to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead

2 Java Civilians 3.6.2

Gaylord “Buck” Buchanan

Although the details are sketchy, Mr. Buchanan had apparently lost a leg in an accident while he was attending the US Naval Academy and was given a medical discharge. In 1941, he was in Singapore as an employee of the Sperry-Rand Corporation.

From “He joined the Sperry Gyroscope Company and was sent to the South Pacific in October, 1941, as Sperry Representative to the Air Corps, R.A.F., R.A.A.F., R.N.Z.A.F., and Dutch Air Force. Buck was in Singapore when WW II started. Two days before Singapore surrendered, he flew to Java. As the Japanese swarmed into Bandoeng, Buck took off in a beat-up B-18 bomber for Australia. The plane crash-landed on the north coast of Java and all were taken prisoner the following day, March 9, 1942.

Buck spent over three and a half years in various P.O.W. camps with survivors from HOUSTON, PERCH, LANGLEY, POPE and several hundred Texas National Guardsmen. During this period, Buck constructed a small short-wave receiver and kept it hidden in his artificial leg. He was able to receive news broadcasts from around the world. Buck later received the Navy Bronze Star and citations from the British and Dutch Governments. After a post-war rehabilitation in Calcutta, he returned to New York and his work with Sperry.”

Buck resigned as Sales Representative to the Air Force at Sperry in March, 1949, and entered medical school at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He received his M.D. in 1954. He retired in DEC 77 as Chairman of the Holy Cross Hospital Anesthesiology Department and Clinical Instructor, University of Utah College of Medicine.

He is registered as being present in the Bicycle Camp traveling as part of the E Battery Group. But apparently he was left behind on Java when they departed and spent his entire POW time there.

David Hicks

LTC Tharp lists a second civilian who was affiliated with the TXNG on Java. Partially because his name is fairly common, provides the bare minimum of information on his life. As opposed to Gaylord Buchanan, we can find no explanation for his presence on Java in 1941. One document suggests that he was an employee of Army Adjutant Generals Corps (see below). He appears to be a fellow Texan from Houston, but that association is tentative at best. He does, however, seem to appear on a roster of US Civilians at the Fukuoka POW camp. This may indicate that he was moved as part of the E Battery Party most of whom were in camps nearby.

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