Rayhel

 

Pfc. Earl Dean Rayhel


Born: 24 September 1920 - Walnut Prairie, Illinois
Parents: John W. Rayhel & Grace Bell Griffin-Rayhel
Siblings: 3 sisters, 6 brothers

Hometown: West Union, Illinois

Inducted:

    - U. S. Army

        - 14 September 1940 - Fort Benjamin Harrison,

Training:

    - Ft. Knox, Kentucky

        - A Company, 19th Ordnance Battalion

            - trained as tank mechanic 

        - A Company reorganized as 17th Ordinance Company - 19 August 1941

Overseas Duty:

    - Philippine Islands

        - Sailed: San Francisco, California - 8 September 1941
        -Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - 13 September 1941

            - ship stopped in Pearl Harbor

            - met his brother, Virgil, who was in the Army Air Corps

           - Virgil was killed at Hickman Field on December 7, 1941
           - Sailed: same day - 5:00 P.M.
           - 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

Stationed:

    - Ft. Stotsenburg - Philippine Islands

Engagements:

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1942 - 6 January 1942

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942

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
 

Hell Ship:

    - Torttori Maru

         - Boarded: 7 October 1942 - 1961 POWs put into ship's holds 

            - 500 forward hold

            - 1461 in aft hold

        - Sailed: 8 Oct. 1942 - Manila

            - 9 October 1942 - torpedo from an American submarine passes ship

            - ship misses mine laid by submarine

         - Arrived:  12 October 1942 - Takao, Formosa

         - Sailed: 16 October 1942

             - returned to Takao

         - Sailed: 18 October 1942

         - Arrived: Pescadores Islands - same day

             - anchor off islands

             - remained off islands for several days 

          - Sailed: 27 October 1942

            - Pescadores Islands to Kusan, Korea

          - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - same day

              - POWs taken off ship and given showers with firehoses

          - Sailed: 30 October 1942

          - Arrived: Makou, Pescadores Islands- same day

          - Sailed: 31 October 1942

          - Arrived: 7 November 1942 - Fuson, Korea

              - 8 November 1942 - POWs disembark

                  - sick POWs left behind at Fuson

          - Train:

                  - Fusan, Korea to Mukden, Manchuria

                      - two day trip

    - POWs taken by train from Pusan, Korea to Mukden

        - POWs arrive in Mukden - 11 November 1942

POW Camps:

    - Philippine Islands:

        - Camp O'Donnell

            - unfinished Filipino Army training base
            - Japanese use camp for POWs
            - one water spigot for entire camp
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day

                - suffered from malaria
          
 - Japanese opened new camp at Cabanatuan to lower death

        - Cabanatuan

    - Manchuria:

        - Mukden POW Camp

            - Held in two camps

                - Hoton #1

                - Hoton #2

                    - suffered from beriberi & dysentery

                        - went from 145 pounds down to 90 pounds

Liberated:

    - 20 August 1945

       - Russians enter camp

    - 25 October 1945

       - returned to the Philippine Islands

Promoted: Staff Sergeant
Transport:
    - U.S.S. Tryon
        - Sailed: not known
        - Arrived: San Francisco - 24 October 1945
            - taken to Letterman General Hospital

Discharged:

    - 17 March 1946

Married: Della Mae Skelly

    - two sons

Occupation: Weston Paper Company - 38 years

Home: Terre Haute, Indiana

Died: 24 August 2014

Buried: Roselawn Memorial Park - Terre Haute, Indiana


 

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