Joe Harvey Garcia

Joe Harvey Garcia

Alice, Jim Wells County, Texas, USA
Death 4 Aug 1945 (aged 19)
Burial Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 59685294 View Source
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Joe Harvey Garcia was a crewman on a Navy PBM-5 bomber float plane stationed at Tawi Tawi in the Philippines. Joe was a gunners mate and manned one of the 50mm machine guns on the aircraft during battle. Joe's plane was forced down on June 4, 1945 after receiving fire from a Japanese warship and made an emergency landing near the island of Celebes, now known as Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The crew went ashore and the following day engaged the Japanese land forces in an all day battle. The following day Joe was taken prisoner along with his skipper, the co-pilot and two other enlisted men in the crew. The co-pilot died a few days later. The remainder were held captive for two months then beheaded by their Japanese captors just ten days before the end of the war.

After the war Joe's body was returned to the United States and buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Corpus Cristi, Texas.

Joe was the great great grandson of the famous Texas Patriot Jose Antonio Navarro who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence when Texas gained independence from Mexico.

He attended Corpus Christi high school and joined the navy in January 1944. Joe will always be remembered for his outgoing personality, a loving and devoted son to his parents, protector of his sisters, with a strong determination to never back down in a confrontation. Joe was a boxer and was a Junior Golden Gloves champion. He also enjoyed hunting and riding his bicycle that he often rode for long distances.

Joe was awarded the Silver Star, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart among other combat medals.