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"For all we knew, we were existing in Hell." (Journal)

   Cecil Jesse Peart
Collection image
Detail of page from Cecil J. Peart's Journal kept during his time as a POW
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: 4th Marine Regiment
Service Location: China; Bataan and Manila (Philippines); Japan; Korea; Manchukuo; Corregidor Island (Philippines)
Rank: Chief Warrant Officer 3
POW: Yes
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Under immensely daunting conditions, Pharmacist's Mate Cecil Peart kept notes for a journal beginning in December 1944 while he was being transferred from a prison in Manila to Japan. It took three ships to make the trip; the first two were strafed by American planes and sunk. Peart cared for his best friend, wounded in one of the attacks, until he died, and like many other survivors, he scavenged clothing off the newly deceased before they were buried at sea. His final destination was Mukden, Manchuria, and work in a factory. Of the over 1600 men who boarded that first boat, the S.S. Oryoku Maru, out of the Philippines, fewer than 400 lived to tell of their ordeal.

 Official Documents
»Transcript of enlisted naval service of Peart, Cecil Jesse 03/16/38 -04/09/46.
»Peart's Journal, Prepared form notes kept on a Prisoner of War Odyssey from Bilibid Prison, Manila, P.I., to Manchukuo, via the Prison Ship S.S. Oryoku Maru.
[PDF: 6 MB / 63 p.]
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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