Brazzel

Pfc. Rufus Brazzel


Born: January 1916 - Kaufmann County, Texas

Parents: Edmond D. Brazzel & Maude F. Lewis-Brazzel

Siblings: 1 sister, 4 brothers

Hometown: Otter Creek, Oklahoma

Education: completed grade school

Enlisted:

    - U.S. Army

         - 25 September 1940 - Ft. Still, Oklahoma

Unit:

    - 19th Ordnance Battalion 

        - A Company, 19th Ordnance Battalion

        - company deactivated and activated as 17th Ordnance Company

Training:

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

Overseas Duty:

    - Ship: S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
        - Boarded: San Francisco, California - Monday - 8 September 1941 - 3:00 P.M.
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M. - same day
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday - 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: 5:00 P.M. - same day
            - ship took southern route away from main shipping lanes

           
        - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg

    - Ft. Stotsenburg - Philippine Islands

        - Provisional Tank Group 

Engagements:

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942

            - serviced tanks of 192nd & 194th Tank Battalions

Prisoner of War:

    - 9 April 1941

        - Death March

            - started march at Mariveles on the southern tip of Bataan

                - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor

                    - American artillery returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs packed into small wooden boxcars

                - dead fell out of cars as living climbed out
            - Capas - POWs leave boxcars - dead fall out of cars
            - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell

    - Philippine Islands:

        - Camp O'Donnell

            - unfinished Filipino Army training base

            - Japanese put camp into use as POW camp

            - one water spigot for the entire camp 

            - as many as 50 POWs died each day

            - Japanese opened new camp at Cabanatuan

            - Rufus Brazzel was too sick to be moved

Died:

    - Monday - 15 June 1942 - malaria

        - approximate time of death - 1:00 PM

Buried:

    - Camp O'Donnell Cemetery

        - after the war his remains could not be positively identified

        - buried at the new American cemetery as an "Unknown" 

Memorial:

     - Tablets of the Missing - American Military Cemetery - Manila, Philippine Islands


 

 




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