Blacketer_W

 

Pvt. William Elwood Blacketer


Born: 5 April 1919 - Mackville, Kentucky

Parents: Elmer Blacketer & Hattie Shewmaker-Blacketer

Siblings: 3 sisters, 7 brothers

Home:  461 Hardin Avenue - Harrodsburg, Kentucky

Occupation: Odd Jobs

Enlisted: 

    - Kentucky National Guard - Harrodsburg

Inducted: 

    - U. S. Army

        - 25 November 1940 - Harrodsburg

Training: 

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

        - tank driver

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

        - Louisiana Maneuvers

Overseas Duty:
    - soldiers arrived by train in San Francisco, California
    - ferried to Angel Island
    - Boarded: U.S.A.T. Hugh L. Scott
    - Sailed: San Francisco - Monday - 27 October 1941
        - three ship convoy

    - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Sunday - 2 November 1941
        - soldiers give shore leave
    - Sailed: Tuesday - 4 November 1941
    - Arrived: Guam - Unknown
        - ships take on coconuts, water, vegetables, bananas
    - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands
        - Thursday - Thursday - 20 November 1941

            - soldiers disembark ship three to four hours after arrival
            - boarded buses
   - Stationed: Ft. Stostenburg
            - housed in tents along main road between fort and Clark Airfield
            - General Edward King greeted them and apologize about their living quarters
            - made sure that the soldiers had Thanksgiving dinner before they he had his own

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942 

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942 

Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942

        - Death March

            - Mariveles - POWs started march at southern tip of Bataan
            - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
                - Americans on Corregidor returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars
                - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                - 100 POWs packed into each car
                - POWs who died remained standing
            - Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
            - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell

POW Camps: 

    Philippine Islands: 

        - Camp O'Donnell

            - unfinished Filipino training base
            - Japanese put camp into use as POW Camp
            - only one water spigot for entire camp
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
            - Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate
 

        - Cabanatuan

Hell Ship: 

     - Nagato Maru  

        - Boarded: Manila - 6 November 1942

        - Sailed: 11 November 1942

        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 14 November 1942

        - Sailed: 18 November 1942

        - Arrived: Pescadores Islands - 18 November 1942

        - Sailed: 18 November 1942

        - Arrived: Keelung, Formosa - 18 November 1942

        - Sailed: 20 November 1942

        - Arrived: Moji - 24 November 1942
POW Camps:

    - Japan:  

        - Yodagawa Camp

            - Work: steel mill

        - Oeyama Camp

            - Work: nickel refinery
                - mines located almost six miles from camp

                - one guard told POWs they would be killed if Americans invaded Japan
            - 30 July 1945 - air raid
                - B-29s heavy bomb the the nearby port town on
Miyazu on west coast of island

                    - bombing runs went over camp
                    - two POWs accidentally killed
            - two weeks later major attack on Miyazu
                - lasted all night until noon the next days
            -guard who told them they would be executed told the POWs the war was over

Liberated: 2 September 1945
Sailed: Manila - U.S.S. Joseph T. Dychman - September 1945
Arrived: San Francisco - 16 October 1945

Married: Juanita Yeast

    - sister of Willard and Claude Yeast of the 192nd Tank Battalion

Note: 

    According to Bill Blacketer, his father had worked as a book salesman and was accused of embezzling money from his company.  He spent two years in prison.  Bill stated that he was in Louisville in December 1969, just after enlisting in the Air Force.  He was walking down the street and ran into his father.  The two talked for several hours before parting company.  That was the last time he ever saw his father.

    Other members of the family have stated that William was involved in some trouble with Chicago hoodlums.  According to them, he disappeared not too long after this and has never been heard from again. 


 

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