|Birth: ||Dec. 4, 1904|
|Death: ||Feb. 7, 1945|
Lt. Col. Byrd was one of the brothers of my grandmother, Helen Elizabeth Byrd Young Corbin. He was captured by the Japanese at the fall of the Philippines. He survived the Bataan death march, as well as a trip to the Japanese mainland aboard one of the "death ships." He spent the last of his life as a POW in a camp. The official Japanese death notification gave "dysentery" as the cause of death, but fellow POWs who survived & returned to the U.S. told his wife, Louisa, that he died of a combination of starvation & torture.
Neil's son, also Cornelius Zane Byrd (aka Zane), served in the military in Korea. He is buried in the Mears family cemetery in Jenkins Bridge, VA. (Lt. Col. Byrd's mother was a Mears.)
One of Neil's brothers, Orville F Byrd, served in the Navy, & is also buri d at Arlington. Another brother, Frank Mears Byrd, also served in the Navy. He's also buried in the Mears family cemetery. You can find more info on the family at espl.org. Click on "Genealogy Research," & then on Miles Files. If you have any questions about the family, I'll be happy to answer them. My mother & I plan to document the Mears family cemetery later in the year, just as soon as the temperatures kill off the mosquitoes (the unofficial Virginia state bird)!
Cornelius Byrd was was boarded onto the Oryoku Maru for transport to Japan. The ship was sunk by American planes at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, on December 15, 1944. The surviving POWs were boarded onto the Enoura Maru which reached Takao, Formosa. While docked it was bombed by American planes on January 9, 1945, killing many of the POWs. The surviving POWs were boarded onto the Brazil Maru and reached Japan on January 29, 1945.
Note: LT COL US AGF
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 11, Site 103
Created by: John C. Anderson
Record added: Mar 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 49224691
Added: Apr. 17, 2016
NARA records list this soldiers Home of Record as Accomack County, Virginia...Died Non-Battle as Japanese Prisoner Of War...Army Transport Service, Philippine Department...Re-interred on 03/02/1949...Your service and sacrifice must never be forgotten.|
Added: Oct. 23, 2015
Added: Jul. 26, 2012