Pfc. Elkoney Albert Allison
Pfc. Elkoney A. Allison was the son of Thomas D.
Allison & Etta C. Warren-Allison. He was
born on November 25, 1916, in Baxter,
Tennessee. He had three sisters, three
brothers, and a half brother, and grew up in
Putman County, Tennessee. He left high
school after his third year.
As a young man, Elkoney joined the Tennessee National Guard and was assigned to a cavalry unit and was a member of Company I, 109th Cavalry. In early 1941, Elkoney was already in the U. S. Army. He did his basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and was a member of the 753rd Tank Battalion at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
The battalion was
sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana, where maneuvers
were taking place. The 753rd did not take
part in the maneuvers. At Camp Polk,
Elkoney volunteered to join the 192nd Tank
Battalion and became a member of the B
Company. At the time, the battalion was
preparing for duty in the Philippine Islands and
was looking for soldiers to fill vacancies
created when National Guardsmen, 29 years and
older, were released from federal service.
At 12:45 in the afternoon on December 8, 1941, just ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Elkoney lived through the Japanese attack on Clark Airfield. That morning, they had been awakened to the news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor just hours earlier. He and the other tankers were eating lunch when planes approached the airfield from the north. At first, they thought the planes were American. They then saw what looked like rain drops falling from the planes. It was only when bombs began exploding on the runways that the tankers knew the planes were Japanese. He would spend the next four months fighting the Japanese.
On April 9, 1942, Elkoeny became a Prisoner of War. He took part in the death march from Mariveles to San Fernando. At San Fernando, he and the other POWs boarded small wooden boxcars that could hold eight horses or forty men. One hundred men were packed into each car. Those who died remained standing. When the living left the cars at Capas, the dead fell to the ground.
While a POW, Elkoney was held at Camp
O'Donnell. This camp was a death trap with
as many as fifty-five POWs dying each day.To get
out of the camp, Elkoney went out on a work
detail to rebuild bridges that had been
destroyed by the Americans as they retreated
into the Bataan Peninsula. The detail was
under the command of Col Ted Wickord the
commanding officer of the 192nd. The first
bridge the POWs rebuilt was at Calauan.
On Sunday, May 23, 1943, Elkoney was admitted to
the camp hospital. Pfc.
Elkoney A. Allison died on Monday, June 21,
1943, from beriberi at Cabanatuan POW Camp
#1. The approximate time of death was 1:15
P.M. At the request of his family, he was
buried at the new American cemetery at
Manila. He rests in Plot N, Row 12, Grave
56, at the American Military Cemetery at Manila.