Pvt. Quincey Albert Humphries
Pvt. Quincey A. Humphries was born on January 23, 1917, in LeFlore County, Oklahoma, to Samuel G. Humphries & Lillie Goodins-Humphries, and was known as "Jim" to his family and friends. With his five brothers and six sisters, he grew up on Sugarloaf Mountain near Monroe, Oklahoma. As a child, he would travel to town by horse and wagon. He finished grade school and worked as a farm hand.
Quincey was inducted in the U. S. Army on March 3, 1941 in Oklahoma City. During his time at Ft. Knox, Quincey trained as a tank driver. After basic training, he was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana and assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion. The 753rd did not take part in the Louisiana Maneuvers which were taking place at that time.
The 192nd Tank Battalion, which did take part in the maneuvers, was informed that it was being sent overseas. Since the battalion was made up of National Guardsmen from the Midwest, those men who were 29 years old or married, were given the opportunity to resign from federal service. In need of replacements, the army sought volunteers from the 753rd Tank Battalion. Quincey volunteered to join the 192nd Tank Battalion, or had his name drawn, at Camp Polk and was assigned to B Company.
The decision for this move - which had been made in August 1941 -
was the result of an event that took place in the summer of 1941. A squadron of American fighters was flying
over Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines, when one of the pilots, who was flying at a lower altitude, noticed
something odd. He took his plane down and identified a flagged buoy in the water and saw another in the
distance. He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the
direction of an Japanese occupied island which was hundred of miles away. The island had a large radio
transmitter. The squadron continued its flight plan south to Mariveles and returned to Clark Field.
Quincey, with his tank crew, was present at Clark Field when the Japanese attacked the airfield ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He and the other members of the tank battalion watched helplessly as the Japanese Zeros destroyed the Army Air Corps.
The tank battalion received orders on
December 21 that it was to proceed north to Lingayen Gulf. Because of
logistics problems, the B and C Companies soon ran low on gas. When they
reached Rosario, there was only enough for one tank platoon, from B Company, to
proceed north to support the 26th Cavalry.
It was during an engagement on December 29, at Tarlec, that Quincey's tank was knocked out by the Japanese when its track hit a landmine causing it to lose its tread. Quincey, Mahr, Marrs and Mason were ordered out of the tank by the Japanese. They left the tank believing they would be taken Prisoners Of War. Instead, they were ordered to run.
The four men ran toward their lines when the Japanese opened fire on them. Sgt. Ray Mason was killed instantly, while S/Sgt. Walter Mahr, Pvt. Marrs and Quincey were wounded. The three men made it to a sugarcane field and hid. The next day, S/Sgt. Mahr was found in the sugarcane field by American troops and taken to field hospital. Despite a search of the field, Quincey and Marrs were not found. The two soldiers had been captured by the Japanese, and Quincey most likely died of his wounds after being captured.
Pvt. Quincey Albert Humphries was reported Missing In Action at Tarlec on Monday, December 29, 1941, and presumed dead. After the war, he was declared dead by the U. S. Army on February 1, 1946.
Quincey's family later had a memorial for him dedicated at Vaughn Cemetery in Gilmore, Oklahoma. He is also memorialized at the American Military Cemetery at Manila. In addition, on March 7, 1996, a memorial with Quincey's name on it was dedicated at Fort Smith National Cemetery in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.
After the war, Quincey's parents received a Purple Heart from the Army. According to the family, his mother looked at it and put it on a shelf. She never looked at the medal again.