Fred Millard Wroten was born August 27, 1918 to John William Wroten and Dora Simmons in Lesage, Cabell County, West Virginia. Fred grew up in Cabell county with his brothers Ernest, John, Frank, Shirley, Noah, and Merrell, and sisters Mary and Annie. Prior to entering the armed forces, Fred attended Barboursville High School.
Fred was inducted into the United States Army on October 20, 1939 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He served in the United States until June 6, 1941 when he was sent overseas to the Pacific to serve as a private first-class in the Headquarters Company, Philippine Department, in the Philippine Islands. While serving with the Headquarters Company, Fred was present at the fall of Corregidor, at which time he was captured as a prisoner of war by the Japanese when the troops were forced to surrender to the enemy.
Although listed as missing to his family, Fred was held as a prisoner of war in the Philippines for two years. While being transported to Japan on the Arisan Maru, Fred 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.
Fred 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, Fred T. Jewell's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, and Fred'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