by Carol Lynds Lineage: Carol Ann, Jerry Taylor, M.D., Mildred Ruth, Jerry Vard, Louis Porter, William Hackley, James, William, Thomas, Solomon born 1680 Lancashire, England
Everett W. Allred, son of Jerry Vard Allred and Lula Belle Raydon (Louis Porter, William Hackley, James, William, Thomas), was born 7 May 1913 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. His family is listed there in the 1920 census. After his father’s death in 1928, Lula moved her children to Blanchard, McClain County, Oklahoma, to live with her mother, Mary Jane Cotner Raydon Victor.
On 23 Jul 1941, Everett, a single man, enlisted in the 228th Army Signal Corps and was assigned to the Philippines. By April 1942, Everett was among the thousands who endured the March of Bataan. He was taken to the Philippine Military Prison Camp #1. While there, his mother received the postcard. Notice that his health is excellent, but he is improving! He said to give his regards to Carl Hastings, his best friend who worked in the theatre in Blanchard, Oklahoma.
The hellship, Taga Maru, a Japanese tanker, departed Manila on 20 September 1943 with 850 prisoners. Seventy men died during the 15-day voyage to Moji via Taiwan. Everett was listed as aboard this ship. They arrived at the Prison Camp 12-B at Hirahota, Osaka, Japan, in October 1943. The POWs were enslaved by the steel company nearby, known today as Nippon NITTETSU. During this time, another postcard arrived. It is mentioned on this card that Everett was working for pay. Nowhere in my research have I found that any of the POWs were paid. Most Web sites say they were “enslaved”
Everett died in that camp on 5 May 1944 of starvation and BeriBeri - a disease of the peripheral nerves caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1, characterized by pain in and paralysis of the extremities, and severe emaciation or swelling of the body. Another soldier’s diary said he was sick for three days and was refused treatment.
I found a 1966 letter addressed to Everett’s mom from the Chief Buddhist priest of the Jugangi Temple, SuShinjsi. The letter stated that he had safely kept the ashes of the 1,086 POWs from July 1942 to October 20, 1945. He prayed “for the repose of their souls every day and night.” On October 20, 1945, the remains were given to the Occupation Forces and then sent to their homelands. Once a year after 1945, the temple held a ceremony for the repose of their souls. The deceased prisoners were from eight different countries.
According to one Web site, there was also a monument erected for these POWs at Fort William McKinley, Manila, Philippines, (World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas (www.ancestry.com.) Some of my information was found on this website which is an excellent source for WW2 POWs: Allied POWs Under the Japanese