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Sept.23, 2009

Vol. 110, No. 1


Frederick J. Yeager *59

Published in the Sept.23, 2009, issue

Frederick J. Yeager, a retired Army colonel who survived the Bataan Death March in 1942, died at home Feb. 20, 2009. He was 93.

Yeager graduated from West Point in 1940. Stationed in the Philippines before World War II, he was captured by the Japanese, lived through the Bataan Death March, and then was held in captivity for three and a half years in five POW camps. While imprisoned he learned Russian. Faced with unimaginable living conditions, Yeager raised the morale of his fellow POWs by forming the “I Like It Here” club. His heroism and duty to country earned him the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Legion of Merit.

After the war, Yeager and his family moved around the world, as his military career took him to Moscow, Berlin, London, and Washington, D.C.

Yeager earned two master’s degrees from Princeton in 1958 and a Ph.D. in politics in 1959. In 1969, he retired from the Army and began teaching Russian and political science at Rider College, where he earned a distinguished teaching award in 1980.

Yeager was buried in Arlington National Cemetery alongside his wife, June, who predeceased him in 1996. He is survived by two sons and two granddaughters.

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