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Heroic Survivor An Incredible Story of Survival in the World War II Pacific Theater

120 pages1 hour


This is the story of the experiences of Captain Lowell E Pursell USAF (Retired) as he joined the Army Air Corps and was assigned to the 19th Bombardment Bomber Group stationed in the Philippine Islands at the start of World War II.

He tells of the attack on Clark Air Base on December 8, 1941, by the Japanese bombers and fighters as they bombed and strafed the American and Philippino personnel and our aircraft. As the Japanese pushed down the Bataan Peninsula, he fought them in hand-to-hand combat and was bayonetted in the side. He was captured and forced into the Bataan Death March.

Along with several other prisoners, he escapes from the march arriving on Corregidor Island where he continued to fight the Japanese. He was then assigned to Mindanao Island to repair heavy bombers. After the bombers were destroyed, he was assigned to a crew on a PT boat where he helped sink a Japanese cruiser.
When the island fell to the Japanese, he joined the resistance and went into the hills to continue to fight. He was captured a second time and sentenced to death for his resistance activities but escaped again the night before he was to be executed.

After months on the run, he was captured a third time. He was sent to Japan as a prisoner of war where he spent the next 39 months in Tokyo Camp 2B as slave labor to the Mitsiu Corporation. His story tells of the terrible treatment and the forced labor that he and the other POWs endured during their captivity. Many of these men went from 180 and 200 pounds down to 80 and 90 pounds during their captivity. As POWs, they were very inventive in getting rice, food and Saki from the guards and the storage warehouses to supplement their meager rations. They stole medical supplies to help keep each other alive. He ends his story with the liberation of the prisoners and their return to the "Good Old USA"!

This story was written by Captain Pursell, in his own words, upon his return to America in 1945. This story is a true piece of American history.

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