World War II veteran and best-selling author of “Hell’s Guest,” Col. Glenn Frazier, 89, was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club meeting at The Orchards Restaurant.
He shared his experiences of fighting a losing effort to save the Philippine Island of Luzon from the Japanese to the infamous six-day Bataan Death March and three years of torture in Japanese prisoner of war camps.
World War IIveteran Lee Vickroy, 89, of McConnellsburg, Pa., stood to address Frazier.
“I’m one of the men who helped liberate Luzon,” Vickroy said.
In January 1945, Vickroy said he fought for 225 consecutive days.
Frazier and Vickroy had never met, but they were bonded by a common horrific experience.
The two joked about their dwindling hearing, but age had not impaired their ability to recall specific details about the war.
“May you live a long life,” Vickroy said to Frazier.
“I never thought I’d live to see 20, and here I am almost 90,” Vickroy said.
Frazier grew up in Lowndes County, Ala., in the 1930s and joined the Army at 16. From July 3, 1941, to Dec. 6, 1945, he served in the U.S. Army Pacific Theater. He was serving in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked.
On Dec. 8, 1941, the Japanese hit the islands (Philippines) with bombs, Frazier said. He said the islands were hit with two times the force that Pearl Harbor endured.
Six-thousand people were killed in the attack, he said.
In April 1942, Frazier was part of the Bataan Death March that claimed thousands of lives.
“I marched (for) six days and seven nights with no food, no water and no sleep,” Frazier said.
The Japanese pulled Americans out of line and had them shovel, he said.
“When they couldn’t shovel anymore, they’d kick them in the hole and bury them alive,” Frazier said.
At the end of the march, Frazier said he was so exhausted that he couldn’t pick up his feet.
“I had to slide them,” he said.