Pvt. Donald R. henson
Born: 8 February 1919 - Castoria, California
Parents: Silas B. Henson & Luella Jones-Henson
Siblings: 3 sisters, 5 brothers
Home: Durham Ferry Road - Castoria, California
Occupation: dairy farmer
Enlisted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 20 October 1940
Training:
    - Unknown
Units:
    - 17th Ordnance Company
        - company created from A Company of 19th Ordnance
        - may have joined 17th Ordnance at Angel Island
        - company had orders for overseas duty
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 the 192nd and 194th Tank Battalions
            - headquartered in an abandoned ordnance depot building
            - repaired tanks under constant enemy fire
Prisoner of War
    - 9 April 1942
        - Death March

             - Mariveles - POWs started march at southern tip of Bataan

             - POWs sat in front of Japanese artillery that was firing at Corregidor

                 - American artillery returned fire 

             - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane

                 - each boxcar could hold hold eight horses or 40 men

                 - Japanese packed 100 POWs into each car

                 - POWs that died remained standing

          - Capas - POWs left boxcars - dead fell to floors of boxcar

POW Camps:
    - Philippines:

        - Camp O'Donnell
            - 1 April 1942 - unfinished Filipino training base Japanese put into use as a POW camp
                - Japanese believed the camp could hold 15,000 to 20,000 POWs
            - POWs searched upon arrival at camp
                - those found with Japanese money were accused of looting
                - sent to guardhouse
                - over several days, gun shots heard southeast of the camp
                    - POWs who had money on them had been executed
            - Japanese took away any extra clothing from POWs as they entered the camp and refused to return it
                - since no water was available for wash clothing, the POWs threw soiled clothing away
                - clothing was taken from dead
                - few of the POWs in the camp hospital had clothing
            - POWs were not allowed to bathe
            - only one water spigot for entire camp
                - POWs waited 2 hours to 8 hours to get a drink
                    - water frequently turned off by Japanese guards and next man in line waited as long as 4 hours for water to be turned on again
                    - mess kits could not be cleaned
                - POWs had to carry water 3 miles from a river to cook their meals
                - second water spigot installed a week after POWs arrived
            - slit trenches overflowed since many of the POWs had dysentery
                - flies were everywhere including in camp kitchens and food
            - camp hospital had no water, soap, or disinfectant
            - the senior POW doctor wrote a list of medicines he wanted to treat the sick and was told by the camp commandant, Capt. Yoshio
              Tsuneyoshi, never to write another letter
                - Tsuneyoshi said that all he wanted to know about the American POWs was their names and numbers when they died
                - refused to allow a truckload of medicine sent by the Archbishop of Manila into the camp
                - 95% of the medicine sent by Philippine Red Cross was taken by the Japanese for their own use
            - POWs in camp hospital lay on floor elbow to elbow
            - operations on POWs were performed with mess kit knives
            - only one medic out of six assigned to care for 50 sick POWs, in the hospital, was well enough to work
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
                - each morning dead were found everywhere in the camp and stacked up under the hospital
                - ground under hospital was scrapped and cover with lime to clean it
                - the dead were moved to this area and the section where they had laid was scrapped and cover with lime
                - usually not buried for two or three days
            - work details: if a POW could walk, he was sent out on a work detail
                - POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and malaria
        - Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate
Died:
    - Saturday - 23 May 1942- dysentery
Buried:

    - Camp O'Donnell Cemetery

Reburied:
    - American Military Cemetery - Manila, Philippine Islands
        - Plot:  D   Row:  8   Grave:  6


 


 

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