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]
Lt. Col. Theodore Francis Wickord was born on August 2, 1907, in Chicago, to Peter H. Wickord & Julia Nevecerel-Wickord. He married Marie Falisiewicz and with his wife lived at 1839 South 7th Avenue in Maywood, Illinois. The couple became
S/Sgt. Joseph J. Wierzchon Jr. was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1915 to Joseph J. Wierzchon Sr. & Frances Wierzchon. He grew up in Toledo and lived at 1421 Pinewood Avenue and was a member of the Ohio National Guard
Pvt. Charles W. Wilson Born: 2 December 1919 – California Parents: Oscar & Mabel Wilson Siblings: 1 sister, 1 brother Home: 1171 60th Street – San Antonio, California Enlisted: California National Guard Selective Service Registration: 16 October 1940 – He
S/Sgt. Maurice E. Wilson was born on March 2, 1912, to Lester Wilson & Lula Britton-Wilson in Mercer County, Kentucky. He was raised, with his brother and six sisters, on the family farm and in Harrodsburg, where he attended school.
Cpl. Howard Milton Wodrich was one of four children born to Otto and Helen Wodrich. He was born on September 1, 1919, in Oak Harbor, Ohio, and was raised in Port Clinton, Ohio, at 230 Adams Street with his two
1st Lt. Jack Thurston Woodson Born: 17 September 1917 – Vinita, Oklahoma Parents: Charles W. & Winifred Woodson Siblings: 1 brother Hometown: Vinita, Oklahoma Education: – University of Oklahoma – Bachelors Degree – Electrical Engineering – ROTC – joined to
Pvt. Lucian F. Yankey was born on January 3, 1914, in Boyle County, Kentucky, to John Yankey and Martha Lula Roney-Yankey. His mother died the day after she gave birth to him. It is known that he had three sisters
Cpl. Claude Len Yeast was born to William Yeast & Cordie Gerling-Yeast on February 19, 1917, in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and had six brothers and three sisters. He was the brother of Willard Yeast who was also a member of the
Pvt. Mansfield Robert Young Born: 24 July 1922 – Wyoming Parents: John A. Young & Gertrude Gray-Young Siblings: 2 sisters, 2 brothers Home: 254 ½ East McFarland – Ventura, California Enlisted: California National Guard – National Guard unit from Ventura,
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