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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Preston, Everett R. (P2, C3, L38)

Preston_E1Second Lieutenant Everett R. Preston, 25, of Mercer County, Kentucky, joined the Harrodsburg National Guard unit at some time before the unit was activated in November 1940. During his time on Bataan, Everett was assigned to C and A Companies. He was wounded on 2 February 1942 in an engagement against the Japanese for which he received the Purple Heart Medal. He was taken prisoner on 9 April 1942. He survived the Death March. He was held at Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan and Bilibid Prison. He was put aboard the Erie Maru for Davao on Mindanao.

He was again put on board a Hell Ship, the Yashu Maru and taken to Cebu to Manila on the Singoto Maru back to Bilibid Prison. He was put on another Hell Ship, the Oryoku Maru bound for Takao, Formosa. 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 were finally swam ashore near Olongapa, Subic Bay, Luzon when 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 13 January 1945, while it was still docked.

Preston, E 001Two days later, Preston boarded the Brazil Maru enroute to Moji, Japan. By the time he arrived he was sent to Fukuoka Camp #1-D for work in the Onoda Coal Mine. Preston died of Acute Enteritis on 21 April 1945. His remains were returned to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis after the war.Fukuoka_Camp_Memorial_2

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

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