Papers (1941-1974) of U. S. Army artillery officer in World War I and World War II, who served as commander of the 57th Philippine Scouts and regimental commander, experienced the Bataan Death March and was a POW until 1945, consisting of correspondence, clippings, a hymnal, letters, and miscellaneous.
Colonel Edmund Jones Lilly, Jr. (b. 1894), is a native of Fayetteville, N.C. After graduating from the University of North Carolina (1915), he taught school before entering officers training school at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. He was commissioned (1917) as a second lieutenant in the field artillery reserves. As a member of the American Expeditionary Forces, he saw duty in France during W.W.I. Lilly subsequently commanded a machine gun company in Panama and headed the ROTC program at Georgia Tech, where he remained until 1940. In 1940, he was sent to the Philippines where he initially served as officer in charge of both the American and Filipino schools. Lilly became battalion commander of the 57th Infantry Philippine Scouts, executive officer of the regiment, and regimental commander. In April 1942, the U.S. Army in the Philippines was forced to surrender to the Japanese. Col. Lilly was a participant in the infamous Bataan Death March, and he remained a P.O.W. for the next three years. In the years after World War II, he served in France as the inspector general of the American Graves Registration Plan (1947-1950). He returned to the States in 1950 and was assigned to the Inspector General section at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he served until his retirement in 1953.
The most important correspondence in this collection centers around the fall of Bataan to the Japanese Army. The correspondence (1947-1974) contains information on the conditions of the U.S. Army before the Japanese attack, the order of withdrawal, and Colonel Lilly's ability as a leader. There are also several items which specify the Japanese policy towards prisoners of war. Of further interest is a newspaper clipping which depicts the notorious Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita's background, war record, and his hanging. There is also a letter (August, 1957) which has some specifics on the hanging of General Yamashita.
Correspondence (1942-1945) contains commendations to the Scouts of the 57th Infantry and congratulations to Colonel Lilly on his safe return home. There is also a brief account of Col. Lilly's liberation from the Japanese. There are several letters (1947-1953)which deal directly with Colonel Lilly's performance record. Most of these are in the form of commendations, which were written in support of his promotion.
The last set of correspondence (1950-1951) revolves around the death of Colonel Lilly's son, Lt. Edmund J. Lilly, III, who was killed in action in Korea. These letters are mainly condolences to the family. Two letters (September 21, 1950 and October 17, 1950) give specific accounts of the battle in which Lt. Lilly was killed. Also included is a poem written in the memory of Lt. "Ted" Lilly.
Miscellaneous items include a hymnal used by the P.O.W.'s during W.W. II, newspaper clippings on the death of General Jonathan Wainwright, Colonel Lilly's certificate of retirement, and photographs of the 57th Infantry (PS) and of the plaque of the United State Military Academy which contains the names of its graduates that were killed in Korea.
For related material, see Edmund Lilly Oral History Interview, O.H. 32.
Loaned by Col. Edmund J. Lilly, Jr.
Processed by D. Lennon
Encoded by Apex Data Services
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