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 Wilbur Burdett Blackburn

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Wilbur Burdett Blackburn

Birth
Cowley County, Kansas, USA
Death
14 Dec 1944 (aged 23)
Palawan Province, MIMAROPA, Philippines
Burial
Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Plot
SECTION 85 SITE 63
Memorial ID
19042357 View Source

Palawan Massacre
During World War II, in order to prevent the rescue of prisoners of war by the advancing allies, on 14 December 1944, the Japanese herded the remaining 150 POWs at Puerto Princesa into three covered trenches which were then set on fire using barrels of gasoline. As prisoners tried to escape the flames they were shot down. Some escaped by going over a cliff that ran along one side of the trenches, but were later hunted down and killed. Only 11 men escaped the slaughter and between 133 and 141 were killed. The site of the massacre can still be visited. The massacre is the premise of the recently published book "Last Man Out: Glenn McDole, USMC, Survivor of the Palawan Massacre in World War II" by Bob Wilbanks, and the opening scenes of the 2005 Miramax movie, "The Great Raid".


Wilbur Burdett Blackburn

Rank/Rate Torpedoman's Mate, Second Class
Service Number 342 16 34
Birth Date September 17, 1921
From Wichita, Kansas
Decorations Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal
Ship USS Canopus (AS-9)
Date of Death December 14, 1944
Location Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Philippine Islands
Circumstances Killed in the Puerto Princesa massacre
Remarks Wilbur was born in Harvey Township, Kansas.

Information courtesy of Paul W. Wittmer.

The submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-9) received severe damage when hit by heavy bombers on December 29, 1941. She lost six of her crew in the attack, with another six wounded. She was later scuttled off Manila Bay rather than face capture by the enemy. Her crew was used in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor. A large number of her crew died in the Philippine Islands, during transport to POW camps in Japan, or in the camps themselves.

Palawan Massacre
During World War II, in order to prevent the rescue of prisoners of war by the advancing allies, on 14 December 1944, the Japanese herded the remaining 150 POWs at Puerto Princesa into three covered trenches which were then set on fire using barrels of gasoline. As prisoners tried to escape the flames they were shot down. Some escaped by going over a cliff that ran along one side of the trenches, but were later hunted down and killed. Only 11 men escaped the slaughter and between 133 and 141 were killed. The site of the massacre can still be visited. The massacre is the premise of the recently published book "Last Man Out: Glenn McDole, USMC, Survivor of the Palawan Massacre in World War II" by Bob Wilbanks, and the opening scenes of the 2005 Miramax movie, "The Great Raid".


Wilbur Burdett Blackburn

Rank/Rate Torpedoman's Mate, Second Class
Service Number 342 16 34
Birth Date September 17, 1921
From Wichita, Kansas
Decorations Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal
Ship USS Canopus (AS-9)
Date of Death December 14, 1944
Location Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Philippine Islands
Circumstances Killed in the Puerto Princesa massacre
Remarks Wilbur was born in Harvey Township, Kansas.

Information courtesy of Paul W. Wittmer.

The submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-9) received severe damage when hit by heavy bombers on December 29, 1941. She lost six of her crew in the attack, with another six wounded. She was later scuttled off Manila Bay rather than face capture by the enemy. Her crew was used in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor. A large number of her crew died in the Philippine Islands, during transport to POW camps in Japan, or in the camps themselves.


Inscription

TM2C, US NAVY WORLD WAR II

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