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About Aaron A. Abston

About the author: Aaron Alexander Abston (? 1916 — June 5, 1992), lieutenant colonel (ret.) U.S. Army, engineer. An obituary in the Washington Post on June 10, 1992 summarized his life as follows:

…Abston, 76,… retired six years ago as an engineer at Vitro Corp., died June 5 at Washington Veterans Hospital, where he was a patient for more than two years. He had Alzheimer’s disease.

Col. Abston retired in 1958 as a battalion commander in Nellingen, Germany, after 21 years in the Army. He had also served in the Netherlands.

When World War II broke out, he was stationed in the Philippines. He fought on Corregidor and Bataan before being captured. He remained a prisoner of the Japanese until the end of the war.

After he retired from the Army, he was a supervisor of research engineers for what was then Sperry Gyroscope on Long Island. He moved to Olney in 1976 to work for Vitro.

Col. Abston was a native of Coker, Ala., and a graduate of the University of Alabama and the Army Command and General Staff College. He received a master’s degree in physics from Johns Hopkins University.

His military decorations included the Silver Star with three oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart.

He was a member of the Retired Officers Association, Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Mu Epsilon math honorary society.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Kathleen Abston of Olney; a daughter, Susan Hedge of Dayton; a brother, Theron Abston of Madison, Miss.; three sisters, Elizabeth Waldrop of Marietta, Ga., Frances Watkins of Birmingham, Ala., and Katie Belle Houston of Northport, Ala.,; and a grandson. A daughter, Patricia Lewis, died in 1986.

About the diary: Held in the U.S. National Archives as Diary containing roster and lists of death. By Capt. Aaron A. Abston, Btry “C” 60th CA 1942, digitized and made available as Capt Abston Diary, 60th Cebu Area Command (CAC), Battery C (note error in reference to Cebu) in the Philippine Archives Collection (PVAO). Supplemented by Battery “G” 60th C.A. (A.A.) in the Corregidor Historical Society website, covering the dates June 1, 1941 to May 6, 1942.

The diary as uploaded in the archives, contains various personnel lists and profiles, and affidavits, in its first 24 pages. Two sections used here then follow:

  1. “Action by Battery ‘G’, 60th CA (AA) on May 5-6” covering May 5 and 6, 1942; and
  2. “A Personal Note on the Fall of Corregidor” covering March 24, 1942 to April 19, 1942 (the document ends abruptly).

While overall, even though written as an after-action report, the narrative has all the appearances of a diary, there is an noticeable discrepancy in dates from time to time. For example, the December 5, 1941 entry reports the bombing of Pearl Harbor when this was on December 8, 1941 (Philippine time/date).