Pvt. Harold D. Lane
Pvt. Harold D. Lane was born on November 13, 1921, in
was the son of Buela & Homer Lane. His family lived at 622 South 24th
Avenue in Bellwood and later 142 South Eleventh Avenue in Maywood. Harold attended local schools in
Bellwood and was a 1939 graduate of Proviso Township High School.
After high school, he worked at American Can Company in Maywood.
In 1939, Harold joined the Illinois National Guard. On November 25, 1940, he was called to federal service when the tank company was called to federal service for one year.
Harold trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for almost a year. He then took part in maneuvers in Louisiana in the late summer of 1941. After the maneuvers he and the other members of the battalion learned that they were being sent overseas.
Harold received a furlough home. It is likely that it was at this time that he married. His wife, Adeline, would setup their home at 142 South 11th Avenue in Maywood
Harold returned to Camp Polk. It was from there that Harold traveled to San Francisco. On Angel Island, Harold and the other men received examinations. They were next boarded onto a ship for the Philippine Islands.
In the fall of 1941, Harold arrived with the 192nd Tank Battalion in the Philippine Islands. He spent two weeks preparing his equipment for use in maneuvers.
Harold lived through the attack on Clark Airfield. He spent the next four months fighting to slow the Japanese conquest of the Philippines. On April 9, 1942, Harold became a Prisoner Of War. He most likely took part in what would become known as the "Bataan Death March" and was held at Camp O'Donnell.
Realizing that Camp O'Donnell was a death trap, Harold volunteered to go out on a detail to Pampanga Province. The POWs on the detail tied together vehicles which had been disabled during the withdraw into Bataan. They drove the vehicles to San Fernando. From there, the vehicles were taken to Manila and sent to Japan.
At some point on the detail, Harold came down with malaria. He also developed beriberi. He remained in the hospital until he was discharged on August 3, 1942. He was sent to Cabanatuan. this camp had opened while he was out on the work detail.
On August 17, 1944, Harold and other POWs were sent to Bilibid Prison. There, they we remained for about two weeks. During this time he was given a physical. It was determined that he was healthy enough to be transported to Japan.
Harold and 1000 other POWs were taken to the Port Area of Manila and boarded onto the Noto Maru July 15th. All 1033 POWs were packed into the ship's only hold. These ships were known as "Hell Ships" because of the conditions that the prisoners endured.
On July 17, 1944, the Noto Maru sailed for Takao, Formosa as part of a convoy. During the trip, the convoy was attacked by an American submarine. Another ship carrying 1500 POWs was sunk. Arriving in Formosa on July 27th, the ship anchored for the night before sailing the next day for Moji, Japan. The ship arrived at Moji on August 3rd. From there, the POWs were dispersed among various POW camps.
Harold was sent to Tokyo Base Camp #1 at Omori. There, he and the other prisoners worked in a coal mine. He remained in the camp until he was liberated when Japan surrendered in September of 1945.
Harold returned to Maywood, Illinois and was discharged, from the army, on December 16, 1945. He returned to Proviso Township High School, as a student, to earn his diploma. He would later reside in Rockford, Illinois. Harold worked as a machinist until he retired. Later, he moved to New Mexico. Harold D. Lane died on January 22, 1994, and was buried in Section 9, Site 1826, at Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.