Monday, May 28, 2012

A Hero to remember

Pfc. Eugene Herald Stahl

Born: 18 December 1919 - Saint Louis, Oklahoma
Parents: George F. Stahl & Sofrona Ketchum-Stahl

- father remarried

Siblings: 3 sisters, 1 brother, 1 half-sister, 1 half-brother

Home: Salinas, California

Enlisted: California National Guard


- U.S. Army

- 10 February 1941 - Salinas Army Airfield


- Fort Lewis, Washington


- 194th Tank Battalion

Overseas Duty:

- Philippine Islands


- Battle of Luzon

- Battle of Bataan

Prisoner of War:

- 9 April 1942

- Death March

- Mariveles - POWs start march at southern tip of Bataan
- POWs ran past Japanesee artillery firing at Corregidor
- Americans on Corregidor returned fire
- San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars
- each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
- 100 POWs packed into each car
- POWs who died remained standing
- Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
- POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell

POW Camps:

- Philippine Islands:

- Camp O'Donnell

- unfinished Filipino training base
- Japanese put camp into use as POW Camp
- only one water spigot for entire camp
- as many as 50 POWs died each day
- Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate

- Cabanatuan

- Japan

- Tokyo #3B

- POWs worked as stevedores

- transferred - 1 May 1944

- Yokahoma #18D

- POWs made bricks

- camp destroyed by bombing - 4 June 1945

- Niigata #5B

- POWs worked as stevedores

Hell Ship:

- Taga Maru

- ship also known as Coral Maru

- Sailed: Manila - 23 September 1943

- Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 26 September 1943

- Sailed: Unknown

- Arrived: Moji, Japan - 5 October 1943


- 5 September 1945

Residence: Watsonville, California
My grandfather was a brave man.I heard his story via my dad and grandmother over the years.He passed away years ago and while I was so young when he did,memories of him still linger. Like the M&M's and jerky he used to always offer up to me and my brother when we would visit with my parents. The musty smoke filled house,the pots boiling on the stove. The stale bread he had to give us every single time we begged to feed the ducks in his trailer park.He always smiled at me under the bill of his old cigarette burned ball cap. I had no idea as that 4 year old little girl that these memories would last this long.Or why. Now knowing what he went through,what he survived,what he did for me and my family to enjoy the freedoms we have.But I treasure these memories of him now.For myself,my family and my freedom.

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