SteelC

 

 

Pvt. Charles Harold Steel
Born: 27 June 1919 - Wilson, Oklahoma
Parents: Charles H. Steel & Eva T. Steel
    - father died - mother married Ike Smith
Home: North Rock Creek Road - McCurtain County, Oklahoma
Occupation: timber maker - lumber mill
Inducted: 
    - U. S. Army 
        - 21 March 1941 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Training: 
    - Fort Knox, Kentucky
        - completed basic training
    - Camp Polk, Louisiana
        - assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion
    - Fort McDowell - Angel Island, California
        - ferried to island on U.S.A.T. Frank M. Coxe
        - received physicals from medical detachment - 25 October 1941 - 26 October 1941
            - men with minor health issues held back and scheduled to rejoin battalion at later date
            - other men simply replaced
Units:
    - 753rd Tank Battalion
        - A Company
    - 192nd Tank Battalion
        - volunteered of had his name drawn to join the battalion
Overseas Duty: 
       - U.S.A.T. Hugh L. Scott
        - Sailed: San Francisco - Monday - 27 October 1941
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Sunday - 2 November 1941
            - remained in Hawaii until other ships in convoy arrived
        - Sailed: Wednesday - 5 November 1941
            - took southern route away from main shipping lanes
            - joined by the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and the transport, S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
                - smoke seen on horizon
                - Louisville revved its engines, its bow came out of water, and it intercepted the ship
                    - ship was from a neutral country
        - Sunday - 9 November 1941 - crossed International Dateline
            - soldiers woke up on Tuesday - 11 November 1941
        - Arrived: Guam - Sunday 16 November 1941
            - ship loaded with water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables
        - Sailed: next day
            - passed Japanese held island in total blackout
        -Arrived: Thursday - 20 November 1941 - Manila Bay - 7:00 A.M.
            - soldiers disembark ship three hours after arrival
            - boarded buses for Ft. Stotsenburg
            - maintenance section remained behind to unload tanks from ship
Stationed:
    - Ft. Stotsenburg - Philippine Islands
        - D Company was attached to 194th Tank Battalion
        - company remained under command of 192nd Tank Battalion 
            - company listed on Presidential Unit Citations of the 192nd
Engagements:
   - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 194

            - 12:45 P.M. - 8 December 1941 - lived through Japanese attack on Clark Field
            - HQ Company took cover in bivouac
   - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - supplied tank crews with food, ammunition, and gasoline
Prisoner of War: 
    - 9 April 1942
        - received order to destroy equipment and report to kilometer marker 168.2.
            - Provisional Tank Group Headquarters
        - Japanese officers told Col. Ernest Miller to keep them there until ordered to move
    - 10 April 1942
            - 7:00 P.M. - started march from Provisional Tank Group headquarters
            - 3:00 A.M. - halted and rested for an hour
            - 4:00 A.M. - resume march
                - at times slipped on remains of dead who had been killed by Japanese shelling
    - 11 April 1942
        - 8:00 A.M. -reached Lamao
            - allowed to forage for food
        - 9:00 A.M. - resumed march
            - reached Limay and main road
            - officers, majors and up, separated from lower ranking officers and enlisted men
                - put on trucks
    - Death March
        - Limay - joined main march
            - first brutal treatment
        - POWs arrive at Orani
            - ordered to form 100 men detachments
            - POWs marched at faster pace
            - fewer breaks
                - when given break, the POWs sat on road
        - North of Hermosa the POWs reached pavement
            - made march easier
        - POWs given an hour rest on road
            - those who attempt to lay down are jabbed with bayonets
            - POWs march through Layac and Lubao
            - rains - POWs drank as much as they could
        - POWs reached San Fernando
            - POWs put in groups of 200 to be fed
                - one POW sent to get a box of rice for each group
                - pottery jars of water given out the same way
            - formed detachments of 100 men and marched to train station
            - POWs put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane
                - 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 boxcar
            - as POWs formed ranks, Filipinos threw sugarcane to POWs
            - also gave them water
            - POWs walked last 8 kilometers to Camp O'Donnell
POW Camps: 
    - Philippine Islands:
        - 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   
Hell Ship:
    - Clyde Maru
        - Sailed: 23 July 1943
        - Arrived: Santa Cruz, Zambales, Philippines- same day
            - loaded manganese ore
            - remained in port for three days
        - Sailed: 26 July 1943
            - 100 POWs allowed on deck at a time from 6:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
        - Arrived: 28 July 1943 - Takao, Formosa
        - Sailed: 5 August 1943 - 8:00 A.M.
             - part nine ship convoy
        - Arrived: 7 August 1943 - Moji, Japan
            - POWs disembarked - 8 August 1943
            - marched to train station and boarded train
            - 9:30 A.M. - train departed
                - two day train trip
            - 7:30 PM - 10 August 1943 - arrived at Omuta, Kyushu
                - POWs marched eighteen miles to camp
                - eighteen POWs rode in truck since they were too weak to walk
POW Camp:
    - Fukuoka #17
        - 10 August 1943 - POWs arrived    
            - camp had a ten foot high wooden fence around it
                - three electrified wires topped the fence
            - 50 POWs assigned to each barracks
            - barracks 20 feet wide by 120 feet long
            - ten rooms in each barracks
                - four to six men assigned to each room     
Liberated:
    - September 1945
        - returned to the Philippines
Transport:
    - U.S.S. Admiral C. F. Hughes
        - Sailed: not known
        - Arrived: 9 October 1945 - Seattle, Washington
            - taken Madigan General Hospital - Fort Lewis
Discharged:
    - 13 January 1946
Wife: Lorene
Died: 2 May 2000 - Oklahoma City, Ooklahoma
Buried: Sunny Lane Cemetery - Del City, Oklahoma
    - Section: 5



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