Palawan Massacre

Oliver North’s “War Stories” recently aired a program about the POWs of the Japanese during WWII. According to Mr. Roger Mansell (his website: ) who was interviewed by Oliver North during the program, this popular Fox News Network show is watched by nearly 18 million Americans every week.

One of the episodes included in the program was the Palawan Massacre in which 139 POWs were burned to death by the Japanese on December 14. 1944 on Palawan island, Philippines.

A list of victims complied by Ms. Lorna Nielsen Murray is available at  Ms. Murray is the daughter of Mr. Eugene Nielsen, one of the only 11 survivors of the Palawan Massacre.

Here, former member of the 4th Marines Band, Mr. Donald Versaw, who lost two of his fellow band members in the massacre, writes about the dedication of a new marker for the victims that took place on October 4, 2003 in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.


Glen McDole, one of the only three survivors of the Palawan Massacre, tells an audience of about 200 the story of his miraculous escape from Japanese captivity in 1944. Before him lie the remains of 123 victims of one of the most savage atrocities in World War II. Seated about the podium, right to left is: Ralph Church, Cemetery Administrator of Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery; Eugene Nielsen, the second survivor of the Palawan Massacre; Mr. McDole; Joseph A. Dupont Jr., Vice Commander 4th Marine Association and former POW once confined at the POW camp; Captain Martin Christie USMC (ret.) and Commander of 4th Marine Association; Chaplain Weber, Captain Missouri National Guard. In this view the new bronze maker conceived and promoted by Joseph Dupont and others is draped with patriotic bunting as the extreme left of the picture. 



Victims of the Japanese Massacre
Puerto Princesa, Palawan, P. I.
December 14, 1944

These U.S. prisoners of war of the Japanese were on the island of Palawan, P. I., as slave laborers building an airfield for the Japanese military. Believing that an invasion by the U.S. forces was imminent, the prisoners were forced into three tunnel air raid shelters, thus following orders from the Japanese High Command to dispose of prisoners by any means available. Buckets of gasoline were thrown inside the shelters followed by flaming torches. Those not instantly killed by the explosion ran burning from the tunnels and were machine gunned and bayoneted to death.