Don E. Mace

DON E. MACE was born Nov. 21, 1920 at Teton City, ID.  He enlisted in the  Army Nov. 3rd, 1939.  Don was trained at Ft. McArthur, CA, Btry. G, 63rd Coast Arty.  Transferred to Battery L. 60th Coast Arty., for duty at Ft. Mills, Corregidor, Don was a heavy machine-gunner.
Taken prisoner when Corregidor surrendered, Don was imprisoned at Cabanatuan Camps No. 1 and No. 3  and Fukuoka Camp No. 17, Omuta, Japan.  Don was on three hell ships.  The first two were bombed.  Survivors were forced to swim to shore.  The third ship got through to Japan.  There Don worked in the coal mines.  At one time he had his back, both legs and ribs broken in a cave-in. He also developed respiratory problems, malnutrition diseases, and nervous disorders. After liberation Don was discharged at Ft. Lewis, WA on April 27, 1946 as staff sergeant.

Medals include: Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Presidential Citation with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished
Unit Badge with two Oak Leaf Clusters, American Defense with one Bronze Service Star, Philippine Defense with one
Bronze Service Star, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign with one Bronze Service Star, American Campaign, WWII Victory, Good Conduct,  POW, Honorable Service.

Don worked for the National Park Service for 25 years.  Forced to retire in 1979 with heart disease, emphysema and lung cancer Don died on February 24th, 1986.  Don was married for 41 years to Norma and had six children, one girl, five boys, 19 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Credit: History of the Defenders of the Philippines Guam and Wake Islands 1941-1945 Turner Publishing Co

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