Harold Feiner, who held the office of Judge
Advocate with the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor for many years,
died on December 10, 2003 after a short illness.
was born in New York City in the year 1918. He enlisted the Army in the year
1940 and was classified as an electrician with Co. A 19th Ordinance
Bn. with the first Armored Division at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. The company was
deactivated and then designated as the 17th Ordinance Co. Armored,
which immediately was ordered to the Philippines, arriving there on September
Harold’s company was then based at Ft. Stotsenberg where the unit
joined the 192nd and
the 194th Tank Battalions and later
identified as the Provisional Tank Group, US Army Air Forces in the Far East.
They first saw action on December 8th,
1941 when Japanese planes attacked Clark Field. After the Japanese landing at
Lingayen Gulf the tank group was
dispatched to defend the area. The tank group later defended the area as
various other military units were ordered to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula.
During the defense of Bataan, the tanks supported the infantry at every
opportunity and on every trail. The tank group was ordered to surrender after
destroying their equipment on April 9, 1942.
Harold became a prisoner of war on April 10,
1942 at Mariveles, Bataan and then he became a part of the infamous Bataan Death March,
led to Camp O’Donnell. In June, 1942 he was moved, with other
POW’s to Camp Cabanatuan. In August 1942 he was transported on
one of the Hell Ships to Japan where he was
interned at Camp 17, Omuta, Japan
working a coal mine owned by Mitsui Company.
Harold subsequently retired from the Army.
Among the many awards he received were the Purple Heart, Bronze Star
Presidential United Citation.
After his retirement Harold began another
career; assisting his fellow prisoners of war. He was elected to the position of
Judge Advocate and worked diligently for many years.
In addition, Harold was a member of the litigation & legislation committee of
the ADBC where he worked with fellow CAMP 17 POW Frank Bigelow.
Harold was a strong supporter of the Florida
Chapter of the ADBC in which he also held office of Judge Advocate. Harold
with the Kissimmee Filipino community in their recognition of
the defenders of the Philippines Islands and the beautiful memorial dedicated at
the community park of that city.
Harold’s last official trip was in
November 2003, traveling to the executive meeting in Cincinnati with his
daughter, Laurice. From Cincinnati Harold
and his daughter traveled to
Wellsburg, W. VA. For the dedication of the ADBC library.
Then on to Newport,
Virginia where they attended a dinner and recognition ceremony given by the crew
of the USS Bataan. Laurice stated that her father was enjoyed the trip so much,
mostly due to the gracious hospitality shown to him wherever then went.
Harold is survived by his daughter Laurice;
son Martin; a sister Lorraine Resnick; five grandchildren and eight
great-grandchildren. He was laid to rest at the Bushnell National Cemetery.
Along with family and friends there was in attendance Linda Goetz Holmes, who is
a noted author on Japanese Prisoners of War. National Commander John Oliver read
the eulogy and Randall Edwards recited a special poem and Harold’s
granddaughter performed a beautiful rendition
of taps on her bugle.
This is a touching description of a person
who loved and served his country. He was a patriot pure and simple.
will be greatly missed by his family, friends and members of the American
Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor. Harold Feiner photo