. LeMaster

Pvt. Earnie LeMaster
Born: 19 January 1923 - Kentucky
Parents: Warren H. LeMaster & Nancy Tackett-LeMaster
Siblings: 7 sisters, 8 brothers
Home: Magoffin County, Kentucky
Enlisted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 19 July 1940 - Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio
Training:
    - Fort Knox, Kentucky
Units:
    - 19th Ordnance Battalion
            - trained alongside the 192nd Tank Battalion at Ft. Knox
            - learned to repair 57 vehicles in use by the Army
            - taught to maintain and repair the weapons used by tank battalions
    - 17th Ordnance Company
        - 17 August 1941 - A Company, 19th Ordnance, reassigned
            - company designated as 17th Ordnance Company
            - company serviced the tanks of the 192nd Tank Battalion and 194th Tank Battalion
Overseas Duty:

    - Ship: U.S.S. President 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
            - took southern route away from main shipping lanes
            - escorted by heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Astoria, and an unknown destroyer
                - heavy cruiser intercepted several ships after smoke was seen on the horizon
                - ships belonged to friendly countries
        - Tuesday, 16 September 1941 - ships crossed International Dateline
            - became Thursday, 18 September 1941
        - 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
     
  
        - lived in tents at Fort Stotsenburg
            - barracks completed - 15 November 1941 

Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1942 - 6 January 1942
            - lived through Japanese attack on Clark Airfield on
              December 8, 1941
            - attack took place just ten hours after Pearl Harbor
    - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - serviced tanks of the 192nd & 194th Tank Battalions
Prisoner of War
    - 9 April 1942
        - Death March
            - started march at Mariveles on the southern tip of Bataan
            - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor
                - American Artillery returned fire
                    - knocked out three Japanese guns
            - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars

                - each car 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
                - walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell
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
         - Gapan Bridge Detail

            - went out on it to get out of Camp O'Donnell
            - detail rebuilt bridges that were destroyed during withdraw into Bataan
                - POWs mistreated by Japanese
                - 36 POWs died from disease and lack of food
Died:
    - Tuesday - 23 June 1942 - malaria
        - Gapan City, Philippine Islands
Buried:
    - Gapan Municipal Cemetery - Nueva Ecija, Philippine Islands
Reburied: 1946
    - United States Armed Forces Cemetery - Manila #2
Reburied:

    - Adams Cemetery - Rockhouse Fork, Kentucky



 

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