Pvt. Earl M. Squyres
is known about Pvt. Earl M. Squyres is that he was born in
Louisiana on January 1, 1922, and lived in Alexandria and later in Natchitoches.
It is known that his mother died when he was a child. He completed
high school and worked at a telegraph office as a messenger. On September 17, 1940,
while living in Shreveport, he enlisted in the U.
S. Army and trained at Fort Benning, Georgia. After basic
training, he was assigned to 753rd Tank Battalion.
The 753rd Tank Battalion was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana. It was while the unit was there, that Earl volunteered to join the 192nd Tank Battalion. He was assigned to B Company as a replacement for a National Guardsman who was released from military service because he was deemed to be "too old" for duty overseas.
When war broke out on December 7, 1941, Earl and the other members of the 192nd Tank Battalion fought to slow the Japanese advance. During the attack on Clark Airfield, the battalion guarded the perimeter to prevent the use of paratroopers by the Japanese.
When the Filipino-American forces in the Philippine Islands were surrendered, Earl became a Prisoner of War. He took part in the Bataan Death March starting at Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan. The POWs went days without food or water. At San Fernando, the POWs were packed into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane. Each car could hold eight horses or forty men. The Japanese packed 100 POWs into each car. Those who died remained standing until the living left the cars at Capas. He then walked the last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell. This camp was an unfinished Filipino Army Base which was pressed into service by the Japanese as a POW Camp.
Conditions in the camp were so bad that as many as fifty men a day died from disease. In addition, there was only one water spigot for the entire camp. The Japanese, recognizing how bad the situation was, opened a new camp at
The fact that Earl's name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at the American Military Cemetery at Manila indicates that his final resting place is not known. He is most likely buried as an "Unknown" at the cemetery.
What is known is that Pvt. Earl M. Sqyures died at Cabantuan POW Camp on August 17, 1942, of dysentery. His approximated time of death was 9:15 in the morning.
After the war, the graves at Cabanatuan were exhumed. Those POWs whose remains could not be positively identified were reburied as unknowns at the new American military cemetery.