Bataan Death March survivor passes away at the age of 101
February 14, 2018 11:20 AM
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – One of the last Bataan Death March survivors has passed away. 101-year-old Julio Barela died on Monday in Truth or Consequences.
Barela’s daughter shared stories with the Las Cruces Sun News in honor of her father. She says Barela was one of ten children.
He joined the U.S. Army in 1941 and served for a year before the infamous Battle of Bataan. The fight continued for three months before Barela became one of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers captured and taken prisoner by the Japanese.
Barela told his daughter after being captured, he was forced to march 75 miles in just five days with no food and no water in 110-degree weather. Hundreds of soldiers died along the way from the gruesome circumstances.
Barela was then shoved into a freight car with 100 other men and transferred to Camp O’Donnell where he would become a prisoner of war for more than three years.
He was liberated on Sept. 25, 1945. Weighing just 80 pounds, he was hospitalized for months to recover strength.
Barela’s daughter said that he attributed his survival to his upbringing.
A rosary will be held for Julio Barela at the Getz Funeral Home Chapel in Las Cruces on Monday Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. The funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Purification on Feb. 20 at 10 a.m.
Updated: February 14, 2018 11:20 AM
Created: February 14, 2018 11:19 AM
Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved