Pvt. Harold Dale Lane
| Pvt. Harold
D. Lane was born on November 13, 1921, in
Litchfield, Illinois. He was the son of Mary
Evaline Beck-Lane & Homer Lane. His
family lived at 622 South 24th Avenue in Bellwood
and later 142 South Eleventh Avenue in
Maywood. Harold attended local schools in
Bellwood and was a member of the class of 1939 of
Proviso Township High School, but he left school
early and worked at American Can Company in
In 1939, Harold joined the Illinois National Guard. On November 25, 1940, he was called to federal service when the tank company was called to federal service for one year.
Harold trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for
almost a year. During this time, he
qualified as a motorcycle messenger for his
company. He then took part in maneuvers in
Louisiana from September 1 through 30.
After the maneuvers, the battalion was ordered
to Camp Polk, Louisiana, instead of returning to
Ft. Knox. None of thesoldiers had any idea
why they had not returned to Ft. Knox.
Traveling west over different
arrived in Ft.
Mason in San
ferried on the
M. Coxe to
Those who did
not pass the
out of the
unit, or held
battalion at a
At the fort, they were greeted by Gen. Edward
that the men
had to live in
the main road
fort and Clark
fact was that
he had learned
He made sure
that they had
that they all
he went to
have his own
was the date
members of the
expected to be
also took part in the Battle of the Pockets
to wipe out Japanese soldiers who had been
trapped behind the main defensive
line. The tanks would enter the pocket
one at a time to replace a tank in the
pocket. Another tank did not enter the
pocket until a tank exited the pocket.
On April 9, 1942, Harold
became a Prisoner Of War. He most likely took part in what
would become known as the "Bataan Death
March." The march started at Mariveles at
the southern tip of Bataan. The POWs
received little food or water. At San
Fernando, they went put into a bull pin which
was covered in human waste from previous POWs.
Realizing that Camp O'Donnell was a death trap, Harold volunteered to go out on a detail to Pampanga Province. The POWs on the detail tied together vehicles which had been disabled during the withdraw into Bataan. They drove the vehicles to San Fernando. From there, the vehicles were taken to Manila and sent to Japan.
some point on the detail, Harold came down with
malaria, and he also developed beriberi.
He was returned to Cabanatuan. According
to medical records kept at the camp hospital, he
was admitted to the camp hospital on July 4,
He remained in the hospital until he was
discharged on August 3, 1942.
The camp was actually three camps. Camp 1
was where the men who captured on Bataan and
taken part in the death march where held.
Camp 2 did not have an adequate water supply and
was closed. It later reopened and housed
Naval POWs. Camp 3 was where those men
captured when Corregidor surrender were
taken. In addition, men from Bataan who
had been hospitalized when the surrender came
were sent to the camp. Camps 3 was later
consolidated into Camp 1.
At some point
Harold appears to have gone out on another
detail became he became ill and was admitted
to the hospital at Bilibid Prison on October
26, 1942. According to medical records
kept at the hospital suffering from kidney
disease until he was discharged on June 28,
1943 and sent to Cabanatuan.
Harold went out on a work detail to to Fort
McKinley where the POWs were housed in the
barracks of the 45th Infantry, Philippine
Scouts. 250 POWs lived in the barracks and
had to sleep shoulder to shoulder on sawale
floor mats and in ten men mosquito nets issued
by the Japanese. The POWs washed their
clothes in buckets. The meals for the POWs
were cooked in four halves of 50 gallon oil
barrows. They remained there until they were
done cleaning up junk that had been left from
the fighting. The POW compound was 350 feet by
150 feet. Work for the POWs consisted of
cleaning up scrap from the battle.
When the detail started, the POWs were issued
coconut fiber hats and shoes. Both these
items did not last long on the detail.
Later, the hats were replaced by Red Cross hats
and new shoes in the Red Cross packages the POWs
received in November 1943. Although
clothing was repeatedly issued, there was never
enugh given out.
Harold and 1000 other POWs were taken to the Port Area of Manila and boarded onto the Noto Maru July 15. All 1033 POWs were packed into the ship's only hold. These ships were known as "Hell Ships" because of the conditions that the prisoners endured.
On July 17, 1944, the Noto Maru sailed for Takao, Formosa, as part of a convoy. During the trip, the convoy was attacked by an American submarine. Another ship carrying 1500 POWs was sunk. Arriving in Formosa on July 27, the ship anchored for the night before sailing the next day for Moji, Japan. The ship arrived at Moji on August 3. From there, the POWs were dispersed among various POW camps.
Harold was sent to
Tokyo Base Camp #1 at Omori.
There, he and the other prisoners worked in a
coal mine. The diet of the POWs in the
camp consisted of barley, millet. miso
soup. Once in awhile the POWs would
receive potatoes, seaweed, octopus,
and a giant radish known as daikon.
Like in many other camps, the Japanese needed little reason to beat the POWs. Many of the prisoners were beaten across the face with wooden shoes and received judo chops. This was done as they stood at attention for hours. One guard found it amusing to have the POWs salute trees. If a man was ill and in the camp hospital, his food rations were cut in half. The POWs were also put in punishment cells without adequate water or food.
The POWs were frequently punished by being made
to stand at attention, for long periods of time,
during morning assembly as a collective
punishment because one POW had broken a
rule. In addition, as they stood at
attention, the guards would slap them and beat
Harold returned to the Philippines, by plane,
for medical treatment. It was at this time
that he was promoted to staff sergeant.
Harold was boarded onto the U.S.S. Yarmouth
and arrived in San Francisco on October 8,
1945. He was sent to Letterman General
Hospital for further medical treatment.
Harold D. Lane died on January 22, 1994, and was buried in Section 9, Site 1826, at Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.