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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Alf, when and where were you born?
I was born July 29, 1918 in Orebro, Sweden, in the province of Narke. My dadĎs cousin lived in Duluth, Minnesota. He kept writing letters to us and saying, "Youíve got come to Minnesota in the USA;" "The streets are paved with gold!" My father was a chief electrical inspector in Sweden. It was a good, white-collar job, but he and my mother decided to immigrate to the United States.

How many were in your family?
There were five of us. My mother, father, brother, sister, and I sailed over here on a ship named the Gripsholm. The accommodations were on the third level down, which is in the very bottom of the ship. The steerage section was in the forward end. We had one room with bunks for our entire family. We used a common bathroom. It was located in the hallway like in some hotels. I was the only one who wasnít seasick. My dad would take me to the mess hall for meals. The minute he got in there rrrrrrripppp.... that smell would just make him sick! I ate and had a good time! We ran into a storm coming over so the passage was kinda rough. Some yokel left a porthole open and part of the inside deck was flooded. Everything got wet in our section but there was no damage.

Larson Family Passport Photo - Front: Alf, Hilda (Mother), Anna Back: Gust, Gustav (Father) -- Photo: Alf Larson Private CollectionHow old were you when you went through Ellis Island?
I was four years old when we went through Ellis Island in September 1922.

How did you get from New York to Minneapolis?
My dadís cousin from Duluth had sponsored us. After we were processed, we boarded a train for Duluth. We arrived there in the fall. He rented a house for us in a rough part of town. It was so cold inside. During the night the water would freeze. We moved out of there as quickly as possible. My mother didn't like it here. She finally got acclimated, but went back and forth between the United States and Sweden twelve times, kind of like you and I would take the bus or streetcar downtown. That was her going back and forth to Sweden.

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All materials copyright © 2001 Rick Peterson.
This manuscript is registered with the Writer's Guild of America.
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