Harold Lee was a California National Guardsman called to federal service as a member of C Company, 194th Tank Battalion. He was stationed in the Philippine Islands when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Ten hours later, he lived through the bombing of Clark Airfield. For four months, he fought, with the other soldiers on Bataan, to slow Japan's conquest of the Philippines. Without food, without adequate supplies, and no hope of being relieved, he became a Prisoner of War on April 9, 1942, when Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese.
He took part in the death march from Mariveles to Capas. There, 100 POWs were packed into small wooden boxcars that could hold 40 men or 8 horses. At San Fernando, the living left the boxcars and those who had died fell to the floor. The POWs walked the final miles to Camp O'Donnell.
As a POW, he was held at Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan in the Philippines. He was boarded on a Japanese transport for Korea. According to records he died after arriving in Korea. His remains were cremated and sent to Manchuria. After the war, his remains were buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.
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