Lester Tenney, WWII tank commander and survivor of Bataan Death March, passes away at 96

06TENNEY-blog427On Feb 24, 2017, US tank commander and survivor of the Bataan Death March Lester Tenney passed away in California at age 96.  A member of the 192nd Tank Battalion National Guard at the beginning of WWII, Tenney served as a radio operator and later a tank commander during the fighting on Bataan in the Philippines in December of 1941.  After being taken prisoner, Tenney survived the Bataan Death March as well as over three years as a POW forced to labor in a coal mine.  Following the war, Tenney was released and made a new home in California.  He would go on to obtain a doctorate in finance from the University of Southern California, taught at San Diego State and Arizona State Universities and founded a company providing financial advice to corporations.  He authored a book based on his experiences titled My Hitch in Hell (Memories of War), published in 1995.  He also worked with other former P.O.W.s to seek an apology from the government of Japan, an effort that proved successful in 2009 when Japan’s ambassador to the US, Ichiro Fugisaki, apologized on behalf of his government.

For more about Lester Tenney, check out the following links.

New York Times 3/5/2017 – Lester Tenney, 96, Dies; Faced Japan’s Brutality and Won Its Apologies

LA Times 2/27/2017 – Lester Tenney, Army tank commander who survived Bataan Death March during World War II, dies at 96

CNN 4/9/2017 – ‘Dying was easy: It’s the living that’s hard’

Voices of Manhattan Project (2013) – Lester Tenney’s Interview

Simon Wiesenthal Center – Letter from Lester Tenney in response to Yukie Sasa article “The Bataan Death March: Fact or Fiction”

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