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Like the other POWs facing their first full day of enemy captivity, Edgar Doud Whitcomb, 24, rose to his feet slowly and warily, not knowing what to expect.

North across the channel, Ed could see the shores of Bataan and, beyond, the towering summit of Mount Mariveles.

The circuitous flight from California’s Hamilton Airfield to Luzon’s Clark Field exceeded 6,000 miles, mostly over open ocean with only celestial signposts—just the sort of bold journey that fired Ed’s imagination.

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There, a concrete-floored, crescent-shaped arena overflowed with POWs.Bataan’s 70,000 captives—many suffering from wounds, malaria, and dysentery—were about to embark on a 70-mile death march.Thousands of prisoners would die en route; thousands more succumbed at Camp O’Donnell, a squalid POW compound.He had learned to navigate the uncharted—and realized a passion for it.The Philippines was bracing for war when the 19th touched down at Clark in October 1941.

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