Brewington Cemetery, Iron County, Missouri
Have you ever wondered who was buried in those little cemeteries along the back roads of Missouri? My good friend Pat is the caretaker of a small cemetery called the Brewington cemetery. He doesn't know when it was started but his father took care of it back in the 50s and slowly it got passed on to him. There are grave markers going back to the 1800's. Pat's family takes a good section of the cemetery and the Brewington family on the other side.
Sunday, Pat took us down to see how the cemetery was doing after the winter. There were a few branches down in a few decorations that had fallen and I followed pat as he put things back in order.
Pat was nice enough to explain to me how he was related to all the Kings buried there. He showed me his father's grave and he showed me some uncles and cousins and aunts.
One grave stood out amongst the rest. It was pat's uncle, Horace Edward Kane with the inscription Missouri FLC US Navy World War Ii. Pat told me, “… he died of starvation as a POW. He was on a ship with his brother and his brother had left the ship just the month before it got captured. His brother wanted to see the world but Horace stayed on and got captured and was on the Bataan Death March where he later died.”
If you haven't heard of the Bataan Death March, “The Bataan Death March was a forced march of Allied prisoners of war by Japanese forces during World War II. On April 9, 1942, troops of the Imperial Japanese Army captured the Philippine peninsula of Bataan. They captured about 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war. The prisoners were forced to march about 60 miles to prison camps, with little food or water. Thousands of prisoners died or were killed along the way. The march was a notorious example of atrocities committed by Japanese forces against prisoners during World War II.”
Horace Edward King was a war hero. He Earned a Purple heart and the Prisoner of War Medal. Records show he died of starvation. I found unclassified documents that explain the eyewitness accounts of hundred of deaths like Horace had suffered.
He Served on the USS Canopus (AS-9).
“The submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-9) received severe damage when hit by heavy bombers on December 29, 1941. She lost six of her crew in the attack, with another six wounded. She was later scuttled off Manila Bay rather than face capture by the enemy. Her crew was used in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor. A large number of her crew died in the Philippine Islands, during transport to POW camps in Japan, or in the camps themselves.”
It was amazing to actually get some information on someone who was buried in one of these small cemeteries. I pass by them all the time driving the country roads and oddly I can't stop thinking about how many young men went off to foreign lands only months or years later to die on foreign soil never getting to see the rolling hills of Missouri again.
You gotta tell 'em!
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