Rank and Name, Second Lieutenant Thomas Underwood Austin.
Unit/Placed in, Field Artillery, United States Army.
Davao – Small port city on southeast coast of Mindanao. The POW camp was located some ten miles northwest of the port. Camp was closed in 1944 and the POWS were sent first to Cebu on the Yashu Maru. In Cebu, they were transferred to the Singoto Maru and moved to Manila and into Bilibid.
Thomas Austin was one of 1619 prisoners of War onboard the Oryoku Maru at Manila. The ship sailed on December 13, 1944, for Japan and when It arrived at Subic Bay, the same day, it was bombed by American planes from the USS Hornet, while it was picking up Japanese personnel. When dusk came, the planes broke off the attack. Next the planes returned and resumed the attack. On Dec. 15, 1944 and sunk the Ship. The Japanese abandoned ship, even ordered the POWs to abandon ship during the air raid when the American pilots saw the large number of men climbing from the ship’s holds, they stopped their attack. As the POWs swam to shore, the POWs were shot at by Japanese soldiers with machine guns.
Thomas is born approx. on 1921 in Alabama.
Parents and Siblings, No Record Available.
Thomas enlisted the service in New Mexico with service number # 2031895.
Thomas was KIA when the Oryoku Maru was bombed at Subic Bay, Philippines, he tried to escape and the Japanese guards shot him on 15 Dec. 1944, he is honored with a Purple Heart, POW Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal.
Thomas is buried/mentioned at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Manila, Metro Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines.
Walls of the missing.
Jean Louis Vijgen, WW2-Pacific Website.
Air Force Info, Rolland Swank.
ABMC Website, https://abmc.gov
Seabees History Bob Smith https://seabeehf.org/
Navy Info, http://navylog.navymemorial.org
POW Info, http://www.mansell.com Dwight Rider and Wes injerd.
Navy Seal Memorial, http://www.navysealmemorials.com
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