by Sam Hieb
It was only later, after retirement from his medical practice, that John Bumgarner talked freely about his war years and imprisonment. He wrote four books, among them “Parade of the Dead” in 1995, which chronicled the horrors of his captivity.
In April 1942, Bumgarner was an Army doctor stationed in the Philippines when the Japanese overran the country. He was among 33,000 American troops rounded up and herded into capti vity during the infamous Bataan Death March. Later, in the crowded, ill-equipped Cabanatuan POW camp, he survived malaria, dysentery and a starvation diet. More than 15,000 died in captivity.
“I decided that I was going to do my best to survive, but if I couldn’t, there was nothing I could do about it,” Bumgarner told the News & Record in a 2004 interview….
…After the war, he married Evelyn Sharpe and started a medical practice with longtime partner Dr. John Moore.
“John Bumgarner as a physician was always kind, always firm and always right in his diagnoses,” Moore said. “We knew that when John made a diagnosis it was correct and we could proceed further.”
Dr. Bumgarner’s diagnoses were right in the editorial pages of the N&R, too. His point of view will be missed.