Back to Bataan - A Survivor's Story
Written by Rick Peterson
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Website Dedication
Author Rick Peterson



The Road to Bataan

The Bataan Death March

The San Fernando Train Ride

Camp O'Donnell

Clark Field Concentration Camp

Bilibid Prison

The Hell Ships


The Nomachi Express

Camp Nomachi

Surrender, Liberation, and Repatriation


University of Minnesota
Alf R. Larson
Recorded Oral History

Governor Pawlenty
State of the State Address Tribute

KSTP TV Newscasts

Duluth TV Newscasts

KTIS Radio Interview
Rick P./Paulette K.
Alf's Christian Faith

Alf's Letter to God

Alf R. Larson

In Memory:
Alf R. Larson
Star Tribune

US Representative
Erik Paulsen's Tribute

Alf Larson Day -
City of Crystal

Bataan Death March Route Map

Philippine Department of Tourism

Star Tribune:
March of Time
("Article of Interest" for 4-6 Grade Basic Skills Reading Test Prep)

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 Comment by tommy on 06/26/2012 @ 03:46:00 GMT

my grandfather wasJay Wiley Norket /captian gunners mate us navy. pow bataan

 Comment by LI on 06/01/2012 @ 03:12:39 GMT

Lisa O\'Cain for Louis Houston Gay

 Comment by Lisa O'Cain on 06/01/2012 @ 03:11:05 GMT

If anyone knew my Uncle Marine Corps Private First Class Louis Houston Gay who died on May 8, 1942 at Camp O\'Donnell please contact me with any memories you have of him.  He died before I was born and I honor his memory.

 Comment by Lynn Lind on 05/04/2012 @ 03:25:46 GMT

Anyone who may have known about my uncle, James Phillip Hunter, with the New Mexico National Guard, I ask you to write me with your recollections at My uncle was a cook at Camp O\'Donnell, I understand. There was a man from NM Nat\'l Guard who "taught" men how to steal food, and my uncle did steal food. This other man was put before a Jap firing squad. He yelled, "It takes 9 Japanese and 9 bullets to kill 1 American man." They dismantled the squad, and the commander beat him with his cane until senseless. He was taken to barracks and nursed back to health and lived to be 96. I think about that time, my uncle said, "get me out of here!" He was at Clark AFB next. Then boarded the Arisan Maru where he died at sea by U.S. torpedos.

 Comment by Lynn Lind on 05/04/2012 @ 03:16:36 GMT

Thank you for your website. My uncle, James Phillip Hunter, was in the New Mexico National Guard from Carlsbad, NM. It was "federalized" for one year. Ha! Sometimes, life throws you a curve...
He was in the 200th Coast Artillery, then the 515th Coast Artillery, which defended Manilla. He made the Bataan Death March and survived. He then made his way, somehow, to Clark AFB where he was put on board the Arisan Maru. Disembarked. Reimbarked. Ship was hit with torpedoes from U.S. submarine, and he was killed. His remains were lost at sea. He was the older brother of my father, who happened to be aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I have not ever read about what happened at Clark. Thanks,

 Comment by Jake Johnson on 05/02/2012 @ 19:17:28 GMT

Thank you Rick Peterson for bringing to light the memories of Alf R. Larson and those who gave their life so willingly for their country. The stories of the march and the atrocities that took place there should lie at the heart of every American. It is unbelivably sad that not many people even know anything about this horrible event. I have a greater appreciation for those men who have sacrificed so much for this country, knowing what they went though for you and me and all of us. Thank you Rick for expanding my knowledge on this horrific event. we will never forget what happened at Bataan.

 Comment by Peg Meier on 03/20/2012 @ 13:51:02 GMT

Here\'s to Alf Larson and the other men on the horrendous death march. I was privileged to write about Alf in the Star Tribune 2000, thanks to Rick Peterson, who alerted me to Alf\'s story. My sympathy to his family and friends on his passing.

 Comment by Judith B. on 01/19/2012 @ 08:48:09 GMT

My wonderful uncle was on the death march and survived.  He had a hard time on his return and was but in a Veterans hospital for some time before he received a labotomy.  He lived with my folks and us kids from about 1950 on.  He was a delight to us as he thought and acted as we kids did.  He didn\'t talk about or remember the march or war years due to the surgery.  During the last week of his life he remembered some things and spoke about them.  I would love to hear from someone who knew him.  His name was James P. Palmer. Please write me at if you can help me know what he was like as a young man.  Thanks so much.

 Comment by Beth K. on 12/24/2011 @ 15:48:03 GMT

It was really enlightening to read this story.  My great uncle, Alvin Peterson, was on the Bataan Death March and did not survive.  My family has always said that they recognize him as one of the men in the photo of the soldiers that were stopping for a rest along the way.  He is the soldier with the injured face and legs crossed.  Thanks for continuing to remember these men.

 Comment by T. S. on 12/01/2011 @ 03:45:08 GMT

Thank you for this story. I pray it continues to be told. It is full of important lessons, first hand information, and most importantly the thoughts, feelings and insight of those who were there. It is so important to pass on the stories of the past, so that that we never forget. The Bataan Death March is remembered here in NM every year. Reading these words have only deepened my appreciation of those ceremonies. I know this story will help me bring deeper meaning to teaching about this integral part of history in my classroom. Thank you.


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All materials copyright © 2001 Rick Peterson.
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