The Woodward News


September 16, 2012

Ex-POW’s from WWII share their stories


Woodward, Okla. — JACK WARNER

Jack D. Warner tells of his capture and escape from the Japanese during World War II.

Jack is also a former National Commander for the American Ex-Prisoners of War.

"My name is Jack D. Warner, and I have lived most of my life in western Oklahoma. I joined the United States Marine Corp in 1939, and was in the Marines until 1946. I went to San Diego, CA for boot camp, and then I was then transferred to Mairaini Island, CA for 9 months. I then was sent to Shanghai, China by the way of Hawaii; Midway Island; Wake; Guam; Manila, Philippines; Chongqing, North China, up the Yangzi River to Shanghai. I was sent to the 2nd Battalion E Co 4th Rec. for about 14 months, then to Olongapo/Subic Bay, Philippines. When World War II started I went through a strafing by Japanese zeros from there to Bataan, then to Corregidor Island. We went through bombings every day, by 4 motor bombers for 4 months. After General King surrendered Bataan we were bombed everyday and some nights, by 105, 155, 8 in. and 240mm cannons.  The Japanese Emperor's birthday was April 29, and on that day shelling started about 4 in the morning and stopped about 10 p.m. Jack Graves, the squad leader and myself were buried twice during the shelling up to our necks. At this time I was in A Company 1st Battalion.

The night of May 5th the Japanese landed on Corregidor Island in front of my post. We fought all night, up until 11 in the morning of May 6. That is when the Army surrendered Corregidor, because we were out of ammunition, water and food. I was captured by the Japanese at that time, and taken to Bilibid prison camp in Manila, then to Cabanatuan and from there I was sent on a Hellship Lima Maru to Formosa, Japan, from Formosa I was sent to Yokohama, Japan, Mitsubishi shipyard [where I worked] as a riveter from Thanksgiving Day 1942 until May 12, 1945.  We went through 2 shellings by Halsey 3rd fleet which killed 36 American Prisoners of War and a lot of Japanese. After that we escaped twice while we were there, and the second time, myself and 21 other men made it to the American lines and turned ourselves into the 7th Army General Johnson, Quaguin Islands. From there I was sent back to the states by the way of Guam, Hawaii and Oakland Naval Hospital. I was a Sgt. at the time of discharge."

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