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Glenn Weddell McDOLE
Birth: Feb. 6, 1921
Nebraska, USA
Death: Sep. 3, 2009
Polk County
Iowa, USA



Staff Writter for Des Moines Register
September 5, 2009

WORLD WAR II veteran GLENN McDOLE, one of the last living survivors of the PALAWAN MASSACRE, passed away Thursday,
September 03, 2009.

McDOLE 88, of Ankeny, Iowa, wrote the book "LAST MAN OUT", which was published in 2004, with friend Bob Wilbanks of Urbandale, Iowa, a retired news director for WHO-TV and radio. McDole for several years made the rounds of schools, churches and community organizations to share his story, along with attending national veterans' events.

In 2004, McDole was one of only three living survivors of the massacre; the other men lived in Utah and California. Wilbanks said Friday he believes one of the survivors is still living but is not sure about the other veteran.

Wilbanks traveled with McDole to many of his public appearances. He remembered the kindness his friend and fellow Marine showed to others.

"He just exuded trust and warmth to people," Wilbanks said, recalling McDole's ability to share his struggles of being a prisoner of war. "He was just superb. He held the audience."

Wilbanks said complications from a couple of falls, along with general aging, contributed to McDole's death. He said McDole was hospitalized for a time and then cared for at a family member's home in Alleman, Iowa, where he died.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Highland Park Christian Church, 4260 N.W. Sixth Drive in Des Moines. Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the church.

Burial will be at HIGHLAND MEMORY GARDENS CEMETERY, north of Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa.

A Nebraska native, McDole moved to the Des Moines area in the 1930s and attended high school in Urbandale. He joined the Marine Corps in 1940 and was sent to the Philippines, eventually landing at a base on Corregidor Island.

McDOLE was one of 11 prisoners of war who escaped death in a massacre on PALAWAN ISLAND, the Philippines, in December 1944. About 140 soldiers were killed when the Japanese herded them into trenches, dumped gasoline on them and set them on fire. Slipping away through a tunnel connected to his trench, McDole cowered in a heap of garbage for two days before hiding farther down the beach with a badly wounded man.

Shortly after the man died in his arms, McDole made a run for the ocean.

"When he passed away, I took off swimming," said McDole during a 2004 interview with The Des Moines Register. Guided by constellations in the dark, McDole swam several miles to a portion of the island not occupied by the Japanese.

McDole attended college after returning home. He was an officer in the Iowa State Patrol, serving in several communities, and later worked 12 years for the Polk County sheriff's office before retiring.

McDole's wife, Betty, died in 2008. His family includes two daughters, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Daughter Kathy McDole-Parkins said her father initially didn't talk much about his time as a prisoner of war. But then someone encouraged him to share the stories in memory of those who didn't make it back.

"He was a very humble man," she said. "He cared about family, that was the most important thing
Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery
Des Moines
Polk County
Iowa, USA
Plot: Section: Meditation Block: 1 Lot: 191 Grave: 1
Record added: Sep 05, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41582018
Glenn Weddell McDOLE
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Glenn Weddell McDOLE
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Glenn Weddell McDOLE
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Remembering you and your family today. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. May you rest in peace.
- A Marine's Daughter & Army Mom
 Added: Feb. 28, 2014

- Betty Smith Romick Boustead
 Added: Oct. 13, 2011
Glenn, it was a privlege to have known you and your family. I can't imagine a finer human being that ever lived. Your courage in WWII Pacific is the stuff of real heros and you will never be forgotten.
- Kyle Ann Campos
 Added: Feb. 16, 2011
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