Pfc. Thomas Franklin Brooks
| Pfc. Thomas
Franklin Brooks was born on October 13, 1919, in
Edmonson County, Kentucky to Charles Smith Brooks &
Frances Isabel Brooks. He was the fourth of
the couple's twelve children. He crew up at
Rural Route 2 near Monmouth Cave, Kentucky.
He was known as "Frank" to his family and friends.
Thomas was inducted into the U. S. Army on January 20, 1941 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he was assigned to D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. During his training, he became friends with Pvt. Patrick Boone and Pfc. James Carter.
After taking part in maneuvers in Louisiana, Thomas battalion was ordered overseas. He and the other soldiers were given leaves home to say goodbye to their families. After returning to Camp Polk, Louisiana, the soldiers were sent by train to San Francisco.
On Angel Island, Thomas received a physical and
inoculated for duty overseas. The battalion sailed, U.S.A.T. Hugh L. Scott,
for Hawaii as
part of a
in Hawaii on
and had a
When the ships
ship since the
On December 8, 1941, ten hours after the
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Thomas lived
through the Japanese attack on Clark
Field. For the next four months Thomas
fought to slow the Japanese conquest of
Philippines. At some point Tom was
hospitalized at Hospital #2 at Cabcaben, Bataan,
and was still in the hospital when Bataan
surrendered on April 9, 1942.
Tom is listed as part of the Cabcaben POW Camp
on May 19, 1942. It appears to be a roster
of POWs being transferred from the Hospital #2
to Bilibid Prison. How long he stayed at
Bilibid is not known.
What is known is that in late 1942, Thomas developed beriberi. According to U. S. Army records, Pfc. Thomas Franklin Brooks died of beriberi at Cabanatuan POW Camp on Thursday, December 10, 1942, at approximately 5:20 PM, and was buried in the camp cemetery in Grave: 917, Row: 0, Plot: 9.
After the war, on November 25, 1947, the remains
of Pvt. Thomas F. Brooks, and of other POWs
buried in Grave 917, were exhumed from the
grave. The remains believed to be those of
Thomas were given the number C-641, later
X-1683, and finally X-4483. In 1949, it
was determined that his remains and the remains
of three other POWs could not be