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Museum Is Seeking Survivors of Bataan Death March

October 20, 1994

Pacific Asia Museum volunteers are trying to locate about 35 survivors of the World War II Bataan Death March, to present them copies of a South Pasadena native's book of poems describing his imprisonment in the Philippines.

Henry Lee's book, "Nothing but Praise," is a collection of poems he wrote as a prisoner of war. Lee, who graduated from Pomona College, was stationed in the Philippines and captured after the Japanese took Bataan. After the Japanese victory, exhausted Filipino and American soldiers made an arduous trek to a prison camp on the central peninsula.

After Lee wrote the poems, he buried them for safekeeping. The poems were unearthed after the war by a man who heard from freed prisoners that people had buried their writings in the Japanese prisons.

The poems were eventually published, first in the Saturday Evening Post and then in book form. Lee died in 1945 en route to Japan when a ship on which he was being transported fell under attack.

Volunteers for the Pasadena museum's Philippine Arts Council are working on the project, with the help of Henry Lee's sister, Frances Lee, a South Pasadena resident.

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