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George W. Pearcy in uniform, Philippines [1941]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army Air Forces/Corps; Army
  • Service Unit/Ship: 2nd Observation Squadron; 527th Coast Artillery; B Battery, 60th Coast Artillery (AA)
  • Location of Service: Pacific Theater
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/101245

View full service history

"I hope that you are saving these letters and putting them in the lower drawer of my desk as I want to keep them as a record of my time in the Army." (Letter to Mother, 11/19/1940).

At the time Pearl Harbor was bombed, George Washington Pearcy had been serving in the Philippines with the Army Air Corps for nearly a year. Captured by the Japanese in May 1942, he spent the next 29 months as a prisoner of war, during which he meticulously documented his incarceration on whatever scrap paper he could find. In October 1944, Pearcy was forced aboard the prison ship Arison maru, which was sunk by an American submarine while en route to mainland Japan. Before departing the Philippines, however, Pearcy gave his makeshift diary to fellow prisoner Robert Augur, with the request that it be delivered to his family should he not survive. Following the liberation of the Philippines, Augur kept his promise and sent the diary to Pearcy's family in March 1945. It took another two months before the Pearcy family received official notification of their son's death.

Home movie footage shot by the veteran while he served in the Philippines

More Resources

[ Instructions for written communication with Prisoners of War of the Japanese ]
[ Photostat letter from the Adjutant General of the Army informing Mr. Claude O. Pearcy of the loss of his son on October 24, 1944 [6/19/1945] ]
[ Alarm signals pamphlet, found in letter of 4/23/1941 ]
[ Official Bulletin, Headquarters Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays [4/25/1941] ]
[ Copy of story, "Legend of Corregidor." ]

Show more resources (280)

[ Telegram informing the Pearcys that their son is a POW [12/16/1942] ]
[ Letter from Chief of the Information Branch, Howard F. Bresee, of the War Department [12/22/1942] ]
[ Letter from the Adjutant General's office, War Department [5/21/1942] ]
[ Letter from Howard F. Bresee, Asst. Dir. Of the POW Division of the War Department [11/11/1944] ]
[ Letter from the Adjutant General's Office of the War Department informing the Pearcys of their son's death [6/19/1945] ]
[ Sympathy card from General Marshall [6/19/1945] ]
[ Letter from the State of Missouri [6/21/1945] ]
[ Letter from C. H. Danielson, Major General, U.S. Army [7/3/1945] ]
[ Letter from Henry Stimson, Secretary of War [7/7/1945] ]
[ Letter from Douglas Mac Arthur [11/11/1945] ]
[ Military papers included with correspondence from 11/30/1940 ]
[ Quartermaster Corps Sales Store price list for March 1941 ]
[ Confidential memo concerning the "psychology of the Filipino servent." ]
[ War department pamphlet, "Sex Hygiene and Venereal Disease" ]
[ Blank pass authorizing civilian clothes ]
[ Army Song Book ]
[ Notice of award of the Purple Heart, posthumously [1/31/1945] ]
[ Official certificate of award of the Purple Heart ]
[ Memorial certificate for George Washington Pearcy ]
[ Letters from family to George Washington Pearcy, who was at the time being held prisoner by the Japanese. The reverse of the letters contain detailed drawings by Pearcy of his prison camp. ]
[ Postcard announcing the birth of George Washington Pearcy [4/22/1915] ]
[ Western Union telegram from "Fred" To George Pearcy congratulating him on his graduation from college [6/8/1937] ]
[ Cover of a photostat envelope marked "Correspondence re: George W. Pearcy." ]
[ Letter to Dr. J. Henry Green providing biographical information about George W. Pearcy, from his father Claude O. Pearcy [10/19/1945] ]
[ Series of photostat POW postcards from George W. Pearcy to his family, September 6 to September 8, year unknown ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [6/18/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [6/21/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [6/24/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [6/28/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [7/1/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [7/4/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [7/8/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [7/11/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [7/15/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [7/20/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [7/23/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [7/26/1936] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [8/3/1937] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [8/8/1937] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [8/10/1937] ]
[ Postcard to Mother [7/31/1939] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [8/1/1939] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy, including map of Camp Leonard Wood, Ft. Sheridan, IL [8/5/1937] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [8/8/1939] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [10/28/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [10/31/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [11/2/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [1111/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [11/13/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [11/17/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [11/19/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [11/25/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [11/30/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [12/12/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [12/17/1940] ]
[ Letter to Mother from George W. Pearcy [12/30/1940] ]
[ Letter to "Pop" from George W. Pearcy [1/2/1941] ]
[ Postcard to Mr. and Mrs. Claude O. Pearcy [1/14/1941] ]
[ Postcard to "Mother and Pop" from George W. Pearcy [1/15/1941] ]
[ Letter to "Mother and Pop" from George W. Pearcy [1/17/1941] ]
[ Letter to "Mother and Pop" from George W. Pearcy [1/24/1941] ]
[ Letter to "Mother and Pop" from George W. Pearcy [2/9/1941] ]
[ Telegram to Mr. and Mrs. Claude O. Pearcy [2/11/1941] ]
[ Letter to "Mother and Pop" from George W. Pearcy [2/13/1941] ]
[ Letter to "Mother and Pop" from George W. Pearcy [2/18/1941] ]
[ Letter to "Jack" from George W. Pearcy [2/20/1941] ]
[ Letter to "Mother and Pop" from George W. Pearcy [2/22/1941] ]