The Bataan Death March began with 90,000 to 100,000 POWs, but only 54,000 reached their destination at Camp O’Donnell. Men who became exhausted and fell along the way were simply bayoneted and left to die. They were never allowed to step out of line, even to use the bathroom.
Some of the surviving American POWs shared their story of the march upon returning to the United States, such as Commander Melvyn McCoy. He made public speeches to persuade citizens to buy war bonds and support the troops by participating in war drives.
Commander McCoy also recorded his experiences in a 75-paged document for the Office of Naval Records and Library, including conditions in the prison camps and Japanese violations of international laws. Other survivors have published their experiences as well: Lester I. Tenney, William E. Dyess, and Tom Harrison. Harrison was even recently featured in KSL news for receiving his medals of honor almost six decades after the march.