From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Harold Monson '42

Date of birth: April 21, 1918

Date of death: October 24, 1944

Age: 26

Naval Academy Register

Harold Frederick Monson was admitted to the Naval Academy from St. Joseph, Missouri on July 15, 1938 at age 20 years 3 months.

He was “honorably discharged on account of physical disability” on June 1, 1939.



From Find A Grave:

Harold Monson died when the Japanese hell ship he was on, the Arisan Maru, was sunk by an American submarine [on October 24, 1944]. The Japanese refused to rescue the Prisoners of War and allowed them to drown. Only nine of the 1803 POWs on the ship survived the sinking.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Harold entered Northwestern University, Evanston Illinois, from 1939-1941. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta.

His record indicated that he was at PW Camp #4 O’Donnel Tarlac Luzon Philippines 15-120.

His mother was Virginia; his sister was Charlene, Mrs. F. W. Schammel, of Webster Groves, Missouri.

He was commissioned in May 1941, and was sent to the Philippines in July. He was a member of the Antitank Company of the 31st Infantry Regiment, which surrendered on April 9, 1942 as part of the Bataan Defense Force.

His parents were officially informed in December 1942 that he was a prisoner of war.

The St. Joseph News Press Gazette on August 19, 1944 reported that his parents had recently received a card from him that included "best wishes for Christmas and the New Year." On June 21, 1945, that same paper reported:

Lieutenant Monson, 26 years old, received his commission in February, 1941, volunteered for Philippine service, and arrived there in July, 1941, as Lieutenant of the 3ist infantry anti-tank division. Lieutenant Monson went through the entire Bataan campaign and moved to Corregidor April 9, 1942. He was attached to the 4th marines until Corregidor fell to the Japanese.

Year at Annapolis.
He attended Central High School and in 1935 entered Kemper Military School (college division) and graduated in 1938 with honors. He received an appointment to Annapolis Naval Academy in 1938, and as a result of the high scholastic standing he attained at Kemper, entered Annapolis without a mental examination. He remained at Annapolis one year. He met the scholastic requirements, but could not meet the exacting requirements as to eyesight. Lieutenant Monson received honorable discharge from Annapolis and entered Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill, in 1939 and was within one year of graduation at the time he entered military service.

His father was a manager of the Standard Oil Company and survived him, along with his mother. He is listed at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.


Class of 1942

Harold is one of 82 members of the Class of 1942 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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