Born into a large family, James Bollich grew up on a rice farm near Eunice,
Louisiana. He credits his disciplined farm upbringing and the patience and
endurance he learned during the Depression era as reasons for his survival
during World War II.
He graduated from St. Edmund High School in Eunice and studied engineering at
the University of Southern Louisiana for three semesters before joining the Army
Air Corps in 1940. He was stationed in the Philippines when war broke out with
Japan and, before the surrender in April 1942, was named warrant officer, a
promotion Bollich knew nothing of until he read newspaper clippings about it
One of the few survivors of the Japanese torture and imprisonment, he wrote
about his experiences in Bataan Death March: A Soldier's Story. The book reveals the U.S. troops' three years of hardship,
including starvation, pneumonia, and torture. It is a story that many people are
unaware of, because the government requested that the ex-POWs not tell their
story when they returned.
After the war, the author continued his education at University of
Southwestern Louisiana and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to do geological
research at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is an active member of
the Acadiana Writers Guild, and he has traveled to more than thirty countries.
Bollich was most recently awarded the Daughters of the Revolution Medal of
Honor, which recognizes a United States citizen who has shown outstanding
leadership, trustworthiness, service, and patriotism.
A retired geologist, Bollich is a life member of the American Legion,
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and a member of
the 27th Bombardment Squadron. A father of two and grandfather of five, he lives
with his wife, Celia, in Lafayette, Louisiana.