COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The commandant of the Marine Corps is sending a special letter of appreciation to an 88-year-old South Carolinian who survived the Bataan Death March.
Marines from the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion are to present the letter on Thursday to Donovan Pike on behalf of Gen. James T. Conway. The ceremony is at the Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, where Pike is a resident.
Pike joined the Marines in 1940. He was taken prisoner after fighting on Bataan during World War II. Thousands of U.S. and Filipino prisoners died at the hands of their Japanese captors during the more than 60-mile forced march.
Pike was later shipped to Japan to mine coal. He was underground when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
He served in the Marines until 1945.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.