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: U.S.S. President 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 Sexmoan 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

            - unfinished Filipino training base
            - Japanese put camp into use as POW Camp
            - only one water spigot for entire camp
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
        - 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
            - Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate
            - Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
                - Japanese put base into use as a POW camp
            - "Blood Brother" rule implemented
                - if one POW in the group of 10 escaped, the other nine would be killed
            - work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens
                - many were able to smuggle in medicine, food, and tobacco
            - men who attempted to escape and caught were executed
            - daily POW meal - 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
            - assigned to Barracks 5, Group 2
            - hospitalized - 8 July 1942 - malaria
                - discharged - 5 February 1943
     
        - Las Pinas Detail

            - Nichols Field Detail

            - 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

            - housed in Pasay School
                - fed leftovers from Japanese kitchen    
                - POWs built a runway by removing the side of a hill with picks and shovels
                - Japanese sent ill to Bilibid to die to lower death rate

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: 

        - Shenyang Camp, Manchuria

            - Work: machine shop & lumber mill

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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