From THE WAR, Episode 1:
NARRATOR: The prisoners were prodded northward, 300 at a time. They were to walk from Mariveles to San Fernando, then be loaded onto railroad cars for the journey to Camp O’Donnell in central Luzon. What followed would be remembered as the Bataan Death March.
GLENN FRAZIER: If we had known what was ahead of us at the beginning of the Bataan Death March, uh, I would have taken death. It was very, very difficult for us to understand because we had had no contact with the Japanese whatsoever as to what these people are all about. And what they’re like. And they immediately started beating guys if they didn’t stand right or if they were sitting down. We didn’t know where we were going. We didn’t know anything. And we were stopped on the way, some of us were, and searched and beat again. And all our possessions were taken away from us. Some of them had rings that they just cut the fingers off, and take the rings. They poured the water out of my canteen to be sure that I didn’t have any, any water. I saw them buried alive. When a guy was bayoneted or shot, laying in the road and the convoys were coming along, I saw trucks that would just go out of their way to run over the guy in the middle of the road. And when by the time you have fifteen or twenty trucks run over you, look like a smashed tomato or something. And I saw people that had their throats cut because they would take their bayonets and stick it out through the corner of the truck at night and it would just be high enough to cut their throats. And beating with a rifle butt until there just was no more life in them. I saw Filipino women cut. Their stomachs were cut open. Their throats were cut. I saw Filipinos and Americans beheaded just with one swipe of a saber. I marched six days and seven nights, never stopped, I did not have but one sip of water and no food. Now, they say that you can’t do this, but I did. When I got to the end of the march after, uh, at the end of the entire march where I stopped to get on a train, they put us on a train. My, my tongue wouldn’t even go back in my mouth. And if you look and talk to somebody about that, they’ll tell you that’s how close to death I was.
NARRATOR: No one knows precisely how many men died on the Bataan Death March -- somewhere between six and eleven thousand Filipinos and Americans. And at the end of the March, Camp O’Donnell provided no relief. An unfinished Philippine Army base – surrounded by barbed wire and machine gun towers, with little water and little shelter from the sun – it would eventually hold nearly 60,000 miserable, desperate men. Food was nothing but lugao, watery rice soup filled with weevils and worms. It was best to try and swallow it after dark, one man recalled, so as not to have to look at it. Some 16,000 more Filipinos and Americans would die at Camp O’Donnell – of dehydration, malnutrition, malaria, beriberi, scurvy, dysentery, hopelessness.