Defenders of the Philippines

picture of captivity and picture of release form captivity

Arthur Bressi, ADBC Commander

ADBC Commander, 1965-67


Art Bressi Picture

Arthur Bressi, known as "Mr. P.O.W. " was born June 13, 1920 in Marion Heights, PA.  He graduated from high school in 1938 from Mt. Carmel, PA and worked in the coal mines, and then he enlisted in the Army Air Corps Feb. 10, 1940. He entered basic training at Ft. Slocum, NY and he was assigned to Headquarters, 60th Coast Artillery, Ft. Mills, Corregidor July 10, 1940 as a supply sergeant.  He was reassigned to "C" Battery of 60th CAC Morrison Hill, three inch anti-craft gun crew.   He was taken prisoner on May 6, 1942.  He was interred at Camp O'Donnell, Nielson Field, and Cabanatuan #1, Hiro Hatu.  He received numerous medals and citations including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

After his liberation Mr. Bressi recovered at Valley Forge Hospital and married Anna Marie Shagen Dec. 31, 1947.
He worked as an army recruiter from 1945 to 1949.  Then he served in Army Military Intelligence (115th CIC, 109th CIC) 1949 to 1960, and he retired as a captain.  He owned a business in State College, PA after retirement from the Army and also worked ten years in civil service with military intelligence with seven and a half years as a special investigator with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, justice division.  He retired totally in 1978, and continued to work with POW organizations. He organized and led other ADBC members on a 25th reunion tour to the Philippine Islands.  He was a member of the American ex-Prisoners of war, and numerous veterans organizations, editor/publisher of the POW newspaper.  He also was instrumental in passing the first POW Bill 91-376.  The bill helped by recognizing that certain ailments and psychoses could be presumed to have occurred as the consequence of imprisonment and shifted the responsibility  from  the claimant to the compensator.

Bressi's other interests included his membership with the Masons where he was a 32nd Degree Shriner, American Sojourner, and Hero of 1976.  He received the Valley Forge Foundation Freedom Award.

He resided in Tuscon, AZ, after retiring and was married 42 years at the time of his death on Veterans Day, 1989.  He is buried in Phoenix National Cemetery.

In his biography he has included "I have fought a good fight,
                                                         I have finished my course
                                                         I have kept the faith."  2nd Timothy 4:7

Read the story about how Arthur Bressi gave up his high school ring to save a friend in The Ring of Salvation

A Las Vegas Sun article called Neglected Heroes on Pearl Harbor Day 2001 covers Bressi's fight for the POWs

Documents and editorial of Arthur Bressi, includes photo with Veterans Administration