Freedom Fighters: Ed Preston

In honor of the men and women who have fought and died to preserve our freedom over the years, we present a segment called Freedom Fighters. Ed Preston was stationed in the Phillipines when Pearl Harbor was attacked December 7, 1941. Eight hours later, the Japanese bombers attacked the Phillipines.

For five months, American and Phillipine soldiers fought the Japanese. Little did they realize that as prisoners, the worst was yet to come. The infamous Bataan Death March claimed an estimated 12,000 American and 24,000 Phillipine lives.

Preston credits his belief in God for seeing him through some of the most horrible experiences a human being could face. In 1944, Preston was put aboard a "hell ship" and sent to Japan as slave labor. On August 6,1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshma, Japan. It was days later that Preston heard about the bomb. Japan surrendered to the allies on August 14,1945. It still would be months before Ed Preston returned home, a free man in a country he had helped to remain free.

Joan Hallmark, reporting.