WASHINGTON, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Five former Prisoners of War (POWs) of Japan will participate April 24 and 25 in a series of events in Washington, DC commemorating the 70th anniversaries of the 1942 Defense of the Philippines, Bataan Death March and the Fall of Corregidor. Most American combatants from the early battles of World War II in the Pacific became POWs, with many becoming slave laborers for Japanese companies.
"These veterans are survivors of the Bataan Death March or the siege of Corregidor who endured nearly four years of unimaginable degradation, abuse, and inhumane conditions as POWs of Japan," said Bataan Death March survivor Lester Tenney. "We survivors want our honor returned, and one way to do that is through an apology from the companies that used POWs during WWII."
The schedule of events includes a wreath laying with the "Old Guard" at the World War II Memorial supported by the American Legion and the Vietnam Veterans of America, a roundtable discussion on the legacy of the Bataan Death March hosted by California Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Mike Honda, a luncheon hosted by the National Guard Association of the United States, a luncheon hosted by the Disabled American Veterans association and The Heritage Foundation with today's Wounded Warriors, a dinner hosted by the VFW, and a reception hosted by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). There will also be meetings with Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Kurt Campbell.
- Dr. Lester Tenney, 92, San Diego, CA. Bataan Death March, Illinois National Guard, Company B, 192nd Tank Battalion
- Mr. Joseph Alexander, 85, San Antonio, TX. Bombing of Clark Field, Army Air Corps 440th Ordnance Aviation Bombardment Squadron
- Mr. Donald Versaw, 91, Lakewood, CA, Corregidor, 4th Marines Band (China Marines), 2nd Battalion E Company
- Mr. Ben Steele, 94, Billings, MT, Bataan Death March, Army Air Corps, 7th Material Squadron, 19th Bomb Group
- Mr. Roland Towery, 89, Austin, TX, Corregidor, Army, Battery C, 60th Coast Artillery who is a Pulitzer Prize winner
For a detailed schedule of events and to arrange photo opportunities and interviews with any of the five visiting U.S. veterans, contact Mindy Kotler of Asia Policy Point, (202) 262-1912, [email protected]
SOURCE Asia Policy Point