Robert Paul Wilson





Robert P. Wilson

ID: 14029183
Entered the Service From:
Technician 5th Class

 U.S. Army Air Forces, 48th Materiel Squadron

Monday, July 06, 1942
Buried at: 
Manila American Cemetery
Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
Plot: Row: 12 Grave: 238

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Y. Wilson of Sweetwater have been notified by the War Department that their son, T-5 Robert Paul Wilson, died at Cabantuan Prisoner of War Camp on July 6, 1942.  Until they received this telegram, no official word had been received since June, 1942, when he was listed as missing since the surrender of Bataan on April 9, 1942.  Cpl. Wilson enlisted in the Air Corps in October, 1940.  He survived the infamous “death march” to O’Donnell Prison Camp and back to Cabantuan, his parents learned from the only surviving officer of the 84th Material Squadron, to which he belonged.  Besides his parents, he is survived by four sisters and one brother-Miss Ruth Wilson, Washington; Miss Mary M. Wilson, Chattanooga,; Misses Minnie Sue and Nancy Wilson, Sweetwater, and Edd V. Wilson of Sweetwater.



The Bataan Death March (also known as The Death March of Bataan) took place in the Philippines in 1942 and was later accounted as a Japanese War Crime. The 60 mi (97 km) march occurred after the three-month Battle of Bataan, part of the Battle of the Philippines(1941–42), during World War II. In Japanese, it is known as Batān Shi no Kōshin with the same meaning.

The "march", or forcible transfer of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war, was characterized by wide-ranging  physical abuse and murder, and resulted in very high fatalities inflicted upon prisoners and civilians alike by the armed forces of the Empire of Japan.

The treatment of the American prisoners was characterized by its dehumanization, as the Imperial soldiery "felt they were dealing with sub humans and animals." Trucks were known to drive over those who fell or succumbed to fatigue, and "cleanup crews" put to death those too weak to continue. Marchers were harassed with random bayonet stabs and beatings.  Accounts of being forcibly marched for five to six days with no food and a single sip of water are in postwar archives including filmed reports. The exact death count is impossible to determine, but some historians have placed the minimum death toll between 6,000 and 11,000 men; other postwar Allied reports have tabulated that only 54,000 of the 72,000 prisoners reached their destination — taken together, the figures document a rate of death from one in four up to two in seven of those on the death march. The number of deaths that took place in the internment camps from the delayed effects of the march is considerably more.

On May 30, 2009, at the 64th and final reunion of Bataan Death March survivors in San Antonio, Texas, the Japanese ambassador to the United States apologized to an assembly of survivors for Imperial Japan's treatment of Allied prisoners of war, on behalf of the Japanese government.

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946


Robert Paul Wilson

Birth Year:



White, Citizen (White)

Nativity State or Country:


State of Residence:


County or City:




Enlistment Date:

8 Oct 1940

Enlistment State:


Enlistment City:

Fort Mcpherson Atlanta


Air Corps

Branch Code:

Air Corps



Grade Code:


Term of Enlistment:

Enlistment for the Philippine Department


Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men)


Civil Life




4 years of high school

Civil Occupation:

Farm hands, general farms

Marital Status:

Single, without dependents







Researcher and Designer

Joy Locke & Joe Irons