Pvt. Harold Dale Lane
| Pvt. Harold
D. Lane was born on November 13, 1921, in
Litchfield, Illinois. He was the son of Mary
Evaline Beck-Lane & Homer Lane. His
family lived at 622 South 24th Avenue in Bellwood
and later 142 South Eleventh Avenue in
Maywood. Harold attended local schools in
Bellwood and was a member of the class of 1939 of
Proviso Township High School. He left school
early and worked at American Can Company in
In 1939, Harold joined the Illinois National Guard. On November 25, 1940, he was called to federal service when the tank company was called to federal service for one year.
Harold trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for
almost a year. During this time, he
qualified as a motorcycle messenger for his
company. He then took part in maneuvers in
Louisiana in the late summer of 1941.
After the companies were brought up to strength
with replacements for the men released from
federal service, the battalion was equipped with
new tanks and halftracks. The battalion
traveled over three different railroad routes to
Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.
The 192nd was
Hugh L. Scott
for Hawaii as
part of a
For many, it
would be the
last time that
ever see the
2nd. The soldiers were given leaves so they could see the
Harold lived through the attack on Clark Airfield. He spent the next four months fighting to slow the Japanese conquest of the Philippines. On April 9, 1942, Harold became a Prisoner Of War. He most likely took part in what would become known as the "Bataan Death March" and was held at Camp O'Donnell.
Realizing that Camp O'Donnell was a death trap, Harold volunteered to go out on a detail to Pampanga Province. The POWs on the detail tied together vehicles which had been disabled during the withdraw into Bataan. They drove the vehicles to San Fernando. From there, the vehicles were taken to Manila and sent to Japan.
some point on the detail, Harold came down with
malaria, and he also developed beriberi.
He was returned to Cabanatuan. According
to medical records kept at the camp hospital, he
was admitted to the camp hospital on July 4,
He remained in the hospital until he was
discharged on August 3, 1942.
On August 17, 1944, Harold and other POWs were sent to Bilibid Prison. There, they we remained for about two weeks. During this time he was given a physical. It was determined that he was healthy enough to be transported to Japan.
Harold and 1000 other POWs were taken to the Port Area of Manila and boarded onto the Noto Maru July 15th. All 1033 POWs were packed into the ship's only hold. These ships were known as "Hell Ships" because of the conditions that the prisoners endured.
On July 17, 1944, the Noto Maru sailed for Takao, Formosa, as part of a convoy. During the trip, the convoy was attacked by an American submarine. Another ship carrying 1500 POWs was sunk. Arriving in Formosa on July 27th, the ship anchored for the night before sailing the next day for Moji, Japan. The ship arrived at Moji on August 3rd. From there, the POWs were dispersed among various POW camps.
Harold was sent to
Tokyo Base Camp #1 at Omori.
There, he and the other prisoners worked in a
coal mine. The diet of the POWs in the
camp consisted of barley, millet. miso
soup. Once in awhile the POWs would
receive potatoes, seaweed, octopus,
and a giant radish known as daikon. He
remained in the camp until he was liberated when
Japan surrendered in September of 1945. It
should be mentioned that after the war a number
of POWs, from the camp, made propaganda
broadcasts for the Japanese.
Harold returned to the Philippines, by plane,
for medical treatment. It was at this time
that he was promoted to staff sergeant. He
returned home to Maywood, Illinois, and was
discharged, from the army, on December 16,
1945. He returned to Proviso Township High
School, as a student, to earn his diploma.
He would later reside in Rockford, Illinois, and
became the father of a daughter and son.
Harold worked as a machinist until he retired
and moved to New Mexico.
Harold D. Lane died on January 22, 1994, and was buried in Section 9, Site 1826, at Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.