Pfc. Aaron Arnold Combs
Born: 1 July 1919 - Bloomfield, Indiana
Parents: Homer Combs & Grace Quillen-Combs
Siblings: 1 sister, 2 brothers
Hometown: Bloomfield, Indiana
Enlisted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 15 January 1938 -Cambridge, Ohio
Trained:
    - Raritan Arsenal - Raritan County, New Jersey
    - Fort Knox, Kentucky
Units:
    - 19th Ordnance Battalion
    - 17th Ordnance Company
        - company created from A Company of 19th Ordnance
        - trained alongside the 192nd Tank Battalion at Ft. Knox
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.
            - soldiers given shore leave for the day
        - 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
     
       
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1942 - 6 January 1942
    - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
           
- serviced tanks of Provisional Tank Group Prisoner of War
    - 9 April 1942
        - Death March
            - POWs started march at Mariveles on the southern tip of
              Bataan
            - ran past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor
                - American artillery returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs packed into small wooden boxcars

                - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                - Japanese packed 100 POWs into each boxcar
                - POWs who died remained standing
            - Capas - POWs leave boxcars - dead fall out of cars
            - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell
POW Camps:
    - Philippines:
        - Camp O'Donnell
            - unfinished Filipino Army training base
            - Japanese put it into use as a POW camp
            - one water spigot for the entire camp
            - as many as fifty POWs died each day
        - Cabanatuan
            - hospitalized - 11 April 1943
                - discharged - no date given
        - Manila Work Detail
            - POWs worked on docks as stevedores
        - 9 July 1943 - parents learned he was a POW
Hell Ship:

    - Hokusen Maru
        - Boarded: 21 September 1944
            - moved to buoy and dropped anchor
                - POWs start  going insane from heat in holds
               - Japanese threaten to shoot POWs unless they are silenced
               -POWs kill insane
        - Sailed: Manila - 4 October 1944
            - stopped at Cabcaban, Philippine Islands
            - stopped 5 October 1944 - San Fernando, La Union, Philippine Islands
                - joined convoy
            - 6 October 1944 - convoy attacked by submarines
                - two ships sunk
            - 9 October 1944 - airplane scare - convoy broke up
                - sailed for Hong Kong
                - ran into wolf pack - ship sunk
        - Arrived: Hong Kong - 11 October 1944
            - attacked by American planes while in port
        - Sailed: 21 October 1944
        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 24 October 1944
        - Disembark: 8 November 1944
            - POWs in such bad shape that Japanese decided to leave them on Formosa
POW Camp:
    - Formosa:
        - Inrin Temporary Camp
Hell Ship:

    - Melbourne Maru
        - Sailed: Takao, Formosa - 25 January 1945
        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 30 January 1945
 
POW Camp:
    - Japan:
        - Sendai #8B
            - POWs worked in copper mine
Liberated:
    - 11 September 1945
        - returned to the Philippine Islands

Transport:
    - U.S.S. Simon Bolivar
        - Sailed: Manila - not known           
        - Arrived: San Francisco - 21 October 1945

            - taken to Letterman General Hospital

Reenlisted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 23 January 1946
Married: 13 July 1946
Children: 3 daughters
Military Career:
    - retired: 30 October 1968
        - 32 years in service
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Died:
    - April 1984 - Lawton, Oklahoma
Buried:
    - Fort Sill Post Cemetery - Lawton, Oklahoma

 

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