Few American prisoners of war during World War II suffered more than the group that was captured on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. The men were forced to endure the infamous Death March, a series of overcrowded prison camps, and the "hell ships" transporting them to Japan and Korea. Among them was Col. Irvin Alexander, who recounts his harrowing experience as a captive of the Japanese. As a midlevel commander, he knew the politics behind the surrender in April 1942, but he also suffered with the rest of the men through a horrific confinement. This is the story of one man's struggle to survive a brutal, often unfathomable captivity.
Held prisoner for three horrific years, Jackson survived the war and penned his memoir, though it went unpublished and forgotten for decades. That is until Bruce "Doc" Norton, himself a decorated US Marine veteran, and an acclaimed military historian, brought the memoir to light.
In a rare look into the heart of combat, Sergeant Major Jackson describes the fierce and ultimately losing battle for Corregidor, the surrender of thousands of Marines, and the death marches that followed. And all this was simply a prelude to the fight for survival that would take place in the POW camps. Jackson's memoir gives voice to the thousands of men who fought and died during WWII, in the Pacific. His character and spirit evoke the very definition of the Marine Corps's motto, Semper Fidelis; Always Faithful.
But the worst was yet to come. After Bataan and Corregidor fell, the nurses were herded into internment camps where they would endure three years of fear, brutality, and starvation. Once liberated, they returned to an America that at first celebrated them, but later refused to honor their leaders with the medals they clearly deserved. Here, in letters, diaries, and riveting firsthand accounts, is the story of what really happened during those dark days, woven together in a deeply affecting saga of women in war.
Praise for We Band of Angels
“Gripping . . . a war story in which the main characters never kill one of the enemy, or even shoot at him, but are nevertheless heroes . . . Americans today should thank God we had such women.”—Stephen E. Ambrose
“Remarkable and uplifting.”—USA Today
“[Elizabeth M. Norman] brings a quiet, scholarly voice to this narrative. . . . In just a little over six months these women had turned from plucky young girls on a mild adventure to authentic heroes. . . . Every page of this history is fascinating.”—Carolyn See, The Washington Post
“Riveting . . . poignant and powerful.”—The Dallas Morning News
Winner of the Lavinia Dock Award for historical scholarship, the American Academy of Nursing National Media Award, and the Agnes Dillon Randolph Award
This is the story of a son tracing his father’s footsteps and discovering a true and inspirational story of courage, faith, and patriotism in the days of Bataan, Corregidor, and Japanese POW camps in WW II. With black-and-white photos.