LT. Colonel, William Riney Craig, MD (Died on the Brazil Maru.)
Birth 8 April 1896 in Sharps Chapel, Union County, Tennessee
Death 27 January 1945 in the East China Sea/Buried at Sea.
He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.

Col. Craig was a native-born East Tennessean. He dedicated his life to saving the lives of others. His last peace-time assignment was the Philippines. He was 2nd executive officer in command of the Corregidor Island Malinta Tunnel Hospital. He was surrendered to the Japanese with the fall of Corregidor Island. Col. Craig survived the Bataan Death March and continued his effort to save lives under the worst of conditions. He served as the chief medical officer at the Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp in the Philippines. A survivor, A. Fields, later noted: “Japanese relented on shooting squad – they are to be confined for 1 month. Lewis freed, McMinn and Reeves were to be shot at 4 H.1. Gillispie and Craig plead with Japanese all day and at 3:30 PM the sentence was commuted to 6 months … .” In December 1944 Col. Craig was selected by the Japanese for transfer to Japan. He was loaded on an unmarked POW ship called the “Oryoku Maru”. On 15 December 1944 the Japanese ship, “Oryoku Maru”, was attacked by American Bombers with POW survivors swimming to shore. William R. Craig was “badly wounded” in the attack and aided by Colonel William North who strapped him to a board for the swim to shore. On 27 January 1945 Col. Craig died at sea from wounds and starvation while enroute to Moji, Japan. He was buried at sea.

Biography and Time Line

Name: William R Craig
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Service #: O-016963
Service: Medical Corps
Unit: Hospital No 2
Source: Jim Erickson’s Oryoku Maru Roster
Summary: Abstract for William R Craig showing essential details for POW incident when held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese during World War II
www.japanesepow.info/index.php?page=directory&rec=4435

* BS, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee (1924)
* 1st LT Med. O. R. C.9 (1926)
* MD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee (1926)
* Promoted to Captain (1929)
* Army Medical School (1930)
* Medical Field Service School (US Army) (1930)
* Panama, Canal Zone (1933)
* Fort Sam Houston, Texas (1936)
* Promoted to Major (1938)
* Fort Sam Houston, Texas (1939)
* Fort Douglas, Utah (1940)
* Manila, The Philippines (1941)
* 2nd Executive Officer of the Corregidor Island Malinta Tunnel Hospital (1942)
* Surrender of Corregidor Island, the Philippines, Taken Prisoner of War (POW) by Japanese. (1942)
* Battaan Death March (1942)
* Chief medical officer Cabanatuan POW Camp. (1942)
A. Fields: “Japanese relented on shooting squad – they are to be confined for 1 month. Lewis freed, McMinn and Reeves were to be shot at 4 H.1. Gillispie and Craig plead with Japanese all day and at 3:30 PM the sentence was com- muted to 6 months …”
* Loaded aboard the Japanese Prisoner of War Ship the “Oryoku Maru” (Ship is unmarked as a POW Ship). Ship is attacked by American Bombers with POW survivors swimming to shore. William R. Craig “Badly wounded” in the attack and aided by Colonel William North. (13 December 1944)
* San Fernando, La Union, The Philippines; Loaded aboard the Japanese ship Enoura Maru. (27 December 1944)
Father: William Rhiney Craig
Birth 11 JUL 1861 in Union County, Tennessee
Death 5 JUL 1930 in Union County, Tennessee
* Takao, Formosa (Taiwan); Arrives in Takao, Formosa (Taiwan). Transferred from the ship Enoura Maru to the ship Brazil Maru. (3 January 1945)
* Takao, Taiwan (Formosa); Sent to Moji, Japan as POW slave labor aboard the ship Brazil Maru. (13 January 1945)
* Buried at Sea/East China Sea; Dies at sea from wounds and starvation while enroute to Moji, Japan. Buried at sea. “His body was thrown overboard” (27 January 1945)

Mother: Roseanna Sarah Russell
Birth 1 November 1861 in Tennessee
Death 22 December 1922 in Union County, Tennessee

Wife: Mossie Jane Williams
Birth 16 March 1897 in Anderson County, Tennessee
Death 29 March 1991 in Santa Clara County, California

Daughter: Betty Jo Craig
Birth # May #### in Nashville, Tennessee USA

Daughter: Patricia “Patsy” J. Craig
Birth 11 October 1928 in El Paso County, Texas
Death 10 Feb 1979 in Danvers, Massachusetts

Col. Craig is also referenced in several books written by the survivors, such as:
“Parade of the Dead”-

Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as …

Profiles in Survival: The Experiences of American POWs in the Philippines …

CABANATUAN, CAMP THREE
 
POW Camp Photos (West Point)
 

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