Haviland

 


Pvt. William James Haviland


    Pvt. William J. Haviland was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in April 1919, and was the son of Paul & Cecila Haviland.  After his parents divorced, with his brother, he was raised at his maternal grandparent's house at 9516 Leo Avenue in Cleveland. 
    On March 22, 1941, William was inducted into the U. S. Army and sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for basic training.   During this time he was trained as a radio operator.  After basic training, he was sent to Camp Pok, Louisana, and assigned to A Company, 753rd Tank Battalion. 

    William's battalion was at Camp Polk, Louisiana, but did not take part in the maneuvers being held there.  While they were there, the 192nd Tank Battalion received orders for overseas duty.  Replacements were sought for the National Guardsmen who were released from federal service.  William volunteered, or had his name drawn, to join the 192nd and was assigned to A Company.  He then received a leave home to say goodbye to friends and family.  

    Upon returning to Camp Polk, the battalion boarded different trains and headed to San Francisco, California, over different train routes.  They then took ferries to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island where they received physicals and inoculations.  Those men with minor medical conditions were held on the island and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.  Men with major medical conditions were simply replaced.

    The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S. A. T. Hugh L. Scott and sailed on Monday, October 27th.  During this part of the trip, many of the tankers suffered from seasickness.  Once they recovered they spent their time breaking down machine guns, cleaning weapons, and doing KP.  The ship arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2nd and had a two day layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island. 
    On Wednesday, November 5th, the ship sailed for Guam but took a southerly route away from the main shipping lanes.  It was at this time it was joined by, the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and, another transport, the S. S. Calvin Coolidge.  Sunday night, November 9th, the soldiers went to bed and when they awoke the next morning, it was Tuesday, November 11th.  During the night, while they slept, the ships had crossed the International Date Line.  On Saturday, November 15th, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon.  The Louisville revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it shot off in the direction of the smoke.  It turned out the smoke was from a ship that belonged to a friendly country.
During this part of the voyage, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon.  The cruiser that was escorting the two transports revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it took off in the direction of the smoke.  It turned out that the unknown ship was from a friendly country.During this part of the voyage, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon.  The cruiser that was escorting the two transports revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it took off in the direction of the smoke.  It turned out that the unknown ship was from a friendly countr
    When they arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16th, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables before sailing for Manila the next day.  At one point, the ships passed an island at night and did so in total blackout.  This for many of the soldiers was a sign that they were being sent into harm's way.  The ships entered Manila Bay, at 8:00 A.M., on Thursday, November 20th, and docked at Pier 7 later that morning.  At 3:00 P.M., most of the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg.  Those who drove trucks drove them to the fort, while the maintenance section remained behind at the pier to unload the tanks.
    At the fort, they were greeted by Colonel Edward P. King, who apologized that they had to live in tents along the main road between the fort and Clark Field.  He made sure that they had what they needed and that they received Thanksgiving Dinner before he went to have his own dinner.  Ironically, November 20th was the date that the National Guard members of the battalion had expected to be released from federal service.
    The members of the battalion pitched the tents in an open field halfway between the Clark Field Administration Building and Fort Stotsenburg.  The tents were set up in two rows and five men were assigned to each tent.  There were two supply tents and meals were provided by food trucks stationed at the end of the rows of tents.  
    For the next seventeen days the tankers worked to remove cosmoline from their weapons.  The grease was put on the weapons to protect them from rust while at sea.  They also loaded ammunition belts and did tank maintenance.  According to members of the battalion, they were getting ready to take part in maneuvers with the 194th Tank Battalion.
    On December 1st, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  From this time on, two tank crew members remained with each tank at all times and received their meals from food trucks.

    The morning of December 8th, December 7th in the United States, all the tank and half track crew members were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field.  Many of the men believed that this was the start of the maneuvers they were expecting.  At 8:30, the American planes took off and filled the sky.  They landed at noon, to be refueled, lined up in a straight line near the mess hall, and he pilots went to lunch.  
    During lunch, the "replacements" were ordered to stay with the equipment while the original members of the battalion went to eat.  The tankers were eating lunch when a formation of 54 planes was spotted approaching the airfield from the north.  As the men watched the sky, they felt good about the planes in the sky and the protection they were providing them.  As they watched, raindrops fell from the planes.  When bombs exploded on the runways, they knew the planes were Japanese.      
    When the Japanese were finished, there was not much left of the airfield.  Since the battalion's bivouac was near the main road between the fort and airfield, the soldiers watched as the dead, dying, and wounded were hauled to the hospital on bomb racks and trucks.  Anything that could carry the wounded was in use.  When the hospital filled, they watched the medics place the wounded under the building.  Many of these men had their arms and legs missing.

    That night, most men slept under their tanks since it was safer than sleeping in their tents.  They had no idea that they had slept their last night in a bed and from this point on they would sleep on the ground.
 
   After the attack on December 12th, the company was sent to the Barrio of Dau to protect a highway and railroad from sabotage.  From there, the company was sent to join the other companies of the 192nd. just south of the Agno River, as they made their way north toward Lingayen Gulf.
    On December 23rd and 24th, the company was in the area of Urdaneta, where the tankers lost the company commander, Capt. Walter Write.  After he was buried, the tankers made an end run to get south of Agno River.  As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening but successfully crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.
    On December 25th, the tanks of the battalion held the southern bank of the Agno River from Carmen to Tayung, with the tanks of the 194th holding the line on the Carmen-Alcala-Bautista Road. The tanks were asked to hold the position for six hours; they held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27th.

    The 192nd and part of the 194th fell back to form a new defensive line the night of December 27th and 28th.  From there they fell back to the south bank of the BamBan River which they were suppose to hold for as long as possible.  The tanks were at Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan on December 28th and 29th serving as a rear guard against the Japanese.
   
A Company was sent, in support of the 194th, to an area east of Pampanga.  It was there that they lost a tank platoon commander, Lt. William Read on December 30th.  That night, on a road east of Zaragoza, the company was bivouacked for the night and had posted sentries.  The sentries heard a noise on the road and woke the other tankers who grabbed Tommy-guns and manned the tanks' machine guns.  As they watched, a Japanese bicycle battalion rode into their bivouac.  When the last bicycle passed the tanks, the tankers opened up on them.  When they stopped firing, they had completely wiped out the bicycle battalion.  To leave the area, the tankers drove their tanks over the bodies.

     The 192nd formed a defensive line along the south bank of the river of the Bambam River on December 31st.  When the Japanese attacked the position at night, they were easy to see since they were wearing white t-shirts.  The Japanese were taking heavy casualties, so they attempted to use smoke to cover their advance.  The wind blew the smoke into the Japanese.  When the Japanese broke off the attack, they had suffered fifty percent casualties.   
    On January 1st, the tanks of the 194th were holding the Calumpit Bridge allowing the Southern Luzon forces to cross the bridge toward Bataan.  General Wainwright was attempting to hold the main Japanese force coming down Route 5 to prevent the troops from being cut off.  General MacArthur's chief of staff gave conflicting orders involving from  whose command the defenders should take orders.  Gen. Wainwright was not aware these orders had been given.
    Because of the orders, there was confusion among the Filipinos and American forces defending the bridges over the Pampanga River.  Due to the efforts of the Self Propelled Mounts, the 71st Field Artillery, and a frenzied attack by the 192nd Tank Battalion the Japanese were halted.  From January 2nd to 4th, the 192nd held the road open from San Fernando to Dinalupihan so the southern forces could escape.  
    From January 2nd to 4th, the 192nd held the road open from San Fernando to Dinalupihan so the southern forces could escape.  It was also in January 1942, that the food ration was cut in half.  It was not too long after this was done that malaria, dysentery, and dengue fever began hitting the soldiers.
    The tanks often were the last units to disengage from the enemy and form a new defensive line as Americans and Filipino forces withdrew toward Bataan.  The night of January 7th, A Company was awaiting orders to cross the last bridge into Bataan over the Culis Creek.  The engineers were ready to blow up the bridge, but the battalion's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ted Wickord, ordered the engineers to wait until he had looked to see if they were anywhere in sight.  He found the company, asleep in their tanks, because they had not received the order to withdraw across the bridge.  After they had crossed, the bridge was destroyed.
    While American and Filipino forces were withdrawing from Pilar-Bigac Line, the battalion prevented the Japanese from overrunning the position and cutting off the withdrawing troops.  The morning of January 27th, a new battle line had been formed and all units were suppose to be beyond it.  That morning, the tanks were still holding their position six hours after they were suppose to have withdrawn.  While holding the position, the tanks, with self-propelled mounts, ambushed, at point blank range, three Japanese units causing 50 percent casualties.
     On January 28th, the tank battalions were given the job of protecting the beaches.  The 192nd was assigned the coast line from Paden Point to Limay along Bataan's east coast.  The Japanese later admitted that the tanks guarding the beaches prevented them from attempting landings.  They also took part in the Battle of the Pockets and the Battle of the Points.

    A Company also took part in the Battle of the Pockets to wipe out Japanese troops who had been trapped behind the main defensive line.  The tanks would enter the pocket one at a time to replace a tank in the pocket.  Another tank did not enter the pocket until the tank, which had been relieved, had left the pocket.
    To exterminate the Japanese, two methods were used.  The first was to have three Filipino soldiers ride on the back of the tank.  As the tank went over a Japanese foxhole, the Filipinos dropped three hand grenades into the foxhole.  Since the grenades were from WWI, one out of three usually exploded.
    The other method to use to kill the Japanese was to park a tank with one track over the foxhole. The driver gave the other track power resulting with the tank spinning around and grinding its way down into the foxhole. 
It was for their performance during this battle that the 192nd Tank Battalion would receive one of its Distinguished Unit Citations.

    
The company also took part in the Battle of the Points after the Japanese landed troops behind the main line of defense.  The first troops landed were quickly surrounded and cut off.  In an attempt to reinforce them, the Japanese landed additional troops in an attempt to relieve them.  But, they laned them in the wrong spot creating a second pocket that was cut off.  Both pockets were wiped out. 
        During the Battle of the Points, the tanks supported the Philippine Army as it wiped out two pockets of Japanese Marines who had been landed behind the main defensive line.  The Japanes landed on one point and were quickly cut off.  The Japanese attempted to land more troops to relieve them, but landed them at the wrong spot.  These troops were also quickly surrounded.  Both pockets were wiped out. The soldiers were hungry and began to eat everything they could get their hands on to eat.  The Carabao were tough but if they were cooked long enough they could be eaten.  They also began to eat horse meat provided by the 26th U. S. Cavalry.  To make things worse, the soldiers' rations were cut in half again on March 1, 1942.  This meant that they only ate two meals a day.   
    The Japanese also were dropping surrender leaflets with a scantly clad blond on them.  The Japanese would have been more successful at getting the Americans to surrender if the picture had been hamburger, since the men were so hungry that they most likely would have surrendered for a good meal.  On March 2nd or 3rd, during the Battle of the Points.

    On March 2nd or 3rd, during the Battle of the Points.  The tanks had been sent in to wipe out two pockets of Japanese soldiers who had been landed behind the main defensive line.  The Japanese were soon cut off.  When the Japanese attempted to land reinforcements, they landed them at the wrong place creating another pocket.    On March 2nd or 3rd, during the Battle of the Points.  The tanks had been sent in to wipe out two pockets of Japanese soldiers who had been landed behind the main defensive line.  The Japanese were soon cut off.  When the Japanese attempted to land reinforcements, they landed them at the wrong place creating another pocket.    On March 2nd and 3rd, Both of the pockets were wiped out.
   The company's last bivouac area was about twelve kilometers north of Marivales and looking out on the China Sea.  By this point, the tankers knew that there was no help on the way.  Many had listened to Secretary of War Harry L. Stimson on short wave.  When asked about the Philippines, he said, "There are times when men must die."  The soldiers cursed in response because they knew that the Philippines had already been lost.
    On April 4, 1942, the Japanese launched an attack supported by artillery and aircraft.  A large force of Japanese troops came over Mount Samat and descended down the south face of the volcano.  This attack wiped out two divisions of defenders and left a large area of the defensive line open to the Japanese.  When General King saw that the situation was hopeless, he initiated surrender talks with the Japanese.   
    On April 9, 1942, he became a Prisoner of War when Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese.  From Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan, William began what became known as the death march.

    William made his way from Mariveles to San Fernando with little food and almost no water.  At San Fernando, he and the other POWs were packed into small wooden boxcars used for hauling sugarcane.  Each car could hold eight horses or forty men.  The Japanese put 100 men into each car and closed the doors.  Those who died remained standing since there was no place for them to fall.  At Capas, those still living left the boxcars and walked the last few miles to Camp O'Donnell.

    Camp O'Donnell was a death trap with only one water faucet for 12,000 men.  As many as 55 men died each day from disease and lack of food.  Many POWs went out on work details to get out of the camp.  The Japanese finally acknowledged they needed to do something, so they opened a new camp and sent those POWs considered healthy there.
    At some point, William was sent to Cabanatuan, but it is not known if he went there when the camp opened or if he was sent there after a work detail. 
He was assigned to Barracks 10. 
   
According to medical records kept by the hospital staff, at the camp, William was admitted to the hospital on Thursday, October 8, 1942, suffering from diphtheria.  The date he was discharged is not in the report.  The records also show that he was readmitted to the camp hospital on May 24, 1943.  No reason was given for his being admitted and no date of discharge was given.
    It is known William was selected for a work detail to build runways at Clark Field  While he was a POW at Clark Field, he and the other POWs built revetments and a runway.  The Japanese guards did not want the POWs to talk to their friends and beat them when they did. 
    While building the runway, the rock that was used for the base ran out.  To finish the far end of the runway, the Japanese engineers decided to use sand for the base.  The result of this decision was that the first time a Japanese bomber landed on the runway its landing gear sunk into the runway and the plane flipped over onto its back.  The POWs wanted to cheer but didn't so they wouldn't be beaten.

    On August 27, 1944, William was one of 1,035 POWs who were boarded onto the Noto Maru.  The ship arrived at Formosa on August 29th, and sailed for Japan on September 7th, arriving at Moji, Japan, on September 9th.  The POWs were taken by train to Hanawa 300 miles away.

    At Sendai #6 outside of Hanawa, William and the other POWs were worked in a copper mine owned by Mitshubishi.  The mine had been reopened after being closed as unsafe.  To get to the mine, the POWs had to walk up a road to the mountain where the mine was located.  Often, they walked through snow that was waist deep.  They climbed stairs to the mine's rim and then descended into the mine.  The guards used an entrance that had been cut to reach the mine at the mountain's base.

    Sometime during his imprisonment, William developed pneumonia and tuberculosis.  On Friday, June 1, 1945, Pvt. William J. Haviland died of tuberculosis at Sendai #6. 

    After the war, William's remains were returned to the Philippines, and he is buried at the American Military Cemetery outside of Manila in Plot D, Row 7, Grave 260.


 

 

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