Defenders of the Philippines

picture of captivity and picture of release from captivity

David Levy



David J. Levy was studying to be a lawyer in San Francisco in 1941 when he enlisted in the Army. He joined the US Army Air Corps and became a POW when Bataan fell on April 9, 1942. He survived the Bataan Death March and was interned at various prison camps before arriving at Mukden in Manchuria. The camp was run by the Chinese under orders of the occupying Japanese army. These Chinese helped the POWs by smuggling food and medicine to them. Levy and the other prisoners were forced to perform slave labor in factories until the day when B29s began flying overhead and dropping packages of food and medicine; they had been on starvation rations for over a month because their portions had been further cut. The men were liberated on August 20, 1945, when the USSR's Red Army freed Fengtian City.

When Levy came home, he finished law school and became the deputy district attorney of Contra Costa County in California. Years later, in 1995, Levy and six of the men who had been imprisoned with him fifty years earlier got in touch with the American Consul's office in Manchuria, which arranged for the Lisoning People's Association for Friendship With Foreign Countries to go on a tour of the former camp and the factories where they had worked.