Pvt. Ernest Logan Sampson Jr.
| Pvt. Ernest L.
Sampson Jr. was born on October 21, 1914, in
Mercer County, to Ernest L. Sampson Sr. and Eva E.
Brown-Sampson. He had three sisters and
three brothers. He left school after his
second year of high school. According to his
military record, he was worked as a
farmhand. In 1940, he enlisted in the
Kentucky National Guard to fulfill his one year of
In September 1940, the tank company that Ernest was a member of was re-designated as D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. The company reported to Fort Knox, Kentucky, on November 25, 1940. There they joined three other National Guard tank companies to form the 192nd Tank Battalion. In early 1941, Ernest was transferred to Headquarters Company when it was formed.
The unit trained at the base for nearly a year before being sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana, to take part in maneuvers. At the end of the maneuvers, the tankers were ordered to Camp Polk without being given a reason. They had expected to return to Ft. Knox.
On the side of a hill at Camp Polk, the battalion learned that they were being sent overseas as part of Operation PLUM. Within hours, many of the soldiers had figured out that PLUM was an acronym for Philippines, Luzon, Manila.
It was at this time, men 29 years or older were given the opportunity to resign from federal service. Those who did were replaced with men from the 753rd Tank Battalion. This battalion had been sent to the fort, but it had not taken part in the maneuvers. The M3 "Stuart" tanks from the battalion were also given to the 192nd.
By train, along the Gulf Coast, the soldiers traveled to San Francisco through New Mexico and Arizona. At Yuma, Arizona the train stopped. Native Americans entered the train cars and sold beads to the soldiers. The soldiers knocked each other over attempting to buy the beads. After the train pulled out of the station. someone noticed that the genuine Native American beads were made in Japan.
The train then made its way north along the
Pacific Coast arriving in San Francisco.
They were taken by ferry to Angel Island.
receiving physicals and inoculations, they were
onto the U.S.A.T.
Hugh L. Scott
The ship sailed
27th, for Hawaii
as part of a
They arrived at
given leaves so
they could see
the ships sailed
At one point,
the ships passed
an island at
island, they did
so in total
This for many of
the soldiers was
a sign that they
were being sent
The POWs were
marched, from Bilibid, to the Port Area of
Manila, boarded the ship, and put into the holds
of the Nissyo Maru. The ship was
boarded on July 17th and moved into the harbor
the same day and dropped anchor. It sat in
the harbor for a week. Inside the holds, the
haul of the ship became hot from the sun raising
the temperature inside the hold.
Ernest was returned to the Philippines
were he received medical treatment. After
it was determiined he was healthy, he was
returned to the United States and discharged on
April 8, 1946. Ernest married Sadie McRay
and became the father of two sons. He
worked as a farmer.