Allen Beauchamp, 86

Bataan march survivor

January 07, 2007

Allen Vern Beauchamp, a retired packing company executive and a World War II veteran who survived the Bataan Death March in the Philippines, died Thursday of complications from Parkinson's disease at the Stella Maris nursing home in Timonium. He was 86 and lived in Timonium.

Born in Detroit, Mr. Beauchamp graduated from high school in the late 1930s. He joined the Marines soon after finishing high school.

Mr. Beauchamp was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942 and was forced to march to a prison camp about 100 miles away. Thousands perished in what became known as the Bataan Death March.

He was kept at the camp for three years and four months before being freed by U.S. forces in 1945. During the liberation, a hospital was bombed, and Mr. Beauchamp ran into the burning building several times to evacuate patients, though he weighed 85 pounds at the time. He received a Bronze Star and a letter from President Harry S. Truman commending him.

He returned to the United States and spent months at a hospital in upstate Michigan, where he was treated for malnutrition and malaria. In 1945, he married his high school sweetheart, Doorthy Naczek, and the couple had three children before she died in 1998. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of sergeant.

He attended Loyola University Chicago for two years and the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Beauchamp initially worked as a representative for Pontiac, distributing vehicles to dealers. In 1952, he moved to the Baltimore area to work as an office manager for Jewett & Sherman Co., a food processing company. He later became president of Hurlock Packing Co., retiring in 1970.

"He never complained," Jeffrey Beauchamp of Baldwin said of his father's war service. "He mainly talked about the camaraderie and not about the sacrifice or the suffering."

A private service will be held at noon tomorrow at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

He is survived by another son, Bryan Beauchamp of White Marsh; a daughter, Ellen Hardbarger of Perry Hall; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

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