• Links to Oral History Sessions: Minger, Dale (April 14, 2007)
  • Conflict(s): World War II
  • Military Branch & Unit: Army
  • Theater(s): Pacific


Dale Minger was born on January 15, 1920, on a farm near Wadena, Iowa. At age twenty-one, he entered the United States Army on an offer to go to the Philippines, where he arrived in July 1941 and was stationed on Corregidor in the antiaircraft unit Battery D, 60th Coast Artillery.

Taken prisoner and imprisoned for seven months after the fall of the Philippines, he was taken to Manila, where he endured starvation, blindness and malaria. He was witness to cruelty, ranging from guards executing prisoners, to numerous deaths from negligence while being transported by ship, to his own treatment as a medical "guinea pig" under his captors. In the interview, Minger recalls some acts of kindness from guards who were also experiencing hunger, namely those who secured food for him. Minger also recalls interactions with local people, for whom he still expresses respect, and American bombings followed by the dropping of supplies.

Though his imprisonment was long and arduous, Minger explains that he visited Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines after the war and still respected people in those nations. Despite sustaining many injuries and suffering from multiple medical conditions brought on by his period as a prisoner of war, Minger describes his positive experience with the VA and others who provided him care after his military service. A notable theme throughout his life and interview revolves around faith and the unexplainable miracles he believes saved him and allowed him to live a full life.