Blog transcript: Ben Steele

Ben Steele: Then we turned round and started the so-called Death March of Bataan, you know, which was pretty brutal. And there was 10,000 died on it. But anyway they had the hospitals and some of the hospital kids, people in the hospital were pushed into the line, into the death march. Of course they didn't get very far. So it went on and on and the more it went on, the more they fell out. And when you fell out they'd kill you. They had clean up squads coming behind .... And we weren't all in one big mass, we were in 500 in a group. But I tried to help a guy one day and the Jap guard came along and that's when I got stabbed with a bayonet in the butt, you know, and they made me drop him. And they killed him and let me go. And I lost quite a bit of blood from it, but it wasn't bad though. But they fought us off the water, wouldn't give us enough water. We drank out of mud holes and rice paddies and stagnant water, you know. So a lot of us got sick from that. A lot of us were getting malaria at the time. Some of the guys had malaria on Bataan and they didn't get very far either. The further we went, the more that kept dropping out. And people [had] blistered feet, and it was hot season. It was 100 degrees some days. And they'd take their shoes off because their feet were bleeding, you know, walking on the gravel road with blistered feet so they didn't go very far. A lot of guys killed themselves but I made the march with the best of them really.