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


Foreword

Introduction

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

Japan

The Nomachi Express

Camp Nomachi

Surrender, Liberation, and Repatriation

Epilogue

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

Memorial:
Alf R. Larson


In Memory:
Alf R. Larson
Star Tribune


US Representative
Erik Paulsen's Tribute


PROCLAMATION
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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The Bataan Death March


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Newspapers on American Stands -- Photo Courtesy of the Battling Bastards of Bataan You and your group began the march on April 12, 1942?
Yes. We began walking the next morning. It was about eighty miles from where we started to where we ended up. It doesn't seem very far, but we were in such awful condition that eighty miles was a heck of a long way to walk. It took six days to get to San Fernando. There, the march ended and we got on board a train. But in that six days, a lot happened.

On the first day, I saw two things I will never forget. A Filipino man had been beheaded. His body lay on the ground with blood everywhere. His head was a short distance away. Also, there was a dead Filipino woman with her legs spread apart and her dress pulled up over her. She obviously had been raped and there was a bamboo stake in her private area. These are instances I would like to forget.

Beginning The March -- A Japanese wipes off his bayonet after killing a POW who has fallen out. -- Drawing Courtesy of Ben Steele I'm sure. How awful! So, you started marching at Mariveles and walked eighty miles to San Fernando, a railroad terminal. Did everyone take that road?
No, but most prisoners did. The captured soldiers on the West Side walked partially up the West Side, came across the peninsula, and went up the East Coast like we did.

What was the typical day like on the march?
We walked all day. At night, the Japanese took us to a field to sleep. You would lie down and pass out right there.

You started at sunup and walked all day until night. Did you stop along the way?
You just kept walking.

Japanese Soldier Beheading A Prisoner -- U.S. Archive Photo What would you do if you had to go to the bathroom?
If anyone had to, they went right in their drawers as they walked. If you stopped or got off to the side, you would have been bayoneted or shot. I didn't go to the bathroom because I had nothing to pass. Body fluid came out in sweat. I don't recall going to the bathroom until we got up to Camp O'Donnell. The first time I urinated, I thought I was going to die. It burned like sin.

You just kept walking. There was no food or water during the day. At the end of the day you were escorted to a field, or wherever they wanted you to sleep. The next morning it would start all over again?
Yes. In the morning, we would get up and start walking. That went on for six days.


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All materials copyright © 2001 Rick Peterson.
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