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In this program-length interview, WSIU's Jak Tichenor talks with Jan Thompson, an Associate Professor of Radio-Television at SIU Carbondale, about her 20-year saga to meet and interview survivors of the Bataan Death March and other prisoners of war captured by the Japanese after the fall of the Philippines at the outbreak of World War Two.
Thompson's TV documentary and radio series, The Tragedy of Bataan, tells the story of the Bataan Death March through the voices and words of survivors, including Capt. Albert Brown of Pinckneyville, Illinois. His daughter, Peggy Doughty, joins Thompson on the WSIU InFocus set to discuss the film and her father's experiences.
Actor Alec Baldwin narrates both the TV documentary and the radio series.
Over 10,000 American and Filipino troops died during the brutal six day, 66-mile forced march up the Bataan peninsula. Sick, starving, and wounded men were shot, bayoneted, and beheaded by Japanese troops when they fell behind in the tropical heat and dust during the Death March in April of 1942.
Thompson had a personal interest in the story because her own father had been captured on the island of Corregidor and spent more than three years as a prisoner of war under the Japanese. In her quest to preserve the story for future generations, Thompson interviewed dozens of Bataan survivors, including Albert Brown, who kept a detailed journal of the horrors he witnessed as a P.O.W. Brown, who was the oldest Death March survivor, died last August, just two months shy of his 106th birthday.
The Tragedy of Bataan was recently awarded a regional Emmy for writing.
Host: Jak Tichenor
Guest(s): Jan Thompson, Peggy Brown
Topic keywords: Bataan Death March
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