Humphries

 

Pvt. Quincey Albert Humphries


    Pvt. Quincey A. Humphries was born on January 23, 1917, in LeFlore County, Oklahoma, to Samuel G. Humphries & Lillie Goodins-Humphries.  With his five brothers and six sisters, he grew up on Sugarloaf Mountain near Monroe, Oklahoma.  As a child, he would travel to town by horse and wagon.  He finished grade school and worked as a farm hand.

    Quincey was inducted in the U. S. Army on March 3, 1941 in Oklahoma City.  During his time at Ft. Knox, Quincey trained as a tank driver.  After basic training,  he was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana and assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion.  The 753rd did not take part in the  Louisiana Maneuvers which were taking place at that time.  

    The 192nd Tank Battalion, which did take part in the maneuvers, was informed that it was being sent overseas.  Since the battalion was made up of National Guardsmen from the Midwest, those men who were 29 years old or married, were given the opportunity to resign from federal service.  In need of replacements, the army sought volunteers from the 753rd Tank Battalion.  Quincey volunteered to join the 192nd Tank Battalion at Camp Polk and was assigned to B Company. 
    From Camp Polk, the battalion traveled west over four different train routes.  Arriving in San Francisco, the soldiers were ferried to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island.  On the island, the soldiers were given physicals and inoculated for tropical diseases. Those with health issues were released from service and replaced.
    The battalion sailed from San Francisco on Monday, October 27th for Hawaii as part of a three ship convoy.  They arrived in Hawaii on Sunday, November 2nd, and had a layover.  The soldiers received passes and allowed to explore the islands.  They sailed again on October 29th for Guam.  When the ships arrived at Guam, they took on bananas, vegetables, coconuts, and water.  The soldiers remained on ship since the convoy was sailing the next day. About 8:00 in the morning on November 20th, the ships arrived at Manila Bay.  After arriving at Manila, it was three or four hours before they disembarked.  Most of the battalion boarded trucks and rode to Ft. Stotsenburg north of Manila.
    At the fort, the tankers were met by General Edward King.  King welcomed them and made sure that they had what they needed.  He also was apologetic that there were no barracks for the tankers and that they had to love in tents.  The fact was he had not learned of their arrival until days before they arrived.
    For the next seventeen days the tankers spent much of their time removing cosmoline from their weapons.  They also spent a large amount of time loading ammunition belts.  The plan was for them, with the 194th Tank Battalion, to take part in maneuvers. 
Quincey became a member of the tank crew of S/Sgt Walter Mahr, Sgt. Ray Mason, and Pvt. LD Marrs.     The morning of December 8th, the officers of the battalions met and were informed of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor hours earlier.  The 192nd letter companies were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield. 
    All morning long, the sky was filled with American planes.  At noon, all the planes landed and the pilots went to lunch.  At 12:45 planes approached the airfield from the north.  The tankers on duty at the airfield counted 54 planes.  When bombs began exploding, the men knew the planes were Japanese.  After the attack the 192nd remained at Ft. Stotsenburg for almost two weeks.  They were than sent to the Lingayen Gulf area where the Japanese had landed.
  

    Quincey, with his tank crew, was present at Clark Field when the Japanese attacked the airfield ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  He and the other members of the tank battalion watched helplessly as the Japanese Zeros destroyed the Army Air Corps.

    The tank battalion received orders on December 21st that it was to proceed north to Lingayen Gulf.   Because of logistics problems, the B and C Companies soon ran low on gas.  When they reached Rosario, there was only enough for one tank platoon, from B Company, to proceed north to support the 26th Cavalry.
    On December 23rd and 24th, the battalion was in the area of Urdaneta.   The bridge they were going to use to cross the Agno River was destroyed and the tankers made an end run to get south of river.  As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening.  They successfully crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.
    On December 25th, the tanks of the battalion held the southern bank of the Agno River from Carmen to Tayung, with the tanks of the 194th holding the line on the Carmen-Alcala-Bautista Road. The tanks held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27th.

    It was during an engagement on December 29th, at Tarlec, that Quincey's tank was knocked out by the Japanese when its track hit a landmine causing it to lose its tread.  Quincey, Mahr, Marrs and Mason were ordered out of the tank by the Japanese.  They left the tank believing they would be taken Prisoners Of War.  Instead, they were ordered to run.

    The four men ran toward their lines when the Japanese opened fire on them.  Sgt. Ray Mason was killed instantly, while S/Sgt. Walter Mahr, Pvt. Marrs and Quincey were wounded.  The three men made it to a sugarcane field and hid.  The next day, S/Sgt. Mahr was found in the sugarcane field by American troops and taken to field hospital.  Despite a  search of the field, Quincey and Marrs were not found.  The two soldiers had been captured by the Japanese.  Quincey most likely died of his wounds after being captured.

    Pvt. Quincey Albert Humphries was reported Missing In Action at Tarlec on Monday, December 29, 1941, and presumed dead.  After the war, he was declared dead by the U. S. Army on February 1, 1946.

    Quincey's family later had a memorial for him dedicated at Vaughn Cemetery in Gilmore, Oklahoma.  He is also memorialized at the American Military Cemetery at Manila.  In addition, on March 7, 1996, a memorial with Quincey's name on it was dedicated at Fort Smith National Cemetery in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

    After the war, Quincey's parents received a Purple Heart from the Army.  According to the family, his mother looked at it and put it on a shelf.  She never looked at the medal again.



 

 

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