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“Unless one was there and experienced the HELL (and that is a mild expression), it is not possible to properly share the terrible times everyone endured . . . far too many brilliant men lost their lives.”

 

— J. A. Oden, Jr.

William 'Bill' Overmier

Photo by Dr. Don C. Salisbury

 

Mr. Overmier was captured on Corregidor. He slave-laborered as a “ship fitter” at the shipyards in Yokahama, Japan. When American bombers sunk a recently completed “small carrier” he had worked on from start to finish, his reaction was, “Yee-hah!

 

On the Bataan Memorial he said, “At least members of our family can visit the park in later years and read a little bit about the history of what happened and some of the names of the men who were lost. It means everything.”

 

Mr. Overmier has often spoken of the need for inclusion of the Bataan experience in school text books.

 

See: 3 Jacks & A Joker

KNME Channel 5, Albuquerque celebrates Ken Burns’ “The War” with New Mexico stories.

Watch Video

“Many of us in those camps were Hispanics who knew each other... There wasn’t a night that we didn’t get together to pray for our survival in the camps and the salvation of our souls.”

 

— Vicente Ojinaga

Clifford Omtvedt (left of flag)

 

When word of Japan’s verbal surrender reached POWs at Mukaishima prisoner-of-war camp, Honshu Island, Japan, prisoners marked out P.W. in large letters in their camp so it could be seen from the air.  American bombers began dropping food shortly after.

The senior officer of the camp, American Col. Ralph T. Artman, commissioned a flag to be constructed from the red, white and blue parachute silk used to drop food to POWs and even “commandeered” three local Japanese tailor shops shops so the pieces could be sewn together.

Charged with raising the flag on August 18, 1945 at 11:00am before the assembled ninety-nine survivors of one hundred prisoners who had been shipped north one year earlier on the Hell Ship Noto Maru, were 515th Coast Artillery men: Clifford Omtvedt and Rhodun Bussell and Charles Branum, 71st Infantry, from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The flag was the FIRST “Stars and Stripes” to fly over the Japanese — just days ahead of the first American troop landings on Japanese soil.

Omtvedt, who carried the flag out of the camp after liberation one month later, gifted the flag to the US Government in 1952.  In 1963 it was presented to the US Army Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia where it remains today as part of their permanent collection.

THE NAMES PROJECT
A B C D
E F G H
IJ K L M
N O P Q
R S T UV
W YZ    

NAME

W = West Side of Park

E = East Side of Park

UNIT & BATTERY

 

EXAMPLE:

John Oberton was attached to B Battery, 200th Coast Artillery (Anti-aircraft). The column bearing the names of the men of B Btry, 200th CA(AA) is located on the West side of Bataan Memorial Park.

 

An (*) designates those men known to have died overseas.

 

ARE YOU SEEING THE PICTURES & STORIES ON THE RIGHT? FOLLOWING THE LINKS WITHIN THE LIST OF NAMES?

* Oberton John C. W-200B
* O’Brien Wayne H. W-200F
* Odell James G. E-515C
  Oden James A. (Jr.) W-Officer
* Oja Onnie A. W-200D
  Ojinaga Vicente R. W-200C
* Oldenettel Arnold H. W. E-515H
  Oldham Adrian E. W-200A
* Oles Charles W. E-515H
  Olguin Faustino M. E-515A
* Oliphant James L. E-515H
* Oliver Enoch C. W-200C
  Oliver Robert K. W-200E
* Olmstead Barnes   E-515C
* Olson Raymond H. E-515G
  Omtvedt Clifford M. E-515F
* Orosco Arnold A. W-200MD
* O'Rourke Vincent C. W-200A
  Orrill Robert K. W-200Hq1Bn
  Ortega Gene   E-515H
  Ortega Pete   E-515C
  Ortiz Benny G. W-200A
* Ortiz Billie   W-200B
  Ortiz Cruz   W-200A
* Ortiz Frank   E-515B
  Osborne Benjamin L. W-200D
* Osowski John E. W-200G
* Osuna Santiago M. E-515B
  Otero Ernesto Z. E-515D
* Otero Trinidad F. E-515G
  Overmier William C. W-200B
  Owen Paul M. W-200Hq1Bn
  Owen Roy E. W-200C
* Ozimkiewicz Stanley F. E-515A