Pvt. Arthur Thomas Poynter
Born: 26 August 1921 - Barren County, Kentucky
Parents: Cann C. & Lidia E. Poynter
    - mother was his father's second wife
    - he was raised by his step-mother
Siblings:
    - 1 sister, 2 brothers, 6 half-brothers
Hometown: Cave City, Kentucky
Enlisted:
    - 23 August 1939
        - U.S. Army
Training:
    - Fort Knox, Kentucky
Unit:
    - 19th Ordnance Battalion
        - learned to repair 57 different vehicles used by the Army
        - learned to repair and maintain weapons used by tank battalions
        - took part in maneuvers in Arkansas
            -A Company ordered back to Ft. Knox
    - 17th Ordnance Company
        - 17 August 1941 - Company A deactivated and activated as 17th Ordnance Company
            - received orders for overseas duty
Note: On August 15, 1941, the 194th received orders, from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for duty in the Philippines because of an event that happened during the summer.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a buoy in the water.  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, with a large radio transmitter, hundred of miles away.  The squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field.  By the time the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.
    The next morning, another squadron was sent to the area and found that the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat which was seen making its way toward shore.  Since communication between and Air Corps and Navy was poor, the boat was not intercepted.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
Overseas Duty:
    - 1 September 1941n- traveled by train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
        - Arrived: Thursday - 5 September 1941
        - ferried to Ft. McDowell, Angel Island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
            - given physicals and inoculations
            - men with medical conditions replaced
    - removed turrets from tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
    - 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 - 9:00 A.M.
            - soldiers given shore leave for the day
        - Sailed: same day - 5:00 P.M.
        - Tuesday - 16 September 1941 - crossed International Dateline
            - date changed to - Thursday - September 18, 1941
        - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands - Friday - 26 September 1941
        - Disembark: 3:00 P.M.
            - 17th Ordnance remained behind to unload the tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
                - reattached the turrets to the tanks.
        - rode bus to Ft. Stotsenburg
        - lived in tents at Ft. Stotsenburg
           -barracks completed - 15 November 1941
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1944 - 6 January 1944
    - Battle of Bataan
        -  7 January 1942 - 9 April 1944
            - serviced tanks of the 192d & 194th Tank Battalions
            - headquartered in abandoned ordnance depot building
Prisoner of War:
    - 9 April 1942
        - escaped to Corregidor when Bataan surrendered
        - Japanese lunch an all out attack on island
    - 6 May 1941
        - Prisoner of War
POW Camps:
    - Philippine Islands
        - Corregidor
            - held on beach for two weeks after island surrendered
            - taken by large to a point of Luzon
                - POWs jumped into water and swam to shore
               - marched down Dewey Boulevard to Bilibid Prison
                   - remained there for a couple of days
                   - sent to Cabanatuan
        - Cabanatuan
            - Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
                - original name: Camp Panagaian
                - three camps:
                    -  Camp #1
                        - POWs from Camp O'Donnell sent there
                    - Camp 2 was four miles away
                        - all POWs moved from there because of a lack of water
                        - later used for Naval POWs
                    - Camp 3 was six miles from Camp 2
                        - POWs from Corregidor and from hospitals sent there
            - "Blood Brother" rule implemented
                - if one POW in the group of 10 escaped, the other nine would be killed
            - work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens, plant rice, and farm
                - when POWs lined up, it was a common practice for Japanese guards, after the POWs lined up, to kick the POWs in
                  their shins with their hobnailed boots
                - POWs on the rice planting detail were punished by having their faces pushed into the mud and stepped on by guards
                - the POWs had to go into a shed to get the tools and as they came out, they were hit in the head
                - if the guards on the detail decided the POW wasn't doing what he should be doing, he was beaten
            - Arthur worked on camp farm
            - also went out on road detail
                - many POWs on details were able to smuggle in medicine, food, and tobacco into the camp
            - men who attempted to escape and caught were executed
            - daily POW meal - 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
        - Camp Hospital:
            - 30 Wards
                - each ward could hold 40 men
                    - frequently had 100 men in each
               - two tiers of bunks
                   - sickest POWs on bottom tier
               - each POW had a 2 foot by 6 foot area to lie in
            - Zero Ward
              - given name because it had been missed when counting wards
              - became ward where those who were going to die were sent
              - fenced off from other wards
                  - Japanese guards would not go near it
                 - POWs sent there had little to no chance of surviving
        - Clark Field
            - POWs screened gravel and cut grass when they arrived at airfield
            - worked long hours on short rations
                - prepared in a 50 gallon drum
            - Japanese made sick work if they believed they weren't sick enough
            - POWs who counldn't work were severely beaten
            - one Japanese lieutenant frequently hit POWs over head with saber
            - POWs beaten with a golf club for no reason
            - forced to work during typhoon season
            - clothing of POWs was loin clothes
            - when one POW escaped, the rest were not fed
            - POWs built revetments and runways with picks and shovels
            - built ammunition bunkers, revetments, and runways
        - Bilibid Prison
            - sent to
Bilibid Hospital Ward
            - Meals consisted of a half to three quarters of a mess kit of rice twice a day
                - food was often contaminated which resulted in the prisoners getting dysentery

                - POWs often ate garbage from scrap cans and pig troughs
            - slept on the concrete floors
                - no mosquito netting
                    - many POWs came down with malaria
             - clothing
                 - each man had two g-strings and two pairs of socks
             - medical supplies
                 - never enough to treat sick
                 - seemed there was just enough to prolong the suffering
Liberated:
    - 4 February 1945 - Bilibid Prison
        - rescued by 37th Infantry Division

Transport:
    - S.S. Monterey
        - Sailed - Manila - not known
        - Arrived: San Francisco, California - 16 March 1945
            - taken to Letterman General Hospital

Residence:
    - Barren County, Kentucky
Married: Gracie May Toms - 1945
Died:
    - 28 July 1969 - Glasgow, Kentucky
Buried:
    - Glasgow Municipal Cemetery - Glasgow, Kentucky


 

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