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Bataan Death March Survivor Passes at 105
GSPatton
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California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 02:55 AM UTC
Oldest Survivor of Bataan Death March Dies at 105
August 16, 2011


ST. LOUIS -- A doctor once told Albert Brown he shouldn't expect to make it to 50, given the toll taken by his years in a Japanese labor camp during World War II and the infamous, often-deadly march that got him there. But the former dentist made it to 105, embodying the power of a positive spirit in the face of inordinate odds.

"Doc" Brown was nearly 40 in 1942 when he endured the Bataan Death March, a harrowing 65-mile trek in which 78,000 prisoners of war were forced to walk from Bataan province near Manila to a Japanese POW camp. As many as 11,000 died along the way. Many were denied food, water and medical care, and those who stumbled or fell during the scorching journey through Philippine jungles were stabbed, shot or beheaded.

But Brown survived and secretly documented it all, using a nub of a pencil to scrawl details into a tiny tablet he concealed in the lining of his canvas bag. He often wondered why captives so much younger and stronger perished, while he went on.

By the time he died Sunday at a nursing home in southern Illinois' Nashville, Brown's story was well-chronicled, by one author's account offering an encouraging road map for veterans recovering from their own wounds in many wars.

"Doc's story had as much relevance for today's wounded warriors as it did for the veterans of his own era," said Kevin Moore, co-author of the recently released "Forsaken Heroes of the Pacific War: One Man's True Story," which details Brown's experience.

"The underlying message for today's returning veterans is that there's hope, not to give in no matter how bleak the moment may seem," added Moore, whose nephew just returned from military duty in Afghanistan. "You will persevere and can find the promise of a new tomorrow, much like Doc had found."

Brown, recognized in 2007 at an annual convention of Bataan survivors as the oldest one still living, couldn't muster the strength to talk about his experiences until about 15 or so years ago, said his granddaughter, Susan Engelhardt of Pinckneyville, Ill.

Rest in Peace.

05Sultan
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California, United States
Joined: December 19, 2004
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Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 11:19 AM UTC
These truly are the stories that inspire people to persevere and achieve success in whatever they attempt. God bless, Doc.
Aloha