Bataan Death March survivor from Roseville dies on Vets Day

Published 11:04 am Thursday, November 14, 2013

ROSEVILLE — A Roseville man who survived the Bataan Death March in World War II has died at age 93 on the day America honored its military veterans.

Kenneth Porwoll passed away on Veterans Day at the VA Medical Center in Fort Snelling, 71 years after the 1942 death march. Porwoll was a tank commander stationed at Fort Stotsenburg in the Philippines when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

He was among some 70,000 prisoners of war who were forced by the Japanese to march 65 miles in the tropical heat after U.S. and Filipino forces were defeated at the Battle of Bataan. Thousands of the POWs died on the march.

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One of Porwoll’s nine children said her dad’s faith helped him keep walking.