Pvt. Samuel L. Raynes was born on May 9, 1922, in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi,
to Holland Raynes and Frances A. Smith-Raynes. With his six sisters and three brothers, he grew up on the
family farm near Oakvale, Mississippi, and left school, after the sixth grade, and worked on the farm.
Samuel was enlisted in the U.S. Army on September 20, 1940, and sent to Fort Benning,
Georgia, for basic training. While he was stationed at the base, he was assigned to the 29th Infantry
Division before being assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion. When the battalion was sent to Camp Polk,
Louisiana, in the late summer of 1941, maneuvers were going, but the battalion did not take part in them.
While Samuel was at Camp Polk, the 192nd Tank Battalion was given orders to go
overseas. Since most of the members of the battalion were National Guardsmen, those 29 years or older
were allowed to resign from federal service. It was at that time that Samuel volunteered, or had his name
drawn, to join the battalion and was assigned to C Company.
The 192nd Tank Battalion received orders for duty, in the Philippines, because of an
event that happened during the summer. 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.
When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day. The next day,
when another squadron was sent to the area, the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat - with a tarp on its
deck - which was seen making its way to shore. Since communication between the Air Corps and Navy was
difficult, the boat escaped. It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military
presence in the Philippines.
The battalion traveled west over different train routes to Ft. Mason in San Francisco,
California, and were ferried, on the
U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe, to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island. There, the tankers were given
physicals and men found to have minor medical conditions were held on the island and scheduled to rejoin the
battalion at a later date. Men with major medical conditions were replaced.
The 192nd was boarded onto the
U.S.A.T. Hugh L. Scott and sailed on Monday, October 27. During this part of the trip, many
tankers had seasickness, but once they recovered they spent much of the time training in breaking down machine
guns, cleaning weapons, and doing KP. The ship arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2
and had a two day layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island.
On Wednesday, November 5, the ship sailed for Guam but took a southerly route away
from the main shipping lanes. It was at this time it was joined by, the heavy cruiser, the
U.S.S. Louisville and, another transport, the
S.S. President Calvin Coolidge. Sunday night, November 9, the soldiers went to bed and when they
awoke the next morning, it was Tuesday, November 11. During the night, while they slept, the ships had
crossed the International Dateline. On Saturday, November 15, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the
horizon. The Louisville revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it shot off in the
direction of the smoke. It turned out the smoke was from a ship that belonged to a friendly country.
When they arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16, the ships took on water, bananas,
coconuts, and vegetables before sailing for Manila the next day. At one point, the ships passed an island
at night and did so in total blackout. This for many of the soldiers was a sign that they were being sent
into harm's way. The ships entered Manila Bay, at 8:00 A.M., on Thursday, November 20, and docked at
Pier 7 later that morning. At 3:00 P.M., most of the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg.
Those who drove trucks drove them to the fort, while the maintenance section remained behind at the pier to
unload the tanks.
At the fort, the tankers were met by Col. Edward King, who welcomed them and made sure
that they had what they needed. He also was apologetic that there were no barracks for the tankers and
that they had to love in tents. The fact was he had not learned of their arrival until days before they
arrived. King remained with the tankers until they had their Thanksgiving Dinner, he then went to have
his own dinner.
For the next seventeen days the tankers spent much of their time removing cosmoline
from their weapons. They also spent a large amount of time loading ammunition belts. The plan was
for them, with the 194th Tank Battalion, to take part in maneuvers.
The tanks were ordered to the perimeter of the Clark Field on December 1st to guard
against paratroopers. Two members of each tank remained with their tank at all times. The morning
of December 8th, the officers of the battalions met and were informed of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
hours earlier. The tankers returned to the perimeter of Clark Airfield.
All morning long, the sky was filled with American planes. At noon, all the
planes landed and the pilots went to lunch. At 12:45 planes approached the airfield from the north.
The tankers on duty at the airfield counted 54 planes. When bombs began exploding, the men knew the
planes were Japanese. After the attack the 192nd remained at Ft. Stotsenburg for almost two weeks.
They were than sent to the Lingayen Gulf area where the Japanese had landed.
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.
On December 23 and 24, the battalion was in the area of Urdaneta. The bridge
they were going to use to cross the Agno River was destroyed and the tankers made an end run to get south of
river. As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening. They successfully
crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.
On December 25, the tanks of the battalion held the southern bank of the Agno River
from Carmen to Tayung, with the tanks of the 194th holding the line on the Carmen-Alcala-Bautista Road. The
tanks held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27.
The tankers were fell back toward Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan on December 27, and
December were at San Isidro south of Cabanatuan on December 28 and 29. While there, the bridge over the
Pampanga River was destroyed, they were able find a crossing over the river.
At Cabu, C Company's tanks were hidden in brush. The Japanese troops passed
the tanks for three hours without knowing that they were there. While the troops passed, Lt. William
Gentry was on his radio describing what he was seeing. It was only when a Japanese soldier tried take a
short cut through the brush, that his tank was hidden in, that the tanks were discovered. The tanks
turned on their sirens and opened up on the Japanese. They then fell back to Cabanatuan.
C Company was re-supplied and withdrew to Baluiag where the tanks encountered Japanese
troops and ten tanks. It was at Baluiag that C Company's tanks won the first tank battle victory of
World War II against enemy tanks.
After the battle, C Company made its way south. When it entered Cabanatuan, it
found the barrio filled with Japanese guns and other equipment. The tank company destroyed as much of the
equipment as it could before proceeding south.
On December 31, 1941, the commanding officer of C Company sent out reconnaissance patrols
north of the town of Baluiag. The patrols ran into Japanese patrols, which told the Americans
that the Japanese were on their way. Knowing that the railroad bridge was the only way into the town
and to cross the river, the company set up it's defenses in view of the bridge and the rice patty it
Early on the morning of the 31st, the Japanese began moving troops and across the
bridge. The engineers came next and put down planking for tanks. A little before noon Japanese
tanks began crossing the bridge.
Later that day, the Japanese had assembled a large number of troops in the rice field on
the northern edge of the town. One platoon of tanks under the command of 2nd Lt. Marshall Kennady were to
the southeast of the bridge. Lt. Gentry's tanks were to the south of the bridge in huts, while third
platoon commanded by Capt Harold Collins was to the south on the road leading out of Baluiag
2nd Lt. Everett Preston had been sent south to find a bridge to cross to attack the Japanese from
Major Morley came riding in his jeep into Baluiag. He stopped in front of a hut and
was spotted by the Japanese who had lookouts in the town's church's steeple. The guard became
very excited so Morley, not wanting to give away the tanks positions, got into his jeep and drove off.
Bill had told him that his tanks would hold their fire until he was safely out of the village.
When Gentry felt the Morley was out of danger, he ordered his tanks to open up on
the Japanese tanks at the end of the bridge. The tanks then came smashing through the huts' walls and
drove the Japanese in the direction of Lt. Marshall Kennady's tanks. Kennady had been radioed and was
Kennady's platoon held it's fire until the Japanese were in view of his platoon
and then joined in the hunt. The Americans chased the tanks up and down the streets of the village,
through buildings and under them. By the time Bill's unit was ordered to disengage from the enemy,
they had knocked out at least eight enemy tanks.
The tankers withdrew to Calumpit Bridge after receiving orders from Provisional Tank
Group. When they reached the bridge, they discovered it had been blown. Finding a crossing the
tankers made it to the south side of the river. Knowing that the Japanese were close behind, the
Americans took their positions in a harvested rice field and aimed their guns to fire a tracer shell through
the harvested rice. This would cause the rice to ignite which would light the enemy troops.
The tanks were spaced about 100 yards apart. The Japanese crossing the river knew
that the Americans were there because the tankers shouted at each other to make the Japanese believe troops
were in front of them. The Japanese were within a few yards of the tanks when the tanks opened fire.
Lighting the rice stacks, the Americans opened up with small fire. They then used
their .37 mm guns. The fighting was such a rout that the the tankers were using a .37 mm shell to kill
one Japanese soldier.
The tank company was next sent to the barrio of Porac to aid the Filipino army which was
having trouble with Japanese artillery fire. From a Filipino lieutenant, Gentry learned where the guns
were and attacked. Before the Japanese withdrew, the tankers had knocked out three of the guns.
After this, the tanks withdrew to the Hermosa Bridge and held it on the north side until
all the troops were across. The tanks then crossed to the south and destroyed the bridge which held the
Japanese up for a few days. This was the beginning of the Battle of Bataan.
In addition to serving as a rear guard, the tankers burnt everything that was being left
behind. They burnt warehouses, banks, and businesses that would help the Japanese.
In early February, the Japanese attempted to land troops behind the main battle line
on Bataan on a small peninsula. The troops were quickly cut off and when they attempted to land
reinforcements, they were landed in the wrong place. The fight to wipe out these two pockets became known
as the Battle of the Points.
The Japanese had been stopped, but the decision was made by Brigadier General Clinton
A. Pierce that tanks were needed to support the 45th Infantry Philippine Scouts. He requested the tanks
from the Provisional Tank Group.
On February 2, a platoon of C Company tanks was ordered to Quinan Point where the
Japanese had landed troops. The tanks arrived about 5:15 P.M. He did a quick reconnaissance of the
area, and after meeting with the commanding infantry officer, made the decision to drive tanks into the edge of
the Japanese position and spray the area with machine-gun fire. The progress was slow but steady until a
Japanese .37 milometer gun was spotted in front of the lead tank, and the tanks withdrew. It turned out
that the gun had been disabled by mortar fire, but the tanks did not know this at the time. The decision
was made to resume the attack the next morning, so 45th Infantry dug in for the night.
The next day, the tank platoon did reconnaissance before pulling into the front
line. They repeated the maneuver and sprayed the area with machine gun fire. As they moved forward,
members of the 45th Infantry followed the tanks. The troops made progress all day long along the left
side of the line. The major problem the tanks had to deal with was tree stumps which they had to avoid so
they would not get hung up on them. The stumps also made it hard for the tanks to maneuver.
Coordinating the attack with the infantry was difficult, so the decision was made by to bring in a radio car so
that the tanks and infantry could talk with each other.
On February 4, at 8:30 A.M. five tanks and the radio car arrived. The tanks were
assigned the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, so each tank commander knew which tank was receiving an order. Each
tank also received a walkie-talkie, as well as the radio car and infantry commanders. This was done so
that the crews could coordinate the attack with the infantry and send so that the tanks could be ordered to
where they were needed. The Japanese were pushed back almost to the cliffs when the attack was halted for
The attack resumed the next morning the next morning and the Japanese were pushed to
the cliff line where they hid below the edge of the cliff out of view. It was at that time that the tanks
were released to returned to the 192nd.
The company took part in the Battle of the Pockets. The Japanese had lunched an
offensive and were pushed back to the original battle line. Two pockets of Japanese soldiers were trapped
behind the line. The tanks were sent in to the pockets to wipe them out. One platoon of tanks would
relieve another platoon. The tanks would do this by entering the pocket one at a time. The next
tank did not enter the pocket until the tank that had be relieved left the pocket.
During some of the actions against the Japanese, the Japanese sent soldiers, carrying
gasoline cans, against the tanks. The Japanese would attempt to jump onto the tanks, pour gasoline into
the vents on the back of the tanks and set them on fire. If the tankers could not machine gun them before
they got to the tanks, the crew of another tank would shoot them as they stood on the tanks. The tankers
did not like to do this because of what it did to the crews inside the tanks.
Since the tanks were riveted, when the turrets were hit by machine gun fire, the
rivets would pop and ricochet inside the tanks. The rivets sparked when when they hit the sides of the
crew compartment. This situation was made worse by the loud sound of bullets from machine guns hitting
the tank. The biggest danger from the rivets was the possibility that one could hit one of the
tankers in the eye.
The tanks used two strategies to do wipe out the Japanese. In the first, the tanks
would go over a foxhole with three Filipino soldiers sitting on the back of the tanks with a bag of hand
grenades. As the tank was passing over the foxhole, the three soldiers would drop hand grenades into the
foxhole. Since the hand grenades were from WWI, one of the three hand grenades usually exploded.
The second method was to park a tank over a foxhole. The driver spun the tank, in a
circle, on one track until it ground itself into the ground wiping out the Japanese. The tankers slept
upwind from the tanks so they didn't have to smell the rotting flesh.
The tankers, from A, B, and C Companies, were able to clear the pockets. But before
this was done, one C Company tank which had gone beyond the American perimeter, was disabled and the tank just
sat there. When the sun came up the next day, the tank was still sitting there. During the night, its
crew was buried alive, inside the tank, by the Japanese who threw dirt into its vents. When the Japanese
had been wiped out, the tank was turned upside down to remove the dirt and recover the bodies of the crew.
The tank was put back into use.
From this time on, the tankers had few if any breaks from the fighting.
In March, the amount of gasoline was reduced to 15 gallons a day for all vehicles except
the tanks. This would later be dropped to ten gallons a day. The soldiers were hungry and began to
eat everything they could get their hands on to eat. The Carabao were tough but if they were cooked long
enough they could be eaten. They also began to eat horse meat provided by the 26th U. S. Cavalry. To
make things worse, the soldiers' rations were cut in half again on March 1, 1942. This meant that they
only ate two meals a day. Also at this time, Gen. Weaver suggested to Gen. Wainwright that a platoon of
tanks be sent to Corregidor.
The Japanese also were dropping surrender leaflets with a scantly clad blond on
them. The Japanese would have been more successful at getting the Americans to surrender if the picture had
been hamburger, since the men were so hungry that they most likely would have surrendered for a good meal.
April 3, the Japanese lunched an all out attack on Bataan, and the tanks were repeatedly used to plug
holes in the defensive lines. On April 7, 1942, the Japanese broke through the east side of the main
defensive line on Bataan. C Company was pulled out of their position along the west side of the line.
They were ordered to reinforce the eastern portion of the line. Traveling south to Mariveles, the tankers
started up the eastern road but were unable to reach their assigned area due to the roads being blocked by
retreating Filipino and American forces.
It was the evening of April 8, that Gen. Edward P. King decided that further resistance was
futile, since approximately 25% of his men were healthy enough to fight, and he estimated they would last one more
day. In addition, he had over 6,000 troops who sick or wounded and 40,000 civilians who he feared would be
massacred. At 10:30 that night, he sent his staff officers to negotiate surrender terms.
Tank battalion commanders received this order
"You will make plans, to be communicated to company commanders only, and be prepared to destroy within
one hour after receipt by radio, or other means, of the word 'CRASH', all tanks and combat vehicles,
arms, ammunition, gas, and radios: reserving sufficient trucks to close to rear echelons as soon as
The morning of the April 9, 1942, at 6:45 the tankers received the order
and destroyed their tanks. When the Japanese made contact with them, they were ordered to Mariveles
where they started the death march.
From Mariveles, the members of C Company made their way north along the east coast
of Bataan. The first five miles of the march the were more difficult since the march was uphill. The
POWs also were denied food and received little water. Those who attempted to get water from the artesian
wells that flowed across the road were often killed.
When the POWs reached San Fernando, they were put into a bull-pin. In one
corner, was a trench that was used as a toilet by the POWs. The surface was alive with maggots.
At some point, the POWs were organized into detachments of 100 men, marched to the train
station at San Fernando, and packed into small wooden
used to haul sugarcane. The cars were known as forty or eights. This was because each car
could hold forty men or eight horses. Since the detachments were made up of 100 men, the Japanese packed
100 POWs into each car. The POWs who died remained standing until the living left the cars at Capas.
The POWs walked the last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell which was an unfinished Filipino
training base which the Japanese pressed the camp into use as a POW camp on April 1, 1942. When they
arrived at the camp, the Japanese confiscated any extra clothing that the POWs had and refused to return it to
them. They searched the POWs and if a man was found to have Japanese money on them, they were taken to
the guardhouse. Over the next several days, gunshots were heard to the southeast of the camp. These
POWs had been executed for looting.
There was only one water faucet in the camp, and the prisoners stood in line from two
to eight hours waiting for a drink. The Japanese guards at the faucet would turn it off for no reason and
the next man in line would stand as long as four hours waiting for it to be turned on again. This
situation improved when a second faucet was added.
There was no water for washing clothes, so the POWs would throw out their clothing
when it had been soiled. In addition, water for cooking had to be carried three miles from a river to the
camp and mess kits could not be washed. The slit trenches in the camp were inadequate and were soon
overflowing since most of the POWs had dysentery. The result was that flies were everywhere in the camp
including the POW kitchens and in the food.
The camp hospital had no soap, water, or disinfectant. When the ranking American
doctor at the camp wrote a letter to the camp commandant, Capt. Yohio Tsuneyoshi, asking for medical supplies,
he was told never to write another letter. When the Archbishop of Manila sent a truckload of medical
supplies to the camp, Tsuneyoshi refused to allow the truck into the camp. When the Japanese Red Cross
sent medical supplies to the camp the Japanese took 95% of the supplies for their own use.
The POWs in the camp hospital lay on the floor elbow to elbow and only one of the six
medic assigned to care for 50 sick POWs was healthy enough to care for them. When a representative of the
Philippine Red Cross stated they could supply a 150 bed hospital for the camp, he was slapped in the face by a
Each morning, the bodies of the dead were found all over the camp and were carried to
the hospital and placed underneath it. The bodies lay there for two or three days before they were buried
in the camp cemetery by other POWs who were suffering from dysentery and/or malaria. To clean the ground
under the hospital, the ground was scraped and lime was spread over it. The bodies of the dead were
placed in the area, and the area they had been laying was scrapped and lime was spread over it.
Work details were sent out on a daily basis. Each day, the American doctors gave
a list of names to the Japanese of the POWs who were healthier enough to work. If the quota of POWs
needed to work could not be met, the Japanese put those POWs who were sick, but could walk, to work. The
death rate among the POWs reached 50 men dying a day. The Japanese finally acknowledge that they had to
do something, so the opened a new POW camp at Cabanatuan.
On June 1, 1942, the POWs formed detachments of 100 men each and were marched to
Capas. There, the were put in steel boxcars with two Japanese guards. At Calumpit, the train was
switched onto another line which took it to Cabanatuan. The POWs disembarked and were taken to a
schoolyard where they were fed cooked rice and onion soup. From there, they were marched to Cabanatuan
which had been the headquarters of the 91st Philippine Army Division and was known as Camp Panagaian.
The camp was actually three camps. Camp 1 was where the men who captured on
Bataan and taken part in the death march where held. Camp 2 did not have an adequate water supply and was
closed. It later reopened and housed Naval POWs. Camp 3 was where those men captured when
Corregidor surrender were taken. In addition, men from Bataan who had been hospitalized when the
surrender came were sent to the camp. Camp 3 was later consolidated into Camp 1.
Once in the camp, the POWs were allowed to run the camp. The Japanese only
entered if they had an issue they wanted to deal with. To prevent escapes, the POWs set up a detail that
patrolled the fence of the camp. The reason this was done was that those who did escape and were caught,
were tortured before being executed, while the other POWs were made to watch. It is believed that no POW
successfully escaped from the camp.
In the camp, the Japanese instituted the "Blood Brother" rule. If one
man escaped the other nine men in his group would be executed. POWs caught trying to escape were
beaten. Those who did escape and were caught, were tortured before being executed. It is not known
if any POW successfully escaped from the camp.
The barracks in the camp were built to house 50 POWs, but most had between 60 to 120
POWs in them. The POWs slept on bamboo slats, without mattresses, bedding, or mosquito netting.
Many quickly became ill. The POWs were assigned to barracks which meant that the members of their group
lived together, went out on work details together, and would be executed together since they were Blood
The POWs were sent out on work details one was to cut wood for the POW kitchens.
The two major details were the farm detail and the airfield detail which lasted for years. A typical day
on any detail lasted from 7:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. The POWs on the farm detail would have to go to
a shed each morning to get tools. As they left the shed, the Japanese guards thought it was great fun to
hit them over their heads.
The detail was under the command of "Big Speedo" who spoke very little
English. When he wanted the POWs to work faster, he told the POWs
Although he was known to have a temper, the POWs thought he was fair. Another guard was
"Little Speedo" who was smaller and also used the word when he wanted the POWs to work
faster. The POWs also felt he was pretty fair in his treatment of them. "Smiley" was
another guard who always had a smile on his face but could not be trusted. He was the meanest of the
guards and beat men up for no reason. He liked to hit the POWs with the club. Any prisoner who he
believed was not working hard enough got knocked over with it. Any prisoner who he believed was not
working hard enough got knocked over with it. Each morning, after arriving at the farm, the POWs went
into a tool shed to get their tools. As they left the shed, the guards hit them on their heads.
Other POWs worked in rice paddies. While working in the fields, the favorite
punishment given to the men in the rice paddies was to have their faces pushed into the mud and stepped on by a
guard to drive their faces deeper into the mud. Returning from a detail the POWs bought, or were given,
medicine, food, and tobacco, which they somehow managed to get into the camp even though they were searched
when they returned.
Rice was the main food given to the POWs fed to them as "lugow" which meant
"wet rice." During their time in the camp, they received few vegetables and almost no
fruit. Once in awhile, they received bread.
The camp hospital was known as "Zero Ward" because it was missed by the
Japanese when they counted barracks. The sickest POWs were sent there to die. The Japanese put a
fence up around the building to protect themselves, and they would not go into the building. There were
two rolls of wooden platforms around the perimeter of the building. The sickest POWs were put on the
lower platform which had holes cut into it so the they could relieve themselves. Most of those who
entered the ward died.
The POWs had the job of burying the dead. To do this, they worked in teams of
four men. Each team carried a litter of four to six dead men to the cemetery where they were buried in
graves containing 15 to 20 bodies.
On July 30, 1942, Samuel developed dysentery and was admitted to the camp
hospital. Since the doctors had little medicine to treat the POWs, there was not much that they could do
for the sick. According to the records kept by the medical staff at the camp, Pvt. Samuel L. Raynes died
of dysentery at approximately 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, October 8, 1942, at Cabanatuan POW. His family
learned of his death on July 6, 1943.
After his death, Samuel was buried at the Cabanatuan camp cemetery. After the
war, the U.S. Army's recovery team could not positively identify his remains, so he was buried as a
"Unknown" at new American Military Cemetery at Manila. His name also appears on the Tablets of
the Missing at the cemetery. His family learned of his death in July 1943.