In Memory of
Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
John Coleman Bingham, Jr.
Belle Fourche, South Dakota
June 11, 1903-October 24, 1944
Killed as a POW enroute from Philippines to Japan
John Coleman Bingham, Jr. was born to John Coleman Bingham
and Emma Reed (Baskerville) Bingham on June 11, 1903 in Harding, South Dakota.
He had one sister Irene Henwood and one brother Robert Morris Bingham. He
attended and graduated from Spearfish High School.
John C. Bingham, Jr. joined the US Marine Corps on October
26, 1925. He played the cornet in the Marine Band. He was in the Marines for
three four-year terms. The first lasted until October 25, 1929. He then went
back on December 2, 1929 until December 1, 1933. He returned yet again on
January 2, 1934 until February 26, 1938. He was shipped overseas on August 19,
1938. He was in China from November 6, 1938 until November 28, 1941. He was sent
to the Philippine Islands on December 2, 1941 until December 6, 1941, until he
was sent to participate in the Philippine Islands Operation on December 7, 1941.
He participated in action against the enemy in the
Philippine Islands Operation (Bataan and Corregidor) from December 8, 1941 until
May 5, 1942. He was captured May 6, 1942 during the fall of Corregidor and kept
until the day he died on October 24, 1944 when his Japanese prison ship sunk.
The prisoner ship which transported Bingham and the other prisoners was
torpedoed by the U.S.
Mrs. Will Henwood, Spearfish, South Dakota, sister of
Bingham, received this message on June 29, 1945, concerning Bingham’s death:
We deeply regret to inform you that
delayed information has reached headquarters that your brother, John C. Bingham,
Jr. U.S.M.C., lost his life 24 October 1944 when the ship on which he was being
removed from the Philippines to Japan was sunk. He is carried on the records of
the Marine Corps as having been killed in action in the performance of his duty
and service of his country. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy.
-AA Vandergrift, General U.S.M.C.
Commandant of the Marine Corps
John C. Bingham had no memorial service and has no formal
burial site except for a commemorative stone at the Tablets of the Missing at
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. He was buried at sea.
His enlistment was extended two years from February 26,
1942. Had his enlistment been terminated by discharge, his service would have
entitled him to an Honorable Discharge. At the time of Bingham’s death, he had
served in the Marines for 19 years. For serving his country, he received the
following awards: the Purple Heart, Army Distinguished Unit Emblem with Oak Leaf
Cluster, American Defense Service Medal with Base Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific
Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and China Service Medal No. 763.
The Arisan Maru
-- “During World War II she departed Manila on
October 10, 1944, with 1800 American POWs. Was torpedoed by the USS Snook
on October 24, 1944; 1795 POWs died …”
This entry was
respectfully submitted by Mikayla Grusing and Jazmine Tarrant, 12th grade,
American Literature, Belle Fourche High School, Belle Fourche, SD, on December
7, 2001. Information for this entry was provided by Mildred Henwood Neisent,
Spearfish, SD, niece of Marine Sergeant John C. Bingham, Jr.