Pfc. Arthur Glen Mahone
Pfc. Arthur G. Mahone was born in April 8, 1907, in Arkansas to Eugene G. Mahone and Dolly Mae Peeples-Mahone. With his two sisters and two brothers, he and grew up in Tennessee, Arkansas, and later lived at 527 South Sixteenth Street in Macon, Texas. He was known as "Glen" to his family. Arthur married and was a widower living in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, with his parents and daughter, when he was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 24, 1941, in Oklahoma City.
Arthur did his basic
training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and, after
basic training, was sent to Camp Polk,
Louisiana, and assigned to the 753rd Tank
Battalion. The battalion had been sent
there from Ft. Benning, Georgia, but did not
take part in the maneuvers that were going on at
The 192nd Tank Battalion did take part in the maneuvers and was ordered to Camp Polk, after the maneuvers, where they learned they were being sent overseas. Since the battalion was made up mostly of National Guardsmen the men, who were married or 29 years old or older, were allowed to resign from federal service and the replacements for these men were came from the 753rd.
It is not
known if Arthur volunteered to join the 192nd,
or if his name was selected during the drawing
for replacements, but when he joined the 192nd,
he was assigned to Headquarters Company.
One of his first duties was, with other members
of the company, to make sure that the
battalion's tanks, trucks, and jeeps were loaded
All morning, American planes were flying overhead to guard the airfield from attack. B-17's were loaded with bombs and prepared for an attack of Formosa. At 12:30 in the afternoon, the fighters landed to be refueled and the pilots went to lunch.
the soldiers noticed planes approaching the
airfield from the north, which they thought were
American. It was only when they saw the
bombs dropping to earth and the explosions did
the soldiers know the planes were
Japanese. Since they were not equipped to
fight planes, HQ Company could do little more
than watch. Since HQ Company had no weapons to
use against planes, they took cover. After
the attack they saw the carnage that had been
done to the airfield.
The battalion remained at
that it was to
B and C
ran low on
enough for one
to support the
part in the
Battle of the
landed on two
sent in to
wipe out these
tanks did a
great deal of
April 11th, the first Japanese soldiers appeared
at HQ company's encampment. A Japanese
officer ordered the company, with their
possessions, out onto the road that ran in front
of their encampment. Once on the road, the
soldiers were ordered to kneel along the sides
of the road with their possessions in front of
them. As they knelt, the Japanese
soldiers, who were passing them, went through
their possessions and took whatever they wanted
from the Americans. They remained kneeling
alongside the road for hours.
The company finally boarded their trucks and drove to just outside Mariveles. From there, they walked to Mariveles Airfield and sat and waited. As they sat, the POWs noticed a line of Japanese soldiers forming across from them. They soon realized that this was a firing squad and the Japanese were going to kill them.
As they sat watching and waiting to see what the Japanese intended to do, a Japanese officer pulled up in a car in front of the soldiers. He got out of the car and spoke to the sergeant in charge of the detail. The officer got back in the car and drove off. As he drove away, the Japanese sergeant ordered the soldiers to lower their guns.
Later in the day, the POWs was moved to a school yard in Mariveles and were left sitting in the sun for hours. The Japanese did not feed them or give them water. Behind the POWs were four Japanese artillery pieces which began firing on Corregidor and Ft. Drum which had not surrendered. Shells from these two American forts began landing among the POWs, who could do little since they had no place to hide. Some of the POWs were killed from the incoming American shells. One group of POWs that tried to hide in a small brick building died when it took a direct hit. The American guns did succeed in knocking out three of the four Japanese guns.
The POWs were ordered to move again by the Japanese and had no idea that they had started what became known as the death march. During the march they received no water and little food. At San Fernando, they were put into small wooden boxcars, used to haul sugarcane, and taken to Capas. The cars were known as "forty men or eights," since they could hold forty men or eight horses. The Japanese packed 100 men into each car and closed the doors. Those who died remained standing until the living climbed out of the cars at Capas. From there, the POWs walked the last ten miles to Camp O' Donnell.
Camp O'Donnell was an unfinished Filipino training base that the Japanese pressed into service as a Prisoner of War camp. It turned out to be a death trap with as many as fifty POWs dying each day. There was only one working water faucet for the entire camp. To get a drink, men stood in line for hours. Many died while waiting for a drink.
Acknowledging that the conditions in the camp
were terrible, the Japanese opened a new camp at
Cabanatuan. Arthur and the other healthy
POWs were sent to the camp while those too ill
to be moved remained at Camp O'Donnell. He
was assigned to Barracks 7, Group 2 at the
camp. It is not known if he went out on
any work details. He remained in the camp
until early October 1944, when his name appeared
on a list of POWs being sent to Japan. The
POWs were taken to truck to Manila.
On October 10th, Arthur, with other prisoners, was marched to the Port Area of Manila. They were scheduled to board the Hokusen Maru, which was ready to sail, but part of the POW detachment had not arrived. The Japanese switched Arthur's detachment with another POW detachment so the ship could sail. Arthur's detachment was boarded onto the Arisan Maru the original ship of the second POW detachment. All of the 1800 POWs were packed into the ship's number two hold which was large enough for 400 men. The ship sailed and headed south toward Palawan Island. In a cove off the island, the ship hid from American planes. Within the first 48 hours, five POWs had died.
Along the walls of the hold were wooden bunks. If a man lay down in one, there wasn't enough space for him to sit up. Eight buckets served as the POWs toilets. Those who could not reach them simply went on themselves. The hold was so hot that the POWs began to develop heat blisters. Some of the POWs were able to wire the hold's ventilators into its lighting system. The Japanese had removed the light bulbs, but they had failed to shut off the power. For two days, the POWs had fresh air until the Japanese discovered what they had done and turned off the power.
During its time in the cove, the ship was
attacked by American planes. Acknowledging
that the situation in the hold was extremely
bad, the Japanese opened the first hold, which
was partially filled with coal, and moved 800
POWs to it. During the transfer, one POW
attempted to escape and was shot.
On October 20th, the ship returned to Manila and joined a twelve ship convoy. On October 21, 1944, the Arisan Maru sailed for Takao, Formosa, as part of the convoy. On Tuesday, October 24th, around 5:00 pm, the ship was in the Bashi Channel in the South China Sea, off the coast of China. twenty POWs were on deck preparing dinner. As they watched, the Japanese, on deck, ran toward the bow of the ship and watched a torpedo pass in front of the ship. Moments later the Japanese ran to the stern of the ship as another torpedo passed behind the ship.
The ship shook and came to a dead stop in the water. It had been hit by two torpedoes amidships. The Japanese guards aimed their guns at the POWs on deck to get them back into the ship's holds. After the POWs were in the holds, the Japanese cut the rope ladders into the holds and put the hatch covers on, but they did not tie the covers down. A short time later, the Japanese abandoned ship.
Since the hatch covers had not been tied down, some of the POWs made their way back onto the deck. These men reattached and dropped the rope ladders to the men in the holds. For the next several hours, the ship remained afloat. At some point, the ship split in two. The POWs who could not swim stuffed themselves with food from the ship's food locker. Others attempted to find anything that would float. Some POWs swam to other Japanese ships, but they were pushed away with poles or hit with clubs as they attempted to board the ships.
Three POWs found an abandoned lifeboat that had no oars. Since the sea was rough, they could not maneuver it to rescue other men. According to these men, the Arisan Maru sank sometime after dark. They heard men crying for help, but as the night went on the cries became fewer until there was silence. The next morning, they pulled two other men into the boat. Of the nearly 1800 men who boarded the Arisan Maru, only nine survived the sinking. Eight of these men survived the war.
Pfc. Arthur G. Mahone was not one of them. Since he was lost at sea, his name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at the American Military Cemetery outside Manila. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
A memorial headstone was also placed, by his family, at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Chickasha, Oklahoma. In error, it shows that he died on the Oryoku Maru which was sunk in December 1944.