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Bataan Death March Survivors Honored
Scranton Times-Tribune ^ | 4/18/2004 | BILL WAGNER

Posted on 04/18/2004 7:19:23 PM PDT by Born Conservative

"Recognition Day is a time to remember those veterans who gave up their freedom to protect ours."Roland E. Moore Director, VA Medical Center

Sixty-two years ago, America watched as Japanese forces squeezed U.S. Army and Filipino troops onto a narrow Philippine peninsula on Manila Bay. The American commander, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, was ordered to leave for Australia and Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright was left the task of surrendering his 37,000 exhausted troops on April 9, 1942.

Those men and 10,000 defenders of Corregidor, an island fortress in Manila Bay that surrendered May 6, were rounded up by the Japanese and marched to prison camps nearly 70 miles away.

An estimated 60,000 prisoners began the journey. Thousands never reached the camps.

The long trek has entered the history books as the Bataan Death March, which became infamous for its examples of brutality and torture. One thousand American servicemen died during the march, many of them executed when they dropped by the wayside, so weakened by hunger and exhaustion they were unable to walk.

Many others lived to tell the terrible tale of brutality and privation, but of those Americans who reached the prison camps, one-third would die of starvation and inhumane treatment before the war ended.

Two of those death march survivors, Edward Maguire and George Sholtis, were honored at the VA Medical Center in Plains Township on National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, April 9.

Mr. Maguire, of Luzerne, was taken prisoner April 9, 1942, and from the Philippines boarded a Japanese vessel, the Tatori Maru, to be taken to Manchuria on the Siberian border, where the temperature sank as low as 38 below zero.

When the Russian army liberated him and others on Sept. 2, 1945, Mr. Maguire weighed just 73 pounds.

Mr. Sholtis was taken prisoner May 7 and weighed 79 pounds when freed Oct. 29, 1945, in South Korea. He recalled voyages as a prisoner aboard three Japanese ships, the Oryoku Maru, the Enoura Maru and the Brazil Maru, before reaching Korea. A former Elmhurst resident, he now lives in the Dalton area.

They had survived three-and-a-half years of captivity under almost unimaginable conditions.

"Thousands of veterans who survived enemy incarceration during World War II and the Korean War are with us today, as are those who served in Vietnam and more recent military operations," said Roland E. Moore, director of the VA Medical Center. "Recognition Day is a time to remember those veterans who gave up their freedom to protect ours."

Because they survived the trauma and deprivations of wartime captivity, these former POWs may be eligible for special benefits and services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Moore said.

"For many of these aging former POWs -- most are in their 80s -- time is running out," he said.

He said these veterans should contact the VA to make sure they and their spouses are receiving the benefits they deserve and have earned. He said they may contact Alan Kurlansky, the Former POW Program Coordinator, at the local VA Medical Center, by calling 1-800-877-928-2621, or a VA benefits counselor at 1-800-827-1000. Veterans' service organizations and county veterans service officers also can help, Mr. Moore said.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: bataan; militaryhistory; survivors; tribute; veterans; wwii
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1 posted on 04/18/2004 7:19:26 PM PDT by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative; Ragtime Cowgirl; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; TEXOKIE; Alamo-Girl; windchime; ...
2 posted on 04/18/2004 7:20:44 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Born Conservative
God Bless everyone of them. They were all true heros.
3 posted on 04/18/2004 7:23:59 PM PDT by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY 2004 - THE BEST GET BETTER)
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To: Born Conservative
79 pounds ? The mind has trouble wrapping around that paricular statistic....
4 posted on 04/18/2004 7:27:35 PM PDT by BartMan1
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To: Born Conservative
An enlightening read on this subject:

The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission
Published by Doubleday

5 posted on 04/18/2004 7:33:45 PM PDT by leprechaun9
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To: Born Conservative
We were very fortunate to hear the memories of local Bataan death march survivor, Ernest Norquist (father of the recent former Mayor of Milwaukee, John Norquist) who spoke quite eloquently about his experiences 2 years ago at a local organization called the Ozaukee County Military Historians Club, now renamed Metro Milwauke Military Historians Club. The two wonderful men who have set this up have done a great job bringing in men and women who have served our country in past wars/military actions, to give an eyewitness view of their experiences, often supported by video presentations. All in all, these presentations give an eye-opening rendition of how these wonderful people have laid their lives on the line for our freedoms. So many of the speakers have been from the rapidly diminishing ranks of the WWII era, and it's great to hear them speak of their actual experiences, which don't always jive with the "official" accounts that are spoon fed to us. If anything, it's given me a great appeciation for our men and women of the military and the sacrifices they've made to make us the greatest country in the world.
6 posted on 04/18/2004 7:40:12 PM PDT by giznort
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To: Born Conservative
7 posted on 04/18/2004 7:46:08 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch (Remember 9/11 in November!)
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To: Born Conservative
"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!"
by Frank Hewlett, 1942.

Some troops had rifles with broken extractors and had to carry a wooden rod to knock the fired case out. Their WWI Stokes mortars had a dud rate of 70%. Near the end they were living on a cup of rice and a teaspoon of salmon gravy twice a day.

They held out until April 9, 1942 against overwhelming odds and bloodied the Jap's noses.

Read about the screwups and their ordeal at:

Better yet, plug in "Bataan Death March" in Google and read what these guys went through. True heroes.
8 posted on 04/18/2004 7:48:16 PM PDT by Oatka
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To: Born Conservative
Two of my uncles made the march. Only one returned.

He wrote the story of his ordeal, and gave me a copy when I visited him a couple of years ago. It took months for me to have the courage to read it all the way through. Even now I can't even begin to imagine the horror my uncles experienced at the hands of the Japanese.

He died a year ago.

9 posted on 04/18/2004 7:54:13 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle
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To: Born Conservative


10 posted on 04/18/2004 7:55:28 PM PDT by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY 2004 - THE BEST GET BETTER)
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To: Born Conservative; SandRat just wrong, as is "BataaBump!"

Bttt, with gratitude.

(Obligatory pic!)

11 posted on 04/18/2004 8:08:42 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl ("He spares nothing to get to his Marines..They love him." re the command Chaplain in Fallujah,Ramadi)
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To: Born Conservative
In memory of Leo Harmon, a survivor of Bataan, who passed a few years ago.
And a special memory for Billy Joe, who did not survive Bataan.
Leo's daughter, 'Billie Jo', is a dear friend.
12 posted on 04/18/2004 8:24:15 PM PDT by G Larry (Support John Thune!)
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To: Balding_Eagle
My dad is a WW2 Navy vet. His cousin (who passed away several years ago) was a Bataan survivor. This is a letter that has been passed down in the family:

Dear ***,

When I saw you in Manila, I told you after getting back to the States and settling down, I would give you a resume of what has happened in the past. As you know, I missed my boat from Manila by going to see H***** in Mindora. Yet fortunately, and it was fortunately, the second boat that I caught got to the states five days before my scheduled one. I arrived at Seattle, Washington and then was sent to Madigan General Hospital.

Incidentally, one of the most embarassing moments occurred on the voyage, about October 1st., half way over the Pacific. I went down to the shower, naturally to take a bath. Directly over the shower were the 20mm guns, of course, the noise made by the shower and my lusty singing drowned out an announcements made over the P.A. system. Just about the time I was rinsing myself off, I heard the clattering of the guns in just about nothing flat, I was on deck with the towel in one hand and nothing else. Imagine my embarrassment to find myself the center of attraction, gazing at me were nurses, officers, and GI's of all rank and description. I had failed to hear the announcement over P.A. system that we had run across a floating mine and that personnel aboard ship were not to be disturbed by the firing of guns as the shipper was going to blow up the mine to prevent a hazard to sea traffic.

From then on every time I appeared in the mess hall a cry came up,"It's alright girls he has his pants on" and glad I was finally arrive in Seattle, Washington.

They started my initial processing there and incidentally, no aoemebic dysentery, Thank God for that. Another unusual incident occurred, my fifth day there I went to the Officer's Club, accompanied by two of my chums, also PW's. We were only having one drink, my first, when the following incident occurred. A Major at the next table was making remarks about nurses overseas, I became slightly aggravated, that is to put it mildly. I walked over to him and asked him if he had ever been a patient in an Army Hospital. He said no, then I asked him if he had ever been overseas, again he said no. I'm afraid I lost my temper because I hit him. He was out cold for five minutes. I suddenly realized what I had done and I could see a Court Martial staring me right in the eye, but luckily he had had a few drinks and the blow slightly sobered him up, because when he recovered, he said, "Well Lieutenant, I guess I spoke out of turn, and I am sorry." He then offered us a drink, I gladly accepted. This though has been my first and only time that I lost my temper since my release. I think I have myself under control now.

At least I hope so.


S** is now on Terminal Leave, and we decided to go to Miami, from there to Havana, and spend one, two, three weeks enjoying ourselves. My edema has left me, my face is no longer bloated, my feet are no longer swollen-in fact I am at my pre-war weight, feeling fine. About the only thing I lack right now is a lot of romance and I will be catching up before long, I hope.

Around October 19, 1944 , we moved from Cabanatuan to Bilibid the old Spanish prison in Manila. We figured the Nips to be able to get us off the island as we had been seeing U.S. air Activity since September 22, which was the first day we saw American planes over Luzon.. We stayed in Bilibid until December 13. Air Activity continued except for the week prior December 13. We got scuttle butt rumor of bad weather around South. The last fairly authentic rumor which we received is when we went into Bilibid, of the invasion of Leyte. The Nips announced December 13, early in the morning, a list of names. Those men be prepared to move at five o'clock that evening. The news rather stunned us because we knew it was damn close to suicide for them to get through a boat at this time. 1619 men went aboard the Cricka Maru, it was a beautiful vessel, comparing very favorably with the U.S. President Coolidge. We were put into holds in the hip, crowded so that you sat with your knee touching your chin. They also loaded on the vessel, and we believed it an excellent omen, many civilians, women and children and wounded Jap soldiers. We figured certainly that they must have notified our Government that they were repatriating their civilians, sending soldiers and prisoners of War to Japan. We learned differently later.

December the fourteenth in Cebuc Bay our boat was attacked by American Naval Planes. She was damaged but not sunk at this time and it is rather a strange significance because the hatch covers were off the hold and you could actually see American Planes diving on the boat, cutting loose with their machine guns, spraying the deck, dropping their bombs. The funny part about it is we welcomed the bombing, because conditions were such on that boat that by noon of the following day we had lost approximately 150-200 men from suffocation, thirst, heat prostration, and madness. Some men went so mad with thirst, that they drank their own urine, some slashed their own wrist
and drank their blood-others attacked their comrades attempting to cut their throats and drank their blood too. One boy had to be killed because he went insane and was attempting to kill others and the one who killed him was his best friend. It is funny in a situation like this man loses everything that he once held dear, decency, love of fellow man, honor, everything.
There seems to be but one thought, survival of the fittest and you had to be damn fit and a will to live. The Nips pulled the boat off O lonpo, where the Marines had one of their barracks, in fact, it was sort of a station---small base. During the night they evacuated their women and children, wounded soldiers, the only ones remaining on the boat were the gunner's and the guards. About noon of the following day, we were again attacked by American Planes. This time they scored a direct hit on the other end of the vessel, starting it in flames. Then they allowed us to get out of the holds and leave the ship. It was a nice swim ashore, about half way ashore, there were four American Planes in dive, we waved out arms, some men in lifeboats and rafts waved their shirts or whatever they could get their hands on. The lead plane straightened out, it seemed as if he recognized us and flapped his wings. No more strafing, no more bombing.

That water was probably the most delightful experience I could ever recall, it was cool and refreshing, more than, it seemed to give us new life. Those of us who got ashore early gathered up extra life rafts, preservers, and swam out and helped others ashore. The Nips then herded us into a tennis court, about 1400, and the tennis court wasn't any too big, but can Thank God for one thing; it had running water. Because for five days our only food was on the 4th. and 5th. days. 2 ½ tablespoons of raw rice, twice daily. American planes attacked later that afternoon on the Nip gun positions. Yet the only thing that ever touched us in the tennis courts were 3 cases from 50 caliber machine guns. They must have known we were there. Well, we stayed there about six days and those six days were rough. They had us herded in this court, no shade, no food for the first three days anyway.

The first three days we ate on our imagination. The fourth and fifth days the Nips got magnanimous, twice a days they gave us two tablespoons of raw rice-sometimes instead of just getting two, we got two and half. We were going great. When we got that rice we took a grain at a time, put it between your teeth, crush it. You may think ordinary rice is very unappetizing, well maybe it is, but it is surprising how delicious we found that rice, eating it a grain at a time, one grain after the other until it was all gone. The Nips started getting a little jumpy, figuring our boys were coming close, so they moved us by truck to San Fernando La Union, there we were put on box cars, approximately eighty-seven men to a box car. At least there were eighty-seven in our car and those box cars were the narrow gauge type and only one of the doors were allowed open. There was no room for anyone to sit down, in fact, you could barely stand up, a man could have passed out without hitting the floor. On this trip we started a circle in the box car, a little at a time to give every man a chance at the fresh air. There were about twelve box cars in the string. We, also, had a lot of men riding the tops of the cars, and the Nips told us that if American Planes came over, it was all right to wave the flags (white sheets).

From San Fernando La Union we went to San Ferando Pompomaga. Going there we had to cross Clark Field when we were just about half over. Bombers going into screaming dives, AA bursting overhead, white blossoms in the sky…..the rat tat tat of machine guns, a kind of stillness after the raids passed over, you could see burning planes, oil, fuel, you could notice the stench of fresh poured blood. Luckily the trains wasn't hit, so we chugged on through.

We could get a feeling from the Nips around us that they had one mission, their original orders were to take a group of American to Japan. We seemed to get a feeling then that come hell or high water, they were taking us there, and they did, what was left of us. When we got to San Fernando Pompomga, we stayed in a school-yard for one night. From there we marched out to the Bay the following morning. There the Nips herded us into landing crafts, took us out to freighters in the Bay and loaded us on.

There must have been about 1,000 on one boat and 450 with us, we were on a freighter that was probably old as Metheusela. We had no place to clean ourselves-we had no latrines, etc., so when a man felt the call of nature he went in a corner . After two or three days the stench didn't mean a thing. It probably smelled as bad as the worse latrine man could think of. The boys began to die, we got little or no food, sometimes a ration of rice could be measured out by a tablespoon. The water supply, well a third of a canteen cup a day was a goodly amount. In the morning the Nips would yell "Any men dead", and they would lower a rope and pull them out of the hold. If anybody had energy enough they would say a prayer and the bodies would be thrown overboard.

We had a man named Kleivhko, he was a Russian Jew, and a simple man, but there was never any sense of pretence about him. He could speak probably about a dozen languages and he took the part of the Rabbi for us in camp. He had memorized the songs, chants, prayers, and on holidays he was our Cantor. Every Friday evening you could hear his chanting for a long way off. He held the lowly job of a Caribou herded, he had a long flowing beard and in his tattered clothes you would look at him and you would think that our ancestors wandering through Palestine must have looked something like him, only instead of tending sheep he was tending caribou.

About the sixth night out he died, no complaint, no recrimination. He just said, "Sorry I caused you so much trouble", and died from exposure, lack of food, lack of water, the lack of that which provides the vitality for caring on life.

We finally arrived in Formosa, the Nips doled out the food, called it Twaiwan. There they combined us on one boat again, we stayed in the harbor for about six days. About January 5, 1945, one of the men on deck said he saw an American observer. That night we held our usual critic, rehashing over the situation and trying to figure out what tomorrow might bring. A lot of us felt, but few had the courage to say: "Well boys, say your prayers".

An American Plane took pictures today, tomorrow the boys will pay us a visit. Some of the boys prayed, some cursed. Father O'Brien who died later, I will remember his voice through eternity. Every evening just before we went to sleep, he would raise his voice and say a prayer, told us to have courage and if we must die, let us die like men and each night he spoke his voice grew weaker and weaker. One night we waited, we just waited, then no word, we weren't told but everybody felt it. We talked about it later and we all felt it. We knew that we would never hear his words again unless we heard it in our minds. He died that night.

January sixth no American Planes. That evening we talked about it again "well the boys didn't come over today, but they will be here tomorrow".

Tomorrow came and tomorrow went. Then came January ninth, just about twelve o'clock, it is strange when you have death as your companion, you actually treat him as your companion,with the rights and privileges of a friend. He has the right to a jest and if he nudges your elbow and if he calls O.K., but you get so used to him that you don't mind him anymore.

It was just about the time we drew out water supply. We were divided into ten equal men with squads. We got so little to eat that the food had to be divided down to the last grain. So the whole group divided into twenty groups and then into lesser groups, until finally each group had ten men and there was the final eating scout. We drew food and water even if it had to be measured out with an eye-dropper, it was my turn to draw water but Tony (Lt. Glevis, Eng.) insisted on drawing the water. He said, "I will probably get a malarial chill and won't fill like doing it later". I told him that it made no difference, I would just as soon do it as not. But he said no, Well, you don't argue, you haven't the energy or inclination, when a man feels strong about something you let him have his way. It was just at the time he was drawing the water we were hit by American bombs. We had no previous warning as we had on the first bombing but the Nip AA opened up fire of machine guns. This time no warning. The Yanks really pulled a surprise one.

They dropped a bomb that blew a hole in the front part side of the ship, blew a hole big enough to walk through. That bomb killed outright about 350 or about 500 men in the forward hold. In our hold it killed about 50 outright. Tony had a bomb fragment about twice the size of a rivet through his guts. He lived about eighteen hours and how he lived those eighteen hours, I don't know. I called the doctor over to see him, the doc said there wasn't any use trying to do anything, he would be lucky to live an hour.

Tony lived, I hovered around him with morphine and gave it to him but I didn't have quite enough. I had hoped to have enough that would put him out, well he suffered, not too much, the morphine at least killed most of the pain. He told me to see his girl back home and his family, I promised and he died in my arms.

There was blood all over the boat, we could see the forward hold through the torn bulkhead. I will never forget my first sight, I looked through the hole and for a while my eyes didn't focus. It was like looking at a movie shot that was spinning and finally it sat still, and it looked like something that was thrown through a doll house. The doors scrambled and pushed in from one end to the other-smashed in. And the screen came into focus, you started to notice things. The bodies were grotesque and real. You didn't think human form could take such shape or rather, human bodies take such form. There inner-mingled mass of arms and legs, bodies with no heads, there was blood and guts strewn all over. As if a mad man had taken a paint brush and the paint brush was read and had done a job. Well those boys that still lived started to separate the living from the dead. There was no place to put them, no place to take them the only thing we could do was to section off part of the hold and pile the bodies up like board wood in the hold of the ship, 350 bodies make a neat little stack and especially after being in the hold for three days the Nips didn't take them out, they gave us no medicine, nothing, until the third day. You get used to a lot of it.

We still got our meager ration and in fact, ironiously enough, some of the boys said for the first time they had enough to eat, they gave us ration for 500, and only had about 50 that could eat. The boys joked and said well, it is a good thing that at least they had something to fill their bellies and you became hardened. Imagine to use a cadaver for food store, a bench and a tray to hold your mess kit. On the third day they let us take the bodies out A few medical men of the Japenese Imperial Government came in to the hold.

They brought with them a little iodine, meroechrome, and a little bandage and damn little. After the first few men treated by the Nips, our own doctor took over, most of the work took the equipment that the Nips had and did what little they could. They couldn't do much-they didn't have much to do with.

Well, the Nips of the next day put us on another boat and the Emperor's will was being done. Our original orders were to leave Bilibid and go to Japan.

As far as they were concerned we would get there, they many not give us food, water, air, but by God, they said if there was any of us alive and they didn't particularly care if we were dead or alive, we would have to go to Japan if we were dead, they could go to Japan without being bothered guarding somebody. So if they felt like it we ate, if they felt like it we had water we had no clothes, blankets, we had to cuddle up to one another for warmth.

Well we were lucky on a few accounts, the hold underneath us contained a shipment of sugar and we ate it. Can you imagine making a meal out of a canteen cup of plain sugar? But it provided energy and when it got real cold we didn't give a damn, went down in the sugar hold, poured the sugar out and took the sacks to cover overselves. We might as well get shot as saboteurs as die of exposure.

We started out in our Bay of 22 men. The closer we got to the Japan the less there were. We finally got there, only 4 of us left. Every morning they would call out-bring out your dead. Wee would take the clothes off the bodies, shove them out in the aisle way, they would grab the bodies by the heels, drag them up to the deck and throw them overboard, and generally a prayer was said.

We used to amuse ourselves when we would get our small portion of rice. Well what shall we have for supper for tonight, the men would make a fantasy of describing the most fantastic meals a man could ever imagine. We described food as eaten by an Italian, French, Russian, Chinese, American Greek, as long as there was food. We talked about a thousand and one different methods of preparing dishes of salads and sauces. Well, that was one way to amuse yourself-you had a grain of rice to eat, and you would imagine having roast chicken dinner or roast beef.

We finally got to Japan, a little more than a thousand less than when we started out with and they were still dying, we arrived January twenty-ninth approximately forty-five days after leaving Bilibid, on the island of Honchu and the city was Fuiquicka. We stayed there for two months I left the islands weighing 145-150. I arrived weighing between 85 and 90 pounds. We left with 1619 men and arrived with about 500. We had left on one boat but it took four to get there. We had left with the invasion of Leyte, we arrived with the invasion of the Phillipines.


Cousin H***** G*******
13 posted on 04/18/2004 8:27:00 PM PDT by Alouette (Ba'avod reshoim reenah!)
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To: Born Conservative
Capt Hans Hornbostel, my grandfather, survived the march at age 60. Then 3 more years at Camp O'Donnell, then Cabanatuan, Ft. Santiago, and Bilibid.

Died April 3, 1957.
14 posted on 04/18/2004 8:30:20 PM PDT by Andyman
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To: SandRat; Mr. Mojo; Euro-American Scum; Happy2BMe; All
Three of the soldiers who were killed in the Bataan Death March were my uncles. My dad was in the AF and was on his way back over seas when they got the news. They landed the plane on the Ca.Islands and pulled him off as the sole surviving son.

The flight crew on my dad's plane named the plane after his brothers. It was shot down on that mission and all of the men on board were killed. Had they not pulled him off, I wouldn't be here today. My dad stayed in the AF training flight crews in CA until the war was over.

My mother's brother was killed with them. Her brother is buried in the national cemetery in Manila, P.I. because her folks couldn't afford to bring his body home.

I told my dad about this article when I saw him and he got tears in his eyes. He'll be 85 this year and it still hurts him like it happened yesterday.

Growing up I felt cheated because none of my uncles were married so I only had 3 cousins on my dad's side, but having been Blessed to live in the greatest country in the world, I'm so very grateful for the sacrifices they all made. God Bless all of our Veterans, and ALL of our soldiers who are serving today.

15 posted on 04/18/2004 8:31:52 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (--->Islam and Democrats: equally dangerous to Americans<---)
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To: Born Conservative
My father-in-law was a Bataan death march survivor and was a POW for 3-1/2 years. He was with the 200th Coastal Artillery. He was a true American hero! He lived to be 70, but I know he had many medical problems because of the time he spent as a POW. God rest his soul!!
16 posted on 04/18/2004 8:45:01 PM PDT by TejasRose
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To: Born Conservative; All
Salute from me polish guy to you great Americans -- Military salute with full honor.

God Bless you all

17 posted on 04/18/2004 8:56:33 PM PDT by bogdanPolska12
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To: bogdanPolska12; SandRat; All
And American spirit lives on, here is once again what America stands for and once again my salute to you all!

The Speech
June 5th, 1944

"Be seated. Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons.
First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones.

Second, you are here for your own self-respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else.

Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight.

When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players.

Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle.

If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared.

Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He-Men and they ARE He-Men.

Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen. All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call "chicken shit drilling". That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier.

I don't give a fuck for a man who's not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sock full of shit!

There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did. An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team.

This individual heroic stuff is pure horseshit. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about fucking!"

"We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do." "My men don't surrender, and I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit.

Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That's not just bull shit either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet.

Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man! All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either.

Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain. What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would he be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like? No, Goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job.

Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling.

The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the 'G.I. Shits'. Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men.

One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious firefight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, 'Fixing the wire, Sir.' I asked, 'Isn't that a little unhealthy right about now?' He answered, 'Yes Sir, but the Goddamned wire has to be fixed.' I asked, 'Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?' And he answered, 'No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!' Now, there was a real man.

A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds. And you should have seen those trucks on the road to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren't combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable.

Don't forget, you men don't know that I'm here. No mention of that fact is to be made in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell happened to me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be here in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the Goddamned Germans. Some day I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, 'Jesus Christ, it's the Goddamned Third Army again and that son-of-a-fucking-bitch Patton'.

We want to get the hell over there. The quicker we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the Goddamned Marines get all of the credit. Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I'd shoot a snake!

When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get to him eventually. The hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one either. We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts.

When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do! I don't want to get any messages saying, 'I am holding my position.' We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn! From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard.

I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.

There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, 'Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.' No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, 'Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!'

That is all.
18 posted on 04/18/2004 9:10:57 PM PDT by bogdanPolska12
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To: Alouette
I read this book last year, and looking at all the details that match, I believe your Dad's cousin was on the same ship as this survivor. You may want to take a look at it:

Belly of the Beast: A POW's Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage, and Survival Aboard the Infamous WWII Japanese Hellship, the Oryoku Maru

If I may be so bold, to clarify your cousin's spelling of place names-

Cebuc Bay = Subic Bay

O lonpo = Olongapo

Fuiquicka = Fukuoka, and it was on Kyushu, not Honshu.

19 posted on 04/18/2004 10:37:04 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: NRA2BFree
I told my dad about this article when I saw him and he got tears in his eyes. He'll be 85 this year and it still hurts him like it happened yesterday.

Old wounds run deep. My uncle -- the one who gave me the guidance on my speech I so desperately needed -- called me up not too long ago. He's 84 and for the life of me never said a word to anyone about anything that happened to him in Europe in 1944-45.

He gave me the name of a friend of his who is buried in the American cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach who was killed in the fighting there on D-Day. If I can find it, I'm going to bring him back a picture of the headstone, and maybe a Vietnam Wall-style tracing of the name, when in go there in June.

My uncle was and is a hard man. He was never mistaken for a sentimentalist. He could barely talk about this on the phone when he called me.

Some wounds never heal.

20 posted on 04/18/2004 11:48:45 PM PDT by Euro-American Scum (A poverty-stricken middle class must be a disarmed middle class)
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