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Caldwell Sammy Lee

Sammy Lee Caldwell
Private First Class
Serial Number:
4th Marines
Date of Death:
Jefferson Barracks National Cem., Missouri

Sammy Lee Caldwell was born on June 22, 1919 in Teague, Freestone County, Texas. He was the son of Jabel Alexander Caldwell and Bertha Lee Bryant Caldwell. Sammy served in 4th Marine Regiment as a Private First Class during World War II. An American prisoner of war, he was one of the Japanese massacre victims in Puerto Princesa, Palawan Philippines. In order to prevent the rescue of prisoners of war by the advancing Allies, on 14 December 1944, units of the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army (under the command of General Tomoyuki Yamashita) brought the POWs back to their own camp. An air raid warning was sounded to get the prisoners into the shelter trenches, the 150 prisoners of war at Puerto Princesa entered those trenches, and the Japanese soldiers set them on fire using barrels of gasoline. Prisoners who tried to escape the flames were shot down by machine gun fire. Others attempted to escape by climbing over a cliff that ran along one side of the trenches, but were later hunted down and killed. Only 11 men escaped the slaughter; 139 were killed. Those that did escape to southern Palawan, and eventual rescue, were aided by Filipino scouts and guerrillas under the command of Nazario Mayor. Of the victims, 123 are buried in a mass grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri, including PFC Caldwell. He also has a cenotaph located in Belvedere Memorial Park, San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas.

Source of information:,