|Captain Leon Chabot's photo while at the U.S. Naval Academy.|
Leon Edmond Chabot could have been 100 years old today.
He was born on March 11, 1917 in Massachusetts. His parents were both born in Canada. His French speaking father was a barber his whole working life. Leon had an older sister and a younger sister, plus two younger brothers. By 1940 Leon was a cadet at the US Naval Academy. where he excelled in track including holding the Naval Academy 100 yard dash record (9.6 seconds).
Upon graduating, he was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment which was deployed in China. As the situation between the United States and Japan deteriorated and China became more unstable, the marines were moved to the Philippines shortly before the Japanese invaded. The 4th Marine Regiment was assigned the duty of defending Corregidor Island. Leon was likely a junior officer, but rose to the rank of captain. Perhaps this was of necessity if those who were the original captains became casualties.
When Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, The Japanese were able to concentrate all their forces on the last American holdout on Corregidor. The marines held out until May 6 and all survivors became POWs.
When the Americans threatening to invade the Philippines in the fall of 1944, the Japanese decided to move prisoners to Japan. Captain Chabot was one of 750 Americans who embarked on the cargo steamer Shinyo Maru.
Captain Chabot was one of the 687 prisoners who were killed that day. His remains were never recovered.
Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Leon be profiled.
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