Pfc. Curtis Massey
| Pfc. Curtis
Massey joined the 192nd Tank Battalion at Fort
Knox, Kentucky in early 1941. He was born in
May 20, 1918, to Joseph M. & Lydia Massey in
Clay County, Kentucky. It is known that he
had two brothers and five sisters. His
family resided on the Manchester-Burning Springs
Road, where he worked on the family farm.
When he was inducted into the army, he was living in Hamilton County, Ohio. After joining the battalion he was assigned to the Medical Detachment of the 192nd to train as a medic.
Since he was assigned to B Company as a medic, Curtis lived with the company in their barracks. While the company trained with their tanks and reconnaissance cars, Curtis and the other medics were taught first aid by the two battalion doctors.
Curtis took part in the
Louisiana maneuvers of 1941. During the
maneuvers, the medical detachment job was to
treat battalion members who were injured or had
been bitten by snakes. After the
maneuvers, he learned that he was being sent
overseas with the 192nd.
Traveling west over
different train routes,
the battalion arrived in
San Francisco and
ferried to Angel
Island. On the
island, the tankers were
immunized and given
found to have treatable
medical conditions were
held back and scheduled
to rejoin the battalion
at a later date.
The morning of December 8, 1941, just ten hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the tankers learned about the attack. That morning, they were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield to guard against paratroopers. The medics remained behind in the bivouac. At 12:45 P.M., the Japanese attacked the airfield. During the attack, the medics took cover since they had no weapons. After the attack he and the other members of the medical detachment provided aid to the wounded and dying.
During the battle for the Philippines, Curtis would travel with various companies of the 192nd as they fought the Japanese and withdrew into the Bataan Peninsula. During this time, the Filipino and American troops were bombed and shelled constantly.
On February 5, 1942, during an air raid, Curtis was hit by a piece a shrapnel from a Japanese bomb. The shrapnel cut his spinal cord leaving him permanently paralyzed. He was taken to a Field Hospital #2 where the medical staff did what they could without adequate medical supplies.
Curtis was visited by Capt. Alvin Poweleit the chief medical officer of the 192nd Tank Battalion on February 7, 1942. Poweleit determined that it would be just a matter of time before Curtis would die from his wounds.
According to U. S. Army records, Pfc. Curtis Massey died on Monday, March 2, 1942, from his wounds. Since his final resting place is unknown, his name appears on The Tablets of the Missing at the American Military Cemetery outside Manila.