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The Chicago Tribune and its affiliates' published an account of the horrors by W. Edwin Dyess, a heroic aviator who had survived the Death March and escaped from the Japanese POW camp, Davao Prison Colony in April 1943. Until then, the American public did not know about this war atrocity.
The original story on Japanese atrocities in the Philippines was written for the Tribune in July 1943. The military and the Roosevelt White House balked at releasing the explosive material--especially to a newspaper critical of the President--and even used wartime censorship powers to block publication of Dyess’ story in the Tribune.
The also didn’t want to shock the American public and were worried that the Japanese might respond with even more cruelty against POWs.
The next day, the Tribune and its 100 affiliated newspapers ran the first of what would be 24 installments of Dyess’s dramatic story of combat, leadership, selflessness, survival, and escape.
Buried in simple family plot in the Albany, Texas Cemetery, the only public recognition, in Texas or anywhere else, of Lt. Col. Dyess’ valiant and inspiring actions during World War II was the renaming of Abilene Air Force Base to Dyess Air Force Base in 1956.
The Dyess Story: The Complete Eye-Witness Account of the Death March (1944) as told to Chicago Tribune journalist William Leavelle remains a best-seller.