Dean, Oscar (P2, C2, L11)
Sergeant Oscar “Billy” Dean, 23, Mercer County, Kentucky, joined the Harrodsburg National Guard unit some time before it was activated in November 1940.
Moving under secret orders, Company D arrived in the Philippines by Thanksgiving Day, 1941. War came to them when the Japanese attacked Clark Field just a few hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Harrodsburg Tankers along with the allied forces fought the Japanese valiantly without reinforcements or resupply until they were ordered to surrender in April 1942. They had delayed the Japanese Army's timetable from 50 days to four months, giving the allies vital time to protect Australia and recover from the attack on Pearl Harbor.
He was taken prisoner on 9 April 1941 and survived the Death March. He was held at Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan.
According to records kept by the camp medical staff at Cabanatuan, Sgt. Oscar Dean was admitted to the camp hospital on October 11, 1942, suffering from dysentery. He remained in the hospital until October 20, 1942, when he died, from dysentery, at approximately 10:15 A.M., and was buried in the camp cemetery. After the war, Sgt. Oscar Dean's remains and those three other men who died on the same date could not be positively identified. At the request of the families, the remains were returned to the United States and reburied at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery on February 16, 1950, in Section I, Site 67. Dean is mistakenly identified as a member of the Army Air Corp on the headstone.
SEE Also: Bataan Commemorative Research Project Website Dean Bio
Sgt. Oscar Dean was born on June 23, 1919, in Mercer County, Kentucky, to Granville Elmer Dean and Glaydis Crossfield-Dean. He was known as “Billy” to his family and friends. With his nine sisters and three brothers, he grew up on the family farm on Oregon Road in Mercer County. He left high school after completing his third year and went to work on the family farm.