The documentary 'Never Surrender: The Ed Ramsey Story' is a tribute to Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Price Ramsey from Illinois. He was a United States Army officer and guerrilla leader during the World War II Japanese occupation of the Philippines. During the early part of the war, he led the last cavalry charge in American military history. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for this action.
The documentary has been directed by Steven C. Barber and Matt Hausle with sporadic narration by Josh Brolin. Among other reviews, Los Angeles Time claims that the documentary spends too much time going over Ramsey’s post-war career, and misses a presence from the families of those Filipino war vets. However, as strong point is the participation of historians and retired military personnel, family members (especially his widow) and excerpts featuring Ramsey himself, filmed in 2003 and 2012. The journalist maintainerd that "in its present form, Ramsey’s story leaves you wanting more — and less."
Edwin Ramsey was born in Carlyle, Illinois. He died of natural causes on March 7, 2013, and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on June 28.
Before the beginning of World War II, Ramsey graduated from Oklahoma Military Academy in Claremore, Oklahoma, in May 1938. He attended the University of Oklahoma, but left to enlist in the United States Army in 1941.
His story during World War II is as follow. In February 1941, Second Lieutenant Ramsey was assigned to the 11th Cavalry Regiment at Campo, California. When volunteers were requested for the 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts) in the Philippines, he jumped at the opportunity.
As a first lieutenant during the withdrawal to Corregidor in the Philippines Campaign, he was in command of the 27-man, mostly Filipino G Troop when they encountered the enemy in the village of Morong on the Bataan peninsula on January 16, 1942. Despite being heavily outnumbered by an infantry force supported by tanks, Ramsey ordered the last cavalry charge in American military history. The surprised Japanese broke and fled. Ramsey and his men held their position for five hours under heavy fire, until reinforcements could be brought up.
After the fall of Bataan, Ramsey and Captain Joseph Barker made their way to central Luzon and joined Lieutenant Colonel Claude Thorp, who had been given the task of organizing guerrilla resistance by MacArthur. Luzon was divided into four regions, and Barker was given responsibility for the East Central Luzon Guerrilla Area (ECLGA), extending from Manila to the Lingayen Gulf. After Thorp was captured by the Japanese in October 1942, Barker took his place, putting Ramsey in charge of the ECLGA. Barker himself was eventually caught and executed by the Japanese. The guerrilla force under Ramsey's command grew to nearly 40,000. They fought using captured and hand-made weapons (We made arms out of sawed-off pipes that we used as shotguns, Ramsey said), gathered intelligence and distributed propaganda.
Allied forces landed in Luzon in early January 1945. On June 13, General MacArthur personally awarded Ramsey the Distinguished Service Cross for his guerrilla activities. Ramsey, already a major by 1943, was promoted to lieutenant colonel shortly before being ordered back to the United States. The ordeal in the Philippines had taken its toll – he had lost half his weight and was down to only 93 pounds (42 kg) in January 1945 – and he spent nearly a year recovering from malaria, dysentery, and acute malnutrition in the hospital. Lieutenant Colonel Ramsey received a medical discharge in 1946.