SpearM


Pvt. Mitchel O. Spear


Born: 1 February 1916 - Cumberland County, Kentucky

Father: Ebb Spear & Mell Spear

    - mother died when Mitchel was a child

Siblings: 3 sisters, 3 brothers

Hometown: Ellington, Kentucky

Inducted:

    - U. S. Army

        - 1 March 1941

Training: 

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

Overseas Duty:
    - battalion travels by train, over four different train routes to San Francisco, California

    - taken to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay by ferry
    - October 25th & 26th - physicals given
        - some men released
        - others held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date
        - replacements fill these positions
    - Boarded: U.S.S. General H. L. Scott - Monday - 27 October 1941

    - Sailed: same day
    - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Sunday - 2 November 1941
            - arrived in the morning
            - soldiers receive leave
    - Sailed: Tuesday - 4 November 1941
    - Arrived: Guam
        - ship loaded vegetables, bananas, water, coconuts
    - Sailed: same day
    - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands -  20 November 1941
        - entered Manila Bay - 8:00 A.M.
        - disembarked in the afternoon

    - battalion rode train to Fort Stotsenburg
    - tanks unloaded by 17th Ordnance

Engagements:

    - Battle of Luzon 

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
            - lived through attack on Clark Field - 10 hours  after attack on Pearl Harbor
            - HQ Company remained in its bivouac

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942

POW: 

    - 9 April 1942

        - HQ Company remained in bivouac for two days

        - Japanese arrived and ordered Americans out onto the road in front of bivouac

            - the Prisoners of War were made to kneel along sides of road

            - Japanese soldiers passing them took what they wanted from the POWs

        - POWs road trucks to Mariveles

            - sat in sun at schoolyard for several hours

            - at one point, the Japanese formed an firing squad to kill them

            - a Japanese Naval Officer stopped the execution 

        - 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

Camps:

    - Philippines: 

        - 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
 

        - Cabanatuan #1
            - hospitalized - Barracks 4 - Hospital Area - dysentery

Died:

    - Friday - 23 July 1942 - dysentery

        - Approximate time of death - 6:30 AM

Buried: Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery
    - remains returned home - 1949

Reburied: Burkesville Cemetery - Cumberland County, Kentucky


 

 

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