Allan M. Cory, Colonel, U.S. Army, WWII Japanese Prisoner of War – Part 1

Published 3:30 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

This is the beginning of the remarkable story of an American hero, Colonel Allan Murray Cory, Sr., a U.S. Army officer who was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942. Cory was a Major at the time and survived the Bataan Death March before being imprisoned in two prison camps in the Philippines. He was loaded onto the notorious Japanese death ship, the Nagato Maru, on November 7, 1942 and taken to mainland Japan. He was imprisoned in three different prison camps before being liberated from a camp near Osaka, Japan, on September 7, 1945.

Not only did Major Cory survive five prison camps, he secretly kept a diary when he was the ranking officer at one of the camps. After coming home at the end of the war, he was recalled to Japan to testify at the Japanese War Crimes Tribunal. His diary was used to convict some of the worst offenders.

Allan Murray Cory was born March 19, 1913, in Hennepin, Minnesota. His parents were Blanch Norwood and Chalmers M. Cory. The family would move to Chicago, Illinois, and later to Kansas City, Missouri. Allan graduated from Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri and attended the University of Wisconsin. Cory was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army after two years of college. In 1940, 1st Lt. Cory was training at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Lt. Cory was promoted to Captain in June 1941, and sent to the Philippines in September 1941. After arriving in Manila, he trained Filipino troops and commanded a battalion when he was captured at Bataan.

Details of Cory’s imprisonment in two POW camps in the Philippines and his subsequent transport to mainland Japan will follow in next week’s article.

Col. Cory’s son, Allan Murray Cory, Jr. and his family currently reside in Andalusia, Alabama.

John Vick