through his small town. Instead my Uncle Joseph would be a Pow during World War 2 and die in a foreign country. My mothers brother Joseph was a Pow that died long before I was born. I never knew him yet heard about him all my life. Uncle Joe was taken prisoner when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. General Macarthur left behind thousands of men that had no where to go so they were sadly captured by the Japanese. Some of these men were on the Bataan Death March and others like my Uncle were sent to Pow camps on other islands in the Philippines‘.
Because my Uncle Joe was a strong young man he along with a couple hundred men were taken to an island and worked constructing an air strip for the Japanese. He slaved away with the other American Pow’s.
The war was coming to an end the Japanese were losing. My grandmother in Iowa was notified that his camp would be one of the first to be released. A sad change of plans occurred and my Uncle was one of the men to be killed at the Palawan Massacre. I won’t go into details but I will say what happened was part of the Nuremburg war crime trial. Because of this war crime the United State realized they had to get the Pow’s being held by Japanese out or their fate would be similar.
There was book called Ghost soldiers written by
Hampton Sides It tells the story of what happened on Palawan and what the United States did to save the other POW’s in other camps. It’s a part of history that you rarely hear about.
So this Memorial day I realize with so many American’s that my freedom comes at a cost by others. So many Men and Women like my Uncle Joe have sacrificed so much for me.