Rank and Name, Private First Class Leon Foster Atha.
Unit/Placed in, 192nd Tank Battalion.
After the Japanese occupation in 1942, the camp was converted by the Imperial Japanese Army into the Cabanatuan POW Camp. At its height, 8,000 prisoners were detained at this location. The prisoners also included some civilians including one British and one Norwegian citizen. This POW Camp detained prisoners until liberated during the night of January 30, 1945.
The rectangular camp spanned roughly 25 acres and was 800 yards deep by 600 yards wide, divided by a road in the center. The camp consisted of a barracks for Japanese guards, barracks for prisoners, a hospital and water tower enclosed by barbed wire with guard towers.
The Arisan Maru was a Hell Ships (former Cargo, used for Transport POW’s to other Camps) sunk on Nov. 24, 1944.
The Arisan Maru, sailed from Manila on October 11, 1944 for Japan. This ship was sunk by the American submarine, USS Shark with three torpedoes, on November 24, 1944. There were 1800 POWs aboard – nine 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.
Leon is born approx. on 20 May 1916 in Franklin County, Kentucky.
Father, Kelly B. Atha.
Mother, Amanda (Fitzgerald) Atha.
Sister(s), Elizabeth A. and Kathleen G. Atha.
Brother(s), Robert F. Atha.
Spouse, Jeannette (Lyons) Atha.
Leon enlisted the service in Kentucky with service number # 35100556.
Leon died when the Arisan Maru was Torpedoed and sunk on Oct 24, 1944, he is honored with a Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal.
Leon is buried/mentioned at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Manila, Metro Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines.
Walls of the missing.
He also has a Memorial Grave at Glasgow Municipal Cemetery, Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky, USA.
Thanks to, https://bataanproject.com/history/
Jean Louis Vijgen, WW2-Pacific Website.
Air Force Info, Rolland Swank.
ABMC Website, https://abmc.gov
Navy Info, http://navylog.navymemorial.org
POW Info, http://www.mansell.com Dwight Rider and Wes injerd.
Family Info, https://www.familysearch.org
Marines Info, https://missingmarines.com/ Geoffrey Roecker
Medals Info, https://www.honorstates.org
Philippine Info, http://www.philippine-scouts.org/
Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com