Pvt. James Maxie Bryant
| Pvt. James N.
Bryant was born on September 25, 1920, in Inman,
South Carolina, to William Bryant & Alma
Bridges-Bryant. He was one of the couple's
two sons. His parents divorced while he was
a child. With his mother and brother, he
lived in Beech Springs, South Carolina. He
was known as "Jack" to his family and
friends. His mother would later remarry, and
the family resided at 4404 First Avenue, Columbus,
On February 4, 1941, Jack was inducted into the Army at Augusta, Georgia. He was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, for basic training. After basic training, he was assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion. What job he was qualified to do is not known.
In the late summer of 1941, the 753rd was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana. Maneuvers were taking place at the fort but the battalion did not take part in them. The 192nd Tank Battalion, which had taken part in maneuvers, was ordered to remain at the camp for further orders. The battalion learned they were being sent overseas. Those men 29 years old or older were given the chance to resign from federal service. Jack replaced a National Guardsmen released from federal service. He was assigned to C Company.
Over different train routes, the battalion was sent to San Francisco. Once there, they were taken by ferry to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island. At the fort, they received physicals and inoculated against tropical diseases. Those men with minor health issues were held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion in the Philippines.
The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.A.T.
Hugh L. Scott
for Hawaii as
part of a
at Honolulu on
2nd. The soldiers were given leaves so they could see the
one point, the
an island at
did so in
This for many
soldiers was a
sign that they
The tanks were ordered to the perimeter of the Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers. That morning of December 8, 1941, the tankers were informed of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. When they looked up that morning, the sky was filled with American planes. At noon, the planes landed and the pilots went to lunch.
in the afternoon, the tankers noticed planes
approaching the airfield. When bombs began
exploding around them, they knew the planes were
Japanese. Besides their .50 caliber
machine guns, they had few weapons to use
against the planes. Most took cover and
waited out the attack. After it ended,
they saw the destruction done by the bombs.
There is no
Jack was sent
it is most
likely he was
sent to Japan
on the Nissyo
Camp he was
in, arrived on
The POWs from
were taken to
the Port Area
of Manila by
the ship on
In Japan Jack was sent to
Fukuoka #3-B, there he worked at
the Yawata Steel Mills doing manual labor.
The work was to shovel iron ore and rebuild the
ovens. The POWs were sent into the ovens
to clean out the debris. Since the ovens
were hot, because the Japanese would not let
them cool off, the POWs worked faster on this