Freedom Fighters: John Read - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: John Read

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EDGEWOOD, TX (KLTV) -

By Joan Hallmark - bio | email

EDGEWOOD, TX (KLTV) - The Bataan Death March, which took place in the Philippines in 1942, was one of the most infamous war crimes in history. John Read was one of the few survivors of the death march and the Japanese imprisonment that followed

Read was stationed at Clark Air Base on Luzon Island in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked. American forces held out for three months without food and with little ammunition until they were ordered to surrender.

Bad turned to worse with the Bataan Death March, which stretched from the Bataan Peninsula to Japanese prison camps 60 miles away. The march lasted six days without food or water. Beatings, shootings, bayonet stabbings and beheadings reduced the prisoner population from 72,000 to 54,000. Tens of thousands more died in prison.

John Read was a prisoner for 42 months. With only a bowl of rice a day, his weight dropped from 165 pounds to 80. Read was one of only six survivors of his entire company.

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