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Bataan to Hiroshima  Ben Steel's Visual Chronicle

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Steele's Prison ID Photograph

November 17, 1917 Born in Roundup, Montana
September 1923 - June 1932 Attended grade school in Roundup and on family ranch south of Musselshell in the Bull Mountains
June 1933 Graduated from eighth grade, Pratt Memorial School, Billings, MT
September 1933 Enrolled at Billings Senior High School
June 1934 Left High School to work on Irving Harvey Ranch and Carroll Clark Ranch, Pompeys Pillar, Montana
September 1935 Entered Huntley Project High School
June 1936 Left high school to work at Clark Ranch, Pompeys Pillar and the Big Hole Basin
September 1937 Re-entered Senior High School
June 1939 Graduated from Billings Senior High School
June 1939 - April 1940 Worked for Snook Art Company, Billings, as a glazier.
April 1940 - September 1940 Worked for C.E. Clark, Hardin, Montana
September 9, 1940 Enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps at Fort Missoula.
September 1940 Arrived March Field, California for basic training.
April 1941 Ordered to Albuquerque, New Mexico and assigned to 7th Material Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group as aircraft dispatcher.
September 1941 Assigned to duty at Clark Field, Philippine Islands.
October 15, 1941 Arrived at Clark Field
December 8, 1941 Clark Field attacked by Japanese
December 25, 1941 Evacuated Clark Field; ordered to Bataan Peninsula.
January 6, 1942 Squadron assigned to infantry duty on front lines of Bataan.
April 7, 1942 Front lines collapsed.
April 9, 1942 Captured by Japanese near Cabcaben, Bataan.
April 10, 1942 Started "Death March of Bataan"
April 18, 1942 Arrived at Camp O'Donnell Prison Camp
June 2, 1942 Assigned to Tayabas Road Detail.
August 15, 1942 Taken to Bilibid Prison, Manila, from Tayabas Road -- too ill to work; began to draw.
July 2, 1944 Returned to Bilibid Prison
July 4, 1944 Loaded aboard freighter "Canadian Inventor," named " Matti Matti Maru" by prisoners.
September 2, 1944 Landed Moji, Japan
September 3, 1944 Arrived Omine Machi Coal Mine, Japan
August 6, 1945 Heard that the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima
August 15, 1945 Work ceased in coal mines
August 18, 1945 American planes dropped food, clothing, medical supplies, and leaflets into camp.
September 10, 1945 Boarded train and met occupation troops at Wakayama, Japan.
September 12, 1945 Left Wakayama on "USS Sanctuary" hospital ship.
September 16, 1945 Arrived Okinawa.
September 18, 1945 Flown by 19th Bombardment Group C54 to Guam via Iwo Jima.
September 24, 1945 Arrived Hickam Field, Hawaii.
September 26, 1945 Landed in San Francisco; taken to Letterman General Hospital.
October 10, 1945 Assigned to Baxter General Hospital, Spokane, Washington.
November 15, 1945 Went home to Billings for first time in over five years
December 1, 1945 Assigned to Fort George Wright Hospital, Spokane, Washington.
February 16, 1946 . Married Roberta Mellis in Billings
July 10, 1946 Discharged from United States Air Force.
December 12, 1946 Daughter Rose Marie born in Portland, Oregon
September 1947 Enrolled in Cleveland Institute of Art
November 3, 1947 Daughter Julie Margaret born in New London, Ohio
September 1949 Divorced from Roberta Mellis
June 1950 Graduated from Cleveland Institute of Art; enrolled in Kent State University.
June 1951 Graduated from Kent State University with BSE Degree
June 1951 Began summer school at Denver University.
September 1951 Taught art and coached at New London (Ohio) High School, 1951-52 school year.
August 31, 1952 Married Shirley Ann Emerson at New London, Ohio.
March 1953 Employed by Department of Army as Post Crafts Director, Fort Riley, Kansas.
December 1954 Appointed Staff Crafts Director, Military District of Washington, Washington, D.C.
June 1955 Awarded MA Degree from Denver University.
June 1956 Appointed Staff Crafts Director, Third United States Army, Fort MacPherson, Georgia.
September 1959 Began teaching in art department, Eastern Montana College, Billings, Montana.
September 1965 Appointed Director of Art Department
March 1966 Adopted son Sean Emerson.
September 1970 Appointed Head of Art Department.
June 1982 Retired as Professor of Art Emeritus, Eastern Montana College.

Click on the links below to view some of the images:

||  The Water Line ||  Rules and Regulations  ||
||  Tayabas Trenches  ||
||  His Own  ||  Water Brigade  ||  Ready to Move  ||

A Catalog of the work,  Ben Steele, Prisoner of War is available.
Click Here to Order

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