Minnesota's last survivor of the Bataan Death March dies at 101

Walter Straka, of Brainerd, was the last living survivor of the Bataan Death March. He died on Independence Day 2021 at the age of 101. (Minnesota National Guard)

The last living survivor of the Bataan Death March from Minnesota died this weekend at the age of 101. 

Walter Straka of Brainerd was a member of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor of the Minnesota National Guard. He died on the Fourth of July. 

Between 60,000 and 80,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war were forcibly transferred by the Japanese Imperial Army in the Bataan Death March in April 1942. There were reports of continued abuse and killings during the march. 

According to his battalion, Straka was an active member of the Minnesota National Guard community and could be seen honoring his fellow veterans at wreath laying ceremonies commemorating the fall of Bataan each September.