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Former POWs Recall Escape From Bataan Death March

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Former POW Harry Corre continues to serve as a patient advocate at the VA's West Los Angeles campus. (courtesy VA.gov)

Former POW Harry Corre continues to serve as a patient advocate at the VA’s West Los Angeles campus. (courtesy VA.gov)

(CBS) Diane Thompson
Diane Thompson has been a storyteller her whole life, beginning as a...
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — They’re called “The Greatest Generation” for good reason: raised during the Great Depression, they fought on two fronts during the Second World War and came home to build the America we know today.

But as KNX 1070’s Diane Thompson reports Harry Corre, Richard Peterson and Bill Sanchez are among those U.S. veterans who have suffered greatly after their service.

“Every one of the POWs that I know of have PTSD and it affects everything that they do daily in their lives,” said Corre, one of a dozen former World War II POWs who meet every week at the Veterans Home of California in West Los Angeles.

Like most of these men, Corre, 88, wears his battle scars proudly.

He was a 19-year-old Army corporal serving in the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment when he escaped the infamous Bataan Death March by swimming in the middle of the night and escaping into the jungle.

“I was on the Death March for three days and escaped from that, got to the coast, swam back to Corregidor, and then I was recaptured again a month later when the Philippines was surrendered,” recalled Corre.

Air Force Sergeant Richard Peterson was shot down in his B-24 over occupied France, severely wounded and captured by the Germans. He ended up at the infamous Stalag Luft 4.

“We had over 150 of us with bayonet wounds, dog bites, broken legs, rifle butts in the face, all from young brainwashed Hitler Youth kids that they used as guards,” Peterson said.

Months later, Richard also survived an 86-day forced march from Lithuania to Poland in the brutal winter of 1945.

Former Army intelligence officer Bill Sanchez was held as a prisoner-of-war by the Japanese Imperial Army for over three-and-a-half years at the notorious Cabana-tuan prison camp in the Philippines.

“I was captured on Corregidor the same time Harry was,” said Sanchez.

For their sacrifice and their service, KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO is proud to name Harry Corre, Richard Peterson and Bill Sanchez as the “KNX Heroes Of The Week”.

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