Held In: CAMP #1 CABANATUAN P.I., CAMP 5-B NIIGATA JAPAN
Long Interned: 1245 days
at Capture: 19
Received: BRONZE STAR MEDAL WITH ONE OAK LEAF CLUSTER, PURPLE
HEART, POW MEDAL, GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL WITH TWO KNOTS, AMERICAN DEFENSE
SERVICE MEDAL WITH ONE BRONZE STAR, AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL - WORLD WAR
II, ASIATIC/PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL WITH TWO OAK LEAF CLUSTERS, WORLD WAR
II VICTORY MEDAL, PHILIPPINE DEFENSE MEDAL WITH THREE STARS, PHILIPPINE
INDEPENDENCE MEDAL, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION, COMBAT INFANTRYMANS
BADGE, CHINA WAR MEMORIAL MEDAL
Job: CLERK B.A.R RIFLEMAN
HUDSON POST 48 AMERICAN LEGION
after War: ROUTE SALES AND BAR MANAGER
My captivity after the surrendered of Bataan Philippine Islands on April
At the surrender I was in the hospital #1 on Bataan recovering from a
machine gun wound I received while on reconnaissance patrol. My wound
occurred eleven days before the surrender.
After a short period of time the hospital patients at Hospital #1 were
sent to the Old Bilibid Prison in Manila which had been made into a
makeshift hospital. After recuperating from my wound at Bilibid I was
sent to Camp #1 at Cabanatuan in the Philippine Islands where I slaved
on the prison farm detail, the canal digging detail, and the digging of
a Carabao Wallow. A Carabao is an Asian water buffalo. The Carabao was a
source of meat for the guards, nada for the POW's.
In September of 1942 I and 349 other POW's were shipped like cattle in a
Hell Ship to Niigata, Japan for more slave labor. In Camp 5-b in
Niigata, I slaved in the Rinko Coal Yards. Coal was shipped from
Manchuria, China to Niigata. The coal was unloaded from the ship to
barges, from the barge the coal was elevated by a conveyer machine to a
30 foot high railroad trestle, where V-shaped cars holding about one
half ton of coal would be filled from the conveyer machine and then
pushed around the track by a POW to a storage site or to railroad cars
under the trestle, then dumped. Once dumped the empty elevated car would
circle the track for another load. This went on in spite of rain, snow,
high winds, or burning sun for 12 hours a day 7 days a week with only a
very short break at mid-day for our rice and watery soup banquet.
Our guards were the group at Camp 5-b as on the Rinko detail. These
guards were all discharged and disabled military whose methods of
discipline towards POWs were measured out in proportion to the
seriousness of their disabilities-caused by our military and the
disciplinary procedures they experienced in the Japanese military -
which was brutal.
Food: Our food rations added up to a caloric in-take of barely enough to
sustain life. Breakfast was called Lugao. Lugao is rice cooked in water
to a constancy of oatmeal. Mid-day and evening meals were steamed rice
and watery soup. One bucket of water and one Dikon - a Japanese radish
seemed the recipe for POW soup.
Medical: In Camp 5-B we had no doctor until October of 1943. With no
medications the doctor's only medicine was admitting as many POWs daily
as our captors would allow to the doctor's tiny one room hospital for a
threes day rest. This saved many lives.
Message to Future Generations:
Do I hate the Japanese? How can I hate a whole race because of a few
misguided and mislead few? To quote Confucius: "A man came to me
with hostility and I let him keep his gift".