KennadyM

2nd Lt. Marshall Howard Kennady Jr.


    2nd Lt. Marshall Howard Kennady Jr. was born on February 22, 1919, in Bexar County, Texas, and grew up with his sister and brother in Fort Worth, Texas.  He was the son of Marshall H. Kennady Sr. & Helen Lehnen-Kennady.  His father was a colonel in the Texas State Guard.  Marshall graduated from Texas A&M College in 1940 and commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army.
    It is not known if he was a member of the 753rd Tank Battalion or assigned directly to the 192nd Tank Battalion at Camp Polk, Louisiana, or Angel Island in San Francisco Bay as the battalion prepared for duty in the Philippine Islands where the battalion was receiving physicals and inoculations.

   The battalion sailed from San Francisco on Monday, October 27th, for Hawaii as part of a three ship convoy.  They arrived in Hawaii on Sunday, November 2nd, and had a layover, so the soldiers received shore leave and allowed to explore the island.  The ships sailed again on Tuesday, November 4th for Guam.  When the ships arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16th, they took on bananas, vegetables, coconuts, and water.  The soldiers remained on ship since the convoy was sailing the next day.  
    About 8:00 in the morning on Thursday, November 20th the ships arrived at Manila Bay.  After docking at Pier 7 in Manila, it was three or four hours before the soldiers disembarked.  Most of the tankers rode buses to Ft. Stostenburg, while other battalion members boarded their trucks and drove them to fort north of Manila.
  The maintenance section of the battalion remained at the pier to unload the tanks.
    At the fort, the tankers were met by Colonel Edward King, who welcomed them and made sure that they had what they needed.  He also was apologetic that there were no barracks, for the tankers, and that they had to love in tents.  The fact was he had not learned of their arrival until days before they arrived.  He remained with the battalion until they had settled in and had their Thanksgiving Dinner.  Afterward, he went to have his own dinner.
    For the next seventeen days the tankers spent much of their time removing cosmoline from their weapons.  The guns had been coated in the grease to prevent them from rusting while they were at sea.  The soldiers also spent a large amount of time loading ammunition belts.  The plan was for them, with the 194th Tank Battalion, to take part in maneuvers.
    The week of December 1, 1941, the tanks and half-tracks were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  Two members of each crew had to remain with their vehicle at all times.  The morning of December 8th, the officers were called to a meeting and informed of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor just hours earlier.  After hearing the news, they returned to their battalions and informed the enlisted men of the attack.
    That morning the sky was filled with American planes flying in every direction.  At noon, the planes landed, the pilots lined up their planes in a straight line to be refueled,  went to lunch.  It was 12:45 in the afternoon, and the tank crews had sent two members of each crew to the food truck to get their lunches.  The tankers stated that as they looked north, they saw planes approaching the airfield and had enough time to count 54 planes information.  Many believed the planes were Americans coming to reinforce the Army Air Corps.  It was only when they saw what they described as "rain drops" falling out of the planes, and red dots on the wings, that they knew the planes were Japanese.
    During the bombing, the tank crews remained in their tanks.  For some unknown reason, most of the Japanese Zeros did not go after the tanks.  When they did, the bombs landed between the tanks.  The tank crews had orders not to fire at the planes but many of them did anyway.  After the attack, the crews saw the carnage done by the planes.
    The battalion remained at Clark Field for two weeks when they were ordered north toward Lingayen Gulf because the Japanese were landing troops there.  On December 23rd and 24th, the battalion was in the area of Urdaneta.   The bridge they were going to use to cross the Agno River was destroyed and the tankers made an end run to get south of river.  As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening.  They 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 held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27th, when they
fell back toward Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan.  The tanks were at San Isidro, south of Cabanatuan, on December 28th and 29th.  While there, the bridge they were suppose to cross over the Pampanga River was destroyed, but they were able find a crossing over the river.   

    Marshall was the tank platoon commander of the three tanks assigned to HQ Company.  His tanks were with C Company as the company withdrew to Baluiag, where the tanks encountered Japanese troops.  It was at Baluiag that Lt. William Gentry's platoon of tanks won the first tank victory of World War II against enemy tanks.  

    On December 31, 1941, Gentry sent out reconnaissance patrols north of the town of Baluiag.  The patrols ran into Japanese patrols, which told the Americans that the Japanese were on their way.  Knowing that the railroad bridge was the only way into the town, Lt. Gentry set up his defenses in view of the bridge and the rice patty it crossed.    

    Early on the morning of the 31st, the Japanese began moving troops and across the bridge.  The engineers came next and put down planking for tanks.  A little before noon Japanese tanks began crossing the bridge.  

    Later that day, the Japanese had assembled a large number of troops in the rice field on the northern edge of the town.  One platoon of tanks under the command of 2nd Lt. Marshall Kennady were to the southeast of the bridge.  Gentry's tanks were to the south of the bridge, hidden in huts, while third platoon commanded by Capt. Harold Collins was to the south on the road leading out of Baluiag2nd Lt. Everett Preston, and his tank platoon, had been sent south to find a bridge to cross to attack the Japanese from behind.  

    Major Morley came riding in his jeep into Baluiag and stopped in front of a hut where he was spotted by the Japanese who had lookouts in the town's church's steeple.  The Japanese lookout became very excited.  Morley, not wanting to give away the tanks positions, got into his jeep and drove off.  Gentry had told him that his tanks would hold their fire until he was safely out of the village.

     When Gentry felt the Morley was out of danger, he ordered his tanks to open up on the Japanese tanks at the end of the bridge.  Gentry's tanks then came smashing through the huts' walls and drove the Japanese in the direction of Lt. Marshall Kennady's tanks who had been radioed and were waiting.

    Kennady held his fire until the Japanese were in view of his platoon and than joined in the hunt.  The Americans chased the tanks up and down the streets of the barrio through buildings and under them.  By the time Bill's unit was ordered to disengage from the enemy, they had knocked out at least eight enemy tanks.   This was the first American tank battle victory of World War II.

    Gentry and the other tankers withdrew to Calumpit Bridge which they discovered it had been blown up when they reached it.  Finding a crossing the tankers made it to the south side of the river.  Knowing that the Japanese were close behind, the Americans took their positions in a harvested rice field and aimed their guns to fire a tracer shell through the harvested rice.  This would cause the rice to ignite which would light the enemy troops.

    Gentry spaced his tanks about 100 yards apart.  The Japanese crossing the river knew that the Americans were there because the tankers shouted at each other to make the Japanese believe troops were in front of them.  The Japanese were within a few yards of the tanks when the tanks opened fire.

    Lighting the rice stacks, the Americans opened up with small fire than used their .37 mm guns.  The fighting was such a rout that the the tankers were using a .37 mm shell to kill one Japanese soldier.

    The tanks were next sent to the barrio of Porac to aid the Filipino army which was having trouble with Japanese artillery fire.  From a Filipino lieutenant, the takers learned where the guns were and attacked.  Before the Japanese withdrew, the tankers had knocked out three of the guns.

    After this, the tanks withdrew to the Hermosa Bridge and held it on the north side until all the troops were across.  The tanks then crossed to the south and destroyed the bridge which held the Japanese up for a few days.

     In addition to serving as a rear guard, the tankers burnt everything that was being left behind.  The tankers burnt warehouses, banks, and businesses that would help the Japanese. 

    The evening of April 8, 1942, Marshall and the other members of  HQ Company learned of the American surrender from Capt. Fred Bruni.  The tankers destroyed their tanks at this time.  The next morning when the surrender became official, he and the other members of the company became Prisoners of War.

    After remaining in their bivouac for two days, the members of HQ Company were ordered out to the road that ran by their encampment.  Once on the road, the POWs were ordered to kneel along the sides of the road with their possessions in front of them.  As they knelt, the passing Japanese soldiers took what they wanted from the Americans.  Afterwards, the soldiers boarded trucks and drove to Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan.

    At Mariveles, the POWs were searched and personal possessions were confiscated by the Japanese.  It was also from there that Marshall started what became known as the death march.  During the march he received almost no food and little water.  The POWs made their way north to San Fernando where they were placed in a bull pen.  In one corner was slit trench that the POWs used as a latrine.  The surface of the trench was alive with insects. 
    After being held in the pen, the POWs were ordered to form 100 men detachment.  From there, they were marched to the train station in San Fernando.  The
POWs were boarded into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane.  Each car could hold forty men or eight horses, but the Japanese packed 100 men into the cars.  In the cars, men died from the heat and lack of air but remained standing since there was no room for them to fall to the floor.  At Capas, those POWs still alive disembarked and the bodies of the dead fell from the cars as they climbed out.  The POWs walked the last few miles to Camp O'Donnell.

    Marshall was held as a prisoner at Camp O'Donnell which was an unfinished Filipino training base that the Japanese put into use as a POW camp.  Conditions in the camp were bad and many POWs died from disease.  There was one water spigot for the entire camp which meant the POWs stood in line for hours for a drink.  The Japanese guard would shut off the water whenever they felt like it.  Disease ran wild in the camp and as many as fifty-five POWs died each day.  To lower the death rate, the Japanese opened a new camp at Cabanatuan.
    Cabanatuan was a Filpino Army Base that the Japanese converted to a POW camp.  The POWs worked in rice paddies or on the camp farm.  It is not know if Marshall went directly there - when the camp opened - or if he arrived there after returning from a work detail.
   
Marshall was held at Cabanatuan until October 1942, when he was selected for transport to the Davao Penal Colony on the Island of Mindanao to work on a labor detail.  The POWs were taken to Manila and boarded on Erie Maru which sailed on October 28th.  After stopes at Iloido and Cebu, Mindanao, the ship arrived at Lasang, Mindanao, on November 7th.
    The POWs were taken to the Davao Penal Colony.  At the camp, the POWs were housed in eight barracks that were about 148 feet long and about 16 feet wide.  A four foot wide aisle ran down the center of each barracks.  In each barracks, were eighteen bays.  Twelve POWs shared a bay.  216 POWs lived in each barracks.  Four cages were later put in a bay.  Each cage held two POWs.
    The camp discipline was poor and the American commanding officer changed frequently.  The junior officers refused to take orders from the senior officers.  Soon, the enlisted men spoke anyway they wanted to, to the officers.  The situation improved because all majority of POWs realized that discipline was needed to survive. 
    At first, the work details were not guarded.  The POWs plowed, planted, and harvested the crops.  The sick POWs made baskets.  In April 1943, the POWs working conditions varied.  Those working the rice fields received the worst treatment.  They were beaten for not meeting quotas, misunderstandings between the POWs and guards, and a translator who could not be trusted to tell the truth.
    Many of the POWs became ill with what was called, "Rice Sickness".  This illness was caused by a POW cutting his foot or leg on a rice stalk.  The POW developed a rash and suffered from severe swelling.  If a POW bruised himself, the bruise developed into a ulcer.  Most, if not all the prisoners, suffered from malaria.
    As the American forces got closer to the Philippine Islands the Japanese began to send as many POWs to Japan or other occupied countries as possible. On June 6, 1944, the Japanese sent Marshall and other POWs to Lasang, Mindano, by truck.  Once there, the POWs were boarded onto the Yashu Maru and held in the ship's front holds for six days before it sailed.  The ship sailed on the 12th and dropped anchor off Zamboanga, Mindano. for two days before sailing for Cebu City arriving on June 17th.  The POWs were taken off the ship and held in a warehouse.  The POWs were returned to the dock and boarded an unnamed ship and arrived at Manila on June 25th and sent to Bilibid Prison. 

    In the early December 1944, Marshall was selected to be sent to Japan and sent to Bilibid Prison.  On December 12, 1944, roll call was taken and the names of the men selected for transport to Japan were called.  At 4:00 a.m. the morning of December 13th, Marshall and the other POWs were awakened and roll call was taken.  Afterwards, the POWs were allowed to roam the prison until they formed detached and were marched to Pier 7 in Manila.  Once there, tthe POWs were told to sit.  Many of the men laid down and slept until they were awakened to board the ship.  About 5:00 PM, the POWs were boarded onto the Oryoku Maru.

    The ship left Manila as part of the MATA-37 convoy bound for Takao, Formosa, at 3:30 the morning of December 14th. Later that morning mess was being given to the prisoners when the sound guns being fired was heard.  At first the POWs thought the anti-aircraft gun crews were practicing.  It was only when they heard the sound of plane engines that they knew it was an air raid.  The POWs heard the sound of the planes' engines change as they began their dives toward the ships in the convoy.  Explosions began taking place all around the ships.

    In the hold the POWs crowded together.  Chips of rust fell on them from the ceiling.  Bullets hit the metal plating on the hull but most did not penetrate because of the angle they hit the ship.  After the raid, they took care of the wounded before the next attack started.  A Catholic priest, Fr. Duffy, began praying, "Father forgive them.  They know not what they do."
    All the attacks followed the same pattern.  The planes attacked for twenty minutes before breaking off the attack.  A lull followed for twenty to thirty minutes before the next attack started.  This pattern was repeated over and over again all day. 
When the next attack came, the ship bounced in the water from the explosions.  The POWs in the holds lived through seven or eight attacks, from American planes, before sunset.  Overall, six bombs hit the ship.   When dusk came the planes broke off the attack.

    During the night, the medics in the ship's hold were ordered out by a Japanese officer to tend to the Japanese wounded.  One of the medics recalled that the dead, dying, and wounded were everywhere.

     In the ship's holds, the POWs could hear the sound of the Japanese passengers being loaded into lifeboats around midnight.  By the next morning, all the Japanese passengers were off the ship.

    The morning of December 15th, a guard shouted into the holds that the prisoners were going ashore.  The wounded would be the first evacuated.  As the POWs were abandoning ship, the planes returned.  The pilots of the planes had no idea that the ship was carrying prisoners.  Seeing the number of men going into the water, four of the planes came in low over the POWs.  The POWs waved and shouted to the planes do that they wouldn't straf them.  One plane veered off and flew even lower over the planes.  Again, the POWs waved frantically at him.  The pilot dipped his wings to show he knew they were Americans.  When he rejoined the other planes and the attack ended and the planes returned to their ship.  Later that day the planes returned and sunk the ship.
    Once on shore, the POWs were herded onto a tennis court at the Olongapo Naval Station at Subic Bay.  It was noted by the POWs when they reached shore that much of the ship's stern was blown away.  
    While the POWs were at Olongapo, a Japanese officer, Lt. Junsaburo Toshio, told the ranking American officer, Lt. Col. E. Carl Engelhart, that those too badly wounded to continue the trip would be returned to Bilibid.  Fifteen men were selected and loaded onto a truck.  They were taken into the mountains and never seen again.  What was learned was that these men were taken to a cemetery and shot.  They were also buried in the cemetery.  The remainder of the POWs remained on the tennis court.  During this time, they were given water but not fed.
   The POWs remained on the tennis court for nine days.  During their time on the courts, American planes attacked the area around them.  The men watched as the fighter bombers came in vertically releasing bombs as they pulled out of the dives.  On several occasions, the planes dove right at the POWs, dropped their bombs, and pulled out of the dives.  The bombs drifted over the POWs and landed away from them exploding on contact.  
    Since the POWs had no place to hide, they watched and enjoyed the show.  They believed that the pilots knew they were Americans but had no way of knowing if this was true.  But what is known is that not one bomb was dropped on them even though they could be seen from the planes.
    The evening of December 16th, the Japanese brought 50 kilo bags of rice for the POWs to eat.  About half the rice had fallen out of the bags because of holes.   Each POW was given three spoonfuls of raw rice and a spoonful of salt. 
    At about 8:00 AM on the morning of December 22nd, 22 trucks arrived at the tennis court.  Rumors flew on where they were going to be taken.  At about 4:00 PM, a Taiwanese guard told the POWs, in broken English,"No go Cabanatuan. Go Manila; maybe Bilibid."  The guard knew as little as the POWs.
    On December 22nd, the POWs were taken by truck to San Fernando, Pampanga, arriving there about four or five in the afternoon.  Once there, they were put in a movie theater.  Since it was dark, the POWs saw the theater as a dungeon.
    During the time at San Fernando, Pampanga, the POWs lived through several air raids. 
The reason for the air raids was the barrio was military headquarters for the area.  Most of the civilians had been moved out of the barrio.   Many of the Americans began to believe they had been taken there so that they would be killed by their own countrymen.
    On December 23rd, at about 10:00 P.M., the Japanese interpreter spoke to the ranking American officer about moving the POWs.  The Japanese loaded the seriously ill into a truck.  The remaining POWs believed that the POWs in the truck were taken to Bilibid Prison.  Those remaining were moved to a trade school building in the barrio.
    After 10:00 A.M. on December 24th, the POWs were taken to train station. 
The POWs saw that the station had been hit by bombings and that the cars they were boarding had bullet holes in them from strafing.  180 to 200 were packed into steel boxcars with four guards in each boxcar.  The doors of the boxcars were kept closed and the heat in the cars was terrible.  Ten to fifteen POWs rode on the roofs of the cars along with two guards.  The guards told these POWs that it was okay to wave to the American planes.
 
   On December 25th, the POWs disembarked at San Fernando, La Union, at 2:00 AM.  They walked two kilometers to a school yard on the southern outskirts of the barrio.  From December 25th until the 26th, the POWs were held in a school house.  The morning of December 26th, the POWs were marched to a beach.  During this time the prisoners were allowed one handful of rice and a canteen of water.  The heat from the sun was so bad that men drank seawater; Many of those men died.
    Most of the remaining prisoners where boarded onto another "Hell Ship" the Enoura Maru.   On this ship, the POWs were held in three different holds.  The ship had been used to haul cattle.  The POWs were held in the same stalls that the cattle had been held in.  In the lower hold, the POWs were lined up in companies 108 men.  Each man had four feet of space.  Men who attempted to get fresh air by climbing the ladders were shot by the guards.  The remaining POWs were put on the Brazil Maru.
   The daily routine for the POWs on the ship was to have six men climb out of the hold.  Once on deck, they would use ropes to pull up the dead and also pull up the human waste in buckets.  Afterwards, the men on deck would lower ten buckets containing rice, soup, and tea.
    During the night of December 30th, the POWs heard the sound of depth charges exploding in the water.  The ship arrived at Takao, Formosa, on December 31st and docked around 11:30 AM.  After arriving at Takao, each POW received a six inch long, 3/4 inch wide piece hardtack to eat.  This was the first bread they had since receiving crackers in their Red Cross packages in 1942.  During the time in the harbor, the POWs received little water.  From January 1st through the 5th, the POWs received one meal and day and very little water.  This resulted in the death rate among the POWs to rise.  On January 6th, the POWs began to receive two meals a day.
    The Enoura Maru also came under attack by American planes the morning of January 9th.  The POWs were receiving their first meal of the day, when the sound of ship's machine-guns was heard.  The explosions of bombs falling closer and closer to the ship was also heard, while the waves created from the explosions rocked the ship.
    One bomb that hit the ship exploded in the corner of the forward hold killing 285 prisoners.  The surviving POWs remained in the hold for three days with the dead.  The stench from the dead filled the air.   On January 11th a work detail was formed and about half the dead were removed from the hold.  The dead were unloaded from the ship, and a POW detail of twenty men took the corpses to a large furnace where they were cremated.  These men reported that 150 POWs had been cremated.  Their ashes were buried in a large urn on Formosa.  Later in the day, the survivors of the forward hold were moved into another hold.
    About 1000 POWs were transferred to the Brazil Maru on Saturday, January 13th. 
The ship sailed at dawn on the 14th as part of a convoy.  Sometime afternoon, the POWs received their first meal of a quarter cup of red rice for each POW.  The POWs found the first night on the ship was extremely cold.  What made it worse was that most of the POWs had dysentery.   During the trip, the POWs received two meals a day which consisted of each man receiving a third of a cup of rice and eight teaspoons of tea.
    During this part of the trip, as many as 30 POWs died each day.  The ship also towed one or two other ships which had been damaged.  Of the original 1619 men that boarded the Oryoku Maru, only 459 of the POWs had survived the trip to Japan.  After being disembarked, the POWs formed detachments and were marched to the train station.  From there, they road a train to various POW camps along the line.

    Marshall was held as a POW at Fukuoka #1-D where he died on Monday, February 19, 1945, of dysentery and malnutrition.  After his death, his remains were cremated and placed into an urn with those of 98 other POWs who died in the camp.

    After the war, on Tuesday, September 27, 1949, the remains of 2nd Lt. Marshall H. Kennady Jr. were reburied, in Section 82, Site 1B-1D - with the ashes of the other POWs who had died at Fukuoka #1-D - at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.  He shares his grave with Capt. Donald Hanes of HQ Company, 2nd Lt. Everett Preston of D Company, and 2nd Lt Harry Black of B Company.

    The photo below is of part of the headstone on the grave. 


 

 

 

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