Clarence E. Simms was from Cabell County, West Virginia. He served as a private with the 17th Ordinance Company in the Philippine Islands. He served with great dignity in the defense of the Philippines, but he was captured as a prisoner of war when the remaining troops were forced to surrender to the invading Japanese army.
Clarence was held as a prisoner of war in the Philippines for two years. While being transported to Japan on the Arisan Maru, Clarence lost his life on October 24, 1944 when the unmarked ship was torpedoed by an Allied submarine in the South China Sea. His death was received by the War Department on June 16, 1945.
Clarence was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and his body was buried at sea. In recognition of his honorable service in World War II, and for his ultimate sacrifice, Clarence E. Simms's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, and Clarence's was one of the original names inscribed on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial.
Hellships of World War II
West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives Database
West Virginia Archives and History