Ernest Montoya of Albuquerque, New Mexico with Manchu friends after liberation. Mukden, Manchuria.

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“And we jumped off the train and kissed the ground. This . . .  was . . .  New Mexico.”

 

— Maynard Meuli, “Beyond Courage”

Attached to the 200th's 1st Battalion, Mr. Montoya sailed on the SS President Pierce in the fall of 1941 and experienced his first typhoon during the ocean crossing. When transported to Manchuria, the Hell Ship he was on also went through a typhoon. When liberated, he was taken out of Mukden by rail to Darien to board a ship bound for Okinawa. Near Okinawa the ship hit a mine during a typhoon! At Okinawa, Mr. Montoya boarded a B24 bound for Manila where he would catch another ship home to the US.

 

“And when we got to the Philippines, the typhoon was right over the island!”