says:

    I really hate to hear people speaking badly of our soldiers, especially by those who have never been to war. War is thrust upon every generation and it is Hell! I was born in London during the Great Blitz immediately following the Battle of Britain. My Irish father was in the RAF and my English mother held on until I was born and was old enough to travel, along with my four siblings, and we escaped the bombing in London. The great Blitz was twenty four hour bombing for about a month. And the German people also were being bombed!
    In the First WW I had two English Great Uncles who died, one at the Somme. An English uncle who survived the trenches. An Irish great cousin who died in WW1, he was one of the first aviators. An Irish uncle who died fighting in Italy close to the end on WW2 and an English cousin who was with Lord Chindit’s (sp?) Jungle Fighters.
    The British Army in Burma was ordered to surrender and my cousin Thompson was captured and was on a Japanese Death March. He suffered greatly remembering those who were punished, it seems the Australians got the worst of it. Yes war is hell but what can you do? You do not publicly condemn those who fought.

    • Pat Todd says:

      Thank you for your remarks. I appreciate your sentiment regarding the true veterans and the loud mouth, know-it-alls. While my father was not at Bataan, he was at Bouganville on New Guinea. We lost him 28 years ago, along with his story. Like many vets, he was not talkative regarding his time in the Marines outside of being tremendously proud to be one.

    • N. Andrews Bigley says:

      Thank you Monica!

  41. bobby sikes says:

    These men were wantonly sacrificed by Roosevelt. In late fall 1941, months before Pearl Harbor, FDR agreed under pressure from Churchill to fundamentally change established Pacific Theater defense posture from code ORANGE to RAINBOW 5. This change put all US forces then on station in the Pacific on a defensive posture, without the probability of any succor by additional assets being moved west. Naval assets were being moved wholesale as part of this change to counter German submarine warfare and to prepare for US entry into the conflict in order to complete the defeat Germany before taking the offensive in the Pacific. The forces engaged against the Japanese were to fight, and die, until Uncle Sam would come to their aid at some future date. In his exalted WWII memoirs, Churchill brags about browbeating FDR in their meeting in the St Lawrence seeway in 1941. If I did have an ancestor killed or captured by the Japanese during this “stand-down”, I would forever hold it against Roosevelt and the democrats. My father was among the initial 500 troops forming the Xth Mountain Division…he was in the Alluetions as (sp) and then Italy; my father-in-law was blinded at Leyte.

  42. Mark A Stratton says:

    My wife’s uncle, Orvid Russell, survived the Bataan Death March. He eventually died in February 1945, in a POW camp in Osaka, Japan.
    Orvid’s younger brother Reuben Russell was also stationed in the Philippines. Both had enlisted in 1940, in Roosevelt, UT. Reuben was in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and severely wounded. He wasn’t fully recovered until July 1942. He served throughout the War with distinction.
    Reuben and Orvid’s uncle, Simon Jones, also served against Japan, as a US Navy Seabee, a Chief.
    My Grandfather, Duane was in the US Army Corps of Engineers, also against the Japanese. His brother-in-law, Zene Nelson, my grandmother’s brother, was in the first wave of Marines at Tarawa.
    We all owe much to the greatest generation, for their extraordinary courage, and sacrifice for us. My Grandfather died the morning I graduated Boot Camp. He was always my inspiration.
    RIP, all who suffered through that war, and
    thank you for your service. To those still alive, thank you. You are still our heroes.

  43. Charla Boodry says:

    My step-father, Virgil B. Hood was taken prisoner on Corregidor and was part of the March and a POW for 3 yrs 6+ months. He was a Corporal in the 4th Marine Reg., A Co., 1st Batt. He stayed in the Marine Corps and retired as a Major. He always said that many books were not accurate and he recommended a book ” Forty Months in Hell” written by W. Pat Hitchcock. Like many of his generation, he rarely shared anything unless it was at a “reunion” of the Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor. His stories of returning to the States and their celebrations was something that he did share. He had a friend since their days in Shanghai,before the war, that was captured with him, Frederick Stumpges, who years later was also taken prisoner in Korea. His story is one of valor (imagine that horror twice). Stumpges lived close by in Vista, CA until he passed away a few years before my dad. One of the things that I was part of, after my mom married Virgil, was a traveling display of war trophies and news clippings, in a semi trailer, in a caravan, that traveled around the mid-west for several months, the Japanese Sumurai Exhibit for the Marine Corps Recruiting Office. I was the only child in the entourage, it was summer of 1946. There were huge long lines of people eager to see where their sons had been during the war. It was quite an experience.

  44. Diana Cheverton-Beltz says:

    My husband’s maternal step-grandfather and grand-uncle, Eugene and Jack Rice, both worked as civilian contractors for the US government in the Philippines at the war’s beginning. (His actual grandfather died during the 1930s and Eugene was the only grandfather he ever knew.) The two brothers were taken by the Japanese, along with US and Philippine soldiers, and forced into the Bataan Death March. Amazingly, both survived and, after they were rescued, returned home to Oklahoma, where they lived long and prosperous lives. But Grandpa Gene had a life-long hatred of the Japanese.

    Also, my husband’s godfather, William Berry, survived the Death March and went home to Oklahoma, where he became an attorney and, later, a Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

  45. J Harding says:

    I think of Mario Tonelli whenever Bataan is remembered. Not a relative, just someone I read about many years ago. Survived the March and also prison camps in the Philippines and Japan. His story is at Sports Illustrated. ( )

  46. Michelle Doddato Fritz says:

    My father Arthur John Doddato from Pa was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and Japanese Prison Camps. He didn’t speak about it a lot – but did tell of being stabbed in the ankle with a sword when he fell during the march and had to continue without any care for his ankle. He also spoke of the starvation. They were given the leftovers, scraps, fishheads from their guards’ meals. And he told how they mutilated a local girl in front of them who was sneaking them food.

    His name, as well as other survivors, is mentioned in the book written by survivor Robert W Levering – Horror Trek.

    He also served in the Korean War before he retired from the Army Air Corp after 27 years.

    No matter what our financial situation was at the time, we were always able to eat whenever we wanted. Food was his number one priority. He lived to be 79.

  47. Claudia Nucci says:

    Lived in the phillipines for 3 years on Clark air base! Back in the early 80’s. Thought about those soldiers a lot and I still think about them now! God bless them all

  48. Mike oglesby says:

    My father escaped on the third day of the march by hitting his guard on the top of the head while the guard rested against a tree. He hid in the jungle for months eating mainly from an old parachute drop of Hershey bars he found and an occasional coconut. We never had chocolate in the house when I was growing up. He claimed all chocolate had maggots in it. To the day he died a few years ago, he referred to his arthritis as MacArthuritus. He hated the man and the disease equally as both caused him major pain.

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      MacArthur WAS know as dug-out Doug. That’s the view my Dad held after staging in the Philippines for the invasion of Japan. He and his outfit had already serve in the TO, and he had been slightly wounded in Germany on 1 December 1944.

    • N. Andrews Bigley says:

      There was a song the interned would sing about being forgotten and abondoned by Uncle Sam and McArthur. Wish I could remember the lyrics, but dad would sing when drunk, which was often and a means of coping with ptsd.

      Something about dog faced soldiers being the bastards of Bataan.

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      The Battleing Bastards of Bataan. I just went through my uncle’s book to see if he had the words to it in there somewhere, but didn’t find it. You might Google it and see if it’s on the Web somewhere.

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      “We’re the Battling Bastards of Bataan, No Mama, No Papa, No Uncle Sam. No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces. No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces. And nobody gives a damn. Nobody gives a damn.”

  49. I knew 2 Military personnel in the Navy back in 1959. One was a Female Navy Nurse (LCDR) who endured more than is published on that march. The other was a Corpsman Chief who told me he had to drink his own blood to keep from dying from thirst. He was aboard a Japanses ship being transported to a POW camp in Japan. Navy Corpsmen are a part of the Marine Corps “through thick or thin” while attached for duty.

    My hat is off to all, both living and dead who were on that terrible march. They are the real HEROS !

    • Edith G Smith says:

      The “Hell Ships” transporting the prisoners to Japan were terrible in themselves, let alone for the men who had endured so much already. My late brother in law told my husband much more than he would let me hear. In later years, Johnnie would still recall the horror of that time. He often spoke of his survival for “3 years, 9 months and eleven days.” Johnnie was finally released by the American army and like most of the boys, he had lost over 1/2 of his body weight by then. Thank God for the men who survived to come home to us, and thanks be to God for those who didn’t return. If only we would all remember what face tyranny really bears.

  50. John Adame says:

    My Uncle Charles Vargas was onboard the Arison Maru which was sunk by the US sub Shark on Oct. 24 1944. The Shark was later sunk by the japanese.

  51. Dale Morris says:

    My first cousin; Jack D. Kellett was taken prisoner by the Japanese and was involved in the Bataan death march. After two days of captivity, he, with a group of other soldiers, escaped and were able to get to Corregidor by canoe. He was again taken prisoner by the Japanese when they occupied Corregidor. He spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp in Japan. He was released after the war ended in 1945. His story is told in an extremely compelling book; Wings as Eagles. He received the Silver Star, Purple Heart, two Presidential Citations, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon as well as other honors for his courage and valor. He was a wonderful man who died way too early at 60 years of age.

    • Margaret Hagerman says:

      Your cousin was a remarkable hero. His grateful country honors his memory.

    • Cheryl Northrup says:

      Where might one get the book? I couldn’t find it on Amazon.

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      Try A LARGE consortium of on-line dealers from USA, Canada, UK and Germany at least. You can get multiple choices by price, condition, shipping costs etc. By far the easiest way to find used books.

  52. Pepi Nieva says:

    My father, Antonio A. Nieva, fought in Bataan and survived the Death March and Camp O’Donnell. He wrote about his experiences and vacgound history of Bataab, Corregidor, and the guerrilla forces that helped MacArthur’s troops win back the Philippines in his book, “Cader, Soldier, Guerrilla Fighter. “ The book contains his original sketches on the war. It is available on

  53. Margaret Armstrong Behel says:

    I believe that some men are born to be heroes and that heroism is as much a part of their nature as breathing. Leon Lovelady probably was that type of man. Leon was a friend of my Dad’s family and he donated blood to my dad. Daddy always said that Leon was the only person who came to the hospital whose blood type matched his. The information below was obtained from AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION, The World War II Honor Roll.

    Leon L. Lovelady
    Private, U.S. Army
    31st Infantry Regiment
    Entered the Service from: Alabama
    Died: May 15, 1942
    Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
    Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery
    Manila, Philippines
    Awards: Bronze Star

    We have been told by others who said they served with him, that Leon was actually on the march to Bataan. During the march his feet became so raw that bone showed through. When Leon became unable to walk, the Japanese took him to the side of the road where, in spite of other U.S. soldiers offering to carry him, they shot him in the head.
    According to Earline Lovett Fowler, sister to Linnie Inez Lovett (Daddy’s mother) and aunt to Odell Armstrong (my father), Daddy lost his right arm on January 16. She is not sure of the year. It would have been between 1940 and 1942. He was about 15 years old (birth date December 11, 1926), so that places the event in 1941. I don’t know why Daddy never told us the exact day and year. I have been unable to find anything in local newspapers about the accident.
    Daddy said that the weather was cool. He had been having a lot of trouble with his arthritis (which started around the age of 11) but was feeling well enough that day to ride a mule to the grist meal that Granddad Jasper Lovett was running (located on Highway 78 in Carbon Hill, Alabama) and take him his lunch. He was wearing a brand new khaki shirt. When he gave Granddad Lovett his lunch, daddy told him that he would run the corn sheller while he ate.
    Daddy explained to my brothers and me that the machines were wired in such a way that they were all controlled by one switch. To turn one machine off, the main switch had to be turned off which stopped all of the machines. His shirt was new, tightly woven khaki, and the sleeve was unbuttoned and loose. The pulley belt that ran the corn sheller slipped off the pulley. Daddy said that rather than shut off all the machines, he grabbed the pulley belt and flipped it back on the pulley. He said, “I had done it lots of times before.” The belt caught his shirt sleeve, twisting his arm into the belt. He was pulled upward toward the top of the mill and his arm was pulled off at the shoulder. He fell back to the floor and his arm remained tangled in the belt at the top of the grist mill. Daddy used this part of the story to teach us about safety.
    He said an old woman, that everyone called ‘Granny ?’, shamed the men in the grist mill for not having enough courage to climb up and remove his arm from the belt. She climbed a ladder, removed his arm, laid it on a board and someone (?) had it buried at Pisgah Cemetery, in Carbon Hill, Alabama.
    Daddy told mother that someone (probably grandparents Jasper or Jane Weaver Lovett) wrapped “toe” sacks around him and took him to a hospital in Jasper, Alabama. He rode to the hospital in a taxi, which, he told Mama, “was one of the last new cars made before World War II.” He was placed in the back seat of the taxi. He said he told the driver, “Mister, I’m bleeding all over your car.” The driver told him, “To hell with the car, son.” and drove him to the hospital.
    That statement makes me believe that the driver was a man with a large capacity for kindness and compassion. I do not know the driver’s name, but there is thankfulness in my heart for him and Leon Lovelady. These seemingly small acts of kindness continue to shape our lives. My Dad died February 20, 1984. At the time of his death he had three children and three grandchildren. Now he has five great-grand children.
    Leon L. Lovelady gave his blood to my Dad and his life to preserve this country. We need to remember.

    Margaret Armstrong Behel

    • Joe says:

      You are awesome daughter!

    • Mary Kay Falkner says:

      That story makes me cry with sadness and hopefulness. Your daddy was something else. A really great man! And, the taxi driver. You can find them both now in heaven, where real good men go.

  54. Beverly Parman says:

    My uncle, William Thurman Baggett, was stationed at Nichols Field, Manila with the 33rd Quartermaster Regiment at the outbreak of WWII. He died September 2, 1942 at Cabanatuan 1 of dysentery. I have no information as to how he got to the prison camp from Nichols Field. Would anyone know how to trace his movements?

    • Kathy says:

      Nothing on William Thurman Baggett, but a Warren C. Baggett is mentioned a couple of times in the book, Doomed at the Start, by William H. Bartsch. This book is an in depth record of American Pursuit Pilots in the Philippines, 1941-42. My uncle was a pilot with the Third Pursuit Squadron (24th Pursuit Group) also at Nichols Field in December 1941. He, too, died at Cabanatuan of dysentery and malaria. The book is mostly about the Army Air Corps pilots, so not a lot of mention of ground units. But, it is a an interesting, though extremely sad, detailed account of all the air squadron movements leading to the March on Bataan and imprisonment.

    • Patty Root says:

      My Grandmother was a Baggett, any chance your relative came from Bond Co. Illinois ?

    • Beverly Parman says:

      If so, very distant. My great-grandfather, Pleasant H. Baggett was from Nacogdoches, Texas. The family arrived there from Tennessee.

    • Bill Smith says:

      Beautifully written.❤️

    • Mannie says:

      There’s not much doubt that he would have gone into retreat on Bataan Peninsula, endured the siege and the death march, entered first into Camp O’Donnell POW camp and then onto Cabanatuan where he died. All troops were ordered to retreat to Bataan from Nichols and Clark. Only those who escaped to Corregidor or the mountains avoided it.

  55. Michele Anderson says:

    One of my grandfather’s good buddies at Cabanatuan was Chief Warrant Officer Clinton Worth Sperry. His nickname was Chief. He kept the camp records. The Chief’s family was from Michigan, but he lived with his wife, Hilda, in St. Louis, Missouri. The Chief didn’t have any children. He was killed on the unmarked POW hell ship Oryoku Maru by USS Hornet bombers in Dec. 1944. If anyone knows anything else about him I sure would appreciate you sharing it. I want to make sure he’s not forgotten.

  56. My great uncle Phillip Sumlin U.S. Army survived the Bataan Death March and as a P.O.W. in Japan until liberation September 1945!

  57. Carkitta Nhybsib says:

    My uncle Henry Will Day (1918-1990) was on the Bataan Death March. He had been an ambulance driver in the Philippines. When he got to the camp, he went to the clinic and found nobody there. So he set up his cot and took over the job of medic himself. He was able to receive the packages of medicine sent by the Red Cross. This helped to keep him relatively healthy through the encampment. He got to shake General MacArthur’s hand when they were liberated. He returned to the United States and landed in San Francisco, where he was kept at the Lettermans’ Hospital for debriefing. Then returned home to Barnsdall, Oklahoma, where his parents farmed. He settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He died in 1990 and was buried at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe with military honors.

  58. Kathy says:

    Another great book to read: Doomed at the Start, American Pursuit Pilots in the Philippines, 1941-42, by William H. Bartsch. A well-researched, detailed, daily account of our 24th Pursuit Group (Army Air Corps) leading up to the March on Bataan and imprisonment. After reading this book, I had a new appreciation for the type of planes (and their poor condition!) available for the Pacific fight as well as the very limited training our pilots received. Their ingenuity and sheer bravery made them more than heroes in my mind. Because of the limited number of planes, many of these brave young pilots never even got to fly. My uncle was 23 when he died in 1943 at a POW camp after the March on Bataan. Our family had a close friend who was part of the underground movement sneaking food and medical supplies into the prisoners. She was able to report back to my grandmother updates on my uncle; however, as contact was lost, my grandmother did not learn of her son’s death until a year later. My grandmother, mother and aunt were able to visit Manila in the 60’s and to finally see his grave. I honor my uncle’s memory every time I look upon the framed recognition letter sent by President Roosevelt to my grandmother, and now hanging in my home.

    • Kyle Mitchell says:

      Do you know if that book mentions the 34th Pursuit Sq.? My great uncle served with them.

    • Rod Dysinger says:

      My Uncle Richard Wayne Dysinger was a mechanic with the 34th Pursuit Squadron. He survived the Death March, but eventually became deathly sick on one of the “Hellships”. He died in Mukden, Manchuria…less than a week after arriving by Hellship. Any information that anyone has on Uncle Wayne would be greatly appreciated! Rod Dysinger [email protected]

  59. Donna Brown says:

    My great-grandfather, Fr. Albert Braun, OFM, was chaplain for the 92nd Coast Artillery Regiment in the Philippines at the time of the Bataan March. He was captured at Corregidor and sent to a Japanese prisoner of war camp where he stayed 40 months, until released August 29, 1945. His condition at that time led to health problems the rest of his life. When he died in March, 1983, he had lost his legs to the ever-present gout and infections. He will always remain our family hero.

    • Mannie says:

      I have a good friend whose father, Charlie James, was a Bataan survivor. She has a rosary made by Fr. Braun and given to her father. She has carried it with her when she’s made the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range–this year was her 16th march!

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      Far out. Good for her. A moving testament to the men who endured.

  60. Mary Dover says:

    Clemson University professor Ben Skardon just celebrated his 100th birthday. He is a survivor of the Bataan Death March. Last year he completed his 10th “Bataan Memorial Death March” at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. I believe that he was on a segment on the television show “60 Minutes”. If you do an internet search for “Ben Skardon, Clemson”, there are several articles in the university newspaper about this hero and how he has impacted the lives of so many students over the years.

    • Kyle Mitchell says:

      I was stationed out there last year and completed that grueling march.

    • Penny S. Kastendieck says:

      He is still living? I hope he has had a wonderful life! It is incredible that there were any survivors. But to be able to live as long as he has after enduring such brutality is nothing short of a miracle!

    • Bill k says:

      The Clemson survivor reported that it was his connection to Clemson that actually saved his life. He and two other prisoners were Clemson grads and he was quickly losing his health and in dire straits when one of his Clemson friends recommended that he give up his hidden Clemson RING and they’d use that to barter with a Japanese guard that was approachable for such. the guard traded then a feeble chicken for the ring and the chicken broth brought strength to the Clemson prisoner.

      Had I know about this back then, I’d have taken MY Clemson ring into Vietnam with me!

  61. Lynn O Simons says:

    An interesting side note to the account of the Bataan death march is the book by John Keats, They Fought Alone, based on the three years Wendell Fertig and his brother led a guerilla operation in the Phillippines. At the outbreak of the war Fertig was a 41-year old mining engineer, graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, who was working at a gold mine on Mindanai—or vicinity. It happened that he was the highest ranking military person left on the islands after the evacuations . . . And so he took charge until the end of the war.

    • Colonel K says:

      I’ve read accounts of Fertig. His is an amazing story of ingenuity and survival, yet no movie has yet been made.

  62. Ruth Kusrnberger says:

    My cousin, Edward Elmore, was captured in the battle of Corregidor.
    Edward would tell us horrible stories about his imprisonment which lasted until the end of the war.
    He came back to his home a changed person.
    Edward could speak Japanese and often cried
    He died of cancer a number of years later

  63. Jethro Lilley says:

    My Uncle Bob Copper was a civilian working in the Philippines. As a small child I asked my dad what Uncle Bob did in the war and his only answer was “He survived The Bataan Death March.” Bob never recovered psychologically. I remember during a visit at our house, Dad came downstairs at 5am like always and Bob was sitting in the den chair holding the 7.7mm Arisaka rifle that Dad’s brother had given me. Dad said that Bob was just sitting in the chair, staring at that rifle. No telling how long he had been sitting their or what horrible experiences had gone through his mind, sitting there staring at that rifle. He simply told me that he remembered that rifle.That was the late ’60’s. He died about 1978/79.

  64. Caroline Bleil says:

    The reason the survivors could not talk about the Death March and POW camps is that they had to sign a gag order when they were repatriated agreeing not to talk or write about it for 50 years! I know, because my uncle is a 96-year old survivor of the March. He was in the first wave of prisoners. He wrote a book about it a few years ago called Condemned to Death Six Times. He calls MacArthur “Dougout Doug” because he abandoned them to save his own miserable skin. He was a coward, not a hero. My uncle, Eugene E. Bleil (now a retired doctor) was an aircraft mechanic in the 17th Pursuit Squadron and they begged for resupply of parts but none came. They begged for armament to fight the Japs with, and none came. He told me that when the Japs came ashore shooting at them, all they had left was rocks to throw at them. He barely survived the march and the prison camp, and still bears the scars from the malaria and beri-beri that he suffered with, as well as the many beatings he received. The Japs tore metal strips off the captured Jeeps and beat them with them. These American and Phillipine men are heros in the truest sense of the word for what they gave up on our behalf. Our family could never understand why he wouldn’t tell us what he went through, but now I know. He couldn’t come home if he didn’t sign that gag order. Thank you so much, Gen. MacArthur, you miserable coward!

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Hi Caroline-
      Your family members ARE the true heroes as are all the others (like my uncle) who suffered/died due to what happened on Bataan. What I don’t get is the people who EVEN TODAY, STILL think that Mac Arthur and our own government were so fantastic in this situation. WE KNOW that they weren’t, and reading books (like those written by your family) and other historical material prove that. I just wish people NOW could see that entire situation for what it was worth (nothing but a hell hole) and admit that those in charge in our country were wrong and then admit that they did indeed abandon our troops. Those few who are left now can easily tell you that, like your family members have proved. Thank them for their service and you for caring so much about them and for them.

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      Thank you Doreen for your educated and kind response. I am very proud of my uncle and always have been. It’s only by the grace of God that my father didn’t go through the same thing. They enlisted together (it was my dad who told his younger brother that he was going to enlist and Uncle Eugene said “I’m going with you.”) They went through boot camp and training together, and when it was time to receive their orders, my dad got sick with yellow jaundice and went into the hospital for 2 months. His brother went to the Philippines. When Daddy was released from the hospital, he was sent to Guam instead, so he was spared the agonies that his brother endured. It wasn’t easy either, but had he gone to the Philippines too, I’m not sure that he would have survived. Thank God that they both came home, but Uncle Eugene spent some time in a hospital in San Francisco before he could return home to Michigan because he was so ill. He weighed under 100 lbs. and he is a tall man. At least he was one of the lucky ones to survive it all. His book went into its second printing last year, and it’s available only directly from him. If you’re interested in reading it, contact me at [email protected] and I will give you the address from where you can order it.

    • Jack Yandell says:

      My Dad. , TSgt. Jack Yandell, was with the 6th Army and landed on Luzon, Oct.20.1944. He had NOTHING good to say about Mc Arthur. My Dad never spoke of the war except in two instances…trust me, they made the japs pay for what they did to the pow’s. God bless…Caroline

    • Tracy says:

      My daughter did a tease arch project on the civilian internment camps because my mother’s family was in either Santo Tomas or Los Banos. My grandfather was tortured in Fort Santiago as well. When helping her with her research I read about the fact that the US government knew that the Philippines was probably not defendable under a Japanese attack because trying to resupply it would take too long since the islands ere too far from the main land and Pearl Harbor. The plan was to have them do exactly what McArthur did, and then to hope they could get supplies and reinforcements in time. McArthur knew like 6 hours before the Japanese attacked the Philippines about the attack on Pearl Harbor and he did nothing. My mother’s family and the US troops were abandoned by the US government, as were the troops, and it really angers me. The suffering that they all endured was unconscionable.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      AND…..if you look back in history, the Philippines were a territory of the US at the time, and they tried to say to the government that they wanted to have their independence so that if need be, they could make their own deals/arrangements with the Japanese so as to NOT be over-run by them, but the US government and military would NOT allow this and said they would not come to the Philippines’ aid if they decided they wanted independence from the US. The US government and military had such a strong hold over the Philippines, so they did not proceed with the quest for independence. Yeah, look at where THAT got them, right? Our dear government and military leaders like Mac Arthur DID abandon them….he told the soldiers to “Fight to the end”, while he escapes….oh what I’d like to say to him, knowing that MY UNCLE DIED because of his actions (or really LACK there of.) Bless all of the service people who DID try and save Bataan

    • Tracy Busyn says:

      Both of my great grandfathers fought for the US in The Philippines in the Spanish American war. One never left again and died in Santo Tomas. The other one married the daughter of a Spanish general. They settled in the Philippines, though went back and forth between the states and Manila. That grandfather also died in Santo Tomas. My mother was born in Manila in April of 1942. Her family were friends with the McArthurs, and my aunt used to play with Arthur. When they were liberated my grandmother, my mother, and her siblings went to Oregon to stay with my great grandfathers family. When my grandfather was able to get his bus company back up and running again, they went back and my mother grew up there. I still have a lot of family there. It amazes me how they are not bitter given everything they went through. I am angrier than they are.

    • Mannie says:

      MacArthur wasn’t the only weasel in the group. FDR made the decision after the Japanese attacks that we would enter the war but only under a “Get Hitler First” plan. So much loss of life could have been avoided if our government had supported the men fighting.

  65. Linda Shofner Pickle says:

    My Tennessee cousin Austin Conor Shofner survived Corregidor and escaped with other prisoners to tell the world what was happening in Manila. He was gagged from telling others because they wanted to concentrate in Europe. There are many books but loved Escape from Davao. He was known as “Shifty” Shofner. They fought with the local guerrillas until evacuated and returned to fight there. He was a Marine and made the military his career and retired a Brig. General.

    • Colonel K says:

      Wasn’t he one of the Marines chronicled in the book, “The Pacific”?

    • Linda Pickle says:

      Yes, you’re right they even named a hey in Shelbyville TN after him. There’s also a Marine veterans group named after him. So wish I had met him. I love his son Martin a true gentleman.

  66. Judith Gresham says:

    A distant cousins Uncle. Supposedly from a newspaper article in a San Francisco paper after the war one of his friends said, he had died upon entering the camp and the man said he wished he had been Will Short. Was never able to find the article for his nephew, he had a copy for years and someone threw it away. Here is what was said in book from the county.

    From “The History of Marion County Georgia 1827-1930” by Nettie Powell

    “After finishing high school in Buena Vista, Will Brown went to the Georgia Military College in Midgeville where he graduated. Later he attended the Georgia School of Technology. He served in the American army as a member of the signal corps during the World War. In 1922 he entered the U. S. Army as a second lieutenant. He has been promoted to first lieutenant and is now stationed in Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands.”

    From my notes.

    Will Brown was was captured by the Japanese at Corregidor in the Phillipines and was marched to Bilbid Prison Camp in Manila Philippines. He died upon reaching the prison camp.

    William Brown Short Lietenant Colonel, U. S. Army
    91st Coast Artillery Regiment, Phillipine Scouts
    Buried at Plot A Row 10 Grave 66

  67. My grandfather’s brother died on this march, of malaria they said.

  68. Rodney N Dozier says:

    My uncle, PFC William Boyd “W.B.” Holmes, was my father’s half brother and he survived the Bataan Death March at the age of 22 years old. After enlisting in the Army and completing his basic training in California, William arrived in the Philippine Islands in October 1941 six weeks before the Japanese sneak attach on Pearl Harbor. He served in the American 31st Infantry Regiment of Colonel Charles Lowndes Steel which was one of four regiments in the Philippine Army’s 71st Division commanded by Brigadier General Clyde A. Selleck. The 31st Infantry Regiment occupied the center position of the Layac defense line which was formed in an attempt to delay the Japanese entry into Bataan. After Major General Edward King surrendered his forces, William survived the 60+ mile grueling march from Mariveles to the rail station at San Fernando. He then survived the sweltering box car train journey to Camp O’Donnell, a POW camp in the Province of Tarlac. He survived the horrendous conditions of Camp O’Donnell only to be moved in July 1942 to Cabanatuan where the conditions were not much better. In the spring of 1943 the Japanese started shipping prisoners from Cabanatuan to use as slave labor all over the Pacific. The ships used to transport the prisoners were known as “Hell Ships” and lacked the required POW markings on them. Many were torpedoed by American submarines, and thousands of American soldiers died when the ships were sunk. Conditions on the hell ships were even worse than the prison camps. In February 1944, William was among 650 American officers and enlisted POWs who labored on a Japanese airfield at Lansang on the Philippine Minduno Island. Another 100 American POWs labored on another airfield south of Davao on Mindano. On September 5, 1944, the 750 American POWs were transferred to the freighter ship Shinyo Maru. This hell ship was part of a convoy of ships destined for Manila via Cebu. On September 7 at 0230 hour the convoy started their trip. At 1637 hour Lt. Commander Byron Home Nowell, skipper of the submarine USS Paddle, sighted the convoy off the west coast of Mandanao at Sindangan Point and prepared to fire two torpedoes at Shinyo Maru. He was unaware the freighter ship was transporting American POWs. One POW survivor, 1st Lieutenant John J Morrett, recalled, “there was a terrific explosion immediately followed by a second one,” and “heavy obstacles came crashing down from above.” Dust filled the air, and bleeding men lay “all over each other in mangled positions, arms, legs, and bodies broken.” He struggled up to the deck and found it “strewn [with] the mangled bodies of Japanese soldiers.” Nearby, surviving Japanese soldiers fired at Americans swimming in the water or shot at those struggling up from the holds. My uncle, William Boyd Holmes, was one of the Americans swimming in the water and he was swimming with a good friend who was one of 83 survivors. According to my uncle’s friend, William was shot and killed while attempting to swim to freedom. While 1st Lieutenant John J Morrett was swimming to freedom, he heard “a terrific cracking sound as if very heavy tissue paper was being crushed together, then the boat seemed to bend up in the middle and was finally swallowed up by the water.” A Japanese cipher clerk duly noted the death of the Shinyo Maru at 1650 hour. There was 667 American POWs who died at sea this day either in the ship’s holds or in the water. Yes, my uncle survived the Bataan Death March, but he did not survive the war and died at the age of 24 years old. May he forever rest in peace.
    Rodney Dozier

    • Mary Hensinger says:

      My uncle, Lloyd Munson, survived the death march and was also on the Shinu Maru. My aunt said another man who was there saw Lloyd swimming strongly after the ship was bombed and thought he had survived. He did not. I have all the letters he sent home as well as the postcards sent from the POW camp and the letters from the military.

    • Rodney N Dozier says:

      Mary Hensinger,

      I see your uncle, Lloyd W Munson, was a Sergeant in the 515th Coast Artillery (CA) Regiment Anti-Aircraft (AA) in H Battery. This regiment was part of the New Mexico Brigade and they fought extremely well during the invasion. I am very sorry to see he was unable to swim to freedom, and I pray he rests in peace with my uncle after he paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.


  69. Philip H. Martin Msgt. USAF Retired says:

    I was in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Clark Air Force Base Philippines from 1956 to 1958. I had an occasion to go to Camp O’Donnell where some of the American and Filipino prisoners were kept after the “death march.”
    While at Camp O’Donnell I met a Non Commissioned Officer and he told me that there was a monument erected close by where the death march supposedly ended and he offered to take me there. After searching for the monument we found it and it was overgrown with weeds and was difficult to locate. As an eighteen year old I thought what a shame for the Filipino government to allow that to happen. I was eight years old when WW 2 ended never knowing that I would one day visit such a historical site and see the deplorable condition the site was in.
    I never returned to Camp O’Donnell but I have told many people what I saw that day.

  70. Elaine Tell says:

    My uncle, Joseph Green, survived the March and was liberated when Tokyo fell. He wouldn’t talk about the experience. The only thing he told me was the survivors were brought home on a slow ship because they were so emancipated. He was 5’10” tall, and weighed 87 pounds when liberated.

  71. Margaret says:

    My Uncle George Jones was murdered by the Japanese in the Bataan Death March. He was a tall, imposing man who had played on a basketball team in Chicago. He apparently shared the same name as an American General so during the march he was singled out by the Japanese. They thought he had information about the War. He was bayonetted and beaten to death. As he lay dying a priest who was on the march begged for water but they didnt listen and killed my Uncle George. The priest brought his dog tags back to my great grandparents in Illinois after the war. He was buried in a common grave in Bataan.
    Why did that US General surrender these men!???

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Mac Arthur (if that’s who you mean) surrendered these men because HE was a coward, and then fled the island, first to Corregidor, and then under the cover of night to Australia, where he literally sat, safe and sound, eating steak and eggs, while our soldiers (including your family member and MY uncle too) starved to death. boooo for our government. You know, I bet that STILL happens today but we just never hear about it. People today REALLY need to read up on this horror story and finally find out the truth as to what happened when our men were abandoned there all over the Philippines.

    • Mannie says:

      Gen. King surrendered the troops because they were out of food, ammunition and medicine. They were starving and dying of malaria and dysentery. Estimates were that they couldn’t hold out another week. Perhaps Gen. King thought they would get better treatment if they surrendered. Perhaps he thought every one of them would die unless they surrendered. To see the photo of the surrender, it’s obvious that the American officers were ashamed and distraught by what they had to do. To their credit, the American officers went into imprisonment with the troops, although they did receive better treatment. From New Mexico, the home of the 200th CA AA regiment, Gen. Charles Sage, Col. Memory Cain, and Col. Virgil McCollum all went into captivity and were always revered by the soldiers under them for it.

  72. Mark L. Humphrey says:

    Marine Sergeant George Samson was in China, assigned to bring relics from the Chinese National Museum in Peking down to Shanghai, where they could be transshipped for safety. They ran out of gas on the way there and were forced to abandon the relics but made it to Shanghai just in time to catch the last gunboat out. War was declared while at sea just off of Formosa. They mixed all the paint they could find together and applied the light brown coating to their vessel with mops. They then proceeded to capture a Japanese fishing fleet before heading as fast as they could to Manila. The navy there took over the gunboat for harbor patrol and anti aircraft duty. The marines were put ashore. George didn’t think much of McArthur (nor did any of the other men I knew who served directly under him in either World War or Korea). George didn’t surrender with the rest of the forces on Bataan. He and a few of his comrades sneaked through the Japanese lines and stole a fishing boat, which they sailed to New Guinea. He served throughout the war but was wounded at Guadalcanal.

  73. Eli Cvetic says:

    In Forest Park, Maywood and Melrose park IL, three burbs outside of Chicago. All three burbs had men that were in the march and now have parks, streets and Blvds named “Bataan”

  74. Kyle Mitchell says:

    My great uncle:

    SSgt Layton W. Dunbar
    34 AAF Pursuit Sq.
    17 AUG 1920 – 28 OCT 1942

    He made it to Camp O’Donnell where he succumbed to starvation and died. I have a heart-breaking set of letters from his mother detailing her grief as she was dealing with her son’s death. His remains were actually just delivered to Roselawn Cemetary in San Antonio, TX where I am currently stationed. I am still trying to set aside some time to visit his site and stand among a hero. I’ve visited many war-related grave sites, but never one from a family member that could have been alive today. It will be humbling to say the least.

    “When you go home, tell them of us and say
    For their tomorrow, we gave our today.”

    I recently was stationed at Holloman AFB and took part in the Bataan Memorial Death March to honor his sacrifice and all veterans of that battle. He is one of the many heroes that has died for the preservation of freedom and the defeat of evil.

    “We’re the battling bastards of Bataan.
    No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam,
    No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces,
    No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces
    And nobody gives a damn.”

    • Edith Smith says:

      Thank you so much..for your message and for your service. My brother in law was stationed at Hollomon AFB when I md into the family. We spent a lot of time there and our first daughter was born in Alamogordo’s Geral Champion Mem. Hosp. She was the only baby there at the time.
      We were not blessed to see the Memorial Death March back in 1949/50. It was still so fresh that I don’t know who could have made it at the time. Johnnie’s 3years, 9 months and 27 days were still very much alive in his memory at that time./
      Their sacrifices are still remembered!

  75. Alan C. Vautrinot, Jr. says:

    Rather than finish the third year of his college education at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., in 1940 my uncle and godfather Donald Vautrinot enlisted in the U.S. Army. Based on a promise that he would be trained as a pilot, he volunteered for duty in the Philippine Islands. He had been there for about a year when on December 7th, 1941, ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attacked the U. S. and Philippine forces who retreated to the Bataan peninsula. Don was wounded during the so-called Battle of the Points and was present at the surrender at Marivales on April 9, 1942. In fact, he is clearly recognizable in a picture of the surrender in the June 20th, 1942 Life Magazine.
    He survived the Bataan Death March to Camp O’Donnell only to die of malnutrition in the prison camp at Carbanatuan a year or so later. The family elected rather than bring him home to have him buried with his fellow soldiers in the American Military Cemetery in Manila.

    • BeverlyMiner says:

      My husband was stationed at Clark Air Force Base in the early 1970s. We had the opportunity to visit both the Bataan Memorial, north of the base and the American Cemetery in Manilla. Very moving experiences. Sorry for the unnecessary loss of your uncle.

  76. Miles Myers says:

    A tragic example, in the long history, of man’s inhumanity to man. Perhaps a somewhat greater percentage of fatalities than was dealt to American indigenous people on their inhuman forced march to a hostile destination. But no less reprehensible and no less inhumane.

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      Has a lot to do with cultural arrogance and xenophobia. Would that we would learn.

  77. My dad, Hugh W. Jenkins was a member of the Army Air Corps and was a Bataan Death March Survivor and prisoner of war for 3 1/2 years in the Philippines, He weighed less than 85 pounds when he was rescued. He never really talked much about his experiences afterward, just a few things. If anyone heard of him, I would love to hear from you

  78. paul klugh says:

    I have the book, by ABE Abrem [ BACK TO BATON ], signed by him, he barly survived THE MARCH,AND THE DEATH CAMP, it was given to me by my father, when he was in a v mac in WITCHATAW, RECOVERING FROM an amutation. one leg, from wwII , HE IS CONE NOW, I thought viet nam was bad!!! MR. ABREM, WAS VERY DISCRPTIVE ABOUT THAT, AFTER THE SURENDER, THE JAPANESE COMMANDER SAID THAT TEEY WER NOT RESPONABLE, AT THE TIME OUR TROUPS OUT NUMBERED THE JAPANESE 3 TO 1, BUT DID KNOW IT.

    • Sheila Abraham says:

      My husband’s uncle was one of the survivors of the Bataan Death March and kept track of where our boys were murdered and burried. He was asked by General McArthur to return and help locate their remains after the war. The Japanese commander surrendered to Uncle Abe in a big ceremony. He had the sword which is now in a small museum in West Virginia. They name our new VA clinic here in Butler after him. His name was Abie Abraham.

  79. Cliff King says:

    I had a professor at Ariz State Univ in 1969 – 1971 who survived the march and spent the rest of the war in Japanese coal mines. He was Lester Irwin Tenney and his book My Hitch in Hell is available on Amazon. I loved and admired that man!

  80. Luther Davenport says:

    The Harrodsburg Tankers were a Kentucky National Guard unit stationed on Luzon when the Japanese attacked. Nearly 75 men from same small town in Kentucky, brothers, cousins, neighbors, and school classmates all fought together in Battle for Luxon and entered captivity together on Bataan Death March. Nearly half didn’t make it home

  81. jeff stacy says:

    my dad William C Stacy was a survivor of the march he was
    a pow for three years. he was in the army air corp and then
    retired from the air force in 1963. he was forced to bury the
    sick and dying prisioners along the march.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Heartbreaking…………………I hope he had a good life after that….

  82. Some records can be found and accessed at National Personal Records Center/Military Personal Records/9700 Page Avenue/St. Louis, MO. 63132-5100/Fax 314-801-9195….some were destroyed in the 1973 fire –But can be reconstructed<NA Form 13075 (Questionnaire About Military Service and/or… NAform 13055 Request for Information Needed to Reconstruct Medical Data. Another source ARCHIVES. GOV (http;// is CONTACT US(….(Freedom Of Information (FOIA.GOV.VA.MIL)

  83. Janice Ingram says:

    My father’s first cousin Elihu Z. Herndon and my dad James F. Ingram both entered the US Army on June 23, 1941, They went to boot camp together at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.Then they were split up. Elihu was sent to Manila, Philippines, where he arrived on December 5, 1941, two days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and invasion of the Philippines. He was assigned to the 454th Ordnance Company, 27th Bombardment Group (Light), USAAF, Clark Field. He became a prisoner of war in April, 1942, following the surrender at Corregidor. He survived the Bataan Death March, and as a prisoner he sent 2 Red Cross “in good health” notification cards to his parents in Tennessee while in captivity at Cabanatuan, Philippines. On 24 October 1944, he was listed as missing, presumed dead with the sinking of Arisan Maru off northern Luzon, Philippines, in the Bashi Channel. The Arisan Maru was sunk either by the USS Shark II SS-314 (itself sunk by a Japanese depth charge attack that same day) or USS Snook SS-279 (operating in the same area as Shark, and sank several other ships in the same convoy with Arisan Maru).

    • Mannie says:

      The sinking of the Arisan Maru was the largest loss of life in an American maritime disaster, and it was friendly fire. The Japanese didn’t mark the hell ships as being POW transport ships, so they were often targeted by U.S. submarines. 1800 American men lost their lives on the Arisan Maru, including brothers Gene and Dwayne Davis from Carlsbad, New Mexico. There were eight survivors, a few of whom were able to get to China and make their way back to U.S. forces. One of them was Calvin Graef who returned to Carlsbad. His story is told in “Ride the Waves to Freedom.”

  84. Robert says:

    Had the honor to meet Abie before he passed. His bok is a must read on the death march.

  85. Blair D. Fire says:

    The last parade in America specifically for the brave soldiers who survived the Baatan Death march was in Maywood, Illinois. There is still a memorial monument there because so many people from the town were involved with this event. My friend’s father, Robert Martin, who later became captain of the Maywood Fire Department, endured the march. His stories of the march and how the Japanese bayoneted any who fell, the ship travel to Japan, his work in the coal mines, the many things he endured while in the camps and ultimately the sight and feeling the explosion of the atomic bombs will never be forgotten. His story of the priest they all called “The Red Raider” who took the best items from the Red Cross packages for himself was shocking. He got his name because of his red hair. After they were released, they all were announced individually as they got off the ship in America. When The Red Raider (priest) got off, while everyone was skinny and looked near death, he looked fat and healthy. When his name was announced, everyone booed and Bob Martin said it was one of the most dramatic things he ever witnessed. But that was war.

    • Margaret E Jones says:

      Very interesting. Oddly enough a priest tried to help my Great Uncle George Jones after he was nearly beaten to death by Japanese and then bayonetted when he couldn’t walk. Priest brought dog tags back to family in Carmi, Illinois.
      I’m a Catholic. So horrible to see the Red Priest behave this way. How could he live with himself?
      Why did US Generals leave our men to die like this??

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      He and MacArthur were of the same ilk.

  86. My husbands Uncle Elmer Toalson from Pearsall Frio County Texas was taken prisoner by the Japanese. He was on a troop ship on his way to the South Pacfic his ship was bombed and sunk by the Japanese. He was picked up by aJapanese ship and taken prisoner he was sent to aPOW
    Camp in Burma. He was in the Battan March for days and many of the men died are were murdered. When he was liberated out of 22,000 there was 1500 left. They were beaten and starved he was put in a cage where he could neither stand or lay down. They were in the jungle they ate whatever they could find one time they killed a elephant they ate snakes bugs whatever He did say the boys that were raised in the countryknew how scavage and were among the ones that servived. He said they didn’t know that the Americans were coming but all at once the Japanese left them and pulled out. When they were liberated they were taken to India to a hospital. He was 6ft 2 in and he only weighed 80 Lbs. His family thought he was dead because his Parents had been told he was missing in action. But one of the men was from Hondo Tx and got word to his family that Elmer was alive. All of his papers were lost when his ship was sunk. For years he wasn’t able to get any help from the military. He suffered from numerous ailments contracted while he was a prisoner. He was there 3 yrs.

  87. God Bless all of those heroes who fought and died for us. Rest in Pease Hero’s

  88. Roni says:

    My grandpa, Sylvester G. Lane, survived the Bataan Death March also. He was captured April 6, 1942 and was liberated January 30, 1945. He was a Technical Sergeant with the Medical Department, a sub unit of Provisional Air Corps Regiment. He was confined on Bataan until June 19 when detachment was transferred to Bilibid prison, then to Camp 1 at Cabanatuan.
    I saw him only once, in 1960. He was dying and wanted to see his family. He passed away in 1961 at the age of 59.

  89. My grandfather William Beaurnan survived the march to return to the States and join another service to fight in Vietnam. I miss my grandfather he was a great man.

  90. Patricia Braun says:

    My uncle Raymond Porter was there ,it stayed with him and he never got over it.Uncle Ray passed away a few years ago.

  91. Margaret says:

    My dad was a paratrooper in WWII. He had 8 majors jumps. One jump was to help liberate Corregidor. He said the island had rebar sticking out of the ground which killed several troops. It defiantly was bloody Corregidor.
    My maternal uncle was captured on Corregidor three years earlier and was digging his own grave, when rescued by Russian soldiers.

  92. Tom McLaughlin says:

    To Them & Theirs All, Duty Honor Country.

    U S Navy Veteran BM3

  93. My dad, Buford E. Thurmon, was on Corregidor and then was prisoner in Cabanatuan and in in June, 144 sent to Japan to Camp Fukuoka. He was a proud member of the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor.. We attended the reunion in San Diego in 1997 before he passed on 9-10-1997, the same day he says the Japanis guards left the prison camp.

    • N. Andrews Bigley says:

      Our dad’s likely knew each other. He too was an ADBC member and I’m a member of the descendants group.

  94. LaNell Barrett says:

    In the book Ghost Soldiers, by Hampton Sides, it details the march. It really does not detail the extent of how inhuman Japanese along The March, or in The camps were. The film…sadly underrated, The Great Raid is a very accurate account of the rescue of members of one large camp.
    Be sure to read book….there are many names at the beginning and I suppose the prisoners.

    I honestly do not know how we EVER forgave the Japanese. Or Germans, for that matter.

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      My uncle DOES give details in his book, Condemned to Death Six Times. It’s a very sobering account of what happened, like seeing prisoners bayoneted along the way and left to die and rot. He himself could barely walk and was supported on either side by other prisoners to keep him from collapsing on the ground. He would have been murdered too. He said there were grease spots in the dirt roadway from where trucks had run over dead prisoners many times and were just left where they fell. In the prison camp they ate whatever they could catch in order to stay alive. Prison rations were pretty meagre. He suffered from dysentery, malaria an beri-beri, like most of the prisoners did. He prayer daily to God that if He let him survive this hell, he would spend the rest of his life being the best Christian he could be and would do all he could to help his fellow man. After he came home and regained his health, he went to college and became an anesthesiologist and spent the rest of his adult working life practicing medicine.

  95. Darrell King says:

    In about 1962, our neighbor in Monterey, California was a Master Sergeant in the Army stationed in Fort Ord. His family said that he was a survivor of Bataan, but he never spoke of it.

  96. N. Andrews Bigley says:

    My father began the march, escaped to Corregidor Island where the final surrender occurred. He endured three and a half years of starvation, deprivation and a victim of every parasite and illness known to the tropics. He was 69 lbs at liberation, which for him ended up in Inchon Korea on 9/9/1945.

    He’s gone now, as are most of our Bataan internees. Unfortunately this is a piece of history few have heard or learned about in school.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Yes indeed; all too few today know what happened, and even some of those who do know, don’t seem to realize (or don’t want to realize), just how awful our own government and military treated our soldiers there in the Philippines. By that I surely mean how Mac Arthur abandoned his troops by first moving to Corrigedor and then in the dead of night, left the Philippines all together for Australia. His men were beaten, starved, some bayonetted, many killed, while he sits “high and dry” eating steak and eggs in Australia. He promised, “I shall return.”, but never did so until about 9/1945 when so many had suffered/died ALREADY! I don’t he believe he cared about anyone but himself, and if you read accounts of what some of his own officers even said about him, he was all about self-lauding, especially to make himself look good to those on the home front. He was a real piece of work in my opinion. I know some (even those who have written comments here) don’t agree, but they need to look back at the real history of this horrific event. Thanks to family members like yours and mine, we were able to have the lives we now have, right?

  97. Blair D. Fire says:

    Has anyone here read the book titled, “My Hitch in Hell” by Dr. Les Tenny? He was a finance and insurance professor at Arizona State University and died only last year in 2017. At the moment, the paperback edition is sold out on Amazon, but the kindle and hardcover version are available. By far the best book I ever read about the Baatan Death March. His true full name was Lester Tennenbaum but shortened it. My friend’s father, Robert Martin, from Maywood, Illinois, credited him with saving the lives of not just his own but several other people when they became sick while imprisoned in Japan.

  98. David Kaiser says:

    I had the privilege to work with Peter Domenicali, MD. in El Paso who was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He related several stories. I remember him telling about boarding a transport to Japan, he said that he was next in line to board the boat to take them to Japan. He was fortunate not to make that specific trip in that he witnessed the sinking of that boat by a submarine with all killed.
    The other story was that when the war was over the prison gates were opened and the prisoners could then walk freely among the other Japanese almost as one of them.

  99. kimlee kingston says:

    My grandfather, Max Eaken Sweeney. My mother and uncle were children(6 and 9 yrs old) at the time, living in Manila. They were taken to Santo Tomas during the Japanese occupation(1945), survived the war and liberation. My grandfather did not survive captivity in Cabanatuan. The Chief Watertender rank was changed to Chief Petty Officer after the war. He was one of 5 brothers, in a family of 8 children, from Rockford, Illinois.

    Prisoner of War Medal
    DURING World War II
    Service: Navy
    Rank: Chief Watertender
    Division: Prisoner of War (Philippine Islands)
    NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 – 1947

    Chief Watertender Max Eaken Sweeney (NSN: 1745747), United States Navy, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death while still in captivity.

  100. Chris John says:

    My Grandpa, Woodrow (“Woody”) Wilson Berard, was a member of the U.S. Military who was taken captive in the Bataan Death March. He was one of the lucky ones and survived. When he did tell me some information about this experiences as I got older, he said did not think he would survive. Regrettably, I did not get as many details from him about this from him as I wish I would have although I was much younger in the pre-Internet era. Part of the stories that I do recall were not just about how exhausted he was from the march, heat, and humidity…but just how hungry they were. If he didn’t die of exhaustion, he thought he was going to die of starvation. He eluded to other POWs getting beaten, but never really elaborated or told of any personal experiences.

    Again, he was one of he lucky ones – truly part of “The Greatest Generation”. He returned home and worked in a Milwaukee factory until retirement and lived into his early 80s with the love of his life (my Grandma – a true “Rosie The Riveter”). They never had a lot of money, but were extremely rich in their love of each other, family, friends, and enjoyed many (Milw.) Braves, GB Packers, & Milw. Brewers games along the way.

  101. Catherine B. Guilbeau says:

    Another account of the Bataan Death March has been wonderfully written by James Bollich,”Bataan Death March: A Soldier’s Story”. Let us never forget the survivors and those who did not survive. Their sacrifices can never be repaid, only honored.

  102. Brad Tipton says:

    For years my Mother worked for Forry and Hacker Printing. Partner Charlie Forry was a Bataan Death March survivor. He could never sit on his haunches or bend his knees much. He related to my Mother his experience. One thing that stood out was the Japanese would smash their rifle butts into the prisoners’ knees to try to get them to fall and drop out of line, so they could shoot them. There were other atrocities.

    When the business was for sale a business broker brought potential buyers to look it over. They were Oriental. Charlie flipped out and kicked them all out. He was still angry about the situation.

    • David Edquist says:

      Oriental? What does that mean? Where they Chinese, Philipino or Idonesian?
      I gues the man remained stuck in an “all the same to me” mentality.

    • bobby sikes says:

      To you and me, and the thousands reading this fine work…Charlie Forry would be called HERO! Simply that, there is no decent call of “bigot” by a PC culture “warrior” of 2017. Got that….HERO!

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      Even heroes can have feet of clay. Don’t allow that word to blind you to reality. We are not perfect, after all.

    • Edith G. Smith says:

      Inote that Mr Edquist doesn’t realize how the pow’s reached that “mentality.” These were mostly very young men (my brother in law was 17 when he joined the army and was imprisoned in Japan where he worked in the mines as forced labor.) Today we think about the fact that there were millions of other Orientals who also suffered at the hands of the Japanese during the war. I make special note of “The Rape of Nanking” for those who haven’t read about that. But these young men were mostly farm boys who had never seen Chinese, Philopino, etc until a short time before. And yes, it was difficult to distinguish between them. I am sure all of us look alike to them, as well. My dear Chinese grandchildren are learning so much in their school here in Texas. They, too are appalled at the atrocities of war…all war.

  103. Ed Foerster says:

    Joseph Quitman Johnson also was a survivor of the Bataan Death March, he wrote the book
    “The Baby Of Bataan”. The American Legion Post 96 in Surprise Az. is in the process of being named after him.

    Ed Foerster, Charterr Commander Post 96. – WW 2 Veteran.

  104. Robert Hahn says:

    Another great account of Bataan Death March and the survivors is “Ghost Soldiers”. The brutality of the Japanese captors cannot be over-emphasized.

  105. Joseph Woodside says:

    I am the last of 5 children of Lt Milton Henry Woodside Bataan Death March survivor. My father was a P40 pilot at Clark field when the Japs attacked. He did not tall about his experiences. We lost him in 1973. He did leave 18 typed pages as part of the war departments debriefing. He was on the train at San Fernando and eventually put in the hull of a boat and transferred to Osaka as slave labor.

    I make sure my children read and reread the graphic accounts of his words. They should never forget his sacrifice!

    • Rob Lockwood says:

      How did you get copies of the transcripts? I would love to get my grand fathers.

    • Julianne Ziefle says:

      What an incredible man. I can’t imagine what that does to someone. God Bless that he survived to have a family and the love that comes with it.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Joseph- Is there a way you can share those precious 18 pages with the rest of us? A lot of us never got any first hand information from our loved ones about what happened on Bataan to them personally, and I’d really be interested in reading what your father had to say. Thank you for sharing, if you can, and thank you, too, for having your kids know what their grandfather saw, heard, and endured.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Hi Joseph- I was wondering if you’d be able to share those 18 pages with the rest of us??? Most of us do not have first-hand accounts from our loved ones about what they endured there, and I’d be interested in reading about what your father shared with you, and what you’re now sharing with the rest of your family. Thank you.

  106. Michelle Pluchino says:

    My father-in-law, Angelo Pluchino, was a survivor. I have his handwritten diary that he kept with him during his imprisionment.

  107. Michael Fleming says:

    In this report there is no mention of the women and children who were also there. A member of our church was a child who lost both of his parents during this atrocity. His mother died in the camp partly because she gave him most of her food.
    You might think he’d have a rough personality after living through such an evil childhood experience, but through faith and courage, he is an angel. He’s always been one of the nicest people.

    • James Reed says:

      I know of a survivor, as a child, son of missionaries, now goes by the name of Chuck Lewis, and now living (I think) in Connecticut. Could that be the person you mentioned?
      I had the pleasure of walking the Bataan Memorial March this past 25 March in New Mexico with our local survivor, Ret. Col. Ben Skardon, USArmy now 100 years young. An amazing and inspirational person (oldest living survivor).
      Thanks for mentioning those non-military that suffered also. Brings to mind a favorite movie of mine, Empire of the Sun, by Stephen King, about a 12 yr. old son of British state department parents, who was separated from his parents and catptured by the Japanese in their Shanghai invasion.
      Jim reed, Pendleton, SC

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      Read bout the Santo Tomas internment camp. There is at least one book (I can ‘see’ it but cannot remember the name) about that camp. This is the camp where civilian men and women were interned during the war…near Manila if I remember correctly.

    • Tracy Busyn says:

      There is also a really good one on Los Banos, called Rescue at Los Banos. This was opened after Santo Tomas became too crowded. They shipped a bunch of men there to build it first and then started sending families. My great uncle Carlin McClure and great aunt Ryanna McClure were sent there, while the rest of the family remained at Santo Tomas. The rescue of Los Banos was done in a raid behind enemy lines and is considered to be one of the most daring raids during WWII. Had it not happened and they had waited until the prison was back in US hands the internees there would have either starved since they were dying by the dozens every day, or the Japanese would have killed them all by mass murder. They had already forced the men to dig a long trench that would have been their mass grave. The Japanese were no kinder to the civilians than they were to the soldiers.

  108. Luther Davenport says:

    Morgan French, 92, the last surviving member of the Harrodsburg Tankers, died Thursday in Plano, Texas.

    The Harrodsburg Tankers were a group of 66 Kentucky National Guardsmen who fought on the Bataan Peninsula of the Philippines during World War II. Many of them were captured by the Japanese and endured the Bataan Death March and other horrors as prisoners of war. Only 37 of the men survived the war.

    Mr. French grew up working on farms in the Harrodsburg area with his family, according to an obituary.

    He joined the National Guard in 1937. He, his brother Edward and the rest of the Harrodsburg Tankers, the 38th Tank Co., shipped out for the Philippines in November 1941.

    Edward French was killed in action in Bataan on April 22, 1942. Morgan French was captured less than a month later at Fort Drum in Manila Harbor. He was at first taken to Bilibid Prison, then spent five months in Cabanatuan POW Camp before being put on a “hell ship” and sent to Japan.

    He and other prisoners were liberated by Allied Forces on Sept. 10, 1945.

    After returning home, Mr. French returned to active duty in the Army, serving two tours in Korea. He also served in Germany and at various posts in the United States during his 23-year career. He earned the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

    Later, he taught at the Armored School at Fort Knox.

  109. Adele Rice Spidahl says:

    My Cousin, 1st LT. Harvey F. Rice, was listed as MIA for many years by the U.S. Army, in the Philipines.
    They have recently contacted members of our Family for DNA matches and think they have found his remains in a mass grave(#1010) of over 20 persons. He was born 10/17/17 in North Dakota. He died 07/01/42 at the POW Camp at Cabanatuan, Luzon, PI. According to Army records he died of Dysentery and Malaria. He had previously survived the Bataan Death march.
    Very sad news but finally putting many questions to rest for the family. Does anyone else on this site have any information containing his name?

    Thank You, Adele Rice Spidahl

    • Mary Hensinger says:

      Is there a place where family members of POWS and MIAS can sign up in the event more remains are found?

    • Mannie says:

      Reply to Mary Hensinger: Try The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor at They can point you in the right direction. The organization’s president, Jan Thompson, is a filmmaker who has made two documentaries, “The Tragedy of Bataan” and “Never the Same–the Prisoner of War experience,” about this terrible time. Her father survived Corregidor and imprisonment.

    • Mary Hensinger says:

      Thank you for the info. I’ll definitely check it out.

  110. Becky says:

    My father, James Patrick Boyd, was stationed at Ft. Stotensburg. Here is a bit of his recount of that day.

    “Surrender came at daybreak on April 9, 1942. Company Commander Richard Caden called our 17th Ordnance Company together for the last instructions.

    Just as Captain Caden was about to speak, an officer from a military police company wheeled a jeep alongside. ‘This is it captain,’ he barked. We held them just as long as e possibly could.’

    He got back in the jeep, hesitated a moment and then snapped, “Best thing for you and the men to do is pile your guns in a stack and either blow them up or burn them.”

    The captain scowled. He look into the wall of questioning faces, ‘Well men, you heard it. There’s no use getting killed with our own guns, so put ‘em in a pile.’

    We were marched from our present location, Kilometer Post 182, back along the route of our retreat some 20 kilometers, or 10 miles, to a spot designated by the Japanese as a surrender point.

    Panama, a wiry, redheaded buck sergeant and longtime buddy of mind, spat disgustedly into the dirt. Squinting, he turned his gaze upward to the mountainous reach of green and tangled hills ascending to the north.

    I remarked pointedly, ‘You know, Panama, those hills look pretty good to me.’

    ‘Cactus, they look pretty good to me too. I think that’s the place we should be.’

    The idea of escape wasn’t exactly new. It had been with us since December 8, 1941, the day which the Japanese death their smashing blow to the Philippines. The possibility of escape lay in the mountainous terrain of the peninsula. We approached the Captain and told him.

    “If I didn’t have 147 men looking to me for leadership, I’d go with you.” he assured us.

    We started out with the rest of the men on their march toward to surrender area. It was deceptive tactic and also a practical one for we wanted to get back to a broken down supply vehicle we had passed along the road that morning. There might be food and some equipment we could use.

    We mingled with the flood of men and clanging vehicles trying not to arouse the suspicion of any Japanese officers who might be nearby, and at the same time watching for an opportune moment to get off the road and head for the mountains. A clump of bushes beside the road screen a maze of undergrowth gave us the opportunity. In a split second we left the markers, waited a couple fo minutes and then slid through the bamboo thickets leading towards the hills. We had our rice, flour, and hash and a little American display flag I had taken off a radiator cap on the supply truck.”

    This started a journey of nearly three years that found my father hiding in the jungles. Working with the other escapees and Filipino natives to help bring back MacArthur. In 2011 my father was honored by the Army’s 17th Ordnance division for his service. A building bearing his name is located at Ft. Lee Virginia.

  111. Ron Vallandingham says:

    We hear a lot and continue to do so of the Nazi atrocities but the Japanese were just as brutal and in some cases more barbaric then the Germans. My father fought in the Pacific theater and let me tell you the average Army Joe was relieved when we dropped the A-Bombs a now controversial decision that is derided by those comfortable elites who sit back and question this decision. Thankfully we now have a good relationship with the people of Japan but their atrocities should never be forgotten and forever condemned.

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      Amen to all that you said! And the fools who revere MacArthur are just that – fools. He was NO hero!

    • Jack Yandell says:

      As I have stated before, my Dad served with the 6th Army and landed on Leyte on Oct.20 1944. He never spoke of the war, but ALWAYS held a grudge against the Japanese and Mc Arthur….leaving those nurses behind…..NO EXCUSE…

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      Why “comfortable elites?” Your bias is showing.

  112. Janice Wagley says:

    My uncle, John B Ivy, my mothers older half brother, survived the Bataan Death March. My mom and JB had the same mom, different dads. He never talked about being a POW but later an article was printed in the Columbia, Mississippi news paper. He married my Dads sister, Alice Wagley. He retired in Goss, MS., and lived there till his death. He did tell us about stealing vegetables from the Japanese gardens and boiling them with their clothes. He was a Texan and was with a group from Texas. He said the Texans stuck together and helped each other. His best friend helped him and he said if not for him , he could not have survived. He figured out that the Japanese were afraid of “crazy ” people and he acted crazy, they left him alone. My uncle JB was my favorite uncle and you would have never known what horror he went through. He said it was his faith and belief in God that kept him strong mentally. I lived with my grandparents during WWII , his mom and step dad. My grandmother, Lillie Walker always said JB was alive and would come home. He did.

  113. Herschel Waller says:

    My father, Herschel Waller, who served in the 27th Bomb Group, was a survivor of the Bataan Dearh March. He spent the whole war in Japanese prison camps, first in the Philippines and, later, in mainland Japan. He was transferred from the Philippines to Japan in a convoy of “hell ships”. He was finally liberated from the Sendai 7-B POW Camp near Hanaoka, Japan, on September 15, 1945. He never revealed much about his experiences during his captivity before he passed away in 1995.

  114. Jean says:

    My grandfathers step son Marion Terrell was in the Death March. He came home and shortly thereafter died of a brain tumor.

    Does anyone know any resources on where to find info on these soldiers other than the Natl Archives?

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      Outside of memoirs and military history books, I would try Fold3 and/or IF you are willing to do a lot of digging, then try and search on soldiers’ names or returning POW topics.

    • Mannie says:

      If he was from New Mexico, as 1600 of the Bataan fighters were, you can look him up in Eva Jane Matson’s book, “It Tolled For New Mexico.” This is a comprehensive record of all batteries of the 200th Coast Artillery Anti-Aircraft Regiment of the New Mexico National Guard. A thorough history of the 200th is found in Dorothy Cave’s book, “Beyond Courage,” which has been mentioned elsewhere in this blog.

  115. James Tracy says:

    Equidst……Must be one of those that have never had to sacrifice anything for his country. Just wanted to enjoy all the muilk and honey but relied on others to pay for it.

  116. Eric says:

    This an important event in the war and I just don’t understand why Hollywood hasn’t made this a movie, yet???

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      They did, about five or six years ago. I can’t remember the name of it, but I saw it in a theater. It included Camo O’Donnell, but I don’t remember much about the film, overall. If you Google it, you might something about it.

    • Andrea Gutierrez says:

      “The Bridge On The River Kwai” was about the Bataan Death March. I believe it came out in the mid-60s. I recall I was in high school at the time. All the actors in it are dead now. My uncle, Ricard (Dick) Aust was not at Bataan, but survived the sinking of the USE Houston and was a LOW in a Japanese prison camp in Thailand.

    • James Reed says:

      “Bridge on the River Quai” was about the Allied (primarily British) troops captured in the defense of Singapore, and their imprisonment in Indonesia.

    • Robert says:

      British POWs from the fall of Singapore in 1942 were forced north to build a rail line from Thailand to Burma (now Myanmar). Japanese supply rail line for invasion of India (never happened)
      Bataan death march was on Philippines’ island of Luzon around 1,000 miles southeast of Burma.

  117. Becky says:

    Regarding the guerilla fighters there was a movie made starring Tyrone Power – An American Guerilla in the Philippines. I’ve also found this clip on You Tube. My father and Clay Connor knew each other in the mountains.

  118. My father served with the Australian army and fought at Kakoda in New Guinea and onto Borneo, Mala and onto Japan. I found out from one of my fathers mates how was with him when the battle for Kakoda was coming to a end as the Japanese had been pushed back to coast and the air stip that we’re defending was about to fall. My father added then the Americans showed up after the real battle to claim the victory.
    My father was injured during this final battle and was sent to Port Morsby to recover, while there McArthur showed up to the hospital with the media to showed he cared.
    During this my father apparently yelled at him and asked how many men under his command have to die so you can get your next star and called McArthur a coward.
    I read in my fathers service records that he was charged with disrespecting an officer would be courtmarshed and he was docked 1 weeks field pay, the charge was dropped as in his defence he’s said he fought for Australia and his opinions were that of all Australian services men.

    • Andrea Gutierrez says:

      My father despised MacArthur! Pop fought in neàrly every battle in the Pacific, including the Philippines. He said that MacArthur lived in a “mansion along with his mother. Plenty of servants etc. Dad also said that it was common knowledge that MacArthur actually slept with his mother. Apparently he was a “real” mama’s boy. It is true President Truman couldn’t tolerate MacArthur and his lifestyle so he fired him!

  119. Janice Deaton says:

    My step father, Wendell Minter, told of his brother who was part of this horrific treatment and lived to tell about it. I forget what his first name was but the last name was Minter. I would love to have more information on him to share with my grandchildren, my dad has since past.

  120. BJ says:

    When I was about 10 years old, there was a man that was stationed at the same army fort as my father who had been in the Bataan March. I was told that he had to eat monkey as that was all the food that they could get since they weren’t fed by the Japanese soldiers. I was also told that as a result of that diet he had stomach problems as a result. This was back in 1950’s. I am glad that those soldiers are being honored at long last!

  121. JL Davis says:

    Does anyone know where I can find a list of names of officers and nurses that were on the submarine Spearfish that were the last evacuees from Corregidor before it was taken?

    • Dianne Smolen says:

      What about the nurses on corrigidor? How and when wrrr they rescued? Does anyone have a nurse relative who was in corrigidor?

    • Carol Sullivan says:

      Only a few of the nurses who wound up on Corregidor were taken off the island. Most of them were captured when the surrender to Japanese forces happened. All of those eventually wound up at San Tomas in Manila.

    • Tracy Busyn says:

      Some of the nurses were later sent to Los Banos after that opened.

    • Caren Prather, Capt. USN, Retired - Nurse Corps says:

      Navy Nurse Corps Association has the name of the last Nurse off The island with the patients

    • Andrea (Sydor) Gutierrez says:

      You might look up the ship on google. Also, I don’t have the exact web site, but The Navy keeps a copy of every ship’S Cruise Book. ” They were published during or shortly after the war. I had one from my dad’s ship, the USS Marblehead. It was bombed during the war and barely made it into New Guinea for repairs. My father was Chief Warrant Officer Anthony A SYdor (aka “Sy.” He was a Pearl Harbor survivor and fought in nearly every battle in the Pacific. He was nominated for the Navy Cross.
      Another Baatan survivor: Lornie Cox of Washington State. My Ben’s uncle.

    • Theron P. Snell, Ph.D says:

      Try Fold3. Search on the name of the submarine in “War diaries.”

    • Melinda Davis says:

      I will look it up. So far not much luck on google.Thanks for your help

    • Theron P. Snell, Ph.D says:

      Fold3 has most Navy logs digitized in the War diaries Section.

      It requires a subscription, but there is so much stuff available through Fold3 that it makes sense.

    • Melinda Davis says:

      Many thanks

  122. Joseph w. Woods says:

    My mother’s second husband and the father of my brother, Jim Williams was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. She received a letter that told her he was missing in action and presumed dead so she remarried Mr. Woods , at the end of the war Williams returned home with mental issues after suffering from tortures he had to endure. They pulled out his fingernails and toenails and asking for information he couldn’t reveal. He removed to Texas to live with his grown daughters. He never fully recovered and died in Texas.

  123. Caren Prather, Capt. USN, Retired - Nurse Corps says:

    The Navy Nurse Corps Association has information and lots of history about the nurses. There is a memorial to the Angles of Bataan near other monuments in Bataan; I was there for the dedication in 1980. I met many of the survivors and most of the nurses

    • JL Davis says:

      Thank you

    • Dianne Smolen says:

      Wow. As s nurse, I can’t imagine what they went through.

    • Caren Prather, Capt. USN, Retired - Nurse Corps says:

      The NNCA has lots of historical info including makeshift uniforms, diaries, makeshift items for medical care, etc. the exhibit has travelled around the country. Contact them and ask for history

  124. Robert Brown. USA Retired says:

    I acquired a book ( Our Days were Years) by Horace G Teel about the Battan Road March. It is very good reading and informative. They went through HELL.

  125. Donna Blair says:

    I had privilege of knowing a survivor of Bataan death March & subsequent imprisonment. He was father of a friend.
    He was a quiet gentle man who did not speak about what happened to them. He is a Hero.
    The spoiled rotten kids of today would never survive such treatment. Nor would the stinking elites who occupy the swamp of DC .
    I have heard that McArthur failed his men.
    So sad. Always was taught he was a great General.

  126. Stepan says:

    My Uncle Philip Arslanian was Bataan Death March Survivor. He was in the Army Air Corp and was a lifelong and devoted member of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor. He was national commander in 1982 and went back to the Philippines for the commemoration. I remember him also going to the launch of the USS Bataan…a light carrier. He was one of the finest persons I have ever known. Despite what he experienced and the atrocities he endured, he held no malice. In fact he stayed in the military until 1960 and was stationed in Okinawa. He spoke very little about his experiences but only through the work of his Veteran’s group. He was a Patriot I learned so much from and loved dearly.
    May God bless the souls of these heroes including the Philapino Scouts that served with honor.

  127. paul klugh says:

    I have been reciving this [ fold 3 ] for some time now , and I must say this is the most talked about subject than all that I have stored, and the told story of “THE INFOMISS BATON DETH MARCH” I was in Japan for r r when I did my tour in VIET NAM and the tour guide told the whole group,[ 32 ] of us he was sorry, his father was a pow guard, and hade lived in the usa in the early thirty’s, At that time their were war lords, HIS FATHER DID HAVE some compashion, but then again this was war and the [JAPS ] at that time did not know about the Genovia convention, which I think is a bunch of (%^$#@(| ] We are the only country who o bides by it.

  128. Carol Sullivan says:

    There is a book about the nurses who were at Santo Tomas in Manila after they were captured by the Japanese. Many of them were Army and were captured when Corregidor fell, but there were also some who were Navy and were added to the group and sent with them to Santo Tomas. Most of them continued to function as nurses, working shifts and caring for the sick and injured. The few supplies they had to work with eventually ran out and they improvised where they could.
    While there was not as much outright cruelty at Santo Tomas as there was in many of the Japanese POW camps, none of the prisoners there were treated well. The nurses slowly starved right along with the other POWs. They were not freed until Manila was finally invaded during the liberation of the Phillippines.
    I can’t remember the name of the book, but it should show up with a search for Santo Tomas. There is also some info about some of the battles which forced the troops and nurses into living in open air hospitals on Bataan, the removal of the nurses to Corregidor just before Bataan fell, the hospital that the nurses worked in on Corregidor, which was set up in caves and corridors that had been dug into that island, and the removal of the.nurses to the mainland after their capture.
    The book is a good read for anyone interested in WWII, but especially for those interested In medical stuff.

    • There are two books about the women nurses that were POWs at Santo Tomas. All This Hell: U.S. Nurses Imprisoned by the Japanese (2000) by Evelyn Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee and We Band of Angels: The untold story of American nurses trapped on Bataan by the Japanese (1999) by Elizabeth Norman. These were both very eye-opening as I had never heard about the “angels of Bataan” before. My grandfather was a Philippine scout and survivor of the Bataan death march. Unfortunately, he was haunted by this, experiencing PTSD years later and having to be incarcerated in a state mental hospital because of violent behavior that accompanied his flashbacks. It has always been a very painful memory for me visiting him in the hospital when I was a kid, seeing him as an inmate in an orange jumpsuit. I remember visiting him there one Christmas and he gave me a bottle of gold nail polish as a gift. I’ll never forget it – he didn’t stop being my grandfather.

  129. Susan says:

    My great uncle Edwin Olson was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He was from Colorado. His eyes were severely damaged from the experience. In spite of his health problems and the horrible memories from it, he remained in good spirits throughout his life.

  130. Larry says:

    The war results on both sides was terrible. We Americans fire bombed Tokyo several times and caused more civilian casualties than either atomic bomb. That, along with the 100,000’s of deaths of young Japanese men in the war, you would think that there would have been lingering hostility in Japan against us.

    I was in the Navy from 1955 to 58 and went to Japan twoice. While there I went from Yokosuka to Tokyo by train, twice. The people were very friendly, polite, and helpful. Japan was safer for a youn American sailor then, than was Long Beach, Calif, after dark

    • Tracy Busyn says:

      I understand what your saying and that act was awful no question. I am sorry but it was that or more American boys dying trying to get Japan to finally surrender. The Japanese tortured people for years all over the pacific. Innocent women and children by the thousands including my mother and her family. Her cousin was mirdered just because he tried to find food. He was not even a teenager. The result of those bombs was truly horrific, but I believe it was necessary. I agree the Japanese people are wonderful, my family isn’t even bitter towards them, which I find amazing considering what they went through. Sadly war sucks and civilians get killed. They pay the consequences for what their government has done. It’s war.

    • Jack Yandell says:

      The Japanese invaded China and committed unforgiving atrocities. Every where they occupied, they inflicted such pain and death that it should NEVER be taken lightly. What the Japan mainland had to endure should have been ten fold. My Dad served with the 6th Army in the retaking of the Phillipines. He never forgot what the Japs did to civilians and POW’S the time he was there. The 6th Army endured more consecutive days of any combat unit.I as a Vietnam veteran, still haven’t forgotten what war does to a person, I live with it every day just as my Dad had to endure.

    • Alton says:

      I went to Japan during the occupation after WWII. I honestly was afraid of the Japanese when I first arrived. I expected to see savages. When the Japanese surrendered they surrendered completely. I never saw a gentler people. I dispised Emporor
      Hirohito but happy we kept him to control the Japanese.
      Thank God we used the two bombs on Japan as I would have been in the invasion of Japan.

  131. Deborah Calkin says:

    My son’s grandfather is a survivor of the big tan death march in three years as a POW. I’m fortunate to have found some information regarding this on the web. Unfortunately he died still a young man at 49 no doubt from the horrors that he experienced. I will be purchasing the recommended books/books to learn more. The soldier in our family’s name is Emerson Maytubby McCarter.

    • Deborah Calkin says:

      I am so terribly sorry for the AutoCorrect.

    • Lyn says:

      So so sorry to hear about all family’s trauma.
      My Mother(war was declared on her birthday 3/9/39) and her family were in England and left after the war for a fresh start in Rhodesia. Nobody in the family ever spoke about much of what happened in England. I do know they were sent into air-raid shelters often, a huge bomb blew an enormous hole in the road one street back from their home. My grandfather’s second wife was a refugee from Poland. Red Cross sent her to refugee camp in Rusape, Rhodesia from England(I think) She had spent time in a German concentration camp after working in the salt mines in Poland for them. Very sad for all in those times

  132. Luther Davenport says:

    The Kentucky National Guard sponsored and helped put together a documentary about the Battaan Death March. At the time several survivors were still living and were interviewed for it. I know it’s abailable on cd. And if you live close to Kentucky is played every once in a while on KET television. Is playing this month

  133. Zane Wilson says:

    My uncle Roy Edward “Sonny” Crenshaw Jr. of Kannapolis, NC, died in the camp. He was 19 years old. After the war his body was retrieved from the camp cemetery and he was reburied in his home town.

  134. Lyn says:

    What an gastly experience that must have been for all? How could the people who committed these atrocities actually live with themselves? and what was gained by it all.

  135. Randy Johnson says:

    Last week I had the privilege to have breakfast with two WWII vets. I brought up the atomic bomb and asked them how they felt about that. They both replied at the same time-It saved many American lives, so it was bad but good. My wife had a cousin, can’t recall the name, but he died during the March.Terrible time, terrible war.

  136. Patricia Kaufman says:

    I am trying to find information about Hugh Menish who was a POW of the Japanese. He survived the war but I can’t find anything about him.

    • Andrea Gutierrez says:

      The archives have POW paperwork. My uncle, a 17 year old Marine, was a Japanese POW. They put him in a camp in Thailand for over 3 yrs. His name was Richard (Dick) Aust from Portland, Oregon. He survived the sinking of the USS Houston. The auto correct is driving me nuts!

  137. E. Trusty says:

    Does anyone have any recollection of a WWII Paratrooper Pacific Theatre by the last name of Trusty. I was told he was one of the liberators of the Philippines.

  138. John Pelham Lay says:

    Few people in today’s generation have a clue to what made these survivors and their brothers in arms, the Greatest generation. Your comments lovingly keep love of these veterans alive. My family has many veterans, Marines, Navy, Army, Waves and my civilian grandmother, Minnie Higgins, who supervised a group of women here in Birmingham who rebuilt worn B-24 out machine guns so the planes could keep fighting. I am no Veteran but support them with every opportunity. God bless all of you who lost loved ones on Bataan or lived among survivors who revealed some of their suffering, and especially to those who never stopped suffering. My heart goes out to them and to those of you who keep their memories alive. War is Hell. Such a tragedy to be left and abandoned by the faux hero McArthur, who left to save himself.

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      My father (a late comer to the Pacific after serving in the ETO..his outfit staged for the invasion of Japan) referred to McArthur as Dug-out Doug. But, to give the guy his due, McArthur WAS ordered out.

      What really shines a light, I think, is that he staged his “return” to the Philippines, practicing walking ashore so the cameras could get it just right.

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      My uncle, who I have already written about here, also refers to him as “Doug-Out Doug”. That’s probably the more “printable” name bestowed on him. I hope to see my uncle in August this year, on the occasion of his 98th birthday. He really fooled those nasty Japanese who tried so hard to kill him!

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Good for your uncle!!! Wish him an AWESOME 98th birthday from ALL of us (I’m sure!) My dad, whom I’ve also written about here, would have been 102 this year (he was 91 when he died), and my awesome uncle (who survived the march but later died due to his severe treatment, starvation, and malaria, died about two weeks after the march) would have been 103 this year! He was only 27 when he died. Bless all of these soldiers and their families!

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      You are SOOOO right about Mac Arthur! ALL he did , he did for self-aggrandizement! Even IF he was told to leave the Philippines, he COULD have stayed and “gone down with the ship” (as it were), whereby really earning those stripes and medals as our fallen heroes did!

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      Amen Doreen!

  139. Alton says:

    I know Gen. MacArthur was called dug out Dug by some. But what you do not understand is even Generals like Gen. Mac Arthur have to obey commands. I served under Gen. MacArthur at the end of WWII and in Korea. I have a very different opinion of him.

    • Tracy Busyn says:

      You are correct. He did have to follow orders. He messed up big time when it came to action before the Japanese attacked at all, and especially after Pearl Harbor is what cost us so dearly. He did nothing to prepare. The government was who really abandoned them. Not just the military, but the US civilians living there. They just counted it as a loss before it even started. They decided it wasn’t defendable and therefore did nothing. They knew Japan would go after The Philippines at the very least they could have ordered the evacuation of the civilians months before hand. That’s what makes me mad. My family members were civilians in this war. They were treated little better than the soldiers by the Japanese.

    • robert says:

      GOD bless you, It was well known Roosevelt ORDERED him out. Later, it will be proven that Truman denial of nuclear weapons will kill us all!

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Obey commands?? Yes, that’s true, HOWEVER, what about him abandoning the troops? What about saying that he’d return with more troops to help, and then he doesn’t come back for about 4 years? What about ALL those people who died because he fled, leaving others in control in his wake and they had to surrender? And what about him fleeing literally in the dead of night with his family and EVEN his son’s nanny, and several others under his direct command???? Why were THEY more important than all those THOUSANDS of people who died or were imprisoned for 3 or 4 years??? No, I’m sorry, but he does NOT deserve the praise and honor so many have given him. You have a different opinion about Mac Arthur that SOOOOOOOOOOO many others don’t. Please tell us what he DID do right………………

    • Carol says:

      MacArthur obeying commands involved his having to follow the direct orders he was given by those higher up than he was to get out of the Phillippines. If he had refused to leave he would have been stripped of his command and most likely court martialed. He was not given permission to return to the islands until the island of Luzon had been liberated. He left in the dead of night because that was when the effort to get him and his family off was finally successful. Several previous attempts had been made to remove them and had to be abandoned for various reasons.
      Apparently you know little about the military command structure, or you would understand that NO soldier, sailor, airman, etc. can refuse a direct order from someone above him. If he does so, he will be stripped of rank and court martialed. The court martial would have to find him not guilty before he could regain his rank.
      As for his leaving being the reason the remaining troops were forced to surrender, that is blatantly untrue. There would have been a surrender even if he had been there. They were running out of supplies of all kinds and the Japanese were doing a very good job of preventing most resupply attempts. Even MacArthur couldn’t snap his fingers and make what they needed appear out of thin air.
      With all due respect, I think you need to do a lot of reading and get the facts, instead of getting all worked up over a lot of incorrect info that has been embellished over the years. It reminds me of an exercise we used to have to do in elementary school, called gossip, where the teacher whispered something to the first student, and by the time it had gone through the whole class it was usually so garbled it made no sense at all.
      Please don’t misunderstand me. I have no particular feelings at all for MacArthur. I have just read a lot of well written WWII histories by respected military authorities, and the complaints you state about McArthur have been reputed over and over again by those who knew, most of whom were lower in rank than he was AND served under his command.

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      Sorry, but I would rather believe my uncle who WAS THERE and lived through it than cover-up history accounts.

    • Carol says:

      Well, then perhaps it’s your uncle who doesn’t/didn’t want to acknowledge that MacArthur had to follow orders from his Commander in Chief, the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.
      Everything I’ve read, in anything at all, indicates that MacArthur did NOT want to leave the Philippines. He was going to send his family out whenever it could be arranged, but it wasn’t until he received the direct order from Truman, leaving no one else he could appeal to, that he finally gave in and realized he had to leave himself. He also wanted to return much sooner than he was allowed to, but he was ordered not to go until the President gave permission. Without that permission no transport could be obtained, so, unless he wanted to swim back, he was effectively kept out until Luzon had been recaptured.
      Most enlisted men and NCOs had no idea at all that MacArthur was being forced to leave and they subsequently felt betrayed because he had previously stated he wouldn’t leave them. Many of them never got over what they deemed to have been a lie, and that he had known all along that he would leave. To this day there are men still alive who refuse to acknowledge that MacArthur had to follow orders straight from the President.
      Yes, a lot of men were left behind when he left, but by that point there was no way that many men could be evacuated unless large ships were moved in to get them.
      One of the first things the Japanese did when they attacked the Philippines was to destroy air bases and planes on the ground. This left minimal air power for the US to use, so they had no way to protect large ships. The US could not afford to lose more large ships because we were still rebuilding the Pacific fleet from the disastrous attack on Pearl Harbour. All of this, not MacArthur, contributed to there being no way to get all those men out of the Philippines quickly. It was a bad scene, but due to a whole series of circumstances, and not to just one person.
      War is always bad and there has always been finger pointing, no matter which war it was in.
      MacArthur wasn’t perfect. No one is. But there were many others involved in the decisions that led to all the men who were left behind, just as there were others involved in the decision, ultimately upheld by President Truman, that forced MacArthur to leave the Philippines.

    • Caroline Bleil says:

      Sorry, but I don’t believe a word of it.

    • Theron P. Snell, Ph.D says:

      Before you dismiss my post, keep in mind that I think MacArthur was overrated, a poor general and someone who lived large.

      Now, I would respectfully suggest you read primary documents (try fold3) a lot of historical accounts AND personal memoirs. Several things should result:

      1. You will find not all historians agree with each other
      2. The evidence (the documents and accounts) itself is contradictory
      3. People who were ‘there’ don’t agree with each other either
      4. The term ‘fog of war’ is real.

      THEN you will have to actually decide. Perhaps there is a third point of view out there.

    • Carol says:

      Oh well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      And neither do I.

    • Robert says:

      1942- FDR not Truman.

    • Carol says:

      Sorry you’re right. So, FDR was President then and the Commander in Chief. Truman took over in April of 1944.

    • Theron P. Snell, Ph.D says:

      Took over in April 1945.

      Be sure you get the time-line correct as you make up your mind about the events.

    • Tracy Busyn says:

      I can appreciate that you have a different opinion of MacArthur, but the Japanese succeeded so easily because of him. The Japanese destroying all of our air power in their first attacks is one of the inept choices made by MacArthur. He new BEFORE the Philippines were attacked about the attack on Pearl Harbor. He did NOTHING. He did not move his planes from the same wing to wing arrangement on the tarmac that had been used in Pearl and enabled the Japanese to destroy nearly every plane in no time flat. Did MacArthur get them ready and prepared to strike back at the Japanese knowing there was a 100% chance that they would be next? NO. Did he move ammunition and supplies so they would be harder to destroy. NO. FDR by the way was the one who ordered him out, not Truman. Truman was not President yet. Was MacArthur a great military mind who should be revered. Not a chance He wanted the glory without doing the dirty work. He was a narcissistic commander out to make a name for himself. MacArthur was just as incompetent in Korea, which is why Truman fired him for it. After Korea MacArthur’s career was over, something I think that should have happened long before it did. My family were friends with him in the Philippines, my aunt even played with his son, and not one of them thought MacArthur was a great guy when everything was over.

    • Carol says:

      I did not disagree with what you have said. I was simply trying to show that removing 70-80,000 men from the Baatan peninsula in a matter of a few days was not possible. Once the attack on Pearl Harbor happened and the Pacific fleet had been almost wiped out, we simply didn’t have the ships necessary to move that many troops quickly anywhere in the Pacific area.
      The build-up of troops in the Philippines happened gradually, not overnight. The removal needed to be quickly, not gradually, and there was no way to do it as fast as needed.
      MacArthur’s ineptness as a general contributed to the men being trapped on the Baatan peninsula, but once the Japanese had them pushed back until they had no where else to go it was all over. Lack of resupply was a big issue in our troops not being able to fight any longer.
      The previous writer, whom I was responding to, kept stating that MacArthur had abandoned the troops and basically left them at the mercy of the Japanese. My point was that when the commanding general is ordered to leave by the President of the US, he has no choice but to obey. That’s not abandonment. It’s following orders from higher up, so high up that there’s no one left to appeal to.
      Whether MacArthur was still there or not, the surrender would have happened.
      It would have been interesting to see how MacArthur would have been treated by the Japanese if he had been captured along with the troops. But we’ll never know the answer to that question.
      The other thing I’ve wondered if why MacArthur kept his family with him for so long. Yes, he made a lot of poor decisions in his command of the Philippine theater of the war, but did he really care so little about the safety of his family that he intentionally kept them there, or was it a series of unfortunate events that prevented them from leaving when other civilians were evacuated earlier.

  140. Carol says:

    And by the way, the person who was higher up in command than MacArthur was, Harry S. Truman, Commander in Chief and President of the United States. There was no one else MaCArthur could appeal to. He had no choice but to leave.

    • Theron P. Snell, Ph.D says:

      Check it out. FDR was president of the USA until he died in April 1945. Truman was President during the USA involvement in Korea and actually fired MacArthur.

    • Bob Greenwald says:

      Truman was only a VP when that happened. Crack open a history book or google it.

    • Robert says:

      Henry Wallace was VP in 1942. Truman was VP Jan 1945 and pres from Apr 1945. SO MUCH HISTORY ignorance Here!

    • Bob Greenwald says:

      Well at least I knew who the president was in 1942, for Christ sake!
      Who really pays attention to the VP? He’s just a figure-head, Unless the POTUS is on deaths door “I have a terrific pain in the back of my head”, or he’s running for the position. He’s left out of almost every decision. Truman knew nothing of the atomic bombs until he was sworn in.

    • Robert says:

      Actually I had to look it up. Just knew it was not Truman. Just trying to keep history correct. Sorry if I offended.

    • Theron P. Snell says:

      I didn’t have to look it up. Heard it too many times in school. What seems to be an issue here are claims made by individuals whose knees jerk and who have not researched, aka looked at other points of view, about the subject at hand.

      Winners do write the histories; and each historian asks and answers questions that by necessity focus on one area of history or another. AND most historical patterns look from the top, down to the individual. But if you look around, most individuals do not have that perspective. And few individuals caught up in ANY experience see it the same way. (remember the fable about the auto accident and five witnesses who see five different accidents.)

      So…we need to be willing to investigate…AND at least get as many ‘facts’ as correct as possible…but not attack the points of view.

    • Bob says:

      None taken. If I’m going to dish it out, I should be able to take it, as well.
      I fact checked your fact check. Was surprised to read that Truman had no VP during his 1st term. Probably something you can’t do nowadays.

    • Mannie says:

      The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, gave the President the power to nominate a new Vice President, which would have to be approved by a majority of both the House and Senate. Neither Truman nor Johnson had Veeps during the terms they completed for their Presidents (FDR and JFK). When Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973, Nixon chose Gerald Ford as his Veep. Ford then became President when Nixon resigned in 1974, the only President who never faced a nationwide election. He then chose Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President. Seems like a lesson in history and government now, but this old lady remembers when it happened.

    • Bob says:

      Ah yes! Gerald Ford…..the only president that no one ever voted for. His claim to fame was to pardon Tricky Dick. He was a seat warmer and an economy destroyer.
      If the voters only knew what was to Succeed him, Ford would no doubt have won.
      Don’t know if there’s a presidential museum for Ford. If there is, it should just be a rest stop on an interstate

      Thanks Mannie for enlightening me on the VP issue!

  141. Alton says:

    At the beginning of WWII Gen. MacArthur was not officially in the U.S. Army. He was ( I forget his title) in command of the Phillipine Army until he was activated by the U.S.A. Before WWII the American Army did not have even enough arms for soldiers. Some practiced with broom sticks for rifles. America was really not prepared for war. The American people resisted intering the war in Europe. President Roosevelt knew he could not convience the American people we should join the war in Europe but if we were attacked we would fight. I honestly believe the American GOVERMENT knew Japan planned to attack America someplace. WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR WAR.
    I believe many commenting (not all) did not live during WWII and are getting their information from books. I was in the Army and Air Force during the Korean (police action) War.
    This subject has gotten compleatly away from THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH and gotten to the hate of Gen. Douglas MacArtur

    • Carol says:

      I agree that it has gotten away from the blog topic. The only reason I was even reading the blog is because I had an uncle who was in the the Army Air Corps in WWII and was in the Philippines. He survived the POW camp he was interned in and returned home at the end of the war.
      My own father was in the Navy in the war and he was the one who told me what had happened to my uncle. I wanted to talk to my uncle about his time in the service, but my father told me not to even try it. My father said that when my uncle came home he told my father one time only about his experiences, then told him never to ask him anything about it again and for him not to tell any of their family members any of it either. He had already put it behind him, writing it off as a bad experience due to war. He felt he needed to look forward and leave the bad behind him.
      I believe I might have tried to talk to him in his old age, but he was killed in an auto accident in his 50s, only a few years after I had talked to my father. I did talk to my cousin, his daughter, at one time later on, but she knew almost nothing. She said he had refused to tell them little more than that he’d worked on aircraft, and after that her mother had told them not to ask questions about it.
      My uncle was a very nice man and seemed happy with his life and family, so perhaps he had really been able to put it behind him.

  142. Alton says:

    I went to Japan during the occupation after WWII. I honestly was afraid of the Japanese when I first arrived. I expected to see savages. When the Japanese surrendered they surrendered completely. I never saw a gentler people. I dispised Emporor
    Hirohito but happy we kept him to control the Japanese.
    Thank God we used the two bombs on Japan as I would have been in the invasion of Japan.

    • Bob Greenwald says:

      Alton, thank you for your service! I’ve been thanking our vets way before it became trendy. I question if some actually mean it. I think they feel like it’s a requirement.
      My father (Richard “Earl” Greenwald) was in WW2. He was in the 594th Boat and Shore Regiment. After the Philippians campaign, we was to be part of the Olympic operation, for the invasion of southern Japan. After reading about what they had planned for us, I know his chances of survival wouldn’t have been good. Along with you and my father, I too wouldn’t likely be here if not for those bombs!
      My father said the same as you, when he was stationed in Tokyo. He said the people couldn’t have been nicer.
      I hope this finds you in good health. Wish my father was still around. He died in 1999 at the age of 77. Miss him dearly!
      You come from the greatest generation by far and I can’t thank the WW2 vets enough! What an unbelievable time in our history!

  143. Barbara Fox says:

    My family member who survived the death march was Brigadier General Guy O Fort. He was the highest ranking officer to be captured, tortured and executed by the Japanese near Luzon. His remains have not been properly identified nor returned. I am involved in a lawsuit to force the government to use dna to identify the remains and bring this unsung America hero home. He served in the Phillipines for many years including the post of constabulary. I have his handwritten diaries and they are remarkable. MacArthur came through the Philippines and offered him the choice of leaving with him on a ship or staying to defend the Philippine families and soldiers he had lived with and served for so many years.
    He stayed. His children were sent home. He was ultimately captured and imprisoned. He survived the March as he was allowed to ride part of the way because of his rank. Survival was temporary. After torture and his refusal to convince the Moro tribe to lay down their arms against the Japanese, he was executed in November 1942. There are eyewitness reports from the trial of the Japanese officer that ordered his execution that he turned to face his executioners and yelled “you may get me, but you will never get the United States of America. His children were orphaned when Guy’s wife committed suicide by drinking lye.
    I want to bring this remarkable unsung hero home and bury him with his sons here in So California. Anyone who knew him and has a story to share would be so welcome to tell it.
    Truly, how can the US leave our hero’s in mass graves still unidentified?

    • Tracy Busyn says:

      What a brave man. Men like him are what made this the greatest generation. I wish you the very best in trying to find his remains and bring them home. With your work you may help so many other families find and locate the remains of their loved ones as well.

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Your story gave me goose-bumps! What a hero!! Would that our other so-called leaders in the Philippines would also have been as self-sacrificing as your family member instead of leaving. Your family deserves to have his remains returned, and I know there’s a group who is looking into that…Don’t remember it off hand, but I’ll look into it for you and get back to you. I just found our about a month ago that my uncle’s actual remains are at the American Manila Cemetery, after 76 years of not knowing where he actually was! So there is hope!

  144. Adele Spidahl says:

    Thank You, Barbara Fox for sharing your memory of your Family Member and for taking action to bring home the remains of our real American heroes.

  145. Cynthia Downs says:

    My uncles, (my mother’s brothers) BOTH survived the Bataan Death March. My grandparents received word April 1943, after not knowing for so long, that both their sons, Frederic Francis Rohde (1917-1992) and Philip Grant Rohde (1919-1959) (were Japanese POWs. My uncle Fred was liberated after 4 years from a Luzon prison camp (weighing 73 lbs) and my Uncle Phil also survived Catabatuan after the dramatic Ranger raid. They NEVER spoke about it.
    While they were missing my Mom joined the WAC and was a recruiter—while waiting for her brothers. Just can’t imagine

    • Doreen (Vanderburg) Bruhnke says:

      Where were the Rodhe brothers from? I know of a “relative” in Nebraska by that name….It just stood out to me because it’s such a different name. Thanks.