5 Alcron Beacon Journal Monday, Sfptember 14, 1964 urvivors Recall Bataan Death March By JAMES It. TEirERT MAYWOOD, I1L UP) It was like most groups of men who haven't seen each other in a long time. There were words of greeting followed by talk of business, children and wives. But these men were bound together by a special kind of knot. They are survivors of an unforgettable death march. They battled the Japanese against overwhelming odds on the Bataan Peninsula or the fortress of Corregidor during the early months of World War II. All survived the harrowing Bataan death march through the steamy jungles of the Philippines to Japanese prisoner of war camps. . MORE THAN 100 of the 638 remaining survivors of the march gathered in Maywood, west of Chicago, over the weekend to renew friendships at a testimonial dinner and a parade. The reunion was sponsored by the Maywood Veterans Council, which claims a special interest in the Bataan survivors because . 98 men from Maywood and surrounding Chicago suburbs were captured on the peninsula. "Say, where do I know you from" called one man to another. "Was it Bagac, San Fernando or Capas?" These are meaningless place names to most Americans but they are indelibly traced in the minds of these men. After the Americans and Filipinos defending Bataan surrendered April 9, 1942, al most 40,000 of them were captured near the tip of the peninsula and marched northward to the camps. More than half of them died of starvation and brutal treatment on the way. TED WICKFORD, 57, of Broadview, 111., has vivid memories of the march. He was a lieutenant colonel in command of the 192nd Tank Battalion. Most of the 192nd was driven to the tip of the Bataan Peninsula, the northern jaw of Manila Bay, by a force of 200,000 Japanese troops after Gen. Douglas MacArthur withdrew his troops from Manila Dec. 27, 1941. "The heat was terrific," recalled Wickford, a jovial, balding man. "Pith helmets were selling for $50 and $100. "The Japanese bayoneted I 'Mil aMOMiBi 'WHl. ayri JW''' Janti SfMmnintmu v ' , - v -i FLOOD WATER knee deep In their living room, Carl Foster (left) and members of his family salvage belongings from their Gainesville, Fla., home. Heavy rains after Hurricane Dora caused flooding of low lying areas throughout northern Florida. AP. and machinegunned men who tried to get drinks out of the artesian wells in the area." SOME MEN escaped capture and managed to get to Corregidor, one of several small island fortresses guarding the mouth of Manila Bay. One of these was Matthew MacDowell. 52, of Hillside, 111., a former lieutenant in B Company of the 192nd. When Corregidor fell May 6 its defenders also were marched up the peninsula. "If you faltered you were prompted by the" tip of a Jap-anse bayonet," MacDowell said. "But I always figured on coming home." Pfc. Howard F. Bower was a 23-year-old cook with a signal company stationed at Ft. McKinley outside Manila. He now is the Rev. Mr. Bower, a United Presbyterian chaplain at the 5th Headquarters Missile Battalion, Shreveport, La. "WE LEFT Ft. McKinley on maneuvers Thanksgiving Day of 1941 and went down the Peninsula," Mr. Bower recalled. "We never got back. We joined the trek to the tip of Bataan on Christmas Eve. "We traveled all night and got to Bagac at 4 a. m. Christmas morning," he said. "We stretched out on tombstones In a cemetery but we woke up with the help of a Japanese airborne alarm clock. "There was no food on the march and We had to get water out of ditches," he said. "Some of the men went stark, raving mad in the blazing vived the march and the concentration camps, were liberated and returned to the United States in September, 1945. Many weighed less than 100 pounds. Most now have the paunch that comes with middle age and security and you can't tell them from most other men. Auto Fraud Hearings In Courthouse The State Automobile Dealers and Salesmen's Licensing Board will conduct hearings here Wednesday and Thursday on the cases of several Northeastern Ohio auto dealers and salesmen charged with alleged fraudulent acts in connection with sales of motor vehicles. Hearings by the Board are generally conducted in Columbus. This one will be in the courthouse. THE BOARD has the power to withhold licenses from auto dealers and salesmen who engage in improper practices. It also sets rules and regulations governing the buying and selling of motor vehicles in Ohio. Irving Pollock of Toledo is the Board's president. Other members are L. F. Donnell of Youngstown, vice president; Harold Wood of Columbus, Paul Martin of Warren and State Motor Vehicles Registrar David Mainwaring of Alliance, who serves as secretary.