Date of Interview
Charles Forry was born on 5 March 1919 on a farm in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. One of nine children, he attended the Hershey Industrial School in Hershey, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1937 with training as a printer. Charles then worked for Conestoga Publishing Company in Lancaster for four years before entering the US Army Air Corps in June 1941. Charles completed Basic Training and in late 1941 was assigned to the 30th Squadron, 19th Bomb Group, stationed at Clark Field in the Philippines. Soon after the Japanese attack on 8 December 1941 Charles and some others were relocated south to Mindanao, and there with a small group he avoided capture until late June 1942. Charles remained a POW of the Japanese for thirty-nine months, in locations in the Philippines, on Formosa, and in Japan. Work details varied from farming and construction to railroad labor and kitchen duty. Like all POWs of the Japanese, Charles endured malnutrition, mistreatment, and disease. For the final eighteen months, April 1944 - September 1945, he kept a diary of events that carefully details the monotony and poor treatment. Following his evacuation from a coal mine camp on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, Charles returned to the United States; he spent time in several medical facilities before being discharged in early 1946 with the rank of corporal. He was married in 1946 (wife Virginia), and returned to the printing business. For many years he was part owner of Forry and Hacker Printing, in Lancaster. Charles sold the business and retired in 1983.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Charles Forry" (2003). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 22.