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4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan (Read 9783 times)
ladyrt007
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4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Jun 03rd, 2006, 2:04pm
 
Hi all,

I am seeking some help in finding more information on another of my ancestors whom was a Death March Survivor. His name was Lee Presnell, from Texas. He was a Marine Cpl.  He is reported through NARA as dieing at Camp O'Donnell in 1942.
Any information as to where I might locate further information on him and his unit, which I believe was the 4th Marines (regiment or battalion, I am not sure) out of China.

Renee in Texas
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ord510
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #1 - Jun 19th, 2006, 12:49pm
 
Renee in Texas,

I think I "talked" with a Renee earlier on something about the Bataan Death March, was it you?

Yes, there was a Marine unit on Bataan, I think it might have been antiaircraft battery or something.  Not too sure.  Which would account for the marines being on the Death March, while the main unit, the 4th Marine Regiment was on Corregidor and didn't participate in the Death March.

I'll see if I can find the book that had that information, as it would assist you in your search.  But this web site should stir some interest by someone.  I was too young to be involved, but I have over 100 books on this "Dismal Period" of US-Filipino History and one of them will have what we need.  I will get back to you and don't give up.

Regards,

Tom - ord510
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Tom
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ladyrt007
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #2 - Jun 19th, 2006, 1:23pm
 
ord510 wrote on Jun 19th, 2006, 12:49pm:
Renee in Texas,

I think I "talked" with a Renee earlier on something about the Bataan Death March, was it you?

Yes, there was a Marine unit on Bataan, I think it might have been antiaircraft battery or something.  Not too sure.  Which would account for the marines being on the Death March, while the main unit, the 4th Marine Regiment was on Corregidor and didn't participate in the Death March.

I'll see if I can find the book that had that information, as it would assist you in your search.  But this web site should stir some interest by someone.  I was too young to be involved, but I have over 100 books on this "Dismal Period" of US-Filipino History and one of them will have what we need.  I will get back to you and don't give up.

Regards,

Tom - ord510


Yes Tom (we have chatted before), I also had a relative Lt John F. Presnell w/ the 14th Eng BN (PS). We are looking for info on him as well.

Cpl. Lee A. Presnell was in F Company, 2 BN.  We have him listed as dying in or about 1 July 1943 at Cabanatuan.

All I have. Would imagine he was on Corregidor. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated!

Gene & Renee
Baytown, Texas
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ord510
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #3 - Jun 19th, 2006, 2:03pm
 
Hi Renee,

Nice talking to you again.  I just found some information about Marines on the Death March.  While their unit, the 4th Marine Regiment was assigned to Beach Defense on Corregidor, there were 43 Marines and a handful of sailors on the Bataan Peninsula and took part in the Death March, going to Camp O'Donnell.  I got this from Maj Richard Gordon's "Horyo".

While I can't come up with any names for those 43 Marines I am still looking.  Generally I'll be reading something and come across information I was looking for.  So it might be some time, but if I have it I'll find it.

Something else to consider, In the Battle of the Points (where the Japanese landed a Battalion of their troops behind our lines on the west coast of Bataan) Marines were sent from Corregidor with 81 mm mortars to assist in extracting the Japanese.  I don't have any number or names.  So while the 4th was on Corregidor there were Marines on Bataan and I feel comfortable with Maj Gordon's numbers of 43.  And this is the number he gives as being in O'Donnell.  If I can only find a record of Personnel at O'Donnell.  My O'Donnell book doesn't have any names outside of Medical Personnel, and I checked it.

We will find it.

Regards,

\Tom
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ladyrt007
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #4 - Jun 19th, 2006, 7:32pm
 
Just arrived from Ebay, "A Brief History of the 4th Marines". this is a Marine Corps historical reference pamphlet, by Mr. James Santelli. It is dated 1970.There are a few pages on the Philippines.

They arrived on 30 Nov and a second group arrived the following day, 1 Dec 1941. Aboard ships from China.
They were given the responsibility of protecting Olongapo Naval Station and the Naval base at Mariveles.
As the enemy neared Manila, they were (under Army control) ordered to evacuate to Mariveles. From there they were transferred to Corregidor and given the task of preparing beach defenses.
Continued reading shows that the 4th was a mix of all types of military personel on Corregidor.
The 4th BN was almost all Navy.
There is only one mention of the 2nd BN, they were assigned to the western sector of Corregidor.
It mentions that a few members of the 4th were detached for service on Bataan in Jan.
Members of 2/4 and 3/4 continued to fight after the Wainwright's surrender for four hours until the order reached them.
The pamphlet does not mention anything about the unit after the surrender.

It helps to understand a little more, but I still would like more info.......

Gene & Renee
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ladyrt007
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #5 - Dec 25th, 2008, 3:38pm
 
ord510 wrote on Jun 19th, 2006, 12:49pm:
Renee in Texas,

I think I "talked" with a Renee earlier on something about the Bataan Death March, was it you?

Yes, there was a Marine unit on Bataan, I think it might have been antiaircraft battery or something.  Not too sure.  Which would account for the marines being on the Death March, while the main unit, the 4th Marine Regiment was on Corregidor and didn't participate in the Death March.

I'll see if I can find the book that had that information, as it would assist you in your search.  But this web site should stir some interest by someone.  I was too young to be involved, but I have over 100 books on this "Dismal Period" of US-Filipino History and one of them will have what we need.  I will get back to you and don't give up.

Regards,

Tom - ord510


Still seeking info on Cpl Lee Presnell (Texas) 4th Marines. Cannot find much more that what NARA has. Sad
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #6 - Feb 23rd, 2009, 4:24pm
 
Hi Renee:

I found a listing for  Capt. John F. Presnell, Jr. in the just completed National Archives registry search that the BBB web-site has now posted: DRAFT ROSTERS OF POW'S SHOWING TRANSFERS FROM BILIBID PRISON TO OTHER CAMPS IN 1944.  JOhn is Ser# 22890, and is listed as having been sent from Bilibad Prison to Cabanatuan.  Sorry I wish there was more.  He is not listed as having been debarked on a Hellship, so it is likely he died in Cabanatuan.  SOmeone I think on this board (I forget who) has access to the list of deaths that were kept at Cabanatuan.

Hope this helps -

Peter
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ladyrt007
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #7 - Feb 23rd, 2009, 11:23pm
 
Johnny died on or about 27 Jan 1945 [most likely 1945, editor] while a prisoner aboard the Brazil Maru. I know this from POW records and the eyewitness account I was told by his freind the late Col Mel Rosen.
Lt Presnell (he was promoted several times while POW/MIA) was promoted to Maj in 1945. He is listed on the Cabanatuan Memorial and at the Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu. Because he is already listed in Hawaii's cemetery, he won't be listed in any other US Military cemetery. Not to say it hasn't happened Smiley
I am still searching for Cpl Lee Presnell...... Cry
Thanks for the input.

http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=466&mtch=4&cat=all&q=presnell&m...

<here is copy and paste from my original post of 25 Dec 08>

Well it has been sometime since I visited this forum. I thought to drop a note and let you know what happened to Maj. John "Johnny" Presnell" according to the late Col. Mel Rosen. Mel was kind enough to talk at length with us about Johnny as he referred to him. He apparently knew him quite well and told us he was liked by all who knew him.
Mel told us that Johnny was instrumental in designing a systems of ditches to help the water and waste drain more effective from Camp O'Donnel. This helped to make life a bit better for those interred there.
He said although sick and weak as they all were, Johnny was always trying to find something of the lighter side of life to help other spirits. We guess maybe he had a sense of humor, even amongst all the deplorable conditions and treatment.
Mel also confirmed that Johny died while aboard the Brazil Maru, he was indeed in the forward hold and deathly sick. Other prisoners stole the remnants of what clothing he had on and Johnny froze to death. His body was throw overboard the next day. The time line for his death was two days before the ship docked in Japan.
My family has kept him and his comrades in arms who fought such a valiant fight in our thoughts and prayers.
God bless them all and the families they left behind.
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« Last Edit: Feb 24th, 2009, 7:58am by ladyrt007 »  
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #8 - Feb 24th, 2009, 7:22am
 
If Lee Parnell perished aboard the Brazil Maru, it must have been sometime in late December, 1944 or January, 1945.  On 12/14/44 1,619 American POWs were loaded on the Oryoku Maru to be transported to Japan.  The unmarked ship was attacked and sunk almost immediately.  Survivors were loaded on the Enoura Maru and the Brazil Maru and transported to Takao, Formosa.  There they were all consolidated on the Enora Maru, which was subsequently sunk on 1/9/45.  Survivors were loaded onto the Brazil Maru on 1/11/45 and arrived in Maji, Japan on 1/29/45.  Only 435 of the original 1,619 survived.  The horrific journey had taken 46 days with the sinking of two of the three transporting "Hell Ships".

Editor
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ladyrt007
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #9 - Feb 24th, 2009, 8:04am
 
Lee Presnell. Cpl, USMC. Last report date 29 May 1942. As listed in NARA AAD website. He is not listed at Manila Cemetery or Punchbowl.
We believe Lee died in prison camp. But have no evidence to support it.
St. Louis will not release any records to us, so we have no way to track his military service.
http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=466&mtch=4&cat=all&tf=F&q=presn...
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Re: 4th Marines on Corregidor/Bataan
Reply #10 - Feb 24th, 2009, 9:18pm
 
Gene and Renee:  I'm glad you found out so much more about your hero relative.  I too have hit nothing but a stone wall dealing with St. Louis Personnel records.  there is a more cooperative group:

Department of the Army
US Army Human resources Command
Attn: AHRC-PED-O (Mrs Courduff)
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22331


I don't know if they have Marine records, but they were very helpful to me and provided me with my relatives Personal Deceased File, which had many details to continue my search.  And for free.....

Best wishes -

Peter
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