AllenJJ

 

Cpl. John Jay Allen


Born: 24 October 1921 - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Parents: Hiram Allen & Maybelle Shelrue-Allen
Siblings: 3 sisters, 2 brothers

 

Hometown: 717 North Eighth Street - Brainerd, Minnesota

Nickname: "Jay"

Enlisted: Minnesota National Guard

Inducted:

    - U. S. Army

        - 10 February 1941 - Brainerd, Minnesota

            - 82 men passed Army physicals
        - company remained at armory until  19 February 41
            - left by train at 12:19 A.M. - 20 February 1941

        - designated: A Company, 194th Tank Battalion
       
- arrived at Fort Lewis with two tanks, one reconnaissance car, and six trucks

Training: 

    - Fort Lewis, Washington
    - Fort Knox, Kentucky
        - radio operator school - 3 months
        - qualified as radio operator
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, hundred of miles away, with a large radio transmitter on it.  The squadron continued its flight plan and flew south to Mariveles before returning to Clark Field.  By the time the planes landed that evening, 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: 

    - rode train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
        - Arrived: 7:30 A.M. - 6 September 1941
    - ferried on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe to Angel Island
        - given physicals and inoculated by battalion's medical detachment
        - men with medical conditions replaced
    - 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 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
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
Stationed:
        - Ft. Stotsenburg, Philippine Islands
            - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941 
            - 1 December 1941
                - tanks ordered to perimeter of Clark Field
                - 194th guarded north end of airfield with 192nd guarding south portion
                - two crew members of each tank and half-track remained with vehicle at all times
                    - meals served by food trucks
                - those not assigned to a tank or half-track remained at command post
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
            - 8 December 1941
                - lived Japanese attack on Clark Field
                - planes did not go after tanks
                - after attack 194th sent to a bivouac three kilometers north of Clark Field
                    - from there they were sent to Barrio of San Joaquin on the Malolus Road
            - 12 December 1941
                - moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
                    - arrived 6:00 A.M.
            - 15 December 1941
                - received 15 Bren gun carriers
                - turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
            - 22 December 1941
                - sent to Rosario
                    - west and north of the of barrio
                    - ordered out of the 71st Division Commander
                        - said they would hinder the cavalry's operation
            - 22/23 December 1941
                - operating north of Agno River
                - main bridge at Carmen bombed
            - 24/25 December 1941
                - tank battalions make end run to get south of Agno River
                    - ran into Japanese resistance but successfully crossed river
            - 25/26 December 1941
                - held south bank of Agno River from west of Carmen to Carmen-Akcaka-Bautista Road
                - 192nd held from Carmen to (Route 3) to Tayug (northeast of San Quintin)
            - 26/27 December 1941
                - ordered to withdraw
                    - 1 platoon forced its way through way through Carmen
                        - lost two tanks
                            - one tank belonged to company commander - Captain Edward Burke
                                - believed dead, but was actually captured
                            - one tank crew rescued
                - new line Santa Ignacia-Gerona-Santo Tomas-San Jose
                - rest of battalion made a dash out
                    - lost one tank at Bayambang
                    - another tank went across front receiving fire and firing on Japanese
                - Lt. Petree's platoon fought its way out and across Agno River
                - D Company, 192nd, lost all its tanks except one
                    - the tank commander found a crossing
                    - Japanese would use tanks later on Bataan
                - 29/30 December 1941
                    - new line at Bamban River established
                        - tank battalions held line until ordered to withdraw
                - 30/31 December 1941
                    - tank battalions held Calumpit Bridge
                    - covering withdraw of Philippine Divisions south on Rt. 3, San Fernando
                - 2 January 1942
                    - both tank battalions ordered to withdrawal to Lyac Junction
                    - 194th withdrew there on Highway 7
                - 5 January 1942
                    - C Company and A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, withdrew from Guagua-Poraline
                      Line and moved into position between Sexmoan and Lubao
                    - 1:50 A.M. - Japanese attempted to infiltrate
                        - bright moonlight made them easy to see
                         - tanks opened fire
                         - Japanese lay down smoke which blew back into them
                    - 3:00 A.M. - Japanese broke off engagement
                        - suffered 50% casualties
                    - Remedios - established new line along dried creek bed
                - 6/7 January 1942
                    - 194th, covered by 192nd, crosses Culis Creek into Bataan
                    - both battalions bivouacked south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
                    - rations cut in half

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - January 1942
                - tank companies reduced to three tanks per platoon
       - 8 January 1942

            - composite tank company made up of tanks from the 192nd and 194th sent to protect
              East Coast Road north of Hermosa
                - their job was to keep the East Road open  north of Hermosa and prevent the
                  Japanese from driving into Bataan before the main battle line had been formed
            - remainder of tanks ordered to bivouac for night south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
                - tankers had been fighting for a month without a rest
                - tanks also needed overdue maintenance
                - 17th Ordnance
            - all tank companies reduced to ten tanks
                - three per tank platoon
            - sent to reopen Moron Road so General Segunda's forces could withdraw
            - tanks knock out an anti-tank gun
            - two tanks disabled by landmines but recovered
            - mission abandoned

            - Gen. Segunda's troops escaped using beach but lost their heavy equipment
    - 12 January 1942
            - C Company, with D Company, 192nd, sent to Cadre Road
                - forward position with little alert time
    - 13 January 1942
        - mines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching Cadre Road
            - returned to battalion
    - 16 January 1942
        -  C Company sent to Bagac to reopen Moron Highway
            - highway had been cut by Japanese
            - Moron Highway, and Junction of Trail 162
                - tank platoon fired on by antitank gun
                    - tanks knock out gun
                    - cleared roadblock with support of infantry
    - 20 January 1942
        - Banibani Road -tanks sent in to save 31st Infantry command post
    - 24 January 1942
        - tanks order to Hacienda Road in support of troops
            - landmines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching road
    - 26 January 1942
        - the battalion held a position a kilometer north of the Pilar-Bagac Road
            - four self-propelled mounts with the battalion
        - 9:45 A.M. - warned by Filipino a large Japanese force was coming
        - when the enemy appeared they opened up with all the battalion had
        - 10:30 A.M. - Japanese withdrew after losing 500 of 1200 men
        - prevented new defensive line being formed from being breached
    - 28 January 1942
It was at this time the tank battalions received these orders which came from Gen. Weaver
, "Tanks will execute maximum delay, staying in position and firing at visible enemy until further delay will jeopardize withdrawal.  If a tank is immobilized, it will be fought until the close approach of the enemy, then destroyed; the crew previously taking positions outside and continuing to fight with the salvaged and personal weapons. Considerations of personal safety and expediency will not interfere with accomplishing the greatest possible delay."
        - 194th tanks given beach duty protecting southern beaches
        - guarded coast from Limay to Cabcaben
        - half-tracks patrolled roads
            - maintained radio contact with on-shore and off-shore patrols

            - Mother received letter from him that was dated - 8 February 1942               
                - the letter had been censored by 2nd Lt. Lawrence S. Schoeneck of his battalion


            "Dear Mom, This is the first chance I have had to write to you since the war started.  About all I
            allowed to say is that I am fine and I hope you don't worry any more than you did when I was back
            in the states. 
            You were right about religion.  A person has more to think about than himself in times like these. 
            I'm a corporal now and drawing more money."


        - March 1942
            - two tanks were bogged down in mud

            - the tankers were working to get them out
            - Japanese Regiment entered the area
            - Lt. Col. Miller ordered tanks and artillery to fire at point blank range
                - Miller ran from tank to tank directing fire
            - wiped out Japanese regiment
        - 4 April 1942
            - Japanese launched major offensive
            - tanks sent into various sectors to stop Japanese advance
        - 6 April 1942
            - four tanks sent to support 45th Philippine Infantry and 75th Infantry, Philippine Scouts
            - one tank knocked out by anti-tank fire at junction of Trails 8 & 6
            - other tanks covered withdraw
            - 3rd Platoon sent up west coast road
                - near Mount Samat ran into heavy Japanese force
                - the tanks withdrew to Marivales
    - 8 April 1942
        - fighting on East Coast Road at Cabcaban
Tank battalion commanders received this order
, "You will make plans, to be communicated to company commanders only, and be prepared to destroy within one hour after receipt by radio, or other means, of the word 'CRASH', all tanks and combat vehicles, arms, ammunition, gas, and radios: reserving sufficient trucks to close to rear echelons as soon as accomplished."
            - 10:30 P.M. - Gen. King announced that further resistance would result in the massacre of
              6000 sick or wounded troops and 40000 civilians
            - less than 25% of his troops were healthy enough to continue fighting
            - he estimated they could hold out one more day
            - sent his staff officers to negotiate the surrender of Bataan
            - 11:40 P.M. - ammunition dumps blown up

Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942
        - received order to destroy equipment and report to kilometer marker 168.2.
            - Provisional Tank Group Headquarters
        - Japanese officers told Col. Ernest Miller to keep them there until ordered to move
    - 10 April 1942
            - 7:00 P.M. - started march from Provisional Tank Group headquarters
            - 3:00 A.M. - halted and rested for an hour
            - 4:00 A.M. - resume march
    - 11 April 1942
        - 8:00 A.M. -reached Lamao
            - allowed to forage for food
        - 9:00 A.M. - resumed march
        - Noon - reached Limay and main road
            - officers separated from enlisted men
        - 4:00 P.M put on trucks
            - officers arrived at Balanga
            - Japanese find handgun in field bag of an officer
                - he was clubbed and bayoneted
                - because of this they were not fed
        - Dusk - officers ordered to form ranks and marched
            - marched through Abucay and Samal
    - 12 April 1942
        - 3:00 A.M. - reached Orani
            - herded into a fenced in area and ordered to lie down
            - in morning found they had been lying in human waste
            - latrine in one corner was crawling with maggots
        - Noon - fed rice and salt
            - first meal
        - Afternoon - enlisted men rejoin officers
        - 6:30 P.M. - ordered to form 100 men detachments
            - POWs marched at faster pace
            - fewer breaks
                - when given break, the POWs sat on road
        - North of Hermosa the POWs reached pavement
            - made march easier
    - 13 April 1942
        - 2:00 A.M. - POWs given an hour rest on road
            - those who attempt to lay down are jabbed with bayonets
            - POWs march through Layac and Lurao
            - rains - POWs drank as much as they could
        - 4:30 P.M. - reached San Fernando
            - POWs put in groups of 200 to be fed
                - one POW sent to get a box of rice for each group
                - pottery jars of water given out the same way
    - 14 April 1942
        - 4:00 A.M. - POWs awakened
            - formed detachments of 100 men and marched to train station
            - POWs put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane
                - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                - 100 POWs packed into each car
                - POWs who died remained standing
        - 9:00 A.M. - Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
            - as POWs formed ranks, Filipinos threw sugarcane to POWs
            - also gave them water
            - POWs walked last 8 kilometers to Camp O'Donnell

POW Camps:

    - Philippine Islands:

        - 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
            - 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
                - arrived at Cabanatuan

        - Cabanatuan #1
            - 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 escaped and were later 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

        - Davao, Mindano
            - POWs worked on farm and built runways

Hell Ship:

    - Nissyo Maru

        - Sailed: Manila - 17 July 1944

        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 27 July 1944

        - Sailed: Sailed 28 July 1944

        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 3 August 1944

Note: Convoy was attacked by American submarines.  One torpedo missed the

            ship and sunk another ship
        _ POWs were issued a Japanese boots, shirts, and "heavy" coats

POW Camp:

    - Japan

        - Fukuoka #4B
            - POWs housed in YMCA building

            - POWs worked as stevedores on docks, for railroads, and for companies
            - Cpl. Nagakura Seiso refused to issue or repair POW clothing
                - if he considered a POWs clothing did not need to be replaced, he beat the POW with his fists
                  and kicked him
            - Japanese told ranking American officer there were no shoes available for the POWs
                - POWs worked barefooted in cold weather resulting in many developing coughs, lung
                  conditions, and pneumonia
            - Japanese soldiers were seen wearing Red Cross boots meant for POWs

Liberated:

    - 13 September 1945

        - POWs broke into camp warehouse and found 500 pairs of Japanese shoes and 250 pounds of

          leather that was intended to be used to repair the POWs' shoes

        - 1300 uniforms for the POWs were also found

        - former POWs taken Nagasaki
        - parents received word of his liberation - 28 September 1945

Discharged: 20 August 1946

Married:

    - Penny Wiggington 

        - 7 December 1946 

Children:

    - 2 daughters, 3 sons 

Residence: Saint Ansgar, Iowa

Occupation: U.S. Post Office

Died:

     - 16 December 2005 - Mason City, Iowa

Buried:

    - St. Ansgar Cemetery - St. Ansgar, Iowa 


 

 

 

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