Choate_C

 


Pvt. James Carlie Choate


    Pvt. James C. Choate was born on June 13, 1919, in Bonnieville, Kentucky, to James R. Choate and Mille Meredith-Choate.  He was known as "Carlie" to his family and friends.  With his three brothers, he grew up in Hart County, Kentucky, on the family farm.  He left school after grade school and went to work on the farm.
    On January 21, 1941, in Louisville, Kentucky, he was inducted into the U.S. Army and sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for basic training.  During training, he was assigned to D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.  What specific training he received is not known. 
    From September 1st through 30th, the battalion was sent to Louisiana and took part in maneuvers there.  It was after the maneuvers that it was ordered to Camp Polk, Louisiana, instead of returning to Ft. Knox.  The soldiers had not idea why they had been ordered to remain at the fort.  About two weeks later, on the side of a hill, the soldiers were informed they were being sent overseas.  Those who were married or 29 years old or older were allowed to resign from federal service.  Replacements for these men came from the 753rd Tank Battalion, so did the M3 "Stuart" Tanks.

    The decision to send the 192nd overseas -  which had been made in August 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.
    The battalion's new tanks came from the 753rd Tank Battalion and were loaded onto flat cars, on different trains.  The soldiers also cosmolined anything that they thought would rust.  Over different train routes, the companies were sent to San Francisco, California, where they were ferried, by the U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe, to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island.  On the island, they were given physicals by the battalion's medical detachment and men found with minor medical conditions were held on the island and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.  Other men were simply replaced.
    The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.A.T. Gen. Hugh L. Scott and sailed on Monday, October 27th.  During this part of the trip, many tankers had seasickness, but once they recovered they spent much of the time training in breaking down machine guns, cleaning weapons, and doing KP.   They arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2nd and had a two day layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island.
    On Wednesday, November 5th, the ship sailed for Guam but took a southerly route away from the main shipping lanes.  It was at this time it was joined by, the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and, the transport, S.S. President Calvin Coolidge.  Sunday night, November 9th, the soldiers went to bed and when they awoke the next morning, it was Tuesday, November 11th.  During the night, while they slept, the ships had crossed the International Date Line.  On Saturday, November 15th, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon.  The Louisville revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it shot off in the direction of the smoke.  It turned out the smoke was from a ship that belonged to a friendly country.
    When they arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16th, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables before sailing for Manila the next day.  At one point, the ships passed an island at night and did so in total blackout.  This for many of the soldiers was a sign that they were being sent into harm's way.  The ships entered Manila Bay, at 8:00 A.M., on Thursday, November 20th, and docked at Pier 7 later that morning.  At 3:00 P.M., most of the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg.  Those who drove trucks drove them to the fort, while the maintenance section remained behind at the pier to unload the tanks.
    At the fort, the tankers were met by Colonel Edward P. King, who welcomed them and made sure that they had what they needed.  He also was apologetic that there were no barracks for the tankers and that they had to live in tents.  The fact was he had not learned of their arrival until days before they arrived.  He made sure that they had Thanksgiving Dinner before he left to have his own dinner.
    The members of the battalion pitched the tents in an open field halfway between the Clark Field Administration Building and Fort Stotsenburg.  The tents were set up in two rows and five men were assigned to each tent.  There were two supply tents and meals were provided by food trucks stationed at the end of the rows of tents.
    For the next seventeen days the tankers spent much of their time removing cosmoline from their weapons.  They also spent a large amount of time loading ammunition belts.  The plan was for them, with the 194th Tank Battalion, to take part in maneuvers.  At this time, D Company was scheduled to be transferred to the 194th Tank Battalion, but the transfer was never completed, so the company remained part of the 192nd.
    On December 1st, the tank battalions were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  The 194th, with D Company, was assigned northern part of the airfield and the 192nd guarded the southern half.  Two members of each tank and half-track crew remained with their vehicles at all times and received their meals from food trucks.   The morning of December 8th, the tank crews were brought up to full strength around the perimeter of Clark Field.  During the night, word had been received about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 
    All morning long, the sky was filled with American planes.  At exactly noon the planes landed, to be refueled, and the pilots went to lunch. 
To get their lunch three tankers from each tank were allowed to go to the food truck that had been sent to the airfield to feed them.  Most of the soldiers were in line at the truck when they saw planes approaching.  No one was alarmed by this since they did not believe that the Japanese would attack.  It was only when bombs began exploding, at the north end of the airfield, that they realized they were wrong.
   After the attack, D Company was ordered to Mabalac on Delores Road.  They remained there until December 10th.  They were next sent to Calumpit to look for paratroopers.  While there, they guarded a large bridge from saboteurs.   
    The 194th, with D Company, was moved, the night of the 12th, to an area south of San Fernando near the Calumpit Bridge arriving there at 6:00 A.M.  On December 13th, the tankers were moved 80 kilometers from Clark Field to do reconnaissance and to guard beaches.  On the 15th, the battalion received 15 Bren gun carriers but turned some over to the 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts.  These were used to test the ground to see if it could support tanks.     
    The tank battalions were sent to the area around the Lingayen Gulf.  The company was near a mountain, so many of the tankers climber to the top.  On the mountain, they found troops, ammunition, guns but were just sitting there watching the Japanese ships in the gulf.  They had received orders not to fire.
     The tankers walked down the mountain and waited.  They received orders to drop back from the mountain and let the Japanese occupy it.  They watched as the Japanese brought their equipment to the top of the mountain.  The Americans finally received orders to launch a counterattack which failed.
    On December 22nd, the companies were operating north of the Agno River and after the main bridge was bombed, on December 24/25, made an end tun to get south of the river and not be trapped by the Japanese.  The tanks held the south bank of the river from west of Carmen to the Carmen-Akcaka-Bautista Road with the 192nd holding the bank east of Carmen to Tayug (northeast of San Quintin).
    Christmas Day, the tankers spent in the night in a coconut grove.  As it turned out, the coconuts were all they had to eat.  From Christmas to January 15, 1942, both day and night, all the tanks did was cover retreats of different infantry units.  The tanks were constantly bombed, shelled, and strafed.
    The tanks formed a new defensive held the Santa Ignacia-Gerona-Santo Tomas- San Jose line on December 26th.  When they dropped back from the line, all the platoons withdrew, except one which provided cover, as the other platoons from the area.  One tank went across the line receiving fire and firing on the Japanese.
    At Bayambang, Lt. Petree's platoon lost a tank.  It was at this time that D Company, 192nd, lost all their tanks, except one, because the bridge they were suppose to cross had been destroyed.  The company commander, Lt. Jack Altman, could not bring himself to totally destroy the tanks, and the Japanese repaired them and used them on Bataan.  The sergeant of the one tank, that had not abandoned, found a place to ford the river a few hundred yards from the bridge.
    The tankers were at Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan on December 27th, and at San Isidro south of Cabanatuan on December 28th and 29th.  On January 1st, conflicting orders were received by the defenders who were attempting to stop the Japanese advance down Route 5.  Doing this would allow the Southern Luzon Forces to withdraw toward Bataan.  General Wainwright was unaware of the orders since they came from Gen. MacArthur's chief of staff.
    Because of the orders, there was confusion among the Filipinos and American forces defending the bridges over the Pampanga River.  Due to the efforts of the Self Propelled Mounts, the 71st Field Artillery, and a frenzied attack by the 192nd Tank Battalion the Japanese were halted.  From January 2nd to 4th, the 192nd held the road open from San Fernando to Dinalupihan so the southern forces could escape.
    At 2:30 A.M., the night of January 5th/6th, the Japanese attacked at Remlus in force and using smoke as cover.  This attack was an attempt to destroy the tank battalions.  At 5:00 A.M., the Japanese withdrew having suffered heavy casualties.
    The night of January 6th/7th the tanks withdrew into the peninsula with the 192nd holding its position so that the 194th Tank Battalion could leap frog past it, cross the bridge, and then cover the 192nd's withdraw over the bridge.  The 192nd was the last American unit to enter Bataan, before the engineers blew up the bridge at 6:00 A.M.  It was at this time that the tank companies were reduced to three tanks each.  This was done to provide tanks to D Company, while those crews still without tanks were used as replacements,
    At Gumain River, on January 5th, D Company and C Company, 194th, were given the job to hold the south riverbank so that the other units could withdraw.  The tank companies formed a defensive line along the bank of the river.  When the Japanese attacked the position at night, they were easy to see since they were wearing white t-shirts.  The tankers were able to hold up the Japanese.
    The night of January 6/7, the 194th, covered by the 192nd, crossed the bridge over the Culis Creek and entered Bataan.  This was the beginning of the Battle of Bataan.  At this time, the food rations were cut in half.
    General Weaver also issued the following orders to the tank battalions around this time. "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."
     A composite tank company was created on January 8th under the command of Capt. Donald Haines, B Company, 192nd, and sent to defend the Wast Coast Road north of Hermosa.  Its job was to keep the north road open and prevent the Japanese from driving down the road before a new battle line had been formed.  The Japanese never lunched an attack allowing the defensive line to be formed.  The tanks withdrew after they began receiving artillery fire.
    The remainder of the tanks were ordered to bivouac south of the Aubucay-Hacienda Road.  While there, the tank crews had their first break from action in nearly a month.  The tanks, which were long overdue for maintenance, were serviced by 17th Ordnance.  It was also at this time that tank platoons were reduced to ren tanks, with three tanks in each platoon.  This was done so that D Company, 192nd, would have tanks.
    The 194th was sent to reopen the Moron Road so that General Segunda's forces, which were trapped behind enemy lines, could withdraw.  Attempting to do this two tanks were knocked out by landmines planted by ordnance, but recovered, and a Japanese anti-tank gun was destroyed.  The mission was abandoned the next day.  Gen. Segunda's forces escaped but lost their heavy equipment.
    The next action the tanks saw was on the 20th when they were sent to relieve the 31st Infantry's command post.  On the 24th, the tanks were ordered to the Hacienda Road to support infantry, but again could not accomplish their mission because of landmines planted by ordnance.
    The 194th was holding a position a kilometer north of the Pilar-Bagac Road on January 26th with four self-propelled mounts.  At 9:45 A.M., a Filipino came down the road and warned the battalion that a large Japanese force was coming down the road.  When they appeared the tanks opened up on them. At 10:30, the Japanese withdrew having lost 500 of 1200 men.  This action prevented the new line of defense from being breached.
    On January 28th, the tank battalions were given the job of guarding the beaches so that the Japanese couldn't land troops.  The 194th guarded the coastline from Limay to Cabcaban.  During the day, the tanks hid under the jungle canopy.  At bight they were pulled out onto the beaches.  The battalion's half-tracks had the job of patrolling the roads. At all times, the tanks were in contact with on-shore and off-shore patrols.
    For most of March, the situation Bataan was relatively quiet and the Japanese had been fought to a standstill.  On one occasion, two tanks had gotten stuck in the mud, and the crews were working to free them.  While they were doing this, a Japanese regiment entered the area.  Lt. Colonel Ernest Miller ordered his tanks to fire on the Japanese at point blank range.  He also ran from tank to tank directing the crew's fire.  The Japanese were wiped out.  On March 21st, the last major battle was fought by the tanks.
    Having brought in combat harden troops from Singapore, the Japanese lunched a major offensive on April 4th.  The tanks were sent to various sectors in an attempt to stop the advance.  On the 6th, four tanks were sent to support the 45th Philippine Infantry, Philippine Scouts. One tank was knocked out from anti-tank fire at the junctions of Trails 6 & 8, and the other tanks withdrew.  On April 8th, the 194th was fighting on the East Coast Road at Cabcaban.
    It was the evening of April 8 that Gen. Edward P. King decided that further resistance was futile, since approximately 25% of his men were healthy enough to fight, and he estimated they would last one more day.  In addition, he had over 6000 troops who sick or wounded and 40000 civilians who he feared would be massacred.  At 10:30 that night, he sent his staff officers to negotiate surrender terms.
    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."          
    When the order was given, the tankers circled their tanks, fired an armor piercing shell into the engine of the tank in front of their tank, and opened up the gasoline cocks in the crew compartments.  They dropped hand grenades into each crew compartment setting the tanks on fire.  Later in the war, the Japanese dragged the tanks out of the jungle to send to Japan as scrap metal.
    When Bataan surrendered to the Japanese, the tankers became a Prisoners of War.  The POWs were ordered to the bivouac of the Provisional Tank Group.  It was from there that they were marched to join the main column of POWs on the march out of Bataan.
    On April 10th, the Japanese arrived and ordered the Prisoners of War onto the road.  They quickly stripped the POWs of their watches, pens, and sun-glasses.  The POWs were taken to a trail and found that walking on the gravel trail was difficult.  They immediately witnessed "Japanese Discipline" toward their own troops.  The Japanese apparently were marching for hours, and when a man fell, he was kicked in his stomach and hit in the head with a rifle butt.  If he still did not get up, the Japanese determined that the man was exhausted and left him alone.
    The trial the POWs were on ended when they reached the main road.  The first thing the Japanese did was to separate the officers from the enlisted men and counted them.  The POWs were left in the sun for the rest of the day wondering what was going to happen.  That night they were ordered north which was difficult, on the rocky road, in the dark, since they could not see where they were walking.
    The POWs made their way north against the flow of Japanese horse artillery and trucks which were moving south.  At times, they would slip on something wet and slippery which were the remains of a man killed by Japanese artillery the day before.  When dawn came, the walking became easier but as the sun rose it became hotter and the POWs began to feel the effects of thirst.   It was at this time that the POWs saw a group of Filipinos being marched by the Japanese.  Looking at them, they realized that they had been hungry, but the Filipinos had been starving.
    When the men crossed the Lamao River, they smelled the sweet smell of death. The Japanese had heavily bombed the area causing many casualties and many of the dead lay partially in the river.  The air corps POWs in front of them ran to the river and drank.  Many would later die from dysentery at Camp O'Donnell.
    At Limay on April 11th, the officers with the rank of major or above, were put into a school yard.  The officers were told that they would be driven the rest of the march.  At 4:00 AM, the officers were put into trucks for an unknown destination.  It was there that the lower ranking officers and the enlisted men joined the main column of POWs being marched out of Bataan. For the first time, they began to witness the abuse of POWs as they walked through Balanga to Orani.
    At Orani, the men were put into a bull pen where they were ordered to lay down.  In the morning, the POWs realized that they had been lying in the human waste of POWs who had already used the bullpen.  At noon, they received their first food.
    When they resumed the march they were marched at a faster pace.  The guards also seemed to be nervous about something.  The POWs made their way to just north of Hormosa. where the road went from gravel to concrete, and the change of surface made the march easier.  When the POWs were allowed to sit down, those who attempted to lay down were jabbed with bayonets.
    The POWs continued the march and for the first time in months it began to rain which felt great and many men attempted to get drinks.  When they arrived at San Fernando, the POWs were put into another bull pen and remained until they were ordered to form detachments of 100 men.
    At some point marched the POWs were marched to the train station, where they were packed into small wooden boxcars known as "forty or eights."  They were called this since each car could hold forty men or eight horses, but the Japanese packed 100 men into each car and shut the doors.  The heat in the cars was unbearable and many POWs died but could not fall to the floors since there was no room for them to fall.  The POWs rode the train to Capas were they disembarked the cars.  As they left the cars, the dead fell to the floors.  The POWs walked the last eight kilometers to Camp O'Donnell.           
Camp O'Donnell was an unfinished Filipino training base that the Japanese pressed into service as a Prisoner of War camp.  It turned out to be a death trap with as many as fifty POWs dying each day.  There was only one working water faucet for the entire camp.  To get a drink, men stood in line for days.  Many died while waiting for a drink.  The death rate among the POWs was as high as fifty men a day.  Many POWs went out on work details to get out of the camp. 
    The dead, at Camp O'Donnell, were taken to the camp cemetery and buried in shallow graves.  The reason for this was that the water table was high and the POWs could not dig deep.  Once a body was put in the ground, it was held down with a pole until it was covered by earth.  The next day, the POWs, on the detail, found wild dogs had dug up the bodies or the bodies were sitting up in the graves. 
    The Japanese finally acknowledged that the death rate at the camp had to be dealt with.  They opened a new camp at Cabanatuan.  William was healthy enough to be sent to the camp.   On June 16, 1942, Carlie became ill and was admitted to the camp hospital with dysentery and malaria.  He remained in the hospital until September 5, 1942, when he was discharged.  The death rate among the POWs dropped after they received a Red Cross package.
    In July 1943, Carlie went out on a work detail to Las Pinas.  The POWs on the detail were housed in the Pasay School about a mile from Nichols Field.  The school was divided into eighteen rooms with 30 men assigned to each room.  Since beds were not provided, the POWs slept on the floor.
    Each morning, the POWs were awakened and made to do calisthenics.  When they finished, they are breakfast and then marched to the airfield.  By this point, the POWs looked so bad because of their ragged clothes and lost of weight, that the Filipinos openly expressed their sympathy for them.  This angered the Japanese.
    At the airfield, the POWs were put to work building the largest runway in the Pacific.  The work was hard, but got worse when the POWs reached a number of hills.  The Japanese made them level the hills with picks and shovels.  To remove the dirt, mining cars were pushed by teams of two POWs to a swamp and dumped as landfill.
    The Japanese treatment of the POWs were atrocious.  Men were frequently beaten.  Each day, the POW who was the last to finish his work was beaten.   The first Japanese commander of the camp, a Lt. Moto, was called the "White Angel" because he wore a spotless naval uniform.  He was commander of the camp for slightly over thirteen months.  One day a POW collapsed while working on the runway.  Moto was told about the man and came out and ordered him to get up.  When he couldn't four other Americans were made to carry the man back to the Pasay School. 


    At the school, the Japanese guards gave the man a shower and straightened his clothes as much as possible.  The other Americans were ordered to the school.  As they stood there, the White Angel ordered an American captain to follow him behind the school.  The POW was marched behind the school and the other Americans heard two shots.  The American officer told the men that the POW had said, "Tell them I went down smiling." There, the White Angel shot the POW as the man smiled at him.   As the man lay on the ground, he shot him a second time.  The American captain told the other Americans what had happened.  The White Angel told them that this was what going to happen to anyone who would not work for the Japanese Empire.
    The second commanding officer of the detail was known as "the Wolf."  He was a civilian who wore a Japanese Naval Uniform.  Each morning, he would come to the POW barracks and select those POWs who looked the sickest and made them line up.  The men were made to put one leg on each side of a trench and then do 50 push-ups.  If a man's arms gave out and he touched the ground, he was beaten with pick handles.
    On another occasion a POW collapsed on the runway.  The Wolf had the man taken back to the barracks.  When the Wolf came to the barracks that evening and the man was still unconscious, he banged the man's head into the concrete floor and kicked him in the head.  He then took the man to the shower and drowned him in the basin.
    A third POW who had tried to walk away from the detail told the guards to shoot him.  The guards took him back to the Pasay School and strung him up by his thumbs outside the doorway and placed a bottle of beer and sandwich in front of him.  He was dead by evening. 
    The welfare of the POWs was of no concern to the Japanese.  They only concern they had was getting the runway built.  If the number of POWs identified as being sick was too large, the Japanese would simply walk among the POWs, at the school, and select men who did not display any physical signs of illness or injury.  Men suffering from dysentery or pellagra could not get out of work.     In particular, "the Wolf" was was hardest to convince that a man was sick.  If a man's arm or leg was bandaged, he would kick the man's leg, in the spot it was bandaged, and see how the man reacted.  If the man showed a great deal of pain, he was not required to work.  In one case, a man whose broken wrist was in a splint, was twisted by the Wolf while the man trembled in pain.
    The remains of the POWs who had died on the detail were brought to Bilibid Prison in boxes.  The Japanese had death certificates, with the causes of death and signed by an American doctor, sent with the boxes.  The Americans from the detail, who accompanied the boxes, would not tell the POWs at Bilibid what had happened.  It was only when the sick, from the detail, began to arrive at Bilibid did they learn what the detail was like.  These men were sent to Bilibid to die since it would look better when it was reported to the International Red Cross.
    In October, 1944, Carlie' name appeared on a list for POWs being sent to Japan.  On October 1st, the POWs were taken to Pier 7 in Manila and boarded onto the Hokusen Maru.  The POWs were scheduled to sail on the Arisan Maru.  While the POWs were on the dock waiting to board their ship, the Hokusen Maru became ready to sail.  Since the entire POW detachment assigned to the ship had not arrived, the Japanese put Carlie's POW detachment on the ship on October 1st.  The Arisan Maru, his original ship, was later sunk by an American submarine on its way to Hong Kong.  Only nine POWs of 1803 on the ship survived the sinking.      
    The POWs remained in the ship's hold until the ship sailed on October 4, 1944, for Cabcaban arriving on the same day.  The next day the ship arrived at San Fernando, La Union, where the ships were joined by four more ships and five escorts.
    The ships stayed close to the shoreline to prevent submarine attacks which failed since, on October 6th, two of the ships were sunk.  It also stayed close to the coast in an attempt to avoid submarines.     The ships were informed, on October 9th, that American carriers were seen near Formosa and that American planes were in the area.  The decision was made to send the ships to Hong Kong.  During this part of the trip, the ships ran into American submarines which sank two more ships.  The Hokusen Maru arrived at Hong Kong on October 11th.  While it was in port, American planes bombed the harbor on October 16th.  On October 21st, the ship sailed for Takao, Formosa, arriving on October 24th.
   The POWs remained on the ship until November 8th, when they were disembarked.  Louie was taken to Inrin Temporary Camp which had been opened for them.  The POWs were given light work to do.
    In January, 1945, the POWs were sent by train to Takao and boarded onto the Enoshima Maru.  The ship sailed on the 25th and safely made it to Moji, Japan.  When the POWs were disembarked, they formed detachments of 100 men and marched to the train station.  They boarded a train and were dropped off at POW camps along the line.   
    The POWs disembarked. deloused and marched to their camp.  The detachment, of POWs Carlie was in, was taken to Oeyama Camp.  The POWs in the camp were used as slave labor in a nickel mine and worked at a smelter.  They were later used as stevedores.
    Carlie remained on the detail until 1944 when he was sent to Bilibid Prison.  He remained there until October 1944, when he was taken to the Port Area of Manila.  The ship he was scheduled to sail on was not ready to sail but the entire POW detachment had arrived.  Another ship, the Hokusen Maru was ready to sail, but it's POW detachment had not arrived.  The Japanese swapped POW detachments so the Hokusen Maru could sail.
    The ship sailed on October 3, 1944, and hugged the coast of Luzon to avoid submarines.  It arrived at Hong Kong on October 11th.  The POWs remained in the holds as it sat in port.  During this time the port was attacked by American planes.  The ship sailed  on October 21st and reached Takao, Formosa, on October 24th.  Ironically, this was the same date that the Arisan Maru, the ship Carlie was scheduled to sail on, was sunk by an American submarine.  Only nine POWs survived the sinking.
    The ship remained in harbor and on November 8th, the POWs were disembarked and were taken to Inrin Temporary Camp.  They were in such bad shape, that the Japanese did not make the POWs do any hard labor.  Carlie remained in the camp until January 1945.
       On January 25, 1945, the POWs were boarded onto the Enoshima Maru and put in a hold that also had a cargo of hemp.  They soon discovered that under the hemp were sacks of sugar and pellets of canned tomatoes.  The POWs ate what they wanted.  The ship arrived safely at Moji, Japan, on January 30th and, after disembarking, marched to a schoolhouse.  Before they were allowed to enter the school, the Japanese had them strip off their clothing since they were infested with lice.  They were deloused before entering the building.
  The POWs marched to the train station and taken by train to POWs camps along the line.  In Carlie's case, he was taken to Sendai #3.  In the camp the POWs worked mining lead and zinc in a mine owned by Mitshubishi.  It was while he was POW there that his family received a POW postcard from him. 
    In the camp, the guards carried bamboo clubs which they hit the POWs with on a regular basis for various reasons.  When being punished, the POWs were ordered and forced to stand at attention, in the snow, in their inadequate clothing.  On several occasions they were forced to stand at attention with holding buckets of water at arms' length.

    The POWs were marched to and from the mine by Japanese civilians.  If they fell behind during the march, they guards beat them with their bamboo clubs.  One day when entering the mine, the POWs had to remove their hats and bow to the Japanese mine god.  He removed his hat, bowed, and said, "Hello Roosevelt."  The guard, who was known as "Tom," to the POWs understood what he had said and hit him a three foot long stick on the top of his head which caused him to fall backwards about six feet.
     What is known about the camp is that the hospital was a cold wooden barracks that was sealed against the cold.  Medical equipment was poor and fourteen POWs died in the hospital.  All the deaths were contributed to lack of clothing, against the cold, inadequate heating of the barracks, and poor diet.

    Although the Japanese received Red Cross packages for the POWs, they were not given to the POWs.  Red Cross medicines and medicals supplies that would help the prisoners were not given to them.  The camp doctor was known to eat vitamin tablets from the packages in front of the POWs.
    The sick POWs were forced to work in the mine when they were physically unable to work. Those who reported for sick call had to line up in the hallway to the Japanese doctor's office and take off all their clothes before they entered.  While in line, they were often slapped in the face.  The doctor made the POWs stand at attention, bow, and follow orders given to them.  Since this took so much time, most of the POWs were never examined and had to work.  Cold weather clothing and blankets from the Red Cross were never given out to the POWs who had to sleep in the poorly heated barracks in the winter. 
    Red Cross clothing was stored in a warehouse at the camp and never issued to the POWs.  The Japanese used blankets intended for the POWs as cushions for chairs in the camps offices.  They also wore the shoes and Red Cross clothing meant for the POWs.  If Red Cross packages were given to the prisoners, they had been previously opened and cigarettes and chocolate bars were missing.  Food also meant for the prisoners was eaten by the Japanese.. 

    Carlie was on a detail, on February 14, 1945, where the POWs were moving sacks of beans when the guard, Zenkichi Koiwa, discovered that one of the bags was ripped.  He ordered the fourteen POWs on the detail to line up and had the guards slap them in the face.  On August 15, 1945, he received another beating.
    He was liberated from the camp on September 12, 1945, and was returned to the Philippines for medical treatment before returning home on the U.S.S. Howze which arrived at San Francisco on October 16, 1945.  From the docks, the men were taken to Letterman General Hospital before being sent to hospitals closer to their homes.  He was discharged from the Army and returned to Hart County, Kentucky, where he married Mildred M. Branam and worked as a farmer.
    In 1948, Carlie was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, and died on June 25, 1948, from rheumatic heart disease.  According to his medical records, this condition was a direct result of his treatment while a Prisoner of War.
    James Carlie Choate was buried at Camp Ground Cemetery in Bonnieville, Kentucky.  He shares a headstone with his brother, Lowell, who died during World War II.


 




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