The USS Canopus was the " little ship that could". She was a submarine tender that was damaged by Japanese aircraft, but continued to serve. Her crew made it look like she was going to sink and continued to provide service to the men on Bataan since her extensive repair facilities on board were un-damaged. She even served Ice Cream to visitors! On April 10, 1942 her crew moved her over to deep water and sank her, ending the career of a ship that served from 1922-1942.
Radioman 3c Mason, moved to Corregidor after she was sunk. He was captured there on May 6, 1942 and eventually was sent to POW Camp 10A on Palawan. He was one of the lucky ones. He was moved from Palawan to Japan before the Japanese committed one of the most heinous war crimes against POW's during WWII. On Dec 14,1944 150 US POWs were herded into bomb shelters on Palawan and set ablaze by the Japanese guards. Only 11 men survived to tell the tale.
Mason survived his trip to Japan and was liberated in Sept 1945 at a POW camp near Osaka Japan. He came back to the US and spent quite a bit of time in hospitals before he was discharged.
While we all like Airborne, USMC, FSSF, Armored groups, ETC , these POWs in my opinion are the unsung heroes of WWII. Their service is just as important.
This is a photo of RM3c Mason taken by the Japanese at Osaka POW camp in Japan.
George at a happier time.
Edited by KASTAUFFER, 21 January 2010 - 11:56 AM.