PASCO -- Jim Bogart of Pasco isn't quite sure when his birthday is.
It might be Dec. 16 -- the date his family always celebrated, and the date on most of his official documents.
Or it might be Dec. 23 -- the date on his birth certificate and Medicare paperwork.
A self-proclaimed backwoods Minnesota boy, Bogart said with four or five feet of snow on the ground at the time of his birth, his birth certificate probably didn't get registered until the spring thaw.
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"I actually don't know which one is accurate," he said.
This year, Bogart split the difference and celebrated his 90th birthday Saturday with a throng of family and friends at the American Legion post in Pasco.
It seemed someone ran up to hug Bogart or shake his hand once every couple of minutes -- whether it was one of his nine grandchildren or 12 great-grandchildren, or one of his fellow veterans honoring his service in World War II.
"He's a real hero," friend Jim Irwin said.
While his date of birth might have faded from memory, Bogart remembers his military service with crystal clarity. He was one of about 700 American soldiers who survived being imprisoned at Camp Mukden in Manchuria for three years as a prisoner of war.
Before that, he survived the infamous and grueling Bataan Death March in 1942, when thousands of Americans and Filipinos captured by the Japanese after the fall of the Philippines were forced to march miles without food to prison camps.
He was a young man of 19 -- not far out of high school -- when he joined the National Guard in 1940. The following year, the Guard was nationalized and became the Army of the United States, and Bogart was stationed in the Philippines as a radio technician.
It was peacetime when he arrived, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor was near. From Dec. 7, 1941, on, the soldiers in the Philippines fought an uphill battle.
He has told the story many times -- how supplies ran low and then disappeared, how the Japanese killed anyone who fell down and couldn't march, how people starved to death and their bodies lined the way to a nearby cemetery.
It's a story he tells because it never should be forgotten.
The experience lingers with him physically 65 years after his liberation from the prison camp.
He sniffled and blew his nose during his party, and said he had developed a lifelong sinusitis during the cold Manchurian winters.
"Every injury I have ever had has come back in spades," he said.
As he spoke, Bogart drifted back to those months when American forces held out in Bataan between the Pearl Harbor attack and the day the order was given to surrender to the Japanese -- April 9, 1942.
"There was no medication, no nothing," he said. "No supplies. It was like the Alamo. There was no way in and no way out."
The winters of his imprisonment had gotten to him so much that Bogart couldn't stay in Minnesota after he returned to the United States.
He ended up coming to the Tri-Cities and finding work as a carpenter, and has lived here ever since.
Although he lived through the kind of horrific experience few can imagine, and he's losing both his hearing and his vision, Bogart sparkles with life at age 90.
He's known among his family and friends as someone always ready with a joke -- and usually a ribald one.
When someone stopped at his table Saturday and asked for a joke, he launched into a bawdy joke about a couple of Irishmen. The punchline, "That's not what they call it in the Bible," had laughter bursting from those around him.
He's also known for the strength of friendship he offers those around him.
"I have been all over the country with him," Irwin said. "He's been a good friend."