M14 Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Joined
·
5,445 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So this past Thursday (12-04-2014) afternoon I met and spoke with one Andrew McClean (age 94). A man of great intellect, and of pure heart, he was golden soul through and through.

I had meet him after his son telephoned 911 to report his father's telephone line disconnected mid-conversation. As there was a rain storm occurring at the time, I chalked it up to Mother Nature wreaking havoc on Verizon's antiquated regional phone line.

On arriving at the McClean residence, I was greeted by the good natured Andrew McClean who had in his company his lovely wife. After finding he and his wife in good health and even better spirtis, we spoke at length about various things to include his lack of phone service.

As I spoke with Mr. Andrew McClean I couldn't help but think to myself there was something unique and special about him. His happiness and his zest for all things life were that evident to me.

In concluding my contact with Mr. and Mrs. McClean, I turned for his home's door ready to make my exit (afterall he and his wife were beyond well and both had indomitable spirits). Alas, I was stopped before the exit door by Mr. McClean himself who stated, "Please hold on young man, I have something to show you before you leave". With that, I paused in the entry way of his home.

Mr. McClean shuffled off into a back room and emerged with a shadowbox (a shadowbox being a custom picture frame with handfit mounting usually in celebration of one's life achievements). Mr. McClean walked up to me and presented me with his shadowbox simply stating, "Please take a gander at this and know I'm thankful for your service".

I took hold of his shadowbox turning it around to view its contents. In coming into view, I realized what I was holding were war medals along with Presidential and Congressional citations (all personally signed by the then President and his Congressmen) of a World War II combat Veteran... Mr. McClean himself.

I read on to discover he was a United States Marine (infantryman) combat Veteran and POW who was first assigned to China in 1940 wherein he (abnd his USMC unit) helped the Chinese fight against the Japanese land invaders. being overrun in China, the U.S. withdrew their Marine units and stationed them on Bataan (Phillipines). Within a couple/few weeks, he and his unit found themselves fighting against the Japanese invaders on Bataan Island.

Unfortunately, their position on Bataan was overrun and his unit surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army. Upon surrender, he and his fellow POW's completed the Bataan "Death March" with the survivors (himself included) arriving at their prison camp destination. Little did he know he and the other survivors would be living in their wretched prison camp for the next three plus years.

Mr. McClean's POW/combat Veteran status is further confirmed on this listing: http://www.mansell.com/pow_resources/pacific_pow_roster.html (His name is listed about 2/3'rds of the way down this webpage/list)

I was in awe of this upstanding man and Citizen and it was all I could do to maintain my professional demeanor in the presence of this Nation's "Greatest Generation". I did not take a picture of Mr. McClean nor his "shadowbox" but know this... I shall remember him for the remainder of my days.

I hope the Marines amongst us enjoyed this little bit of life so to speak not to mention anyone else who meanders by this sub-forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,157 Posts
Mr. McClean was undoubtedly a member of the 4th Marines as they constituted the "China Marines" prior to the war. As you stated, they were withdrawn from China and had arrived in the Philippines only shortly before the Japanese invaded. I know they suffered terribly at the hands of the Japanese. Hats off to Mr. McClean and his buddies!

In a bit of irony, the 4th Marines was reconstituted near the end of the war and the first Marines to land in Japan after the surrender was the new 4th Marines.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,652 Posts
Thanks for sharing that. I do a lot of living history displays at places like Pres. FD Roosevelt's mansion/library,, and West Point, and get to meet many like him, although there are damn few left. They certainly made their mark in history.
 
Joined
·
5,445 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yes, during my conversation with him, I made the following reply (after he told me he was a P.O.W. held by the Imperial Japanese Army), "I bet the Japanese prison keepers weren't very kind". He looked up at me and stared into my eyes. He then replied, "You have that right. I lost a lot of friends in that POW camp and some of them at the hands of Japanese soldiers". He would not discuss/elaborate further so I did not press him out of respect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
Another American hero to honor and respect. Thank you for the post. These men are fading fast and we can not do enough to Honor them. My thanks go out to all of them.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top