AdairW
 

S/Sgt. Winfred Horace Adair


Born: 22 February 1917 - Vanderburgh County, Indiana
Parents: Arthur E. Adair & Lulu Mays-Adair
Siblings: 2 sisters, 1 brother
    - when he was a baby, he was put in an orphanage in Nashville, Tennessee
    - discovered his father was alive in 1937 in Evansville

Home: 617 North Sixth Avenue - Evansville, Indiana

    - 1935 - living in Nashville, Tennessee

Enlisted:
Education: 1 year - high school

    - U.S. Army 

        - 19 December 1939

Unit:
    - 19th Ordnance Battalion
       - trained alongside 192nd Tank Battalion
       - learned to repair the 57 vehicles used by the Army
       - August 1941 - took part in maneuvers in Arkansas
    - 17th Ordnance Company
       - A Company, 19th Ordnance designated 17th Ordnance Company
           - received orders to go overseas the same day

Training:

    - Ft. Knox, Kentucky

        - received orders to go overseas
Note:  The decision for this move -  which had been made on August 15, 1941 - was the result of an event that took place in the summer of 1941.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines, when one of the pilots, who was flying at a lower altitude, noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a flagged buoy in the water and saw another in the distance.  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 which was hundred of miles away.  The island had a large radio transmitter.  The squadron continued its flight plan south to Mariveles and returned to Clark Field.
     When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.  The next day, when another squadron was sent to the area, the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat - with a tarp on its deck - which was seen making its way to shore.   Since communication between the Air Corps and Navy was difficult, the boat escaped.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.

Overseas Duty:
    - 4 September  1941
        - battalion traveled by train to Ft. Mason in San Francisco, California
    - Arrived: 7:30 A.M. - 5 September 1941
        - ferried to Ft. McDowell, Angel Island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
        - given physicals and inoculations
        - men with medical conditions replaced
    - 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 day
            - escorted by heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Astoria, and an unknown destroyer
                - heavy cruiser intercepted several ships after smoke was seen on the horizon
                - ships belonged to friendly countries

        - Tuesday - 16 September 1941 - crossed International Dateline
            - date became - Thursday - 18 September 1941
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
Stationed:
    - Ft. Stotsenburg - Philippine Islands

Engagements:

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942

            - Philippine Islands

                - serviced tanks of the Provisional Tank Group
                - supplied ordnance to the tanks

        - 8 April 1942
            - Gen. Edward King made decision to negotiate the surrender of his troops
                - only 25% of troops healthy enough to fight
                    - estimated they would last one more day
                - 6,000 troops were hospitalized from wounds or illness
                - 40,000 Filipino civilians could possibly be slaughtered
           - King sent his staff officers to negotiate surrender terms
           - 11:40 P.M. - ammunition dumps blown up

Prisoner of War:

    - 9 April 1941

        - Death March

POW Camps:

    - Philippine Islands:

        - 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
        - Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate
            - 1 June 1942 - POWs formed detachments of 100 men
                - POWs marched out gate and marched toward Capas
                    - Filipino people gave POWs small bundles of food
                        - the guards did not stop them
                - At Capas, the POWs were put into steel boxcars and rode them to Manila
                - train stopped at Calumpit and switched onto the line to Cabanatuan
                    - POWs disembark train at 6:00 P.M. and put into a school yard
                    - fed rice and onion soup    
    - Cabanatuan:
        - 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 Administration:
            - the Japanese left POWs to run the camp on their own
                - Japanese entered camp when they had a reason
                - POWs patrolled fence to prevent escapes
                    - Note: men who attempted to escape were recaptured
                    - Japanese beat them for days
                    - executed them
        - Barracks:
            - each barracks held 50 men
                - often held between 60 and 120 men
                - slept on bamboo slats without mattresses, covers, and mosquito netting
                    - diseases spread easily
                - no showers
        - Morning Roll Call:
            - stood at attention
                - frequently beaten over their heads for no reason
            - 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 because they didn't like the way the POWs lined up

        - Meals:
            - 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
            - rice was main staple, few vegetables or fruits
        - 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
                    - medical staff had little to no medicine to treat sick
                    - many deaths from disease caused by malnutrition
            - hospitalized - 8 September 1942
                - malaria
            - discharged - no date given

        - Bilibid Prison:

                - admitted - October 1942
                    - malaria

                - discharged - 19 November 1942

                    - sent to "Front Office"

        - Ft. McKinley Detail:

            - Ft. McKinley
                - November 1942

                - lived in barracks of 45th Infantry, Philippine Scouts

                - POW compound 300 feet by 150 feet

                    - POWs cleaned up junk

            - Nielsen Field

                - 29 January 1943 - detail moved there

                    - lived in four nipa hut barracks
                    - POWs built runways at airfields
                    - became ill while at Nielsen Airfield
        - Bilibid Prison

            - admitted: not known
            - discharged: 19 November 1942
                - sent to "Front Office"
            - admitted: 12 August 1943 - from Nielsen Field
                - recurring malaria
            - discharged: 30 August 1943 - to Cabanatuan

        - Cabanatuan
             - July 1944 - name appears on list for transfer to Japan
             - 15 July 1944
                - 25 to 30 trucks arrived at camp to transport POWs to Manila 
                - POWs left at 8:00 P.M.

        - Bilibid Prison
            - arrived at 2:00 A.M. - 16 July 1944
            - the only food the POWs received was rotten sweet potatoes

Hell Ship:
    - Nissyo Maru
        - Friday - 17 July 1944 - POWs left prison at 7:00 A.M.
        - Boarded ship: same day
            - Japanese attempted to put all the POWs in one hold
            - when they couldn't, they put 900 POWs in the forward hold
            - 600 POWs held in rear hold
        - Sailed: Manila - same day
            - dropped anchor at breakwater until 23 July 1944
            - POWs were not fed or given water for over a day and a half after being put in
              the ship's hold
            - POWs fed rice and vegetables twice a day and received two canteen cups of
               water each day
            - 23 July 1944 - 8:00 A.M. - ship moved to area off Corregidor and dropped
              anchor
        - Sailed: Monday - 24 July 1944 - as part of a convoy
            - some POWs cut the throats of other POWs and drank their blood
            - convoy attacked by American submarines
                - four of the thirteen ships in the convoy were sunk
                - a torpedo hit the ship but did not explode
        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - Friday - 28 July 1944 - 9:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: same day - 7:00 P.M.
        - 30 July 1944 -  2 August 1944 - sailed through storm
        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - Thursday night - 3 August 1944 - midnight
            - POWs issued new clothing
        - Disembark: 4 August 1944 - 8:00 A.M.
            - POWs disembarked and taken to movie theater
                - sat in the dark
                - later divided into 200 men detachments and sent to different POW camps
            - taken by train to POW camps along train lines

POW Camp:

    - Japan:

        - Fukuoka #3B

Note:  The POWs worked at the Yawata Steel Mills doing manual labor shoveling iron ore and rebuilding the ovens.  The POWs were sent into the ovens to clean out the debris.  Since the ovens were hot, because the Japanese would not let them cool off, the POWs worked faster on this detail.  Many of the products from the mill helped the Japanese war effort.  If an air raid took place while the POWs were at the mill, they were put into railway cars and the train was pulled into a tunnel.  They worked from 8:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. and received a half hour lunch. 

    The barracks that the POWs lived in were always cold since the Japanese heated them on a minimal basis and infested with lice, fleas, and bedbugs.  Only the sick rooms had heat.  All POWs who died were reported to have died in the camp hospital.  Food for the POWs consisted of a main dish of rice, wheat, wheat flour, corn, and, Kaoliang, a millet.  To supplement their diets, the POWs in the camp would hunt rats at night for meat. 
    Although medical supplies for the POWs were sent to the camp by the Red Cross, the Japanese commandant would not give the American medical staff the medicine that was in the packages.  Any surgery in the camp had to be performed with crude medical tools even though the Red Cross had sent the proper surgical tools.  To meet quotas for workers, the sick POWs were required to work even if it meant they could possibly die from doing it.  The Japanese camp doctor made the sick stand out in the cold for hours.  He beat them and allowed the guards to beat them.
    Three days a month, the POWs were allowed to exchange their worn out clothing for new clothing, but a Japanese guard beat POWs attempting to exchange their clothing.  The POWs went without clothing to avoid the beatings which resulted in men developing pneumonia and dying.
    The POWs were beaten daily with fists and sticks for violating camp rules, and the guards often required them to stand at attention, in the cold, while standing water.  In one incident an entire barracks was slapped in the face, by the guards, because some POWs had smoked in the barracks.  During the winter, POWs who were being punished often had water thrown on them.  A group of about 60 POWs were made to crawl on their hands and knees while carrying other POWs on their backs.  As they crawled, they were hit with bamboo sticks, belts, and rifle butts.  There were two brigs in the camp which had as many as 20 POWs in them at a time.
    Another incident involved an American soldier who traded with the Japanese. The war was almost over and Japan was about to surrender.  The soldier traded for roasted beans.  As it turned out, the beans had been tainted with arsenic.  The soldier died the next day.  After going through all he had suffered, the soldier died when freedom was almost his.

    The Yawata Steel Mills were the primary target for the second atomic bomb, but since the sky was extremely overcast, the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.  This time, they saw  Japanese workers facing in the direction of radio speakers with their heads bowed.  The Americans thought that the emperor had passed away.  The truth was that the second atomic bomb had been dropped on Nagasaki, and the emperor was announcing Japan's surrender.  An American ensign, who could read and speak Japanese, saw a newspaper with the announcement of the surrender.  He was the first person to inform his fellow POWs that the war was over.  They were then told the same news by a Japanese officer.
    - 8 August 1945 - steel mill bombed
        - one POW was killed and another wounded

Liberated:

    - 13 September 1945
        - returned to Philippine Islands
Transport:

    - S.S. Simon Bolivar

        - Sailed: Manila - not known           
        - Arrived: San Francisco - 21 October 1945

            - taken to Letterman General Hospital

Discharged: 4 February 1946

Married: Clara

Residence: Worthington, Ohio

Occupation: plumber

Children: 1 daughter, 1 son

Died:

    - 24 September 1994 - Columbus, Ohio

Buried:

     - Saint Joseph Cemetery - Columbus, Ohio

         - Plot: St. Mark  Lot: 726  Grave: 1 


 

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