Cpl. Harry Alfred King
Cpl. Harry Alfred King was born in Chicago,
Illinois, on January 10, 1921. He was the
son of Charles R. King & Anna
Allison-King. With his two brothers, he grew
up at 507 Quincy Street in Maywood. He was a
graduate of Garfield School and a member of the
Proviso Township High School Class of
1938. He was employed by a stationary
company to run errands.
In September of 1940, Harry enlisted in the Illinois National Guard as a member of the 33rd Tank Company from Maywood, Illinois. He like many other men wanted to fulfill his military obligation. On November 20, 1940, Harry, along with the other members of his company, was called to federal service when his company was federalized. During his training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was trained as either a motorcycle messenger or in motorcycle reconnaissance.
During his training at Ft. Knox, it is known that he and other members of HQ Company were sent to Fort Wayne outside Detroit, Michigan. In the late summer of 1941, he took part in maneuvers in Louisiana.
Like the other members of his company, Harry had
hoped that his tour of duty would end after the
maneuvers in Louisiana, but he soon learned that
this was not to be. President Roosevelt
had signed orders that extended their time in
federal service. With this news, the
members of the 192nd were given orders sending
them overseas. Those 29 years old or older
were given the opportunity to resign from
The morning of December 8th, the tankers were
ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field to guard
it against Japanese paratroopers. All the
soldiers set in their tanks, they watched the
skies which were filled with American
planes. At noon, all the planes landed and
the pilots went ot lunch. At 12:45,
the airfield was bombed by Japanese planes.
This lack of training was glaring during the first engagement against the Japanese. On December 22, 1941, the American tank crews could be heard on the radio yelling at each other because they could not find the shells for their cannons. It is during the fight against the Japanese that it is believed Harry worked to carry messages to the tanks and do reconnaissance to identify Japanese positions on his motorcycle.
The Filipino and American Forces fought gallantly, but due to a lack of food and their poor physical shape they were surrendered to the Japanese. Harry became a Prisoner of War and took part in the death march. He marched the entire length from Mariveles to San Fernando. There he and the other POWs were put into boxcars and sent to Capas. At Capas the POWs disembarked the cars and they walked the last few miles to Camp O'Donnell.
Harry was imprisoned at Camp O'Donnell. When a new POW camp at Cabanatuan opened in May, Harry and the other prisoners who were considered to ill to be moved were left behind.
It was at Camp O'Donnell that Cpl. Harry A. King died on June 2, 1942, of a liver ailment at the age of 21. After his death, Harry was awarded the Purple Heart. After the war, Cpl. Harry A. King was buried in Plot L, Row 8, Grave 89 at the American Military Cemetery outside of Manila.