THE PARACHUTE STORY
Roy E. "Gabby" Hays, 4th Marines, 1st Battalion, "D" Company was captured on Corregidor in May of 1942. He was a Japanese Prisoner of War for 3 1/2 years. During those years Gabby, so nicknamed because he seldom spoke, spent time in 92nd Garage, Camp O’Donnell, Cabanatuan, Bilibid, then sent on the hellship Mati Mati Maru to Kyushu, Omuta, Japan Fukuoka Camp 17.
Roy was in Camp 17 when the war ended. The Americans were dropping food on the camp in 55 gallon drums attached to parachutes. Roy said he did not know what made him think to do it, but he gathered one of the parachutes, cut or tore off a piece and wrote his name on it. Roy then passed it around for those around him to sign too. He thinks they signed it in pencil because he said they didn't have such things as pens. 38 men including Roy signed their names on it and added where they were from. He brought it home with him. A few years later after Roy was home and had married, his wife suggested to him that they hire a woman to embroider the names before they faded, and so they did.
A daughter’s request:
Last night on Christmas Eve (2002), my father, Roy Hay, and I sat down with his beloved piece of parachute and I wrote down all the names from it. We are hoping that if anyone is looking for information about someone on his parachute, they might want to contact us. Or if any of the men are who signed it are still alive and would like to correspond with dad, he welcomes it. A few he called his "buddies" he knows have passed away. He might not be able to relate anything personal or specific about most of those men but he could relate their circumstances if family members wish to talk with him.
Roy "Gabby" Hays (1919-2012)
Winter Haven, Florida 33881
Below is a list of the men who signed the parachute. Some of them have a question mark with the soldier's name or the town name. These were the names that were hard to read and Dad just could not remember the name exactly.
Thank you, Annette Morgan, Associate Member ADBC & daughter of Roy E. Hays
Roy E. Hays, Mt. Vernon, IL; Clayton A. Crimmons, Yakima, WA.
Bernard M. Pothier, Medford, MA; Robert D. Henderson Seattle WA
Jack T. Stark, Pittsburg, PA; Donald D. Rutter Lansing MI
Don S. Pike, Oxnard, CA; Elwood S. Rahall(or)Rahalt, Eau Claire WI
Robert E. Taylor, Marion IA; Harold G. Kurvers (Snuff), St Paul, MN
C E. Perferron, W. Palm Beach, FL; Reinhold Aschenbreener, Lincoln,NE
Charles A. Schmidt, IA; David N. Chapa, Alamo, TX
Rosser E Sodn, Rocky Falls, WY; Tony Del Pino, Tampa, FL
William D. Hicks, Pinckneyville, IL; Ronald Walsh, St Paul, MN
Elmer R. Johnson, Chowchilla, CA; Joseph M. Vaughan, Chicago, IL
Ralph Mason, New Orleans, LA; Jack J. Rocher, Portsmouth, VA
Bob Walker, New Orleans, LA; Edward Duggan, Santa Monica, CA
Charles G. Davis, Phoenix, AZ; James O. Wiss, Chula Vista, CA
James H. Austin, Spokane, WA; Holland Hazel, McRae, GA
James H. Malone, Fairfield, IL; Ole Standifer, Cogar, OK
James O. Bennett, Wynne, AR; Floyd J. Dudley, Kansas City, MO
Floyd L. Singer, CA; Larry Hollingstead, Vancouver, Canada
Marvin W. Denny, Ft. Worth, TX; James Wilson, East St. Louis, IL
Jackson S. Holly, Denver, CO; Thomas E. Harvey, Adrian, MI