Hopper

 

Sgt. Aaron Clyde Hopper


Born: 25 January 1918 - Carroll County, Tennessee

Hometown: Calloway County, Kentucky

Parents: Allen P. Hopper & Effie J. Pendergrass-Hopper

Siblings: 4 sisters, 3 brothers

Nickname: Clyde

Occupation: Office Worker - Gilbertsville Dam - Gilbertsville, Kentucky

Inducted:

    - U. S. Army

        - 11 March 1941 - Louisville, Kentucky

        - sent to Fort Thomas, Kentucky
            - scheduled to be sent to Fort Hood but his records were lost
            - remained at the fort for six weeks his records were found
            - he was sent to Ft. Knox, Kentucky
                - assigned to D Company

Training: 

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

        - Job: Supply Sergeant for D Company

Overseas Duty:
    - U.S.A.T, Hugh L. Scott
        - Sailed: San Francisco - Monday - 27 October 1941
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Sunday - 2 November 1941
            - remained in Hawaii until other ships in convoy arrived
        - Sailed: Tuesday - 4 November 1941
        - Arrived: Guam - Not Known
            - ship loaded with water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables
        - Sailed: next day
        -Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands - Thursday - 20 November 1941
            - soldiers disembark ship three hours after arrival
            - boarded buses for Ft. Stotsenburg
            - maintenance section remained behind to unload tanks from ship

    - Ft. Stotsenburg - Philippine Islands

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
    - Surrender - 9 April 1942:

        - escaped to Corregidor when Bataan was surrendered
        - swam to island with Lt. John Hummel, 194th Tank Battalion
        - Corregidor sent a boat to pick them up

    - Battle of Corregidor

        - 9 April 1942 - 6 May 1942 

            - sent to Ft. Drum
            - manned a sandbagged .50 caliber machine gun surrounded 
                - shot down Japanese plane
                - hit two other planes
            - gained seventeen pounds while there

Prisoner of War:

    - 6 May 1942
        - taken to dock and rebuilt it for four days
        - taken by boat to Manila
        - marched down Dewey Boulevard to railroad station
        - rode train to San Fernando
            - packed in tightly

POW Camps: 

    - Philippine Islands: 

        - Cabanatuan
            - sent to camp #3
            - came down with dysentery
            - bought 40 pills from an American doctor to treat himself

Transfer:

    - Selected to go to Japan
        - POWs made to double time the 12 miles to San Fernando
        - put into train cars and taken to Manila

Hell Ship:
  - Tottori Maru

        - 1961 POWs put on ship

            - 500 in front hold and 1461 in rear hold

        - 5 October 1942 POWs left Cabanatuan for Manila

           -  housed in warehouse on Pier 7

        - 7 October 1942 POWs boarded onto Tottori Maru

        - Sailed: Manila 8 October 1942 - 10:00 A.M.
                - passed Corregidor at 12 noon
                - POW Meal: three loaves of bread which equaled one American loaf
                    - bread was to last two days

            - Note:  9 October 1942 - American submarine fired two torpedoes at ship

                         - ship passes a mine laid by an American submarine - 9:00 A.M.
            - POW Meal: three bags of soda crackers and hardtack

        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 11 October 1942

        - Sailed: 16 October 1942 - 7:30 A.M.

                        -  returned to Takao - 10:30 P.M.
            - POW Meal: two bags of hardtack and rice and soup

        - Sailed: 18 October 1942

        - Arrived: Pescadores Islands

            - anchored off the Pescadores Islands same day

                        remained anchored for several days

            - two POWs died buried at sea

        - Sailed: 27 October 1942

        - Arrived: Takao - 27 October 1942

            - 28 October 1942 POWs taken ashore and bathed

        - Sailed: 30 October 1942

        - Arrived: 30 October 1942 - Makou, Pescadores Islands - 5:00 P.M.

        - Sailed:  31 October 1942
            - seven ship convoy
            - ships attacked by American submarine sinking one ship
            - other ships scattered

        - Arrived: Fusan, Korea - 7 November 1942

            - 8 November 1942 POWs disembarked ship
            - POWs issued new clothing and fur-lined overcoats

            - sick POWs left behind at Fusan

            - those who recovered came to Mukden at later date

            - white boxes contained the ashes of POWs who died

        - 11 November 1942 arrived Mukden

              - Note: POWs took a two day train trip to Mukden, Manchuria
    - Manchuria

        - Mukden
            - nearly 300 POWs died the first winter
            - worked MKK Machine Shop
                - POWs sabotaged machines by taking parts off them
             - beaten when he was caught trying to smuggle food to a prisoner in the
               guardhouse

Liberated: 18 August 1945 - Russian Army

    - 29 August 1945 - American Recovery Team enters camp

    - POWs taken by train to Darien, China

    - taken by ship to Okinawa
    - flown to Manila
Sailed: Manila - U.S.S. General R. L. Howze - September 1945
Arrived: San Francisco - 16 October 1945

    - Learned his brother, George, had been Killed in Action -  23 July 43

Promoted: Staff Sergeant
Hospitalized:
    - Moore General Hospital, Swannanoa, North Carolina
        - hospitalized for five months

Discharged: 8 March 1946

Married:

Children: 1 daughter, 1 son

Medals:

    - Purple Heart

    - Bronze Star

Died: 11 January 2000 - Jackson, Tennessee

Buried: Ridgecrest Cemetery, Jackson, Tennessee

Aaron Hopper's Story


 

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