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The news article at right comes to us courtesy of Eugene W. Cooper, nephew of LtCOL Winnifred O. Dorris.

Four More New Mexico Men Jap Prisoners

 

The growing number of New Mexico men known to be in the hands of the Japanese reached 43 Saturday as four more Army officers were officially reported Jap prisoners.

Word was received in Artesia by relatives of Lieut. Joseph Dallas Thorpe that he is a Jap prisoner of war. The other three are Cpt. Burney H. Smith of Clovis, Lieut. Clayton F. Irish, formerly of Albuquerque whose parents now live in Roswell, and, according to Associated Press reports, Capt. James Sadler, commander of the Santa Fe battery of the 200th Coast Artillery. All four men were members of the 200th.

 

ABQ Journal, Dec. 20, 1942


In the picture reading from left to right are Mrs. J. L. Myers; Col. C. G. Sage, commanding officer of the 200th C.A. from Deming; Captain Henry M. Miller, regimental Plans and Operations Officer, Clovis; Lt. Col. Harry M. Peck, Regimental Executive Officer, Albuquerque; Miss Pompenetti Francisco; Lt. Col. John C. Luikhart, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Bt., Clovis; Lieutenants John F. Beal and Fred H. Jordan, Clovis; Captain Winifred O. Dorris, Commander of Battery A, Clovis; Lt. Cash T. Skarda, Clovis; Mrs. Fricke; Captains William B. Reardon of Battery E and Burney Smith of Regimental Headquarters Co., Clovis.

 

 

“The following is an article received by Mrs. Max Miller from Captain Henry M. Miller which will be of interest to many Clovis people as much as it records something of the social activity of some of the officers of the 200th C.A. especially Clovis officers. The accompanying picture was received by Mrs. Milton Brown from her sister, Mrs. J. Meyers, who will be remembered as Miss Lucy Patin by many friends here in Clovis. She is residing now in the Philippines and her home was the scene of this fine gathering.

‘On November 20th, 1941 Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Meyers of the Philippine Islands, were hosts at a Thanksgiving Dinner to officers of the 200th C.A. whose residence is in Clovis and who are associated with the Clovis Batteries at present.

 

‘Our hostess, Mrs. Meyers, is the sister of Mrs. Milton Brown of Clovis. She has been in the Philippine Islands for a number of years having come over as an army nurse. Her organization in the evacuation of British subjects from Shanghai in 1940 won her personnel commendation from the Royal Family of Great Britain in the form of an engraved silver plaque.

 

‘Guests present were Col. Chas. G. Sage, commanding officer of the 200th C. A.; Lt. Colonels Harry M. Peck and John C. Luikart; Captains Henry M. Miller, Winifred O. Dorris, William B. Reardon and Burney Smith; Lieutenants Fred H. Jordan, Cash T. Skarda, and John F. Beal; Mr. and Mrs. Fricke, and Miss Pompenetti Francisco.

 

‘Usually one does not speak of the meal in detail but such a dinner is a treat and a rare privilege in the islands. A thirty pound turkey from the states did the honors with all the trimmings and to me who had not tasted home cooked meals for quite some months now, it was truly a grand event. With all due respect to the appetites of those present there was turkey left for hash the next day. What in appetites the rest of us lacked Lt. Skarda made up for it.’

“Other similar events are being planned for the enlisted personnel and our boys are not lacking for attention and thoughtful interest on the part of friends.”

 

Source and date unknown

 

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When the Regiment was split after the attack on Clark Field December 8, 1941, the 200th's Executive Officer, Harry Peck assumed command of the newly formed 515th Coast Artillery (Anti-aircraft). Colonel Charles Sage, the 200th's Commanding Officer, was placed in command of the newly formed Groupment A (AA) in March 1942. In April, Groupment A became the Provisional Coast Artillery, comprised of all elements of the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments with Sage designated as Brigade Commander. Memory Cain, Executive Officer of the 200th was placed in temporary command of the 200th until LtCol Luikart, Executive Officer of the 515th, assumed command.


Major Henry Max Miller died when the “Hell Ship” Shinyo Maru was sunk on September 7, 1944.


LtCol John C. Luikart survived the sinking of the “Hell Ship” Oryoku Maru, but was lost in the bombing of the Enoura Maru on January 9, 1945.


Following liberation, and while a patient at Bruns General Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Captain Cash Skarda married the daughter of LtCol Luikart with the 515th's Morgan Jones serving as Best Man.


Captain Burney H. Smith died January 5, 1943 at Umeda Bunsho POW Camp in Osaka, Japan.


Captain Fred H. Jordan died at Fukuoka POW Camp #1 on the island of Kyushu, Japan on February 3, 1945.


Captain John F. Beall died at Fukuoka POW Camp #1 on the island of Kyushu, Japan on February 8, 1945. He is buried in a common grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery with three other men from the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment.


Mrs. Joel Lindsey Meyers was the sister of Mrs. Agnes Brown of Clovis, New Mexico and Mrs. Edwin Neer of Portales, New Mexico. After December 7, 1941, the first word the women received about their sister and brother-in-law was in an October 1942 letter written by Mrs. Jennifer White who had been repatriated in an August 1942 prisoner exchange via the Swedish ship MS Gripsholm. Mrs. White reported the Meyers were in good health in a prison camp near Manila. When Santo Tomas civilian prisoner of war camp was liberated in February 1945, Mr. Meyers sent word that his wife had died during their internment.


Pomponette J. Francisco was the daughter of Louis J. Francisco, a prominent Manila businessman from New Orleans, interned with Pomponette and other members of the family at Santo Tomas. Miss Francisco was liberated at war’s end.


Mrs. Fricke may have been Dorothy Fricke, wife of Herman Fricke. The Frickes survived interment at Santo Tomas.