A Story About a
Death March Picture

In a previous newsletter, we ran a picture which was a crop of a much larger picture.   In fact our crop was only about 20% of the original image.  We noticed three men in the bottom right hand corner of the picture and thought they were the most interesting part of the image.

We then received the following e-mail from
Paul G. Inzer:

I am looking for the people who put the Battling Bastards on the net, because I am in one of the pictures which I never saw before. Could you please put me in touch with the web site owner---Thank you--Paul G Inzer exPOW


(From Left to Right)  Preston J. Hubbard, age at the time: 23,
Paul G. Inzer, age at the time: 16, and a soldier not identified.
This picture is of a rest stop, on the Death March,
in Balanga, Bataan.

Paul wrote back to us and told us how the Death March began for him.

We (Preston and Paul) were both sworn into the Army on the same day: June 13,1941. We were assigned to the same unit: 330th Signal Corps Aviation, Nichols Field, in Manila, Philippines Islands.

When Bataan fell, we were at Little Bagiuo, a few miles north of Mariveles, the tip of the Bataan Peninsula.

I was ordered to man the Field Telephone Switchboard, so that the CO would know how close the Nips were at all times--so he would know at exactly what time to destroy all vital equipment and information. You see Gen. King surrendered all forces on Bataan near the front where most combat was in force. While the 409th Signal Corps Avn. were performing their duty in Little Bagiuo a number of miles behind the front. I was, personally, captured while performing my duty, manning the field switchboard.

The Nips ordered me to load the switchboard on a truck and for me to get on as well. One of the two nips drove while the other sat in back with me, all the way to Mariveles. We stopped at a group of about four houses and the both of them went inside, forgetting about me. So, I jumped off the truck and ran for my life.

I wondered through the jungle underbrush for at least twenty four hours and finally, I was on the main road headed north. Never thinking about food, sleep, or anything else, except for the Nips. Would I be killed? I was sure I would be. There was no one or no vehicles on the road, it was clear of any activity. I was alone, no different than the underbrush I had been struggling through. I was constantly looking over my shoulders frightened out of my skull.  Just then I saw, way up the road, a car off the road in a ditch, and a Nip was standing in the middle of the road with his hands on his hips staring at me. I was to scared to turn and run, anyway it was too late to run--he had seen me.

I approached him and the car. He was looking at me all this time. He said to me, I'm glad you came along, now we can push the car from the ditch, which we did. After the car was back on the road and the driver was in the driver's seat wating for the Officer or NCO whom had been talking---He turned to me and said: "Thank you very much for your help--pausing for a second, --he questioned me, "How old are you son"?--I was thinking all the time that he would swing that big knife at me any moment--but NO he was very friendly. Finally I answered him with, "I'm 18 sir". Looking at me with a big grin on his face he said, "Sure... you are, and well thanks again. And at that he turned and got into the car and drove away, leaving me with a whole lot of relief.

Walking on--north, I turned to look over my shoulder and I saw a soldier stepping into the road the same as I had an hour or so before.  He spotted me and came running towards me--I didn't know whether to run or just drop dead. I stood there, frozen stiff with fear. As he narrowed the gap between us, then I saw he was one of ours.

We walked together for a mile or two when we rounded a corner in the road where we saw six rough looking Nips.  We stopped and just stood there, not knowing what to do.  I started to turn, and the guy I was with, grabbed me and said I wouldn't if I were you. The Nips motioned for to come near them, so we did. They gave us a musette and motioned for us to cut grass for their horses.

Up the road, a few hundred yards in front of us, there were a large group of US soldiers sitting around --just waiting.  We joined them.  That is how the Death March got under way for me.

Paul G. Inzer


The Full-Frame Photo with Preston J. Hubbard and Paul G. Inzer.

If you recognize or know the unidentified soldier in the photo, on the far right, please contact Paul Inzer.
 
 


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