Courtesy of Mrs. Charles E. Montgomery
Lieutenant Colonel Hampden Eugene Montgomery, was born at Georgetown, South Carolina, on September 12, 1902. He was a graduate of both Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina, and the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in the Class of 1928.
Colonel Montgomery served with the 8th Infantry at Fort Screven and Fort Moultrie (South Carolina) and at Fort McClellan. He was married in 1930 and was the father of two children. He and his family were posted to the Philippine Islands, where he was assigned to the 45th Infantry. He was in that group of officers who were to remain on duty in Philippine stations for action against the Japanese in the early days of World War II.
The Montgomery family returned to the United States in May, 1941 without him. For a while “Monty” was on General Jonathan M. Wainwright's staff as acting G-3 in the operations section and was among those last survivors who were captured by the Japanese on Bataan. For unusual gallantry in action during the battle there, he was later awarded the Silver Star by Wainwright.
Colonel Montgomery was among the American prisoners aboard a Japanese freighter that was bombed by Allied forces during their transport from their camp in the Philippines to Japan.
He died in Maji, Japan (Fukuoka #5), February 5, 1945 from physical debilitation brought on from the ordeal at sea compounded by the harsh treatment of prisoners by their captors.
In the years following the war, survivors of those ordeals contacted Mrs. Montgomery and her children and told of “Monty's” spirit and enthusiasm which he shared with other prisioners thusraising morale and giving them some small glimmer of hope.
We have visited the grave of Colonel Montgomery in Arlington National Cemetery. He is a genuine American hero, we wish to see his name listed on your website.
MONTGOMERY, HAMPDEN E
- LT COL U S AGF
- BURIED AT: SECTION S SITE 152
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard