From a brave American veteran comes an eyewitness account of a gruesome chapter in World War II history. Captured when America surrendered the Philippines' Bataan Peninsula, James Bollich experienced first-hand the march that cost more than 8,000 American and Filipi lives. Now, he shares the unforgettable experience of his three and a half years of Japanese imprisonment. This journal relates his personal experience, first focusing on the sixty-five-mile march that deprived prisoners of food, water, and rest. Prisoners received harsh punishments for any infraction, one of the most brutal of these being the policy of beheading them for taking a sip of water. Rather than force him to give up, these things made Bollich fight for life even more. Witnessing his comrades falling beside him and watching his own body waste away to ninety pounds, he never yielded his will to survive. After completing the march, he remained a prisoner of war, first at an old Philippine army base, then in ather camp at Mukden, Manchuria. He relates his imprisonment in detail, from starvation and torture to digging their own comrades graves in the hot sun, without hats or water. Through it all, he remained courageous and hopeful that he would one day make it back home. His story reminds both past and present generations of the horror and brutality of the Pacific war, all the while providing an inspiring testament to the will of the human spirit.
James Bollich, World War II veteran and Bataan Death March survivor, spent three and a half years as a prisoner of war in Manchuria from 1942 until the end of WWII. He completed his bachelors degree at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to do geological research at the University of Queensland, Australia. A retired geologist and a recipient of the Daughters of the Revolution Medal of Honor, he lives with his wife, Celia, in Lafayette, Louisiana.