|Pvt. Paul Basinger survived the Bataan Death March, but died two months later while a POW.|
Paul Rex Basinger never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on July 21, 1917 in Texas. His parents were also both born in Texas. By 1920 his mother was living with her widowed mother and her brother, a cotton farmer. They were back living with his father in 1930. His father worked as a machinist and later a mechanic. Paul had a younger sister. By 1940 Paul had completed four years of high school and worked as a plumber while still living at home with his parents.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on May 31, 1941. He was sent to the Philippines and was a private in the 7th Material Squadron. His job was to provide supplies and maintenance for the B-17s at Clark Field. When the planes were destroyed on the first day of the war, the 200 men in Pvt. Basinger's unit were issued WWI Springfield rifles and sent to help defend Bataan, despite having no infantry training. Bataan surrendered on April 9, 1942. Pvt. Basinger survived the 60 mile Bataan Death March, but he did not survive long as a prisoner of war. He died on June 10, 1942.
His grave is at Grove Hill Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas.
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To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY
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