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"The Japanese commander said, 'You are not prisoners of war, you are captives, you surrendered, you did not fight. If you break our rules, we will kill you or we will do something worse.' They did something worse." Interview, 22:18

   Henry John Wilayto
Image of Henry John Wilayto
Henry Wilayto at Camp John Hay Bagio, Philippine Islands, 1941
War: World War II, 1939-1946
Branch: Army
Service Location: Luzon Island and Bataan (Philippines)
Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
POW: Yes
Place of Birth: Nashua, NH
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Stationed in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded, Henry Wilayto saw his commanders forced to surrender in the face of sure starvation. Wilayto lost 50 pounds during the infamous Bataan Death March and gained it back working as a stevedore in Manila, where he helped sabotage Japanese cargo ships. At war's end, he was in Japan working in a mine, near death from the oppressive conditions. Wilayto founded American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor to secure more attention for his brave comrades.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview  (59 min.)
»Photo Album (3 photos)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Working the docks in Manila, sabotaging cargo. (03:17) The Japanese attitude toward prisoners. (00:54) Conditions at the camp; working the burial detail. (05:47)
Surviving the Bataan Death March. (03:35) Japanese invasion of the Philippines; eluding the enemy. (05:06) 
Home » Henry John Wilayto
  The Library of Congress
  May 29, 2007
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