Promises! All of us make promises that we hope to keep but sometimes we are kept from fulfilling them by life's problems. I promised many men in prison camp to contact their parents and loved ones if I made it back and they didn't. For over forty years I have searched for these families and talked to others but time is running out so I am writing their story of why they didn't make it home.
This story is based on the lives of soldiers I met in basic training at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, the men I met on Bataan and in the prisoner of war camps. This is their story of why they surrendered, why they gave up after all physical strength was gone, and why they died.
This is the story of a New Testament, a billfold and a list that made it through all the searches by the Japanese during those three and a half years. The Bible was used many times to comfort these men in their final hours. The battered billfold held the few pieces of paper with vital information and the list of men in Battery E of the 200th, who made it through the first attack on Clark Field on December 8, 1941, and dates of death for many.
This is a story of friendship that helped me be one of the survivors of the Japanese prison camps, the hell ships and World War II. But most of all, this is a testimony of the Grace of God toward me in the hours of need. My favorite Scripture was the twenty-third PSALM, and I saw every verse fulfilled in my life. I can only pray that He will sustain and comfort you as you read these words, as he did me as a P.O.W.
I express my appreciation to those who have helped and encouraged me to write this story of my experiences. My children have asked me to write down my memories. I especially wish to express appreciation to my wife for the many hours she spent to help edit the story for publication. I could not have completed the writing without her help. I appreciate the front cover design by my nephew, Joel Freeland. Thank you to each one for your help and encouragement.