Home Carl's WWII Medals Coast Artillery Japanese WWII Photos Christmas 1945 POW Possessions

Carl Vernon Ireton

Carl Vernon Ireton was the seventh son of Frank Austin Ireton, born April 23, 1905 near Putnam, Dewey County, Oklahoma. I don't know much about his early years yet. At the time of his father's death in 1931, Carl was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was a member of the New Mexico National Guard, 200th Coast Artillery, that was called to serve in the Philippines in 1941. Follow the links below to learn more about 200th Coast Artillery and Bataan. For a good account of the role that the 200th served, see the book Beyond Courage by Dorothy Cave. He was a PFC in the Headquarters 2nd Battalion. The 200th made a last stand at the Cabcaben Airstrip on the tip of the Bataan peninsula in April of 1942. Along with virtually all the troops on the Philippines, Carl was eventually taken prisoner and subjected to what is now known as the "Death March". He was probably aboard the Tottori Maru, the first of the "Hell Ships" that departed on Oct. 8, 1942. Some men volunteered as "specialist" to escape the high death rate at the camps in the Philippines. They were taken to Mukden (Camp Hoten), Manchuria (now Shenyang China) to serve as slave labor. The cold weather there (20 below or colder) slowed the spread of disease and the food was a little better. A commander or factory boss there complained that he had asked for workers and got skeletons. Carl worked in the Manchurian Machine Tool Co. Forced labor was a violation of the Geneva Convention, but it was the least of the crimes committed against the POW's.  He is listed as having been evacuated by rail from Mukden on 11 September 1945 after being freed by a daring OSS mission and the arrival of Russian forces.  Less than 900 of the original 1800 members of the NM National Guard returned. After the war, Carl became a recruiting officer. He died in January of 1969 in Custer City, OK.

Carl was married to Becky Fowler (Frances Rebecca Fowler) November 22, 1946.  Becky was born in 1912 died in 1957 and is buried in Carlsbad, NM.

If you have any information about Carl, or just want to share information about the Bataan experience, please send email to Mark William Ireton or leave a note in our guest book.

Carl was a recruiting officer after the war and served in Okinawa. This picture was taken around 1950. After retiring he lived in Clinton, Oklahoma.


Amazing Journey

Carl was evacuated from the POW camp in Mukden by train on September 10 or 11, 1945 to the port of Darien.  He took with him a small pouch, apparently made from a uniform pocket.  Inside the pouch were a few meager belongings, including a notebook in which he recorded the names and addresses of many of his fellow prisoners.  After a career in the military, Carl lived his final years in Clinton, Oklahoma before passing away in 1969.  Nearly 40 years later, a wonderful man named Ray Snow discovered Carl's pouch in an antique shop in Oklahoma.  Ray recognized the significance of the pouch and its contents.  After some research, Ray discovered this web page and made a connection with the Ireton family. Ray graciously returned the items to the Ireton family.  Please click on this link to see the pouch and its contents, as well as a transcribed list of fellow POW's contained in Carl's notebook.

Carl Ireton POW Possessions


Photo Gallery

Frank Austin Ireton, wife Eda, and son Carl ~1920

Carl December 1928

Carl (left) and Jefferson O. Lightfoot with pet monkey in Phillipines

Carl poses with large leaves in Phillipines

Carl (center) with unidentified men in Phillipines

Carl in Phillipines with locals

News clipping reporting captivity

1959

Clinton, OK - Carl, Lillie, Rolla, and Austin - 1964

Tombstone in Clinton, Oklahoma

Cover page from Japanese POW list

POW list showing Carl as prisoner 958

Higher resolution prisoner list

Carl's WWII Medals

Megar possessions of POW 958


Links

Bataan Corregidor Memorial Foundation of NM, Inc.

History of 200th and 515th Coast Artillery from Bataan Memorial Miltary Museum & Library

Link to Battling Bastards of Bataan

Link to Bataan Memorial Miltary Museum & Library

Link to AMERICAN DEFENDERS OF BATAAN AND CORREGIDOR

Roger Mansell Site for Camp Hoten at Mukden

Mukden Prisoner Of War Remembrance Society

Photos and Documents

Cover page from official Japanese POW list 1945

Page from POW list showing Carl as POW #958

Japanese WWII photos that belonged to Carl

Photos of Carl's Medals

Clinton Daily News  - Christmas 1945


I received the following information from the Bataan Memorial Military Museum & Library, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505.

SSG Carl Vernon Ireton, #38012451

HB,2d 200th C.A., Albuquerque, N.M.

Prisoner of War in Mukden, Manchuria

POW #958 (from original Japanese Official POW list dated 1945)


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