|Birth: ||Mar. 11, 1917|
|Death: ||Sep. 7, 1944, At Sea|
US Marine Corps WORLD WAR II
Major Leon E. Chabot POW/DIS
Graduated United States Naval Academy Class of 1940
Company E 2nd Battalion 4th Marine Regt
Died September 7th, 1944 in POW hell ship SS Shinyo Maru off the coast of Mindanao en route to Japan Missing in Action,
Awards: Silver Star, Commendation Ribbon, Purple Heart
Major Chabot is memorialized on Tablets of the Missing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Manila Metro Manila National Capital Philippines. He also has a cenotaph memorial Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery Winchendon Worcester County Massachusetts his body was never recovered.
The Allies intercepted a message about the Shinyo Maru and, thinking it was carrying enemy soldiers, the USS Paddle attacked it on September 7, 1944, off the coast of Mindanao. There were 750 American prisoners of war aboard. Some Japanese guards shot prisoners as they struggled from the holds or were in the water; 688 died when the ship sank, leaving only 82 survivors;47 of 52 Japanese guards died.
The Paddle, under the command of Captain Byron Nowell, was 10 miles away when the Japanese were first spotted, so Nowell maneuvered forward to attack with torpedoes. A spread of four was then released in the direction of the Shinyo Maru, which was the leading ship in the convoy. Two of the torpedoes struck, both in the hold, and a few moments later the Paddle was lined up against one of the cargo ships. It, too, was struck by two torpedoes, so her commander grounded her on the nearby shore to prevent the ship from sinking. Just after the Shinyo Maru was hit, the guards opened fire on the prisoners with captured Thompson submachine guns, though several of the men fought their way out of the hold, with their fists and improvised weapons, and abandoned ship.
The men of the convoy then began launching boats to pick up Japanese survivors and kill all of the remaining prisoners. A machine gun mounted on the grounded cargo ship and a second on the Shinyo Maru were also opened up on the Allied personnel. Marine Corps Sergeant Onnie Clem later reported the following; "Up on the bridge there was a machine gun spraying the hatch. A burst of machine-gun fire caught all three of us and knocked us back down in the hold. We'd all been hit. I got plowed in the skull. Another bullet chipped out my chin. Nevertheless, I was able to work myself back up on deck, and I was eyeing that bridge when I came out that time. The gun was still there, but the gunner was laying out on deck. Somebody had apparently got up there and killed him. At this time I found out that we were out in the ocean about two or three miles from shore. All I had was a loincloth." Fifteen or 20 others were recaptured and taken aboard one of the torpedo boats, where they were executed by firing squad as punishment for trying to escape. One of those men was able to free his hands which had been tied behind his back, and he successfully escaped by jumping overboard again. The Japanese dropped 45 depth charges and other explosives on the American submarine over the course of two hours, and the ship sustained some light damage, but nobody was hurt. After that, she surfaced and began patrolling the area again.
Of almost 800 Allied prisoners of war, 687 were killed, most of whom were American, Filipino, and Dutch servicemen. At least 47 Japanese personnel were killed, as well; only three men of the Shinyo Maru's crew survived. Eighty-three Americans made it to the shores of Sindangan Bay, and they received aid from friendly Filipino guerrillas under the command of Brigadier General Wendell Fertig, who radioed headquarters about the situation. One man died the following day on September 8, the remaining survivors were eventually rescued by the submarine USS Narwhal save First Sergeant Joseph P. Coe Jr who remained on Mindanao to continue fighting, for which he later received a Bronze Star. The crew of USS Paddle was not informed of the deaths of hundreds of Allied POWs until 1946.
Note: Entered the service from Massachusetts.
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
Maintained by: John Dowdy
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56759445
Paul Hyde Schott
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Thanks for your service. You paid the ultimate sacrifice like so many others that day. My great uncle was among you. PVC Clay Rosenvall|
Added: Jan. 10, 2015
Added: Jan. 3, 2011