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In Memory of Abie Abraham

July 31, 1913 -  March 22, 2012


written by Andrew Kovacs, August 24, 2000
Abie Abraham was born on July 31, 1913 in Lyndora, PA .
His boyhood was spent in the hill sides overlooking the Pullman Standard Plant. 
He attended school in patched pants and barefoot, sporting a "butch haircut". 

He distinguished himself in high school academically. With a good physique of a boxer, he joined the Army in 1932.  Again, he distinguished himself as a soldier rising to Regimental Sgt. Major and a boxer winning 71 bouts. 

One of Abie's proteges was John Basilone, who later became a Metal of Honor winner as a machine gunner with the 1 st Marine Division on Gudalcanal.
His overseas tour included Shanghai and Tientsin China. In 1937, he returned to the Philippines where he was quartered in the Walled City. Later, he lived with his wife and three daughters in Manila. In December of 1941, his Regiment fought a delaying action on Bataan. They were understaffed and undergunned and near starvation rations, abandoned to face Japanese land, sea, and air bombardment. After 4 months, they were captured by the Japanese. 

On April 9, 1942 the infamous "Bataan Peninsula Death March", 6 days, 90 miles starting at Mariveles and terminating at Camp O'Donnell and later moved to Camp Cabanatuan. In the next three years, 4100 men perished from disease, food and medicine depravation and inhumane treatment. During his three years in the death camps, at daily risk of execution, he took names and addresses of those who were perishing. After rescue by the 6th  Rangers, and in-person request by General Mac Arthur , Abie spent the next 2-1/2 years exhuming the remains of victims and KIA 's (many of whom Abraham knew personally), eluding death from booby traps and land mines and the ghosts of Bataan.  He was the key witness against the Supreme Japanese Commander, Lt. General Masahura Homma, who was executed by firing squad. After 10 years, he returned to his beloved America, in the absence of recognition and fanfare.

About a year after the war was over, Abie accepted the Samurai sword of a Japanese Major and single handed the surrender of his 150 Japanese soldiers. After hiding in the jungle from the Filipinos and getting word to him thru a Japanese-Filipino, they would only surrender to Abie Abraham. Also, Abraham protected the Japanese from certain beheading by the Filipinos, many of whom had suffered horrible atrocities by some of the Japanese. To this day, Abie still is frequently contacted by relatives of those who  perished.

My personal observations and conclusions of Abie Abraham, based on personal contact
for five years and the reading of his two books, THE GHOST OF BATAAN SPEAKS
and "OH GOD, WHERE ARE You are as follows:

1. The mind of a great intellect
2. True American Patriot
3. The wisdom and courage of an outstanding warrior
4: The unbelievable mental and physical toughness to preservere in the face of great adversity.
5. A modest man who is capable of great compassion and forgiveness.

This great American patriot, Abie Abraham,  has been overlooked and it would be most fitting and long overdue, that he be awarded this country's highest decoration, THE MEDAL OF HONOR,   while he is living.
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