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Sgt Henry B Ashby
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Birth: Apr. 20, 1915
Texas, USA
Death: Oct. 24, 1944
Metro Manila
National Capital Region, Philippines

Member of the 31st Infantry Regiment. Taken captive by the Empire of Japan and required to participate within the event known as the Bataan Death march. He was inprisoned as a POW at Cabanatuan Prison Camp, Phillipines by the Empire of Japan while holding the Rank of Sergeant. Sergeant Ashby then was moved to what was known as Hellship ARISAN MARU which was docked within the Manila Harbor. After 1800 prisoners were packed within two cargo holds of this unmarked Japanese freighter, it set sail for what is to believed to have been Takao, Japan. About 225 miles east of Hong Kong while out to sea, on 24 Oct 1944, without knowlege of it's POW cargo, it is believed that the USS Shark (SS 314), a submarine, torpedoed this ship 3 times and sank it...along with nearly 1800 Prisoners of War that were packed in under deplorable conditions. Only nine POWs survived and one of those died within the next two weeks. SGT Ashby is memorialized at the National Cemetery in Manila along with the Fighting Sullivans.

Additional Information regarding Henry:
Rank: Sergeant
Branch: US Army
Unit: HHC (Headquarters and Headquarters Company) 31st Infantry Regiment
Home of Record: Robertson County, Texas
Current Status: Missing In Action, Remains Unrecovered / Unknown

Brief summary of 24 Oct 1944:

After making radar contact, the USS Shark was in pursuit of a single freighter. Approximately 5:00 pm 24 October 1944 in the Bashi Straits, South China Sea Latitude 2046'N, Longitude 11818' E, the 6886 ton Japanese freighter Arisan Maru was sunk. The Arisan Maru carried no markings or flag to indicate that it was carrying Allied prisoners. The Americans had no way of recognizing the Arisan was a prison ship. The torpedo launched from the Shark, hit aft of midships causing the Arisan Maru to split in two. Naval records indicate that the USS Shark (SS-314) was lost with all 87 hands in the same battle after having torpedoed the Arisan Maru. "Regardless of the final count, the sinking of the Arisan Maru still represents the greatest loss of American life in a single military sinking." excerpt: The Arisan Maru Tragedy

Note: Entered the service from Texas.
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
Metro Manila
National Capital Region, Philippines
Maintained by: wayne ashby
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56748370
Sgt Henry B Ashby
Added by: wayne ashby
Sgt Henry B Ashby
Added by: wayne ashby
Sgt Henry B Ashby
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Paul Hyde Schott
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- BeNotForgot
 Added: Mar. 8, 2014
In honor of a cousin and an American Soldier that I, nor my living family ever knew...SGT Henry Burbon Ashby, Listed as missing in action after being a captive upon the unmarked Japanese Freighter / Hellship Arisan Maru. 24 Oct 1944. Rest in Peace Cousi...(Read more)
- wayne ashby
 Added: May. 23, 2012

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