Baumgardt

 

Cpl. Henry V. Baumgardt Jr.


Born: 8 March 1923 - Lafayette, Indiana

Parents: Henry V., Sr. & Meta Baumgardt

Siblings: 2 brothers

Home: 409 Asher Street, Lafayette, Indiana

Education:

    - Ford Grade School

    - Jefferson High School

        - left high school after one year

Enlisted:

    - 9 January 1941

        - Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana

Unit:

    - B Company, 19th Ordnance Battalion

        - Reorganized as: 17th Ordnance Company

Training:

    - Ft. Knox, Kentucky
Note: On August 15, 1941, the company received orders 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 
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
      - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
    - Battle of Bataan
      - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
Prisoner of War:
    - 9 April 1941
        - Death March
            - Mariveles - POWs started march at southern tip of Bataan
             - POWs ran past Japanese artillery that was firing at Corregidor
                 - American artillery returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane
                 - each boxcar could hold hold eight horses or 40 men
                 - Japanese packed 100 POWs into each car
                 - POWs that died remained standing
          - Capas - POWs left boxcars - dead fell to floors of boxcars
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

        - Bridge Building Detail - Bataan
             Note: Became ill on detail and sent to Cabanatuan
        - Cabanatuan

            - 1 June 1942 - camp opened

                - healthy POWs from Camp O'Donnell transferred there

            - 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
            - hospitalized - 18 June 1942 -  dysentery

Died:
    - Sunday - 26 June 1942 - dysentery
        - approximate time of death - 5:00 PM
Buried:
    - Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery
Reburied:
    - American Military Cemetery - Manila, Philippine Islands
        - Plot:  J    Row:  1   Grave:  18


 



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