Annotated Bibliography

Daws, Gavin. Prisoners of the Japanese: Pows of World War II in the Pacific (Harper Perennial, 1996).

Gavan Daws combined ten years of documentary research and hundreds of interviews with surviving POWs to write this explosive, first-and-only account of the experiences of the Allied POWs of World War II. The Japanese Army took over 140,000 Allied prisoners, and one in four died the hands of their captors. Here Daws reveals the survivors' haunting experiences, from the atrocities perpetrated during the Bataan Death March and the building of the Burma-Siam railroad to descriptions of disease, torture, and execution.



Dyess, William E. Bataan Death March: A Survivor's Account (Bison Books, 2002).

The hopeless yet determined resistance of American and Filipino forces against the Japanese invasion has made Bataan and Corregidor symbols of pride, but Bataan has a notorious darker side. After the U.S.-Filipino remnants surrendered to a far stronger force, they unwittingly placed themselves at the mercy of a foe who considered itself unimpaired by the Geneva Convention. The already ill and hungry survivors, including many wounded, were forced to march at gunpoint many miles to a harsh and oppressive POW camp; many were murdered or died on the way in a nightmare of wanton cruelty that has made the term "Death March" synonymous with the Bataan peninsula. Among the prisoners was army pilot William E. Dyess. With a few others, Dyess escaped from his POW camp and was among the very first to bring reports of the horrors back to a shocked United States. His story galvanized the nation and remains one of the most powerful personal narratives of American fighting men. Stanley L. Falk provides a scene-setting introduction for this Bison Books edition.


Glusman, John.  Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese (Viking, 2005).

When the Philippines fell to the Japanese, in 1942, thousands of G.I.s were captured. Many were, a military doctor said, "patients rather than prisoners"—hungry and sick with malaria and dysentery after weeks under siege at Bataan and Corregidor. Glusman tells the story of four Navy doctors among the P.O.W.s—one of them his father—who spent the next three and a half years working, stealing food, and playing bridge in Japanese prison camps. The doctors, technically noncombatants, were allowed to treat their fellow-P.O.W.s, and fought to get the medicine and other supplies they needed, usually without success. By the end of the war,

their patients were starving to death; Glusman shows that survival depended on luck, as when the four are separated and one is shipped on a Japanese transport through a field of Allied submarines. (The New Yorker)


Johnson, Joseph Quitman. Baby of Bataan: Memoir of a 14 Year Old Soldier in World War II (Omonomany, 2004).

Joseph Quitman Johnson was born and raised in Memphis. He enlisted in the U.S.Army in January 1941 at the age of 14. He was sent to the Philippines and served in the 31st Infantry Regiment in peacetime Manila. When Japan invaded the Philippines he fought on Bataan until it fell on April 9, 1942. He escaped the Death March and fought on Corregidor until it surrendered. He became a Japanese prisoner of war on May 6, 1942. He spent the rest of World War II as a Japanese prisoner of war, working as a slave laborer in Japanese POW camps in both the Philippines and Japan. He was on two hell ships that were sunk while en route to Japan. When the war was over he returned home at the age of 19. He served several more enlistments in the Armed Forces and finally retired with recurring wartime service connected disabilities.

Knox, Donald. Death March: The Survivors of Bataan (Harvest Books, 2002).

Death March is an account of the extraordinary strength and courage exhibited by Americans under the extreme and seemingly unending stress of three and a half years of captivity under the Japanese on Bataan. Donald Knox (1936-1986) was an award-winning producer and director of television documentaries.






Lawton, Manny. Some Survived: An Eyewitness Account of the Bataan Death March and the Men Who Lived Through It (Algonquin Books, 2004).

Manny Lawton was a twenty-three-year-old Army captain on April 8, 1942, when orders came to surrender to the Japanese forces invading the Philippine Islands. The next day, he and his fellow American and Filipino prisoners set out on the infamous Bataan Death March--a forced six-day, sixty-mile trek under a broiling tropical sun during which approximately eleven thousand men died or were bayoneted, clubbed, or shot to death by the Japanese. Yet terrible as the Death March was, for Manny Lawton and his comrades it was only the beginning. When the war ended in August 1945, it is estimated that some 57 percent of the American troops who had surrendered on Bataan had perished. But this is not a chronicle of despair. It is, instead, the story of how men can suffer even the most desperate conditions and, in their will to retain their humanity, triumph over appalling adversity. An epic of quiet heroism, Some Survived is a harrowing, poignant, and inspiring tale that lifts the heart. 

Norman, Elizabeth M. We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese (Atria, 2000).

"This is a gripping book. Elizabeth Norman presents a war story in which the main characters never kill one of the enemy, or even shoot at him, but are nevertheless heroes. . . . First on Bataan, then moved to Corregidor, they were under almost constant shell fire, were always hungry, close to starvation, had horrendous diseases to deal with despite a shortage or even a complete lack of proper medicines, getting little or no sleep, nothing in the way of recreation--yet they were a true band of angels, inspiring all the men whom they were there to help. In a squalid prison camp, they remained giants, despite their small size. . . . They were the bravest of the brave, who endured unspeakable pain and torture. Americans today should thank God we had such women."   (Stephen E. Ambrose)

Schaefer, Chris. Bataan Diary (Riverview Publishing, 2004).

Bataan Diary is the true story of Frank R. Loyd and a small group of men who refused to surrender to the Japanese. They endured terrible diseases, starvation, and a Japanese manhunt to capture them. Aided by Filipino farmers, they lived by their wits and their survival skills, and they ultimately joined the guerrilla band of Corporal John Boone to help defeat the Japanese.

It is also the story of their families at home in the United States who supported the war effort, worked in government jobs, and raised their families alone, not knowing if their men were dead or alive. Frank Loyd, kept a personal diary throughout his three year ordeal. His wife, Evelyn, kept her own diary and correspondence at home. Bataan Diary follows the stories of Frank and Evelyn Loyd as a central theme, while telling the intriguing story of the prisoners, the evaders, and the guerrillas—the men and women who fought America’s first battle of World War II.


Sides, HamptonGhost Soldiers (Anchor, 2002).

On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation. In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.


Tenney, Lester IMy Hitch in Hell: The Bataan Death March (Potomac Books, Inc., 2007).

Captured by the Japanese after the Philippines fell, Lester Tenney was among the few to survive the legendary Bataan Death March. He witnessed fellow POWs die by the hundreds from thirst, wounds, disease, and the Japanese guards’ savage mistreatment. Armed only with his sense of humor, sharp mind, and fierce determination, Tenney then endured three and a half years as a slave laborer in miserable Japanese POW camps. My Hitch in Hell is an inspiring survivor’s epic about the triumph of human will despite unimaginable suffering.