January 7, 1921 (Fairfield, CT) – November 23, 1942; 21 years old; unmarried
Last local address: 271 Hunt Street, Norwalk
Enlisted on September 12, 1940
Service number: 11019656
7TH CHEMICAL COMPANY, AVIATION
Norwalk High School Class of ‘39
Corporal Lawrence was captured by the Japanese after Corregidor fell and is found on the Prisoner of War listings from May 7, 1942, maintained by the Japanese. The camp he was held in is not known. Records show he died as a POW at Fort McKinley, Manila, on November 23, 1942. The disposition of his remains is unknown but it is believed he is buried in an unmarked grave in the Philippines.
By the time the camp was liberated in early 1945, approximately 2,800 Americans had died at Cabanatuan. Prisoners were forced to bury the dead in makeshift communal graves that were often completed without records or markers. As a result, identifying and recovering remains interred at Cabanatuan proved exceedingly difficult in the years after the war. Corporal Albert J. Lawrence entered the U.S. Army from Connecticut and served with the 7th Chemical Company in the Philippines during World War II. He was captured in Bataan following the American surrender on April 9, 1942, and died of dysentery and beriberi on November 23, 1942, at the Cabanatuan Prison Camp in Nueva Ecija Province. He was buried in a communal grave in the camp cemetery along with other deceased American POWs; however, his remains could not be associated with any remains recovered from Cabanatuan after the war. (from dpaa.mil)
From Hartford Courant August 5, 1943
Corporal Albert J. Lawrence, son of Mrs. Rose Lawrence of Hunt Street, Rowayton, Norwalk, died of disease at a Japanese prison camp, the War Department announced Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
From Hartford Courant February 6, 1944
In honor of four Connecticut soldiers who died in Japanese prison camps, the State War Finance Committee announced Saturday that four days would be set aside next week during the Fourth War Loan and named for the men who sacrificed their lives. Monday, February 7, has been designated by John M. Hurley, executive manager of the State War Finance Committee, as Corporal Francis Hoyt Day in honor of Corporal Hoyt, 20 Webster Street, South Norwalk. Tuesday, February 8, will be Corporal Albert J. Lawrence Day in honor of Corporal Lawrence, Hunt Street, Rowayton. Wednesday, February 9, will be Private Kusti N. Gayda Day in honor of Private Gayda, 579 Center Street, Southport. Thursday, February 10, will be Private Samuel A. Russo Day in honor of Private Russo of New Canaan. These men gave their lives for their country,” Mr. Hurley said. It is only fitting that we recognize their sacrifice during the Fourth War Loan when we civilians can show the men and women in the service that we are behind them.” A telegram from the War Department to the State War Finance Committee also reported that four civilians from Connecticut are in Japanese internment camps. They are Colt Craven of Bridgewater, Frances Haughwout of Bethel, Christian Larsen of Southport, and Harold Rather of Old Greenwich.