BeckR
 

Pfc. Raymond George Beck


Born: 31 May 1917 - Russell, Russell County, Kansas

Parents: Frederick Beck & Margaret M. Deines-Beck

Siblings: 1 sister

Home: 535 East Third Street - Russell, Kansas

Education:

    - Washburn College 

Employed: Russell-Farmers State Bank
    - book keeper

    - met future wife  

Inducted: 

    - U. S. Army

        - Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

        - 26 February 1941

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

Unit: 

    - B Company, 19th Ordnance Battalion

        - A Company reorganized as: 17th Ordnance Company

    - 17th Ordnance Company 

Overseas Duty:
    - U.S.S. Calvin Coolidge
        - Boarded: San Francisco, California - Monday - 8 September 1941
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M.
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: same day
        - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands - Friday - 26 September 1941
        - Disembark
            - 17th Ordnance remained behind to unload tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
                - reattached turrets to tanks
        - rode bus to Ft. Stotsenburg

    - Ft. Stotsenburg - Philippine Islands

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942

    - Battle of Bataan

         - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - during this time his parents received a letter from him written 14 February 1942
            - reported Killed in Action - March 1942

Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942

        - Death March

           - started march at Mariveles on the southern tip of Bataan
           - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
               - American artillery returned fire
           - San Fernando - POWs packed into small wooden boxcars
               - those POWs who died remained standing
           - Capas - POWs leave boxcars - dead fall out of cars
           - walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell

           - took him 14 days to complete march

               - he went 7 days without food and water

POW Camps:

    - Philippines:

        - Camp O'Donnell

            - unfinished Filipino training base
            - Japanese put base into use as a POW camp
            - there was one water spigot for for the entire camp
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
            - Japanese opened new camp at Cabanatuan in an attempt to

               lower death rate

        - Cabanatuan #1

            - 4 June 1942
Note: January 1943 - parents learned he was a POW

Hell Ship:

    - Taga Maru

        - Sailed: Manila - 20 September 1943

        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 23 September 1943

        - Sailed: 26 September 1943

        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 5 October 1943

            - 70 POWs died during trip

POW Camp:

    - Japan

        - Hirohata #1D

            - POWs worked in Nippon Seitetsu Steel Mill

               - POWs worked seven days a week

                   - work day 10 hours long

                   - paid ten cents a day 

                - cleaned blast furnaces

                - worked on docks

                - worked in machine shops

Liberated: 9 September 1945

    - weighed 115 pounds
    - returned to the Philippine Islands
Transport:
    U.S.S. General R. L. Howze
        - Sailed: Manila - 23 September 1945
        - Arrived: San Francisco - 16 October 1945
            - sent to Letterman General Hospital

Married: Jessie K. Ball

    - 8 December 1945 

Children: 1 daughter, 1 son

Occupation: Russell State Bank

    - insurance department director

Died: 22 December 1998 - Loveland, Colorado

Buried: Russell City Cemetery - Russell, Kansas


 


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