SAN ANTONIO -- He's believed to be the youngest prisoner of war in American history.
On Tuesday, friends and family remembered a military hero who lived in San Antonio after surviving years in Japanese War camps.
Joseph Alexander never got to enjoy his youth. At just 14 years old, with his grandmother by his side, he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
He's said to have been the youngest American prisoner of war.
The World War II veteran, who spent three and a half years as a prisoner of war in Japanese camps, died Wednesday morning from prostate cancer.
He would have turned 88 in less than two weeks.
Following his funeral services, we spoke with his wife of 68 years, Norma Alexander, who says her late husband 'was a fighter till the end.' Tuesday she shared just some of the torture he endured during his time as a P.O.W.
'He was captured on Mindanao and went to Japan by ship, and they were just packed like sardines,' she said.
During his imprisonment, Alexander endured working long hours in steel mills, mostly living on chicken feed and barley.
He was finally freed in 1945 and, after treatment, returned back to his hometown of San Antonio. His wife said he never had any animosity.
Alexander leaves behind his wife and two sons.