Survivors call it a forgotten part of World War II history, but the brutal detainment of American prisoners of war in the Philippines is getting the Hollywood treatment in the movie "The Great Raid" and a documentary produced in Tulsa.
News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says it is called "Ghosts of Bataan" and it revisits the torture of Allied POW's in Japanese prison camps.
The hour-long documentary airs next week on the Discovery Channel, but it's been three years of hard work for producers at Tulsa's WinnerComm. Chip Rives and Tim Cremin began the Bataan project without knowing where, when, or even if it would ever air. Then it was months of digging for old photos, film, and records, with very little available since the Japanese never wanted anyone to know what went on at Bataan.
The documentary takes you to the prisoner of war camps through a soldier's eyes. It's a story many are just now comfortable sharing and a unique perspective that might not have been available any later. Tim Cremin: "Right from the get-go we realized there's not a lot of time to tell this story. If we had waited another two years from now, there are five people I know of that we would not have interviewed."
The WinnerComm crew traveled to the Philippines, Japan, and more than a dozen US states to make this documentary. Some of that legwork was done tracking down both American and Japanese veterans to tell the story of Bataan from both sides.