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Charles Richard Barkley

Graduating Class of 1936
Served in World War II
Attached photograph of Captain Barkley

Charles Richard Barkley

92nd Infantry Division
91st Infantry Division


Racine, WI

Date of Birth

Location of Death

Manila, Philippines

Date of Death

Location of Burial

Tablets of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, National Capital Region, Philippines

More About Captain Barkley

Charles R. Barkley attended St. Thomas Military Academy and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He married Helen Mason on Nov. 18, 1939, in Madison, Wisconsin. Prior to his service, Charles worked as a service clerk for city government. Helen was a sales lady for a retail dress shop. He was taking a special course at George Washington University while working at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D. C., when he was called into service on May 10, 1941, as a reserve officer. He was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, until he was ordered to go to the Philippines. He was assigned to the 92nd Infantry Regiment, 91st Philippine Infantry Division, United States Army and left for the Philippines on Oct. 4, 1941. The Philippine Scouts unit was primarily composed of Filipino soldiers, led by American commanders. When war with Japan broke out on Dec. 8 1941, his unit was transferred to Bataan and became part of the Bataan Defense Force. Lieutenant Barkley was promoted to Captain on December 19, 1941.

Captain Barkley became a prisoner of the Japanese when American and Filipino forces were surrendered on April 9, 1942. Following the surrender, more than 75,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers were marched to the town of San Fernando in what became known as the Bataan Death March. The prisoners were then crowded into boxcars and taken to Capas in North Central Luzon. Upon arrival at the Capas train station, they walked the final 9 miles to Camp O'Donnell. Surviving the brutal treatment by the Japanese there, Captain Charles R. Barkley was transferred to the Cabanatuan POW Camp. In early June 1942, prisoners from Camp O'Donnell began to stream into Camp #1, joining the men from Corregidor and increasing the number of prisoners to over 7,300 men. Because of the poor health of the men from O'Donnell, the death rate at Camp #1 soared.

Captain Charles R. Barkley, age 27, died at 1 p.m. on June 11, 1942, of cerebral malaria in Barracks 12, Hospital Area, a prisoner of the Japanese at POW Camp 1, Cabanatuan, Nueva Province, Luzon, Philippines 15-121. He was one of 15 men to die that day and the 102nd prisoner to die in Camp 1. In all, 503 men died in Cabanatuan during June 1942. By the time the camp was liberated on Jan. 30, 1945, 2,764 Americans had died at Cabanatuan in 2½ years.

He was buried in a communal grave in the camp cemetery along with other deceased American POWs. After the war, all the people in the Cabanatuan Prison cemetery that could be found were disinterred and brought to 7747 USAF Cemetery, Manila #2, Philippine Islands. The deceased in Manila #2 rested there until their removal to the American Graves Registration Service Manila Mausoleum in the summer of 1948 for positive identification. Unfortunately, no clothing, personal effects nor any other means of identification were found for him and his remains could not be associated with any remains recovered from Cabanatuan. The prisoners that came from Bataan were typically stripped of all their possessions including their identification. He most likely is buried in the Manila American Cemetery as a "Known but to God." There are 953 men like Captain Barkley who were not identified after the war, "unknowns", permanently interred in the Manila American Cemetery from Cabanatuan.

Captain Charles Richard Barkley is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing - United States Army and Army Air Forces at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. He was survived by his wife.