Beloved Patriot Passes
Beloved World War II hero Wayne Carringer, survivor of the Bataan death march and a prisoner of war camp, passed away Monday morning at age 98.
Carringer, who weighed just 75 pounds when he was released from Japanese captivity, credited strong faith as the reason he survived. “Four faiths – faith in God, faith in my fellow man, faith in friends, and faith in myself,” he told an interviewer in 2017.
Carringer returned to Robbinsville after spending six months in a hospital in Swannanoa. There he learned that his mother and two brothers had died while he was away serving in the U.S. Army. Carringer also learned that he had been declared dead and that a memorial service had been held for him at the Graham County courthouse.
After being discharged, Carringer used back pay to purchase four acres of land. Wendy’s and a trailer park occupy that land today.
Carringer remained upbeat
and positive throughout his life despite enduring numerous hardships. “I thank God for giving me the courage and strength to endure
the torture, the beatings and the humiliation to come home to the greatest country in the world,” he said.
And he retained his sense of humor to the end. An example, in an interview with The Graham Star, Carringer recounted how he and fellow POWs were processed before being shipped home: “They wanted to fatten us up so no one [back home] would see us look so bad ... We were told we would get four shots and the fourth one will not hurt. The fourth one was a shot ... of whiskey!” he laughed.
Carringer will be laid to rest Thursday. See page 3 for his obituary.