It Tolled For New Mexico
New Mexicans Captured by
the Japanese 1941–1945.
Eva Jane Matson. Yucca
Tree Press, 1994.
This book is a hybrid that divides itself
equally between historical narrative and
detailed listings of New Mexicans who were
prisoners of war in WWII. It provides a context
for understanding the impact of the Bataan
legacy on New Mexico. Albeit cursory and sparse
at times in its treatment of the historical
narrative, it is nonetheless a basic research
tool and reference for those interested in the
details of this military campaign. It provides
for the identification of the volunteers of the
200th Coastal Artillery Unit, and discusses the
continuing impact of this episode upon the
communities of New Mexico through the informal
and formal efforts of various organizations.
Judging from the manner in which this book is
organized, the author shares the fruits of a
process in researching documents pertaining to
“military ancestors.” As a self-professed
“collector of history’s bits and pieces,” the
book is a basic compendium of many events and
episodes that have escaped most narratives on
Bataan. Although the context is limited to
events that were staged in New Mexico, it will
hopefully prove to be a reader that is
replicated for other regions of the country.