Lewis_K

 


Pfc. Keith D. Lewis


Born: 22 September 1917 - Arkansas
Parents: John E. & Julia Lewis
Siblings: 4 sisters, 1 brother

Home: Acosta Street - Alisal, California

    - his family ran a vegetable farm

Enlisted: California National Guard

Inducted: 

    - U. S. Army

        - 10 February 1941 - Salinas Army Air Base

Training: 

    - Fort Lewis, Washington

        - half-track driver/motorcycle messenger

Unit: 

    - 194th Tank Battalion

Overseas Duty: 

    - Ship: U.S.S. President Coolidge
        - Boarded: Monday - 8 September 1941 - 3:00 P.M.
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M. - same day
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday - 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: 5:00 P.M. - same day
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
        - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941   

Engagements: 

   - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942 

             - promoted to sergeant

             - Half-track commander  

    - Silver Star: Posthumously

        - On December 25th at Piis, Philippine Islands, his half-track crew was doing
           reconnaissance with
General Albert Jones when they came under enemy fire.  The
           half-track held its position
allowing Gen. Jones and his driver to escape.   

   - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942 

Prisoner of War: 

    9 April 1942

        - Death March

            - Mariveles - POWs start march at southern tip of Bataan
            - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
                - Americans on Corregidor returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars
                - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                - 100 POWs packed into each car
                - POWs who died remained standing
            - Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
            - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell
 
 

POW Camps:

    - Camp O'Donnell

        - unfinished Filipino training base
        - Japanese put camp into use as POW Camp
        - only one water spigot for entire camp
        - as many as 50 POWs died each day
        - Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate
 

        - Keith was too ill to be moved to new camp

Died:

    - Monday - 25 May 1942 - malaria & dysentery
Buried:
    - Camp O'Donnell Cemetery
        - Section: I  Row: 8  Grave: 1
Remains Returned Home:
    - U.S.A.T. Morris E. Crain - September 1948

Reburied:

    - 29 October 1948 - Golden Gate National Cemetery - San Bruno, California

        - Section:  C   Site:  858

Note: Keith Lewis, shares his grave with his brother, Wesley, who died

           in 2008. Wesley's name appears on the backside of the

           headstone.


 

 

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