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Elias Saavedra, one of the last Bataan Death March survivors, dies at 96

One of the last survivors of the Bataan Death March has died.

Elias Saavedra died Wednesday at his San Rafael, New Mexico, home. He was 96.

His son Alfred Saavedra says his father died of natural causes.

Saavedra was born in 1918 and joined the New Mexico National Guard. He was one of 75,000 Filipino and American soldiers taken captive by the Japanese in World War II when U.S. forces surrendered in the province of Bataan and Corregidor Island in April 1942.

Tens of thousands of the troops were forced to march to Japanese prison camps in what became known as the Bataan Death March. Many were denied food, water and medical care.

After the war, Saavedra returned to New Mexico where he operated a service station in San Rafael.

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