The Greatest Generation: Surviving The Bataan Death March - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

The Greatest Generation: Surviving The Bataan Death March

  Oliver "Red" Allen, was a naive, East Texas farm boy when he joined the Army Air Corps in May of 1941. Little did Allen know that his country would soon be at war and his role would be the ultimate challenge of staying alive during the infamous "Bataan Death March".
  Clark Field in the Phillipines, where Allen was stationed, was hit by the Japanese oly four hours after their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. By April, Japanese forces had captured the Phillipines. Allen was taken prisoner on April 9th and on April 10th, the infamous Bataan death march began.     
  For Allen, the death march lasted five days, days of constant walking and harrassment, with no food and very little water. Over eleven hundred American soldiers perished on the walk. Hundreds more died in camp and in box cars during transportation to Manchuria. Each day was a new struggle to survive.
  After the war Allen returned home, married and became a teacher.It was decades before his story would be told. But eventually Allen did put his story on video tapes and his wife Mildred wrote the manuscript. "Abandoned On Bataan, One Man's Story of Survival" was published in 2002, exactly sixty years after Allen's capture by the Japanese. Oliver Red Allen insists he's not a hero: he says he's a survivor. But his courage and faith during three and a half years of "Hell On Earth", as this captivity's been described, elevates this member of "East Texas Greatest Generation" into heroism in most everybody's book.

Joan Hallmark, reporting.

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