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Oldest Bataan March Survivor Dies at 105


This undated family photo shows Bataan Death March survivor Albert Brown in uniform during World War II. Brown died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, in Nashville, Ill., at the age of 105.

This undated family photo shows Bataan Death March survivor Albert Brown in uniform during World War II. Brown died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, in Nashville, Ill., at the age of 105.

The oldest survivor of the harrowing World War II march from Bataan province near the Philippine capital, Manila, to a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp has died at the age of 105.

Albert Brown died Sunday at a nursing home in the northern U.S. state of Illinois.

He survived the so-called Bataan Death March that U.S. and Philippine prisoners were forced to make in 1942 after losing the battle of Bataan. The Japanese Imperial Army forced about 75,000 prisoners of war to march more than 90 kilometers to a Japanese camp. Thousands died during the forced transfer, which an Allied military commission later categorized as a Japanese war crime.

VOA's Victor Beattie talked with Don Morrow, co-author of a book about Albert Brown's experience, titled "Forgotten Heroes of the Pacific War: One Man's True Story"

Brown was in his late 30s when he endured the march, but it was not until Japan's surrender in 1945 that he could return home. During his internment, he endured near starvation, cruel treatment by the Japanese prison guards and a host of diseases and ailments.

His remarkable experience during the march and in the Japanese camp is chronicled in a recently published book Forsaken Heroes of the Pacific War: One Man’s True Story by Kevin Moore and Don Morrow.

In 2007, Brown was recognized at an annual convention of Bataan survivors as the oldest one still living.

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