Pvt. Russell D. Simon
Pvt. Russell D. Simon was born
in 1917 in Ottawa County, Ohio, to Henry E. Simon
& Emma A. Simon. With his sister and five
brothers, he lived in Gypsum and Catawba Island
Township, Ottawa County, Ohio. He graduated
from Port Clinton High School in 1935. During this
time his father died. At some
point, he joined the Ohio National Guard's tank
company in Port Clinton, Ohio. All of his
brothers, but one, at some time, had been members of
the tank company.
In September 1940, Russell's tank company was designated C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. On November 29, 1940, they left Port Clinton for one year of training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It is not known what schooling he received at Ft. Knox. In the late summer of 1941, he took part in maneuvers at Camp Polk, Louisiana. After the maneuvers, the battalion did not return to Ft. Knox but remained behind at Camp Polk. It was there that the members of the battalion learned they were being sent overseas.
After the companies were brought up to strength with replacements for the men released from federal service, the battalion was equipped with new tanks and half-tracks. The battalion traveled over different railroad routes to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.
On the island, the soldiers were inoculated and received physicals. Those who had minor medical issues were held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.
On Monday, December 1st, the tanks were
ordered to the
Clark Field to
The 194th Tank
all times, two
every tank and
them by food
The morning of
ordered to the
news of the
As they sat on
At noon, every
The evening of April 8, 1942, Capt.
his men the
news of the
surrender. While informing the members
of the company
waved his arm
tanks and told
the men that
they would no
he spoke, his
He turned away
from the men
for a moment,
and when he
turned back he
He next told
should do to
that they all
He told the
that could be
used by the
The only thing
they were told
not to destroy
The men waited
juice for what
he called, "Their last supper."
As they prepared to die, a car pulled up and a Japanese officer got out of the car and spoke to the sergeant in charge of the detail. After talking to the sergeant, he got back in the car and drove off. The sergeant ordered the soldiers to lower their guns.
Later in the
day, the POWs were marched to a school yard in
Mariveles and again ordered to sit. Behind
them were Japanese artillery pieces. The
guns were firing on Corregidor and Ft. Drum.
When the two American strongholds began returning
fire, the prisoners found themselves in the line
of fire and shells
began landing around them. Five POWs who hid in an old brick
building were killed when it took a direct
hit. When the barrage ended, three if the four Japanese
guns had been destroyed.
There Russell was put into a small wooden boxcar and taken to Capas. The cars could hold forty men or eight horses, but the Japanese packed 100 men into each car and closed the doors. Those who died remained standing until the living climbed out of the cars, since they could not fall to the floors. From Capas, Russell walked the last ten miles to Camp O' Donnell.
was an unfinished Filipino training base that the
Japanese pressed into service as a Prisoner of War
camp. It turned out to be a death trap with
as many as fifty POWs dying each day. There
was only one working water faucet for the entire
camp. To get a drink, men stood in line for
days. Many died while waiting for a
drink. The death rate among the POWs was as
high as fifty men a day. Many POWs went out
on work details to get out of the camp.