Donald MacLeod Williams (1921 - 1943)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
Death: Died in Sasebo, Japan
Cause of death: pneumonia and malnutrition
Managed by: Eldon Clark (C)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Diana
      sister

About Donald MacLeod Williams

Civilian POW from Wake Island Sasebo POW Camp # 18.

Source: Diana Williams Nidick, sister of Donald Williams

When Wake Island was overtaken Williams stayed behind working different jobs until Sept 30th 1942 when he along with 250 other men where transported by an oil tanker to Yokohoma, arriving on Oct 15th. Most of the men where marched through the street's and put on a train for 1 1/2 days until they ended up at Sasebo Camp # 18.

My brother worked on the Soto Dam project and, in early March of 1943, he was ordered to mix cement in his bare feet. He caught a cold which developed into pneumonia. Three to four days later he was taken to the camp hospital where he died 2 days later on the 9th of March, 1943.

He was buried in Unoki near Sasebo. I was told when our military arrived they were shown a diagram of the burial site and the bodies of the men were recovered. The remaining men were transferred from Sasebo later that same summer to a new camp at the Sasebo Airport. [see Rogge Report]

All of this information was given our family by his friend and bunk mate, Mr. Arnold R Green, and still have his letter to my father.

Don was born in San Francisco CA May 14, 1921. He was a gifted guitar player who played by ear. He wrote poems and short stories of which I have two. After his parents divorced, he lived with my father and was in Hawaii with my father and my mother in 1939. He graduated from high school in Hawaii and then went to work for Morrison - Knudsen. His first job was on Midway Island and later he was sent to Wake Island.

Although I never had the honor of knowing my brother as I was born to my parents in 1942. He will forever be my brother with pride honor and deep love. It is very important to me that he and all of the men with him get the honor they so dearly deserve for the tremendous sacrifice they endured for our freedom.

Don's death broke my Fathers heart forever after. It was not until I was much older that he shared story's about Don with me at all. As he could not speak about him for many years as the pain was unbearable for him. They where so very close and enjoyed hunting and fishing and singing and playing their guitars together.

Don is buried in the Punch Bowl Cemetery in Hawaii (Plot Q Row 0 Grave 186). The family was giving a choice of where they wanted him buried and Hawaii was chosen because that was the last place Don and my Father where together in a happier time. And where my Father and Mother married. In closing I would only say that I know today Don and my Father are in heaven both singing and playing their guitars together for time eternal.

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Donald Williams's Timeline

1921
May 14, 1921
San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
1943
March 9, 1943
Age 21
Sasebo, Japan
????
Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA