Eddie Jackfert is a survivor of the Philippine capture by the Japanese.
Mr. Jackfert's web pages and presentations
"Our nation seems to have forgotten to recognize those distinguished heroes who fought so gallantly defending the Philippine islands at the outbreak of World War II. Their story must be told because of their courage and heroism. Their victory was measured in their survival, and in maintaining their faith and loyalty to our nation, when the reward for maintaining loyalty was continued starvation and death. Their strong heart, great spirit, and unyielding faith served as an inspiration to the rest of our nation. They placed their honor before everything else, even before a whole self. They absorbed with their bodies the blows that were intended for our nation and its people, and they sacrificed their own freedom for the freedom of the world. And finally, they returned from their service, regained their rightful place in society and strengthened their families, their communities, and our nation through their example of courage. Our nation owes them a debt that can never be repaid--they must not, and should not be forgotten."--Eddie Jackfert
Beginning: Why Brooke County Public Library in Wellsburg, West Virginia?Edward and Henrietta Jackfert donated to the Brooke County Public Library on September 13, 2002, a collection of WWII POW’s materials which they entitled Defenders of the Philippines 1941-45, Bataan/Corregidor POW’s.Totturi Maru, and spent more than 3 years and 5 months in slave labor camps under the most horrible conditions known to man. The collection has grown over the past five years with donations of materials from, Joseph A. Vater, former QUAN editor, Master Sergeant Abie Abraham, Major Ralph Levenberg, Historian, Col. John Olson, Philippine Scouts, Dr. Lester Tenney, PNC ADB&C, Mrs. Frank Shannon, ADBC veterans, widows, and descendants. Over the years, BCPL Director, Mary Kay Wallace, and her husband, George, Editor of the QUAN met with WWII POW’s survivors of the Bataan Death March, Hell Ships, Slave Labor Camps, and have listened to their stories and have read accounts of their captivity. The hardships that the members of the armed forces endured during captivity were incredible, and beyond the realm of justification. The total violation of human rights that were inflicted by the hands of their captors shall not be forgotten, according to Mary Kay and George Wallace. The Wallaces often reflect upon Eddie Jackfert's intense labors in preserving his invaluable resources of POW’s materials for over a span of sixty years. Mr. Jackfert also spent sixty years trying to convince heads of state that an official public apology from the government of Japan to WWII POW’s for inhumane treatment is in order. A large visual exhibit is part of the Collection that is housed at the Brooke County Public Library. The exhibit chronicles the period in which 27,46 Americans were taken prisoner of war by the Japanese. The visual collection of documents, artifacts, and photos depicts the actual route of the hell ships, Bataan Death March, slave labor prison camps, atrocities of war, and eventual freedom of the Prisoners of War. The Brooke County Public Library intends to use the exhibit as an educational tool for both the public and the local school systems whereas, the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor would like to call the attention of the US government and American citizens to look to the many atrocities committed against American troops while taken Prisoners of War, and the subsequent failure of Japan to apologize to the brave and distinguished veterans for mistreating them during World War II.