Pvt. Abner Lee Humphrey Jr.
September 1919 - Comanche, Texas
Parents: Abner L. Humphrey Sr. & Repty Humphrey
- grew up on family farm
Nickname: "A. L."
- As a Prisoner of War, J.C. Garrett, B Company, nicknamed him "Blue." This was because of how blue his eyes were
Siblings: 3 sisters
Work: construction laborer
- U. S. Army
- 13 March 1941
- Fort Knox, Kentucky
- tank driver
- Camp Polk, Louisiana
- 753rd Tank Battalion
- 192nd Tank Battalion
- volunteered to replace a National Guardsman released from
- assigned to D Company
- went home for two weeks before he shipped out
- assigned to tank as driver
- the tank was named "Shirley"
- Battle of Luzon
- 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
- D Company was attached to the 194th Tank Battalion but
remained under the command of the 192nd Tank Battalion.
- Battle of Bataan
- 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
- A. L. described many of the battles fought as "running
- at time of the surrender, he was in the hospital with malaria
Prisoner of War:
- 9 April 1942
- Death March
Note: Abner could not make the march because he was sick. While
he was still in the hospital, the Japanese set up their artillery
near the hospital and fired on Corregidor. This was done so
that the Americans would not return fire. He and the other
POWs were transported to Camp O'Donnell by truck. There,
he was put into the camp hospital.
- Philippine Islands:
- Camp O'Donnell
- unfinished Filipino training base
- when A. L. arrived at the camp, he was sent right to "Zero
- POWs were assigned to bunks
- the sicker the man became, he was moved further down
- those in the last two rows of bunks were not expected to
- A. L. made it to second to last bunk
- he recovered weighing seventy-eight pounds
- from beriberi, one of his testicles reached the size of a
- worked on camp farm
- POWs grew vegetables for the Japanese
- the Japanese would give the POWs the carrot tops and
Note: J.C. Garrett worked in the Japanese Officers Mess. He stole
raw rice for A. L. to eat. If he was caught, Garrett would
have been executed.
- Bilibid Prison
- POWs transferred: 17 May 1945
- POWs worked loading coal and did ship maintenance
- camp bombed and destroyed
- Work: copper mine
- Coral Maru
- nicknamed "Taga Maru"
- "Taga" in Japanese meant "slow"
- Sailed: Manila - 20 September 1943
- Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 23 September 1943
- Sailed: Takao to Moji, Japan - 26 September 1943
- Arrived: Moji. Japan - 5 October 1943
Note: A. L. recalled that the POWs had to climb down a steel ladder
into the hold. Once inside, it wasn't too long until the hold's
floor was covered in human waste and vomit. The ship also
had to sail through a typhoon. He went topside to relieve
himself when the ship was hit by a fifteen foot wave. He was
carried down the deck believing he was about to die. His
hands caught a cable and held on until the wave subsided. He
found himself fifteen feet above the deck. He let go and
broke his ankle when he hit the deck.
Liberated: 25 August 1945
Note: The affects of being a POW were that his thumb nails split in half and remained
that way the rest of his life.
Promoted: Staff Sergeant
Discharged: 15 August 1946
Wife: Kay Humphrey
Children: 3 Sons, 1 Daughter
- A. L. named his only daughter, Shirley
- 2 May 2001 - Comanche, Texas