Defenders of the Philippines

picture of captivity and picture of release from captivity

Charles Pruitt, ADBC Commander

ADBC Commander, 1994-1995

Charles Pruitt ADBC Commander picture

 Charles S. Pruitt, a native of Sweetwater, Tennessee was born November 6, 1920.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy September 6, 1940 and received recruit training at Norfolk, Virginia.  He served aboard the Aircraft Carrier, USS Lexington from December 1940 to April 1941 as a yeoman.  After that, he transferred to the 16th Naval district at Cavite, Philippine Islands, aboard the USS Henderson.  He was assigned to the Naval Ammunition Depot, Cavite Navy Yard where he received training as a mine technician, where he served until December, 1941.  Afterwards, he operated a crane unloading munitions at Sunset Beach and later assisted in mining Subic Bay.  He served in Bataan with the Navy Infantry at Longoskawayan Point, until February 23, 1942, known as the Battle of the Points.  His next assignment was with the 4th Marine regiment, beach defense at Ramsey Ravine on Corregidor under Major Max Clark from February. 1932 to May 6, 1942.

He was a POW from May 6, 1942 until September 1945 in the following camps:  92nd Garage, Cabanatuan #3, Camp Murphy, Zamblan Field and Nielsen Field in the Philippines.  After that he was transported to Japan aboard the Noto Maru in August 1944.  He was assigned to Omine Machi coal mine, POW #469, while in Japan and was liberated In September, 1945.

Charles Pruitt POW picture
He stayed with the Navy, and retired in 1960 as Chief Warrant Officer.  Then he taught cabinet-making at McCinn County High School, Athens, Tennessee in 1963-64, and with the Memphis, Tennessee school system from 1964-1981 from which he retired.

He served as Commander of the Smokey Mt. Chapter EX-POW, 1989-90. Florida Chapter Commander of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor for 1994-1995.  He married Jean Debuty and had two daughters, Judy and Karen and a son Kelly.

Charles Pruitt passed away December 4, 1998.