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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Foreword

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It is absolutely impossible to acknowledge the many individuals who donated their time and assisted in different ways during the 14 years needed to complete this project. But I do want to express my thanks and gratitude, on behalf of Mr. Larson, to everyone involved including Governor Tim and Mary Pawlenty for honoring him at the State of the State Address in 2003 in front of the Minnesota Legislature at the State Capitol in St. Paul, MN, Peg Meier and Jenna Ross from the Star Tribune who wrote published articles in the newspaper, Katherine Archer from FedEx Kinko’s in Minnetonka who arranged for complimentary printing of different items and a number of photo enhancements used for presentations, and the printing of approximately 200 manuscripts used for complimentary distribution, television reporter Bill Sherck and business manager Dixie Hansen, both from KSTP TV for the development of newscasts/interviews and giving permission to place them on the website, Fred Baldassarre, webmaster of “The Battling Bastards of Bataan,” who provided photos and excellent historical support, Sun Newspapers for their excellent articles printed and distributed in their newspapers throughout the Metro Area of Minneapolis/St. Paul and suburbs, all local and state-wide media for their multitude of interviews, articles, newscasts, and other means of honoring Mr. Larson and his service to America, the Philippine Department of Tourism in Manila, who sponsored my two (2) trips to the Philippines, Day Cruz who served as my expert guide during both these trips, Colonel Art Matibag of the Corregidor Foundation, Manila, who arranged for me to see sites generally off-limits to visitors, and my son, Benjamin Peterson, who helped me with interviews and in composing the title of this work.

Very special thanks go to Jake Carlson of Dragon Eye Design for donating his time and resources for the complete development, design, and the ongoing maintaining of this website.

Some of the wartime photos on the website come from Mr. Larson’s private collection. The caricatures depicting actual events on the Death March and in Camp O’Donnell are used with permission by the artist-author, Mr. Ben Steele, a Bataan Death March survivor and former prisoner of war. Some statements under the caricatures have been paraphrased from the originals. Other photos came from a variety of sources on the Internet using various public US Government sites and from “The Battling Bastards of Bataan” website. I took the present-day photos, including the Camp O’Donnell “Battling Bastards of Bataan” memorial photo shown on the “Home” page of this website. Each photo and drawing is acknowledged individually below it.

The Bataan Death Marches and subsequent treatment of US soldiers was the most inhumane and barbaric treatment of any American Military force on a large-scale basis in US history. When these actions by the Imperial Japanese Army became publicly known, America was outraged. After World War II was over, the Bataan Death Marches were declared War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity by the US Military Tribunal in Japan. The Japanese military commander of the Philippine Islands invasion forces, General Masaharu Homma, was himself initially sympathetic to the civilian Filipino people and captured Filipino and US Military Personnel. However, General Homma, was ultimately held responsible for these and other brutal war crimes and unspeakable crimes against humanity committed by his Japanese officers and soldiers in the Philippines. He was taken prisoner in Japan after the war and returned to the Philippines. Outside the city of Manila, General Homma was executed by a firing squad consisting of American and Filipino soldiers. The other perpetrators of these vicious atrocities against US and Filipino soldiers and civilians in the Philippines were either killed in other war battles or simply faded away after it all ended. Although they probably never stood formal trial and had to account for their crimes, they will not escape justice because their final judgment will come from God.

Finally, we come to the soldiers of Bataan and Corregidor. Future generations must honor and remember these men and women who served America so bravely under such horrific conditions. They did their duty and helped rid the world of a great menace to freedom, the evil and unbridled military forces of the Empire of Japan. Each one has earned our eternal thanks and gratitude.

Please direct any questions for this website to Rick Peterson, Minneapolis, MN at cpeterson952@comcast.net

Rick Peterson
Minneapolis, Minnesota
February 2000
Revised May, 2000
Revised February, 2001
Website Home Page “Forward” revised March, 2012
Website Home Page “Epilogue” revised March, 2012

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


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