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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Van Arsdall, George A. “Jimmy” (P2, C4, L26)

vanarsdell_GFirst Lieutenant George A. “Jimmy” Van Arsdall, 32, of Mercer County, Kentucky, Headquarters Company, 192nd Light Tank Battalion, died on 12 January 1945 when the "Hell Ship" Enoura Maru was sunk. Van Arsdale joined the Harrodsburg National Guard unit some time before the activation in November 1940. In early 1941, he was transferred to Headquarters Company. He was taken prisoner on 11 April 1942 and put on trucks to Mariveles. He survived the Death March. He was held at Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan. He was later taken to Bilibid Prison and put onboard the Oryoku Maru for transport to Japan.

Enroute the ship was attacked by U. S. Navy planes seventeen times before sunset and six bombs hit the ship. The next day the U. S. Navy resumed the attack. The POWs swam ashore near Olongapa, Subic Bay, Luzon as the Navy planes realized it was a prisoner transport and stopped the attack. The surviving prisoners were moved by train to Manila and put aboard the Enoura Maru bound for Formosa. The ship was bombed and sunk by American planes on 12 January 1945, while it was still docked. He died during the attack and subsequent sinking. After the war the remains of the American soldiers who died in the sinking of the Enoura Maru were exhumed and reburied in the Punch Bowl in HawaiiVanArsdall_Grave.

The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273
 

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