In May 1942 the Japanese began transferring POWs by sea. Similar to treatment on the Bataan Death March, prisoners were often crammed into cargo holds with little air, food or water for journeys that would last weeks. Many died due to asphyxia, starvation or dysentery. Some POWs became delirious and unresponsive in their environment of heat, humidity, and lack of oxygen, food, and water. These unmarked prisoner transports were targeted as enemy ships by Allied submarines and aircraft.
More than 20,000 Allied POWs died at sea when the transport ships carrying them were attacked by Allied submarines and aircraft. Although Allied headquarters often knew of the presence of POWs through radio interception and code breaking, the ships were sunk because interdiction of critical strategic materials was more important than the lives of prisoners-of-war, and because Allied leaders feared that a pattern of sparing POW ships might lead the Japanese to use prisoners as human shields on valuable targets. [Source: Wikipedia]
Pvt. Andrew Joseph Aquila was born on May 31, 1918, in what was called “Little Italy” in Cleveland, Ohio. Andy was drafted into the army on March 31, 1941, and sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, to train which consisted mostly
Sgt. Joseph Edward Aram Born: 19 December 1897 – Santa Cruz, California Parents: Evangeline Dunstone-Aram & Joseph H. Aram Siblings: 2 sisters, 2 brothers Nickname: Ed Hometown: Felton, California Married: Lorena E. Murphy – Lorena died July 1, 1941 Son:
S/Sgt. Richard C. Armato was the son of Italian immigrants and was born on January 15, 1912, to Antonia Gigante-Armato and Dominick Armato. He grew up in Melrose Park, Illinois, with his sister and brother. With friends, he joined the
Pvt. William L. Arnold was born on May 4, 1917, in Fishtail, Montana, to William C. & Margaret B. Arnold. He was the oldest of the couple’s six sons and four daughters. Since he could not afford the cost of
PFC Leon Foster Atha was born on May 20, 1916, in Monterey, Kentucky. He was the son of Kelly B. Atha & Amanda Fitzgerald-Atha and raised at 424 Everton in Frankfort, Kentucky, with his three siblings. In the 1940 census,
Cpl. John Rawlins Atwell Born: 13 April 1905 – Fort Dodge, Iowa Parents: Rawlins P. Atwell & Gertrude W. Duncombe-Atwell Siblings: 4 sisters, 1 brother Home: Fort Dodge, Iowa Enlisted: – Iowa National Guard – 1 April 1924 Education: –
Pvt. John Avila on December 8, 1914, in Erath County, Texas. He was living in Dallas County, Texas, when he was inducted into the army. He did his basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and was sent to Camp Polk,
Pvt. John Barnett Babb was born on April 6, 1918, in Hopkins County, Kentucky. He was the son of Archie Babb & Minnie Lypcott-Babb and grew up in Madisonville, Kentucky. He was in the Civilian Conservation Corps planting trees in
Cpl. Milton Baker Born: 14 December 1911 – Kansas City, Missouri Parents: Jacob & Dora Baker Siblings: 2 sisters, 3 brothers Education: elementary school Married: Margaret Baker Home: 1308 Benton Boulevard – Kansas City, Missouri Occupation: insurance agent Selective Service
Pvt. Fay W. Baldon was born on May 6, 1919, in Wisconsin, to Ozro Baldon Sr. & Mabel Parrish-Baldon, in Wisconsin. He was one of six children and the family resided in Vernon County. It should be mentioned that his
What is known about T/4 Joseph S. Bandych was born in 1921 to Bruno & Amelia Bandych. His father was a coal miner and the family resided at House #177 at the Glen Robbins Coal Company near Warren, Ohio. Joseph
S/Sgt Donald McDonald Barden was born in 1920 in Richland County, South Carolina, to Clementina McDonald-Barden. Later, his mother married John A. Lemmons, which made him the brother of three sisters, a step-sister, and a step-brother. He later resided in
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