1AndersonJ

Cpl. John Norman Anderson


Born: 12 October 1918 - Illinois

Parents: Mr. & Mrs. Robert Anderson

Home: 407 California Street - Salinas, California

Enlisted: California National Guard

Inducted: 

    - U. S. Army

        - 10 February 1941 - Salinas Army Air Base

Training: 

    - Fort Lewis, Washington

Units: 

    - 194th Tank Battalion
Note: On August 15, 1941, the 194th received orders, from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for duty in the Philippines because of an event that happened during the summer.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a buoy in the water.  He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of an Japanese occupied island, with a large radio transmitter, hundred of miles away.  The squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field.  By the time the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.
    The next morning, another squadron was sent to the area and found that the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat which was seen making its way toward shore.  Since communication between and Air Corps and Navy was poor, the boat was not intercepted.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.

Overseas Duty:
    - Ship: S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
        - Boarded: Monday - 8 September 1941 - 3:00 P.M.
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M. - same day
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday - 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: 5:00 P.M. - same date
            - escorted by the heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Astoria, and unknown destroyer
                - heavy cruiser intercepted several ships after smoke was seen on the horizon
                - ships belonged to friendly countries
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
    - Philippines
        - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941 
        - 1 December 1941
            - tank and half-track crews ordered to perimeter of Clark Field
                - designated positions
                - HQ Company remained in battalion's designated area

    - Philippine Islands

Engagements: 

   - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942

            - Clark Field - watched attack from inside his tank

            - 24 December 1941 - 1st Lieutenant
            - 5 January 1942
                - took position on the road between Sasmuan and Lubao with five Self-Propelled Mounts
                - ambushed a Japanese force of 750 to 800 attempting to cut the highway

                - Japanese lost half their force
                - Labao was burning when tanks left area   

   - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - 6/7 January 1942 - 194th withdraw across river at Culis covered by the 192nd Tank Battalion

            - January 1942

                - 2:30 A.M. - attacked in force by Japanese using smoke screen
                    - 5:00 A.M. - Japanese broke off attack because of heavy casualties and sunrise
                    - C Company losses - Lt. Petrie from wounds, Pvt. Martella killed attempting to shield Petrie
            - 16 January 1942 - Bagac
                - sent to open Moron Road so General Segunda's forces could move south
                - at the Moron Road and Road Junction 59 the tanks moved forward knocking out an
                  anti-tank gun
                - two tanks were lost to landmines but towed out
                    - mission abandoned
                    - Segunda's forces escaped along beach losing its heavy equipment
            - 20 January 1942
                -west of Bani Bani Road - tanks were sent to save the 31st Infantry command post     
            - 25/26 January 1942
                - battalion holding a position a kilometer north of Pilar-Bagac Road

                    - four SPMs with the battalion
                - warned by Filipino a large Japanese force was coming
                - when the enemy appeared they opened up with all the battalion had

                    - Japanese withdraw

                        - estimated they lost 500 of 1800 men
                - 28 January 1942
                    - 194th tanks given beach duty protecting southern beaches
                - April 1942
                    - tanks sent into various sectors in attempt to stop Japanese advance

Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942
        - tank crew receive order "crash" - 6:45 A.M.
        - destroy tanks
    - 10 April 1942

        - Death March

            - Mariveles - POWs start march at southern tip of Bataan
            - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
                - Americans on Corregidor returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars
                - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                - 100 POWs packed into each car
                - POWs who died remained standing
            - Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
            - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell   

POW Camps:

    - Philippines: 

        - Camp O'Donnell

            - 1 April 1942 - unfinished Filipino training base Japanese put into use as a POW camp
                - Japanese believed the camp could hold 15,000 to 20,000 POWs
            - POWs searched upon arrival at camp
                - those found with Japanese money were accused of looting
                - sent to guardhouse
                - over several days, gun shots heard southeast of the camp
                    - POWs who had money on them had been executed
            - Japanese took away any extra clothing from POWs as they entered the camp and refused to return it
                - since no water was available for wash clothing, the POWs threw soiled clothing away
                - clothing was taken from dead
                - few of the POWs in the camp hospital had clothing
            - POWs were not allowed to bathe
            - only one water spigot for entire camp
                - POWs waited 2 hours to 8 hours to get a drink
                    - water frequently turned off by Japanese guards and next man in line waited as long as 4 hours for
                      water to be turned on again
                    - mess kits could not be cleaned
                - POWs had to carry water 3 miles from a river to cook their meals
                - second water spigot installed a week after POWs arrived
            - slit trenches overflowed since many of the POWs had dysentery
                - flies were everywhere including in camp kitchens and food
            - camp hospital had no water, soap, or disinfectant
            - the senior POW doctor wrote a list of medicines he wanted to treat the sick and was told by the camp
              commandant,
              Capt. Yoshio Tsuneyoshi, never to write another letter
                    - Tsuneyoshi said that all he wanted to know about the American POWs was their names and numbers
                      when they died
                    - refused to allow a truckload of medicine sent by the Archbishop of Manila into the camp
                    - 95% of the medicine sent by Philippine Red Cross was taken by the Japanese for their own use
            - POWs in camp hospital lay on floor elbow to elbow
            - operations on POWs were performed with mess kit knives
            - only one medic out of six assigned to care for 50 sick POWs, in the hospital, was well enough to work
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
                - each morning dead were found everywhere in the camp and stacked up under the hospital
                - ground under hospital was scrapped and cover with lime to clean it
                - the dead were moved to this area and the section where they had laid was scrapped and cover with lime
                - usually not buried for two or three days
            - work details: if a POW could walk, he was sent out on a work detail
                - POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and malaria
            - POWs volunteered to go out on work details away from camp to escape it
        - Bridge Building Detail
            - volunteered to get out of detail to get out of Camp O'Donnell
            - rebuilt bridges that were destroyed during retreat into Bataan
            - detail ended in August 1942

        - Cabanatuan #1
            - original name: Camp Panagaian
            - Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
                - actually three camps
                    - Camp 1: POWs from Camp O'Donnell
                    - Camp 2:  four miles away
                        - all POWs moved from there because of a lack of water
                        - later used for Naval POWs
                    - Camp 3: six miles from Camp 2
                        - POWs from Corregidor and from hospitals sent there
                            - POWs later moved to Camp 1
           - Camp 1:
                - work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens, plant rice, and farm
                - when POWs lined up for roll call, it was a common practice for Japanese guards, after the POWs lined up, to kick the POWs in
                  their shins with their hobnailed boots
                    - they also were frequently hit with a pick handle, for no reason, as they counted off
                - POWs on the rice planting detail were punished by having their faces pushed into the mud and stepped on
                - the POWs had to go into a shed to get the tools, as they came out, they were hit on their heads
                - if the guards on the detail decided the POW wasn't doing what he should be doing, he was beaten
                - many POWs on details were able to smuggle in medicine, food, and tobacco into the camp
            - to prevent escapes, the POWs set up patrols along the camp's fence
            - men who attempted to escape and caught were executed after being beaten
                - the other POWs were forced to watch the beatings
            - daily POW meal - 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
        - Camp Hospital:
            - 30 Wards
                - each ward could hold 40 men
                    - frequently had 100 men in each
               - two tiers of bunks
                   - sickest POWs on bottom tier
               - each POW had a 2 foot by 6 foot area to lie in
            - Zero Ward
              - given name because it had been missed when counting wards
              - became ward where those who were going to die were sent
              - fenced off from other wards
                  - Japanese guards would not go near it
                 - POWs sent there had little to no chance of surviving

            - assigned to Barracks 5, Group 2
            - hospitalized - 8 July 1942 - malaria
                - discharged - 5 February 1943     
        - Las Pinas Detail

            - Nichols Field Detail
                - July 1942
                    - 150 POWs arrive to cut down gogon grass, bushes, and small trees with bolos (long, straight-bladed
                      steel knives)
                - 31 August 1942
                    - 500 POWs arrive 
                        - heads were shaven     
                        - POWs were in fairly good shape when they arrived at Las Pinas
                - 6 December 1942
                - 800 POWs on detail
                - Pasay School:
                    - 3 miles from Nichols Field
                    - POW housed in school rooms
                    - each room was 20 feet by 30 feet and accommodated 28 to 30 men
                     - men slept so close together, on thin mattresses, and could hardly turn over
                        - each POW had two small blankets
                        - room infested with bedbugs, ants, and mosquitoes
            - Cherry Blossom
                - got name from flral insignia he wore on his shoulder pieces
                - Japanese civilian in command of barracks
                - temperamental and described as terribly, terribly stupid
                - roll calls took forever since he could not count over 100
                    - American officers had to correct roll call
                - Latrines:
                    - two toilets for 500 men
                        - cans also were put in rooms
                    - 300 POWs shared seven showers
                    - 500 POWs shared  four showers
                        - waited in line for up to an hour to take a shower
                - Meals:
                    - main diet was boiled rice which was from sweepings of a warehouse floor
                        - nails, worms, dust, glass, bottle caps, were often in it
                        - POWs picked the rice to eat it
                            - each POW received 240 grams of rice
                            - later cut to 120 grams
                    - POWs grew squash, gourds, green beans, egg plant, and sweet potatoes
                        - did not meet their nutritional needs since they got scraps from Japanese mess
                        - meat was in a form of a fish used as fertilizer
                            - fish usually rotten
                    - POWs also received 250 pounds of potatoes each day for 500 POWs
                        - Japanese would let potatoes rot before giving them to POWs
                    - 80 pounds of flour given to POWs each week
                    - 20 pounds of meat a week for 800 POWs
                    - although they worked where fruit grew, the POWs were not allowed to eat any
                    - when Red Cross packages were given to POWs the Japanese cut the food rations by one fourth for 15
                      days
                    - beriberi spread among POWs because of diet
            - Clothing:
                - Philippine Red Cross gave clothing for POWs
                    - Japanese did not give it to them
                        - also kept Red Cross packages containing clothing
                - every 3 months, the Japanese gave 18 shirts and 18 trousers for 500 POWs
                    - there was enough clothing in a warehouse to furnish each POW with two sets of clothes including shoes
            - Camp Commander:
                - Capt. Kenji Iwataka
                    - called the "White Angel"
                    - wore a spotless naval uniform
                    - commanded camp for 13 months

            - POWs built runways with picks and shovels at Nichols Field
                - literally removed the side of a mountain by hand

                - filled in swamp
                - POWs killed by Japanese for violating rules

         - apparently John became ill and was sent to Cabanatuan

Hell Ship:

    - Tottori Maru

        - 1961 POWs put on ship

            - 500 in front hold and 1461 in rear hold

        - 5 October 1942 POWs left Cabanatuan for Manila

           -  housed in warehouse on Pier 7

        - 7 October 1942 POWs boarded onto Tottori Maru

        - Sailed: Manila 8 October 1942

        - 9 October 1942 - American submarine fired two torpedoes at ship
            - ship's captain maneuvered ship and torpedoes past harmously

            - ship passes a mine laid by an American submarine

        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 11 October 1942

        - Sailed: 16 October 1942 - 7:30 A.M.

                        -  returned to Takao - 10:30 P.M.
              - rumored that American submarines were in area

        - Sailed: 18 October 1942

        - Arrived: Pescadores Islands

            - anchored off the Pescadores Islands same day

                        -  remained anchored for several days

            - two POWs died buried at sea

        - Sailed: 27 October 1942

        - Arrived: Takao - 27 October 1942

            - 28 October 1942 POWs taken ashore and bathed

        - Sailed: 30 October 1942

        - Arrived: 30 October 1942 - Makou, Pescadores Islands

        - Sailed:  31 October 1942
            - seven ship convoy
            - convoy sailed though typhoon for five days
            - one ship sunk by an American submarine
                -other ships scattered

        - Arrived: Fusan, Korea - 7 November 1942

            - 9 November 1942 POWs disembarked ship
                - POWs issued new clothes and fur-lined overcoats
                - rode train for two days to Mukden, Manchuria

            - sick POWs left behind at Fusan

            - those who recovered came to Mukden at later date

            - white boxes contained the ashes of POWs who died

        - 11 November 1942 arrived Mukden
POW Camp:

    - Manchuria:
        - POWs worked in machine shop and lumber mill
            - Japanese wanted POWs to produce guns
            - POWs sabotaged machines by dropping sand in oiling holes
        - meals consisted of soy bean soup three times a day
            - POWs made snares to catch wild dogs that roamed into camp
            - stopped catching dogs when one was saw eating the body of a dead Chinese civilian
            - POWs who died during winter were stored in a building until the ground thawed and they could be buried

Liberated: September 1945 - Russian Army

Promoted: Sergeant

Married: Florence A. Boyd - 1946
    - couple got engaged before John went overseas

Children: 1 daughter, 1 son

Died: 10 February 1989 - Salinas, California

Buried:

     - Church of the Good Shepherd Cemetery - Salinas, California




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