Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bataan Death March survivor Tom McDill honored

Although it occurred nearly 70 years after the fact, a former Dawes County resident was honored this spring for his participation in World War II.  

Tom McDill of Custer, S.D., was presented 10 military awards during ceremonies in Custer on earlier this spring.

With McDill, now 92, from left, are Lois Putnam of Oelrichs, who, like McDill, was a member of the Class of 1939 at Chadron Prep; McDill’s wife, Ilona; and Jan Adams of Chadron, who represented Chadron Prep at the ceremonies. McDill was missing in action for 3.5 years after being captured by the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942. He survived the Bataan Death March and then worked more than three years in a Japanese copper mine before the war ended. 

McDill grew up on a ranch in the Whitney area and had raised horses much of his life. (Photo and information courtesy of Con Marshall)