Henry G. Lee

Lt Henry G. Lee
Lt Henry G. Lee
Soldier Poet, Lt Lee was born in 1915 at Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, USA and died at T’ai-wan, Taiwan on January 9, 1945

His poems were found hidden in the Cabanatuan POW Camp in the Philippine Islands, when the camp was liberated by the American Army. A lieutenant in the 31st US Infantry Regiment, he was posted to the Philippine Islands in early 1940. When Japan attacked the US in Dec 1941, the US Army was unprepared to defend the Philippines, and Lee was captured when the Japanese overran the Bataan Peninsula and was forced to endure the Bataan Death March. In Dec 1944, Lee and 1617 other POWs were packed into a Jap cargo ship, which was promptly bombed by US Navy planes (the Japanese did not mark their POW ships, making them legitimate targets). Approximately 1350 POWs survived that bombing, and the survivors were reloaded aboard another unmarked freighter, Enoura Maru, which was sunk in Formosa on January 9, 1945, where Lee was killed. Only 300 of the original 1618 POWs would survive the war. His body was recovered by the Japanese and buried in an unmarked mass grave with the other dead American POWs. In 1948, his parents, Thomas and Mable G. Lee, published his poems and a few letters he had written in a book, “Nothing But Praise.” His name is listed on a wall at the American Military Cemetery in Manila, Philippines. Biography by: Kit and Morgan Benson

Bataan Death March
Bataan Death March

So you are dead. The easy words contain
No sense of loss, no sorrow, no despair.
Thus hunger, thirst, fatigue, combines to drain
All feeling from our hearts. The endless glare,
The brutal heat, anesthetize the mind.
I can not mourn you now. I lift my load,
The suffering column moves. I leave behind
Only another corpse, beside the road.