Wednesday, January 2, 1946:
Mr. and Mrs. Noah Norris, Pittsburg, Rt. 1, have received a letter from Major. A.C. Tisdelle, Jr. Orange Park, Fla. giving them details of their son, Pvt. Carl Norris who was killed while a prisoner of war in Japan. The letter follows:
“I am very happy to be able to tell that I did know your son quite well and that he often spoke of his parents and family, particularly after we began to receive mail. We received no mail until after we reached Japan, and in Japan, though we were given mail only rarely, on four occasions we received particularly large batches, and it was similar to Christmas to us on each occasion.
“As I recall, Norris received either 12 or 26 letters, and I believe he received one package. I did not keep records of receipts of mail because of the difficulty of concealment from the Japanese. “Pvt. Norris managed to remain in as good health as any of us, though he lost weight also, and I do not recall him ever being beaten by the Japanese. He was always genial and courteous, and a quiet chap, and of course this helped. “Your son was killed in a sudden cave-in in the coal mine on August 13, 1944. It happened quickly and I do not believe he suffered any pain.
“Pvt. Norris’ remains were cremated by the Japanese and I personally marked the urn for identification, and placed it in the small concrete crypt the Japanese permitted me to build. While other officers and I were taken to Manchuria by the Japanese in April, I have been told that the concrete crypt survived subsequent air raids without being injured. We held services on the camp parade ground which were attended by your son’s friends and every man in camp able to be present. Salutes were rendered by the American, British, Australian and Dutch senior officers.
“I know you will be glad to learn that during the time I knew Norris he made himself liked by all the men with whom he came in contact, remaining cheerful throughout and cheering the weaker men by example. He helped me in my effort to maintain our morale and could always be counted upon to help in any way he was required. He was never known to complain, and conducted himself always as a gentleman should.
“I was a lieutenant of the 26th Cavalry Philippine Scouts, and I have lost most of my closest friends. I lost my father while a prisoner, and I know that he passed away from worry over me. I know there is nothing I can say to be of comfort to you at a time like this, other than that I can understand your grief, and to say that you may well be proud of your brave son as I am proud of him.”
McArthur had been living in Chicago since graduation from high school and was working in a bank when inducted into the army. His mother’s address is 6504 Greenwood Ave. Chicago 37.
Saturday, September 25, 1948:
The body of Pvt. Carl Norris, son of Noah and Lana Davis Norris of Pittsburg RFD 1 is enroute from the Pacific area to the United States, according to word sent by the War Department to the Maller Funeral Home. Pvt. Norris died Aug. 13, 1944 in a coal mine in Japan as a Jap prisoner. A brother, Pfc. Peter Sampson Norris, who was a prisoner on the Philippine Islands, died January 3, 1943 and was buried at Maplewood cemetery March 4.
He was born on Marion RFD 5 Sept. 16, 1947 and attended Flats School. He was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church west of Marion. Surviving besides his parents are the following brothers and sisters: Dorothy Fay Norris at home, Mrs.Eugene (Veida) Heltsley of Peoria, Harold and Clyde Norris of Pittsburg RFD 1, Mrs. Joe (Martha)Durham of Marion, Arlie Norris of Marion RFD 2, Mrs. Rex (Geneva) Rowland of Peoria, and Albert Norris of Stockton, California.
Saturday, November 13, 1948:
The Maller Funeral Home has been notified that the cremated remains of Pvt. Carl Norris of Route 1, Pittsburg area due to arrive in Marion Friday at 8:59 am by the C & E I railroad. He was a Japanese prisoner of war and was working in a Japanese coal mine in Honshu. He died August 13, 1944.
He was born September 16, 1917 on Route 5, Marion to Noah Norris and Lana Davis Norris who survive. He was engaged in farming before entering the service and was unmarried.
He is survived by the following brothers and sisters, Albert Norris, Stockton, CA; Mrs. Rex (Genevieve) Rowland, Peoria; Clyde Norris, Route 1, Pittsburg; Arlie Norris, Route 2, Marion; Mrs. Ward (Martha)Durham, Marion; Mrs. Joe (Mary) Thompson, Marion; Harold Norris, Peoria; Mrs. Eugene (Velda)Heltsley, Peoria; and Dorothy Faye Norris at home.
He attended Flats School, southwest of Marion and was a member of the Oak Grove Baptist Church south of Marion. The Veterans of Foreign Wars are requested to meet the train and be in charge of the military rites. Funeral arrangement will be announced later.
He was a brother of Pfc. Peter Sampson Norris who died in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippine Islands, Jan. 3, 1943 and whose funeral services were held here last March 4.
Monday, November 22, 1948:
Funeral services for Pvt. Carl Norris of Pittsburg Route 1 were held Sunday at 2 pm at the First Baptist Church in Marion. Rev. Floyd Jent officiated. The Maller Funeral Home trio sang, “Going Down in the Valley,” “I Won’t Have To Cross Jordan Alone,” and “Heaven is Nearer Since Brother is There.” Mrs. Helen Furlong played the postlude and prelude on the organ.
The floral offerings were carried by the following members of the VFW Auxiliary, Mesdames Myrtle Walker, Sam Avery, Kathleen Radar, Arthur Reeves, James Eveland, Ruby Hilliard, Nell Lyerla, Charles Dallas. The urn was carried by Floyd Johnson. Color bearers were Vincent Plauskey, Arlie King, Color Guards, Levi Furlong, James Eveland, Arthur Reeves, Bill Walker. Firing squad, Edgar Kobler, Robert Beasley, Elbert Williams, Bill Anderson and Fred Culp. Officer of the Day was J.D. Dungey. Members of the American Legion attending the funeral were J.W. Usleton, Oel Turner, Herman Graves, John W. Copeland, Claude Hudgens, Herman Deming, Ted Murray, John Emery, Wilsie Fosse. The Veterans of Foreign Wars were in charge of the military rites at the cemetery. Burial was at Maplewood cemetery. Johnnie Cavitt and Charles D. Holmes were the buglers.
PVT, 31 INF REGT WORLD WAR II
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