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WW2 Pacific Theater P.O.W. found item and history


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This last year I was out making my rounds at some local antique shops in Colorado when I came across this bolo tie placed on display with a bunch of random jewelry. I purchased this item with another ww2 unit unrelated belt buckle and didn't look at them for about a week or so. One day I decided to take a closer look at this item I purchased and on the back was stamped: "Leslie L. Brown 4132 E...Tulsa, OK" I decided to do some research on this gentleman and found that he was a former American POW held by the Japanese during WW2 for 1,201 days. Mr. Brown died on Oct 20 2011. I was able to find a wealth of information online regarding his history and am privileged to have come across this item.


The 106th INF DIV Association had a members notice that related their "PX" was closing, however members could purchase bolo ties from Mr. Brown for $19.50 cents etc.



Mr. Brown is referenced in the book "Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932-45 and the American Cover up" by Author Sheldon H. Harris

This can be referenced on the google.com search engine


Additional reference is in the book "American Ex-Prisoners of War: Non Solum Armis, Volume 3 Turner Publishing Co"


A newspaper article was ran by "Tulsa World" Monday July 5th, 2004 (Search Engine) which has a picture of Mr. Brown and helps recount some of his experiences


The Mudken POW Society Page has him listed at http://mudkenpows.indiemade.com/content/pow-lists/


There is a recorded VHS veteran interview of him on file, but as of now has not yet been digitized by the National archives. Lastly, Mr. Brown's service information and status can be verified at the archives under a service number search of 18049878.


I hope you enjoyed learning about this patriot as much I as I did!











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Corregidor Vet Learned Quickly That He Had Picked Wrong Place
Tulsa World (OK) (Published as Tulsa World) - May 9, 1992
Leslie L. Brown learned his trade in a Japanese prison camp.

The 70-year-old retired Tulsa machinist was one of thousands of soldiers captured on the island of Corregidor, in the Philippines, on May 6, 1942, by the Japanese during World War II.

Corregidor and Bataan survivors are scheduled to gather

in San Francisco next week to mark the 50th anniversary

of the two defeats.

Bataan was captured April 9, 1942. Of 600,000 prisoners forced to march 70 miles to prison camps, more than 100,000 died of starvation or maltreatment.

Brown said he joined the military at the age of 19.

"We saw World War II coming," he said. "A lot of us decided to get in and pick our place. We picked the wrong place."

One year later as a private with the 60th Coast Artillery, the tadpole-shaped island at the mouth of Manila Bay where he was stationed came under attack. It was the last stand of American and Filipino forces during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines.

Gen. Jonathan Wainwright surrendered after four months of fierce fighting. Recaptured in 1945, the fortress is now

a World War II memorial.

"We were pretty certain we were going to be captured," Brown said. "We were just told to do our best with what

we could."

The Japanese had the tiny island surrounded after seizing Bataan. Brown said the soldiers only had about three weeks of food left and most of it was for the 600 injured.

Brown said after the capture, soldiers were taken to Manila and forced to wade through the waters close to the beach. They walked through the city while citizens came out of

their dwellings and stared.

Three years and several prison camps later, Brown was liberated Aug. 20 from Manchuria by the Russians.

Gregory Rodriquez, of Henryetta, was a 19-year-old private with the 59th Coast Artillery when Corregidor was taken.

He said he did not surrender to the Japanese until he saw the American flag lowered.

Rodriquez, a 69-year-old retired smelter machinist, said one memory that burns in his mind happened while the soldiers were burying the dead, after the capture.

One of the Japanese officers who was overseeing the burial pointed out the fact that all of the dead American soldiers were facing the direction where the attackers came.

"We looked at the Japanese and they were facing all directions," Rodriquez said. "He went on to say if he had an army like ours, he could capture the world. I'll never forget that

sight or that officer."



Tulsa World (OK) - June 4, 2006
Leslie L. Brown and Betty Zo Brown of Tulsa celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary May 23, 2006. They were honored at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church on June 3, 2006. The event was hosted by their New Covenant Class.

The couple met at Sherwood Studio in Tulsa. They married May 23, 1946, at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa. They have two sons: Gary L. Brown and wife Lynn of The Woodlands, Texas; and Michael R. Brown and wife Jan of Loveland, Colo. They have three grandchildren: Michelle Lynn Brown of San Antonio; Erin M. Brown and Ted Brown, both of Denver.

Leslie Brown retired in 1987 after 40 years as a machinist. Betty Brown retired in 1988 after 20 years as a nurse aide. She is a homemaker.



Betty Zo (Groves) Brown
Tulsa World (OK) - May 25, 2010
Betty Zo (Groves) Brown passed away on May 22, 2010, after a short illness. Betty Zo was born to Roy L. and Beulah P. Groves on June 16, 1922. Betty was a long time resident of Tulsa and was a graduate of Will Rogers High School. Betty was an active member of Boston Avenue Methodist Church for 70 years. She married Leslie L. Brown there on May 23, 1946. She is survived by husband, Leslie L. Brown, two sons, Gary L. of San Antonio, TX and Michael R. of Loveland CO, 3 grandchildren, Michelle Howard, Erin Pilger and Ted Brown and two great- grandchildren Shelby and Sawyer. Betty worked in the aircraft industry during WWII. She retired from Park Terrace Nursing Center after 21 years as a nurse’s aide where she excelled at caring for elderly patients. Family requests that memorials be sent to St. John Hospice, 1923 S. Utica Ave., Tulsa, OK 74104 or the hospice of your choice. Memorial service is 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 25, in the Rose Chapel, Boston Avenue Methodist Church, 1301 S. Boston Avenue, Tulsa, OK. Moore’s Southlawn 663-2233 share memories at www.moorefuneral.com This obituary was published in the Tulsa World on 5/25/2010.
Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.


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Thank you for the added information!

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That's my take too. He was known by many for his bolo ties, but also wore some himself. This particular unit bolo tie is not the one he served with in the war, and if I'm not mistaken was in the European Theater of Operations. Interestingly coincidental, his obituary does list a family member in CO, who as of the date of death lived less than 30 minutes away from where this item was obtained. Either way for me this find opened up some history that has allowed me to have a different perspective on this part of the war.

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Yes, the 8th Air Force was in the ETO. The tie was probably owned and worn by a veteran Airman of that unit, perhaps that relative.

Mr. Brown either made or sold these - in addition to the 8th AF example, it appears that the 106th ID Assn offered ties sourced from him, so he probably covered many units with his work.
It is nice that he pursued a business or hobby that honored his fellow veterans.
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