Jay’s grandfather, Earl C. Humphrey, served in the United States Navy during World War II. He was serving aboard the USS Houston CA-30, out to sea, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In this special edition episode, Earl recounts his time as a prisoner of war (POW) working the Burma-Thai ‘Death’ Railway.

earl4.mp3 (48m 23MB)


  • 1920 Earl was born near Glasgow, Iowa.
  • 1942 March 1st, the USS Houston CA-30 was sunk by the Japanese Navy. Earl became a POW for 3 1/2 years.
  • 1946 Earl married Macil Marine Stark, Jay’s grandmother. You’ll hear Marine occasionally in the background. Fact checking, adding some dates and names, washing dishes, occasionally vacuuming. :)
  • 1980 Earl suffered his first stroke. His speech eventually mostly recovered, but you’ll hear some slurring in these recordings.
  • 1982 Jay’s father (Jim Hannah) interviewed Earl. You’re listening to those recordings.
  • 2000 Earl passed away in Independence, Missouri. We all miss him. <3
  • 2006 Marine passed away in Independence, Missouri. We all miss her. <3

Misc links:

Intro script:

Hello and welcome to a special episode of Jay Flaunts His Ignorance, the podcast. In this episode, you’ll hear my grandfather Earl C. Humphrey recount his experiences during World War II.

This episode is labelled “Earl 4”. If you haven’t listened to the previous episode labelled “Earl 3”, I recommend you go back and start with that one. It tells the story of the sinking of the USS Houston CA-30, and how my grandfather became a prisoner of war.

In 1980 my grandfather had a stroke which effected his speech. His speech mostly recovered, but you’ll hear some slurring in these recordings. In 1982 my father Jim Hannah sat down with him and recorded 11 audio tapes, capturing his oral history.

This is one of those tapes. This tape is labelled “Earl 4”. Earl recounts being a Prisoner of War of Japan for 3 1/2 years, including a year on the Burma-Thai ‘Death’ Railway. During construction 100,000 or more southeast Asian civilians were worked to death under brutal conditions. Nearly 13,000 POWs also died building the railway. British, Australians, Dutch, and Americans.

I hope you enjoy hearing my grandfather tell his story. In his own words. If you like this episode, there are more I can post. Let me know on twitter.com/jayflaunts. Thank you.

So, here it is. My father interviewing my grandfather in 1982.

Outro script:

And that’s it. That’s where the tape labelled “Earl 4” ends. Thanks for listening. If you’d like to hear more, let me know on twitter.com/jayflaunts. Bye for now.