Our volunteer profile for September is on Ned Montgomery. Ned grew up in Mount Pleasant, SC…so he is one of our few natives on Yorktown. His father, Lieutenant Colonel Hampden Eugene Montgomery Jr., was a career Army officer. The Montgomery family were in the Philippines when war tensions began to rise with Japan. In May 1941, Ned traveled home to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with his mom and sister, while his dad remained in the Philippines with the 45th Infantry.
Ned’s dad served on General 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 awarded the Silver Star by Wainwright.
After surviving the sixty mile Bataan Death March, Colonel Montgomery was put aboard a ship for transport to Japan. His Japanese freighter was bombed and sunk by Allied forces. Surviving this experience, he was loaded on a second transport ship. This ship was sunk by an American submarine, so he had to survive two sinkings before finally reaching Japan.
Colonel Montgomery was assigned to the Fukuoka 3-B POW Camp near Fukuoka on the northern end of the island of Kyushu. The chart below shows his POW camp as Fukuoka #1, Loc. 3.
The camp at Fukuoka #3-B contained American, British, Dutch, Indian and other nationalities as prisoners. Colonel Montgomery despite surviving two ship sinkings, the Bataan Death March, etc, died on 05 February 1945 from pneumonia. Sixty-four Americans, thirteen British, fifty Dutch and twenty-five Indians died in captivity at this camp (See complete list of prisoners and their fates here). His family would not learn his fate until September 1945. Ned was at the beach on Sullivan’s Island, SC, attending a back to school party, when his uncle showed up to bring him home and tell him the news.
Ned graduated from Moultrie High School in Mount Pleasant and then attended The Citadel where he graduated in 1955 and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. He was sent to South Korea where he patrolled the western DMZ.
After returning from Korea, Ned came back home to Mount Pleasant. He remained active in the Army Reserves until 1966. A well-known businessman with his hardware store, Montgomery and Rowell, he eventually retired and became a volunteer at Patriots Point with the first group of volunteers under Don Ziglar in 1992. In 1995 he took a break in action from volunteering, but resumed again in 2007 and has been a steady and stellar docent for Patriots Point. Ned and his wife Louisa have three sons (one of whom is an active reserve Air Force officer and is a squadron commander at Niagara Air Guard Station, New York). Patriots Point salutes Ned and his family for their continued service to our nation.