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Adkins, Joseph Herschel

Rank and Name, Private First Class Joseph Herschel Adkins.

Unit/Placed on, 31th Infantry Regiment”Polar Bears”.

Joseph became a POW on April 9, 1942, and went to Camp Cabanatuan and died on board the Arisan Maru.

The Arisan Maru was a Hell Ships sunk on Oct. 24, 1944.

The Arisan Maru, sailed from Manila on October 10, 1944 for Japan. This ship was sunk by the American submarine,USS Snook (Shark?) with three torpedoes, east of Hong Kong, on October 24, 1944. There were 1800 POWs aboard – 1793 died. Eight men survived this sinking. Two days later, five of the survivors were rescued by a Chinese fishing junk. The Chinese helped them reach American Air Corps forces. Other survivors were recaptured by a Japanese destroyer and taken to Formosa.

This Hell Ship sank in the South China Sea making it the worst naval disaster in the history of the United States.

Information states that Skipper Edward Noe Blakely ( Annapolis, class of 1934 ) was in command of the U.S. submarine Shark ( second U.S. Navy sub of that name ) when it torpedoed a japanese freighter that was carrying about 1,800 POW’s from the Philippines.

All but eight POW’s were lost. Five somehow got to China and made contact with friendly forces, reporting the tragedy. Counting the work of Paddle on September 7 and Sealion, Growler and Pampanito on September 12, this new loss meant that U.S. submarines had accidentally killed or drowned well over 4,000 Allied POW’s within a period of six weeks. Perhaps more went unrecorded.


Joseph was born in, 1918 in Virginia.


Parents and Siblings Unknown.


Joseph enlisted the Army in Richmond, Virginia on Aug. 19, 1940 with service number # 13017412.


Joseph H. Adkins died when the Arisan Maru got Torpedoed and Sunk in the Chinese Sea at, Oct 24, 1944 and he is honored Posthumous the Purple heart, Silver and Bronze Star Medal, American Campaign, Victory Medal the Combat Infantry Badge and the POW Medal.


Joseph is buried/mentioned at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial  Manila, Metro Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines.

Wall of the missing.


Thanks to ABMC, https://abmc.gov  http://navylog.navymemorial.org Familysearch.com  https://www.familysearch.org Philippine Scouts Heritage Society http://www.philippine-scouts.org/ Honorstates http://www.honorstates.org,   Geoffrey Roecker https://missingmarines.com/ P.O.W. Info: http://www.mansell.com/pow-index.html Wes Injerd-Dwight Rider,  Maurice van Doorn and Jean Louis Vijgen.

His rank Private First Class