“Starvation, malaria and dysentery claimed the lives of thousands of POWs; others were shot and bayoneted by their captors.”
JULIO BARELA SAID the luckiest members of the U.S. Army’s 200th Coast Artillery were killed outright during the doomed 1942 defence of Bataan — the less fortunate ones (like him) survived the battle and became prisoners of the Japanese.
The New Mexico native recalls in this recent interview, provided by our friends at AudioBurst.com, the horrid conditions he and 60,000 American and Filipino soldiers were forced to endure during their 60-mile march into captivity on the Philippines following the three month siege.
Starvation, malaria and dysentery claimed the lives of thousands of POWs; others were shot and bayoneted by their captors. “I thought I was going to die,” recalled Barela, “I just got to where I didn’t care.”
Listen below to his harrowing account of one of the Second World War’s most infamous atrocities:
(Originally published Dec. 7, 2015)