|Pvt. Edward M. Haines
Pvt. Edward M. Haines was born on October 26, 1921, in
Flushing, Ohio, to Willis Haines & Edith
Daugmerty-Haines. It is known he had a sister
and a brother and that his father died when he was
eleven. To make things easier on the family,
they moved in with her mother and step-father.
He left high school after his sophomore year, and his
family later resided outside of Flushing, Ohio.
On May 25, 1940, Edward enlisted in the U.S. Army in Cambridge, Ohio, but it is not known where he did his basic training. After basic training, he was assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion at Fort Benning, Georgia. In the fall of 1941, the battalion was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana, but did not take part in the maneuvers that were taking place at the time.
The 192nd Tank Battalion was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana, in the late summer of 1941, to take part in maneuvers. During the maneuvers, according to members of the battalion, General George Patton selected them to be sent overseas. Instead of returing to Ft. Knox, they were ordered to report to Camp Polk. Men too old to go overseas were released from federal service and replacements for these men came from the 753rd Tank Battalion. Edward was one of the replacements and was assigned to Headquarters Company.
Many of the members of the battalion were given leaves home so that they could say goodbye to family and friends. They returned to Camp Polk and traveled by train to San Francisco, California. From San Francisco, the tankers were ferried to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island. On the island they were given physicals and inoculated for tropical diseases. Some men were held back for health issues but scheduled to join the battalion at a later date. Other men were simply replaced.
The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.S. Hugh L. Scott and sailed from San Francisco on Monday, October 27th, for Hawaii, as part of a three ship convoy. The ships arrived at Honolulu on Sunday, November 2nd, and the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island. On Tuesday, November 4th, the ships sailed for Guam. It was during this part of the trip that smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon. Soldiers recalled that the engines of the heavy cruiser - that was escorting the two transports - revved up and the bow of the ship came out of the water as it sped off to intercept the ship. As it turned out, the unknown ship was from a neutral country. When the ships arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16th, they took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables, before sailing the next day for Manila.
During this part of the trip, there was a second incident that told the soldiers that they were sailing into a war situation. One night, as the ships sailed passed some islands, they did so in total blackout. The ships entered Manila Bay on Thursday, November 20th and docked at Pier 7 later that day. About three hours after arriving, the soldiers were disembarked the ship and were taken, by bus, to Ft. Stotsenburg. Some of the soldiers drove their trucks to the fort, while the tank maintenance section remained behind, at the pier, to unload the battalion's tanks.
At the fort, they were greeted by Colonel Edward King, who apologized that the men had to live in tents along the main road between the fort and Clark Field. The fact was that he had not learned of their arrival until just days before the ship arrived at Manila. He made sure that they all received Thanksgiving Dinner before he went to have his own dinner.
For the next seventeen days the tankers worked to remove cosmoline from their weapons which had been greased to prevent them from rusting during the trip to the Philippines. They also loaded ammunition belts, did tank maintenance, and prepared for maneuvers with the 194th Tank Battalion.
The two tank battalions were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field the morning of Monday, December 1st. The 194th was assigned to protect the northern portion of the airfield, and the 192nd was assigned the southern portion of the airfield to protect. At all times, two crew members remained with their tanks or half-tracks. The morning of December 8th, the officers of the 192nd were called to an office and informed of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. All members of the letter companies were sent to the airfield.
All morning long, on December 8th, the sky was filled with American planes. At noon, the planes landed to be refueled, lined up in a straight line, and the pilots went to lunch. At 12:45 in the afternoon, Japanese bombers appeared over Clark Field destroying most of the American Army Air Corps. HQ Company was in the battalion's bivouac when the attack took place and took cover since they had no weapons to use against the planes. After the attack, they witnessed the devastation caused by the bombing and strafing.
The battalion remained at the airfield and lived through several more attacks until December 21st when it was ordered to Lingayen Gulf where the Japanese were landing troops. For the next four months Laddio worked to supply the letter companies with the supplies they needed to fight the Japanese.
The evening of April 8, 1942, Capt. Fred Bruni, HQ's commanding officer, gave his men the news of the surrender. While informing the members of the company of the surrender, he waved his arm toward the tanks and told the men that they would no longer need them. As he spoke, his voice choked. He turned away from the men for a moment, and when he turned back he continued. He next told the sergeants what they should do to disable the tanks. During the announcement, Bruni emphasized that they all were to surrender together. He told the soldiers to destroy their weapons and any supplies that could be used by the Japanese. The only thing they were told not to destroy were the company's trucks. The men waited in their bivouac until ordered to move. Somehow, Bruni had found enough bread and pineapple juice for what he called, "Their last supper."
At 7:00 A.M., April 9th, all Filipino and American forces, on Bataan, were surrendered to the Japanese. HQ Company remained in its bivouac for two days. On April 11th, the first Japanese soldiers appeared at the encampment, and a Japanese officer ordered the company, with their possessions, out onto the road that ran in front of it. Once on the road, the soldiers were ordered to kneel along the sides of the road and place their possessions in front of them. As they knelt, Japanese soldiers who were passing them, went through their possessions and took whatever they wanted from the Americans.
After this, the company members boarded their trucks and drove to just outside of Mariveles. From there, they walked to Mariveles Airfield and ordered to sit and wait for further orders. As they sat, the POWs noticed a line of Japanese soldiers forming across from them. They soon realized that this was a firing squad and the Japanese were going to kill them.
As they sat watching and waiting to see what the Japanese intended to do, a Japanese officer pulled up in a car in front of the Japanese soldiers. He got out of the car and spoke to the sergeant in charge of the detail. The officer got back in the car and drove off. As he drove away, the Japanese sergeant ordered the soldiers to lower their guns.
Later in the day, the POWs were moved to an open field in Mariveles. The POWs were left sitting in the sun for hours without food or water. Behind the POWs were four Japanese artillery pieces which began firing on Corregidor and Ft. Drum which had not surrendered. Shells from these two American islands began landing among the POWs. The POWs could do little since they had no place to hide, and some POWs were killed by incoming American shells. One group that tried to hide in a small brick building died when it took a direct hit. The American guns did succeed in knocking out three of the four Japanese guns.
The POWs were ordered to move again by the Japanese and had no idea that they had started what became known as the death march. During the march, the POWs received no water and little food. It took the members of HQ Company six days to reach San Fernando. Once there, the POWs were put into a bull pen that had a fence around it. In one corner, of the bull pen, was a slit trench to be used as a toilet by the POWs. The surface of the trench moved since it was covered in maggots. The POWs had enough room to sit, but they could not lie down.
How long the POWs remained in the bull pen is not known. The Japanese ordered the POWs to form columns of 100 men and marched them to the train depot at San Fernando. They were put into a small wooden boxcars that were used to haul sugarcane and taken to Capas. The cars were known as "Forty or Eights" since they could hold forty men or eight horses, but the Japanese packed 100 men into each car. Those who died remained standing until the living climbed out of the cars at Capas. From Capas, they walked the last ten miles to Camp O' Donnell.
Camp O'Donnell was an unfinished Filipino training base that the Japanese pressed into service as a Prisoner of War camp. It turned out to be a death trap with as many as fifty POWs dying each day. There was only one working water faucet for the entire camp. To get a drink, men stood in line for hours and many died while waiting for a drink. The death rate among the POWs was high enough to get the POWs to volunteer to go out on work details to escape the camp. The Japanese recognized that they had to do something to lower the death rate, so they opened a new camp at Cabanatuan.
Edward was sent to Cabanatuan since he was one of the healthier POWs. He did not remain in the camp for long and went out on a work detail, on June 13th, to the Port Area of Manila. The POWs on the detail were housed in a warehouse directly behind the custom house at the port. The conditions that the POWs lived in were so bad that by October new quarters for the POWs were opened in the Port Terminal Building. The POWs worked on the docks as stevedores loading and unloading ships and remained on the detail until July 1944, when the detail was disbanded and POWs were sent to Bilibid Prison in Manila.
The POWs arrived at Bilibid seven hours later. and their dinner, that evening, was rotten sweet potatoes. Since it was night, they had to eat in the dark. They remained at Bilibid until July 17th when, at 8:00 A.M., they were marched to Pier 7 and boarded onto the Nissyo Maru. The Japanese attempted to put the entire POW detachment in the forward hold but failed, so 600 of the POWs were put into the rear hold.
The ship was moved and assumed a position outside the harbor breakwater, from July 18th until July 23rd, while the Japanese attempted to form a convoy. The POWs were fed rice and vegetables, which were cooked together. They also received two canteen cups of water each day.
The ship sailed on July 23rd, at 8:00 A.M., to Corregidor and dropped anchor off the island at 2:00 P.M. It remained off the island overnight and sailed at 8:00 A.M. the next day heading north by northeast. On July 26th, at 3:00 in the morning, there was a large fire off the ship. It turned out that the one of the ships, the Otari Yama Maru had been hit by a torpedo from the U.S.S. Flasher which was a part of a three submarine wolf pack. On July 28th, the ships arrived at Takao, Formosa, and docked at 9:00 A.M., and sailed at 7:00 P.M. the same day. On July 29th, they continued their northward trip for the entire day. On July 30th, the ships ran into a storm which finally passed by August 2nd. The POWs were issued clothing on August 3rd and arrived at Moji on August 4th at midnight.
At 8:00 in the morning of the fourth, the POWs disembarked the ship and taken to a theater where they were held all day. They were next taken to the train station and divided into groups, each with a different destination. The POWs boarded a train and were dropped off at POW camps along the line. In Edward's case, he was transported to Fukuoka Camp #1, where the POWs worked in a lumber mill. The camp was also known as Omine Machi. This was the Japanese propaganda camp which meant the POWs were treated a little better than in the other camps. In December 1944, he was transferred to Kamioka Camp, where the POWs in the camp worked in zinc and lead mining. They also worked in a smelter.
The POW diet in the camp was cooked rice. Every two weeks they would receive three ounces of fish. Once a month each man received one once of meat, and every three weeks, if they were being rewarded for working hard, they receiived five ounces of soy beans. The Japanese did not treat the sick or injured well and withheld medicine from the POWs even though it was in the Red Cross packages. Most of the POWs never received one letter, from home, while in the camp.
The POWs slept 24 men to a barracks, and their beds were straw mats. The blankets they received were not much protection against the cold. The barracks were heated by coal burning stoves, but only two handfuls of coal were issued each day. To prevent the buildings from collapsing in the winter, the POWs had to clear the roofs of snow each time it snowed.
Edward remained in the camp until he was liberated in September 1945. He was returned to the Philippines for medical treatment and promoted to sergeant. On the U.S.S. Hugh Rodman, Edward returned to the United States on October 3, 1945, at San Francisco. It was almost four years, to the day, since he had sailed from the same port for the Philippines. He was was sent to Letterman General Hospital before he returned to Ohio.
Edward chose to remain in the military and retired from the Army in 1960 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He married Eleanor Guidone and became the father of a daughter and son. Around 1962, the family moved to South Plainfield, New Jersey, where he worked for Lockheed Electronics in Watchung, New Jersey.
Edward M. Haines passed away on September 6, 1982, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in East Orange, New Jersey, and was buried at Long Island National Cemetery in Suffolk County, New York, in Section 2B, Site 1061. The next year the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, in Watchung, asked that a local park be renamed in his honor. Instead, the city council voted to rename the park Veterans Park.
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