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Jac Merrifield 1941 before shipping out Jac could always find a friend

Last Name: `
First Name Middle Initial:
Nick Name:
PK (Preacher's kid) from Maywood, IL
Street:  3679 OUTPOST DR City & State: LAKE HAVASU, AZ E-Mail: 
Zip: 86406 Phone:  (602) 855-2450 Spouse: GRACE
Conflict: WWII Service Branch: ARMY Unit: 192 TANK BN PROV TG
Theater: ETO Where Captured: BATAAN Date Captured: 04/09/42
Camps Held In: ODONNELL, CABANATUAN, BILIBID, MUKDEN,MOJI. How Long Interned: 1230 days
liberated / repatriated: liberated Date Liberated: 08/21/45 Age at Capture: 24
Medals Received: Presidential Unit Emblem (2 Bronze leaf clusters), American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic- Pacific Campaign Medal (Silver Star), WW II Victory Medal, Philippine Defense Ribbon (Bronze Star), Philippine Liberation Ribbon (Bronze Star), Honorable Service Lapel Button WW II
Military Job: Communications Company: I.R.S.
Occupation after War:  SPECIAL AGENT

Military Bio:

Jacques V. Merrifield, 80, died February 16, 1999 at the Phoenix VA Hospital from cancer. Known to his friends as Jac, he retired from the I.R.S. after 35 years service. He and his wife Grace moved to Lake Havasu City from Colorado in the mid-80ís. Grace preceded him in death in 1997; his son was killed in an auto accident in 1980. He is survived by his daughter, Tuller Jan.

Jac was a Lieutenant in the 192nd Reserve Tank Group, arriving in the Philippines in November 1941, and was stationed near Clark Airfield. In December 1941, he was sent to Lingayen Gulf to defend against an invasion by the Japanese before strategically withdrawing to the Bataan Peninsula to fight the battle for Bataan. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese on April 9, 1942 and survived the infamous Bataan Death March. He was held in POW Camps in the Philippines until December 1944. When defeat became evident
for the Japanese, they attempted to transport all the POWs to Japan. Jac was aboard the POW Hell Ship Oryoku Maru when it was sunk on Dec. 15, 1944 in Subic Bay by planes from the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet. Many POWs were killed; those that survived and managed to get ashore were corralled on a
tennis court slab. They were asked by the Japanese who among them were too ill to walk; those that raised their hands were put on trucks, taken up into the surrounding hills, removed from the trucks and were all shot or bayoneted to death.

On Dec. 26,1944 Jack and the other survivors were then put on Hell Ship Enoura Maru and left for the Philippines. This ship was also sunk on Dec. 31.1944 at Takao Formosa. Those who survived and managed to get ashore were taken on another Hell Ship, Brazil Maru on Jan. 14,1945, ending up in POW camp Hoten at Mukden Manchuria. He was recaptured by the Russians on Aug. 21, 1945 and returned to America control at the Port of Darien, then sent back to the Philippines before returning to the U.S.

Jac's loyalty and devotion to his country and his former POW friends will long be remembered by all of us.

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