|Maj. Maynard Goldman Snell
| Major Maynard G. Snell was the son of
Benjamin F. Snell & Mattie E. Goldman-Snell and
was born in 1901. It is known that he grew up,
with his brother and sister, in Lampasas County,
Texas. After high school, he attended Texas
A&M College and earned a Bachelors of Science
degree in 1921. He next attended New Mexico
College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, which is now
New Mexico State University, where he earned a Masters
Degree in Veterinary Medicine.
this time, Snell mentioned in a letter home that he
had been assigned as a liaison officer to Gen.
The envelope that the letter came in appeared
to be homemade.
Although in this role he never saw action, he
did have the job seeing that the tankers received
the necessary food and other supplies so that they
could continue to fight. In
the same letter, he mentioned that Lt. Willie Heard,
another member of the 192nd and a law student at
Louisiana State, was also with him in the
excerpt from the letter, he said:
On April 9, 1942, Snell became a Prisoner of War when Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese. The next morning, the Japanese entered the battalion’s bivouac and ordered the tankers to Mariveles. It was from there that the tankers started the march from Bataan.
tankers were now guarded by non-combat troops who
mistreated the POWs who took pleasure at making the
POWs suffer. They
were forced to march at a faster pace by these
the POWs reached Orani, they were placed in a barbed
The POWs soon found that the sun was now the enemy. The pen had no cover for them and beat down on them. They soon realized that they were being given “the Sun treatment.” They were left in the pen all day. Those who could not take the sun grew delirious and began to scream. This was soon followed by death.
During the afternoon, the Japanese finally fed the prisoners. Each man received three tablespoons of rice. Many of the POWs developed hiccups after eating the rice.
The POWs were ordered to fall- and they began to march again. As the POWs made their way north, they were passed by Japanese soldiers in trucks. Some could speak English and shouted insults at them.
The POWs finally reached San Fernanado. There, the POWs were put into another bull pen. Once again, they received the sun treatment. In addition, the bodies of the dead were left in the pen. The Japanese would not allow them to be moved. At last the POWs were marched to the train station. Where, they were packed into small wooden boxcars.
The boxcars could hold forty men or eight horses. The Japanese packed 100 men into each car. The POWs were so close together that those who died remained standing until the living left the cars at Capas. From there, the prisoners walked the last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell.
Snell was held at Camp O'Donnell. Conditions in the camp were extremely bad. For the 12,000 POWs in the camp, there was only one water spigot. Men literally died for a drink. Conditions in the camp were so bad that the Japanese opened a new camp at Cabanatuan.
After the Americans landed in the Philippines, the Japanese began to send large numbers of POWs to other parts of their empire. On September 24, 1944, Ted and the other prisoners were sent to Bilibid Prison. On December 8th, the Japanese told the American medical staff of the prisoners to put together a list of POWs who were healthy enough to be sent to Japan.
On the morning of December 12th, row was taken and Snell's name was on the list. That evening, Snell said his goodbyes to his friends. At 4:00 A.M. on December 13th, the POWs were awakened and fed breakfast. They were also given a meal to take with them. In addition, the POWs were told they would receive, cigarettes, soap, and salt.
The POWs were allowed to roam the prison until ordered to form ranks. When the order was given, 1,619 POWs were marched down Luzon Boulevard to Pier 7 in Manila. As they marched they noticed that the street cars were not running. When they reached the harbor, they noticed many of the ships in the harbor were damaged from American attacks.
After arriving at Pier 7, the POWs were allowed to sit down. Many fell asleep and slept to around 3:45. About 5:00 P.M., the POWs were boarded onto the Oryoku Maru for transport to Japan.
Snell was held in the rear hold. The sides of the hold had two tiers of bunks that went around the diameter. The POWs near the hatch used anything they could find to fan the air to the POWs further away from it.
The ship remained docked in Manila and did not sail until 3:30 A.M. as part of the Convoy-37. Inside the holds, the temperature was near 100 degrees. The POWs could tell they were in open water from the wave swells.
It was during the night of Wednesday, December 13, 1944, that Major Maynard G. Snell collapsed and died in the rear hold of the ship. After his death, his body was thrown overboard. His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at the American Military Cemetery at Manila.
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