Grayford C. Payne
Chief Warrant Officer, United States Army
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Thanks to Keith Barnes for helping us to remember this true American hero.

Grayford C. Payne, 78, a retired Army Chief Warrant Officer who served in three wars and survived five Japanese prisoner-of-war camps in World War II, died of emphysema May 1, 1998 at his home in Annandale, Virginia.

An ordnance technician, Mr. Payne was on active duty in the Army from 1941 to 1968. After World War II he was stationed at various posts in the United States and in Germany, Italy, and Okinawa. He also served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and his decorations included two Bronze Stars with the combat V device for valor.

Mr. Payne was captured in the Philippines in April of 1942. He survived the infamous Bataan Death March and spent the next three years five months and 20 days as a slave laborer in five Japanese prison camps. He nearly starved.

Mr. Payne moved to Annandale in 1968 and went to work in a family business. He remained with the firm until 1980. He was a member of the American Ex-Prisoners of War Association.

Burial was at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 66, 4351-A) on 14 May 1998 with full military honors.


MAY 8, 1998—Grayford C. Payne, 78, a retired Army Chief Warrant Officer who served in three wars and survived five Japanese prisoner-of-war camps in World War II, died of emphysema May 1, 1998, at his home in Annandale, Virginia.

An ordnance technician, Payne was on active duty in the Army from 1941 to 1968. After World War II, he was stationed at various posts in the United States and in Germany, Italy and Okinawa. He also served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and  his personal decorations included two Bronze Stars with the combat V device for valor. But by his own account, nothing compared with his experience as a prisoner of war. He was captured in the Philippines in April 1942, and within 15 minutes he watched in horror as a Japanese soldier bayoneted a 15-year-old Filipino boy "right next to me."

Payne survived the infamous Bataan Death March and spent the next "three years, five months and 20 days" as a slave laborer in five Japanese prison camps in the Philippines and Japan. He nearly starved. By the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and brought the United States into the war, Payne's unit was in the Philippines. Of the 22 soldiers from his immediate area in New Mexico who were called up with him, only six survived the war.


Page Updated: 29 October 2000  Updated: 7 October 2001 Updated: 10 May 2002  Updated: 23 May 2003 Updated: 6 July 2003 
Updated: 20 November 2005
Bronze Star Medal = 2 Awards
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

GC Payne Gravesite PHOTO June 2003
Photo by M. R. Patterson, 27 June 2003