Oldest Survivor Of Bataan Death March Buried In NM

Nov 12, 2012

A New Mexico man who was the state's oldest survivor of World War II's infamous Bataan Death March has died at the age of 99.  The New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services says Virgil Wallace is being buried with full military honors Monday afternoon in Tatum.

The department says Wallace died last week in Idalou, Texas. He was born in West Texas and raised in southeastern New Mexico.

After enlisting with the U.S. Army in 1941, Wallace worked as a fuse setter with the 200th Coast Guard Artillery Unit.

He was among the 1,800 members of the 200th and 515th Coast Guard Artillery Units who were ordered to surrender to Japanese forces on April 9, 1942.

The troops were forced to march to Japanese prison camps in what became known as the Bataan Death March. Those who collapsed along the way were shot or bayoneted.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.