Surviving the Bataan Death March: one POW’s story

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Karen Zale holds a photograph of her father, John Zale (born John Zubrzycki).  Ms. Zale recently participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico in honor of her father, who was a prisoner of war in World War II.  Photos courtesy of Karen Zale

Karen Zale holds a photograph of her father, John Zale (born John Zubrzycki). Ms. Zale recently participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico in honor of her father, who was a prisoner of war in World War II. Photos courtesy of Karen Zale

copyright the Chronicle April 2, 2014 

by Tena Starr

Karen Zale of Newport grew up knowing that her father, John Zale (born John Zubrzyck), was a veteran of World War II.  What she didn’t know, until very late in his life, was that he was a survivor of the Bataan Death March, one of the more horrific events of the war and considered a Japanese war crime by an Allied military commission.

On April 9, 1942, more than 70,000 American and Filipino soldiers, who surrendered to the Japanese at Bataan in the Philippines, were marched roughly 75 miles with little or no food or water.  Many were already wounded, malnourished, and sick, and hundreds died, either from illness, exhaustion, brutality, or outright slaying.

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