Pfc. Myron E. Dollk was born in North Dakota in May 1918 to Seth A.
& Mable M. Dolk. He was known as "Mickey" to his family. His parents, who were from
Iowa, returned there and resided in Pilot Mound. During his time in Iowa, his younger brother was
born. His family would later move to Riverside, California, where he graduated from Riverside Polytechnic
High School in 1936. It is known that he played polo. He would later reside in Bakersfield and work
as a mechanic on farm equipment.
Mickey's family moved to Salinas and resided at 267 Maple Street. At some point,
Myron joined the California National Guard in Salinas. He was inducted into federal service on February 10,
1941, and sent to Fort Lewis, Washington for training. It was during this training that Myron became a tank
On August 15, 1941, at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, the 194th received orders
for duty in the Philippine Islands because of an event that happened during the summer. A squadron of
American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots, whose plane was at a lower altitude,
noticed something odd in the water. He took his plane down and identified a flagged buoy in the water and
a second in the distance. The squadron followed the buoys and found that they lined up, in a straight
line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of an Japanese occupied island, hundreds of miles away,
which had a large radio transmitter. The squadron resumed its flight plan and flew south to Mariveles
before returning to Clark Field. By the time the planes landed, it was too late in the evening 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.
In September 1941, the 194th, minus B Company, was ordered to San Francisco,
California, for transport to the Philippine Islands. Arriving, by train, at Ft. Mason in San Francisco,
they were taken by the
U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe, to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island where they received physicals and
inoculations from the battalion's medical detachment. Those men found with medical conditions were
The tankers boarded the
S.S. President Calvin Coolidge on September 8th at 3:00 P.M. and sailed at 9:00 P.M. for the Philippine
Islands. To get the tanks to fit in the ship's holds, the turrets had serial numbers spray painted on
them and were removed from the tanks. They arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Saturday, September 13th at
7:00 A.M., and most of the soldiers were allowed off ship to see the island but had to be back on board before
the ship sailed at 5:00 P.M.
After leaving Hawaii, the ship took a southerly route away from the main shipping
lanes. It was at this time that it was joined by the
U.S.S. Astoria, a heavy cruiser, that was its escort. During this part of the trip, on several
occasions, smoke was seen on the horizon, and the Astoria took off in the direction of the smoke. Each
time it was found that the smoke was from a ship belonging to a friendly country.
The Coolidge entered Manila Bay at 7:00 A.M., on September 26th, and reached Manila
several hours later. The soldiers disembarked at 3:00 P.M., and were driven on buses to Clark
Field. The maintenance section of the battalion and members of 17th Ordnance remained at the dock to
unload the battalion's tanks and reattach the turrets.
The battalion rode buses to Fort Stotsenburg and taken to an area between the fort and
Clark Field, where they were housed in tents since the barracks for them had not been completed. They
were met by General Edward P. King, commanding officer of the fort who made sure they had what they
needed. On November 15th, they moved into their barracks.
On December 1st, the 194th was ordered to its position at Clark Field. Their job was
to protect the northern half of the airfield from paratroopers. The 192nd Tank Battalion, which had arrived
in November guarded the southern half. Two crew men remained with the tanks at all times and received their
meals from food trucks.
The morning of December 8, 1941, the battalion was brought up to full strength at the
perimeter of Clark Field to guard against Japanese paratroopers. Just hours early, the Japanese had bombed
Pearl Harbor. As the tankers guarded the airfield, they watched American planes flying in every
direction. At noon the planes landed, to be refueled, and the pilots went to lunch. It was 12:45, and
as the tankers watched, a formation of 54 planes approached the airfield from the north. When bombs began
exploding on the runways, the tankers knew the planes were Japanese.
When the Japanese were finished, there was not much left of the airfield. The soldiers
watched as the dead, dying, and wounded were hauled to the hospital on bomb racks, trucks, and anything that could
carry the wounded was in use. When the hospital filled, they watched the medics place the wounded under the
building. Many of these men had their arms and legs missing.
The night of the 12th/13th, the battalion was ordered to bivouac south of San Fernando near the Calumpit
Bridge. Attempting to move the battalion at night was a nightmare, and they finally arrived at their new
bivouac at 6:00 A.M. on December 13th.
It was at this time that C Company was ordered to support forces in southern Luzon.
The company proceeded through Manila. Since they had no air cover, most of their movements were at
night. As they moved, they noticed lights blinking or flares being shot into the air. They arrived at
the Tagaytay Ridge and spent time their attempting to catch 5th columnists.
They remained in the area until December 24th, when they moved over
the Taal Road to San Tomas and bivouacked near San Paolo and assisted in operations in the Pagbilao-Lucban Area
supporting the Philippine Army. One of the most dangerous things the tanks did was cross bridges with a
ten ton weight limit. Each tank weight 14 tons, so they crossed the bridges one tank at a time. On
the 30th, the company supported the withdrawal of the Philippine Army south of San Fernando on Route 3.
They rejoined the battalion on December 31st.
The tanks withdrew through San Fernando at 2:00 A.M. on January 2nd, and fell back to the
Lyac Junction. The two tank battalions were holding a line between Culis and Hermosa. The tanks withdrew
from the line the night of the 6th/7th. While doing this, the maintenance section of the battalions
repaired abandoned trucks to use to haul food and the gasoline caches they found and bring it into Bataan.
That night, the 194th crossed the bridge over the Culis Creek, covered by the 192nd, and entered Bataan.
The company, with A Co., 192nd Tank Battalion, withdrew from the Guagua-Perac Line to
Remedio where they established a new defensive line on January 5th. That afternoon, C Company, supported by
four self-propelled mounts stopped a Japanese advance which kept the road open for
The next night, the tanks were holding the line when the Japanese attempted to infiltrate
under a bright moon. The tanks opened fire resulting in the Japanese losing half of their troops. In
an attempt to cover their advance, the Japanese used smoke which blew back on them. The battle lasted until
the Japanese broke off the attack at 3:00 in the morning. After this, there was a two day lull in the
A Composite tank company was formed from the tank battalions and given the job of
protecting the East road north to Hermosa. This was a dangerous job since the tanks were in range of
Japanese artillery. The other tanks were ordered to a bivouac south of the Abubucay-Hacienda Line.
The tanks formed a new bivouac just south of the Pilar-Bagao Road and had a few days
rest. While they rested, 17th Ordnance and the maintenance sections of the battalion did long overdue
work on the tanks. Also around this time, the tank companies were reduced to ten tanks so that tanks
could be given to D Company, 192nd, which had lost its tanks after a bridge had been destroyed before they had
In the letter he said
, "A polo pony would have a rough time of it here, and were having kind of a rough time too.
But you can't say it's dull."
C Company and D Company, 192nd., were sent to the Cadre Road on the 12th but returned on
the 13th because ordnance had planted landmines which made reaching the road impossible. C Company was
sent to Bagac, on the 16th, to reopen the West Highway Road that had been cut by the Japanese, so troops
trapped behind the road block could escape. A platoon of tanks at the Moron Highway and Trail 162 knocked
out an anti-tank gun, and with the help of infantry, cleared the roadblock.
It was at this time the tank battalions received these orders which came from Gen.
, "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."
Both tank battalions held a line along the Balanga-Cardre
Road-Banobano Road, so that other units could withdraw which was completed by midnight. They held the
line until the night of the 26th/27th when they withdrew and formed a new defensive line roughly along the
At about 9:45 A.M., a Filipino civilian came down the road and warned
the tankers that a Japanese force was on its way. The tanks, with four SPMs opened up on the Japanese
when they appeared. The fighting lasted 45 minutes when the Japanese withdrew having suffered 50 percent
casualties. This action prevented the Japanese from overrunning the new defensive line which was still
The tank battalions were given beach duty so that the Japanese could
not land troops behind the main line of defense. The half-tracks of the battalions patrolled the
roads. At 2;50 A.M., a Japanese motorized unit was head coming down the road with its lead vehicle having
dimmed headlights. The 194th had a roadblock in place with guns aimed at various angles. When they
opened up, they caused heavy damage to the Japanese column.
It was also at this time that the tank battalions, without orders, took
on the job of protecting three airfields. The airfields had been built so a rebuilt Air Corps would have
places to land. About the same time,
the fighting on Bataan came to a standstill since the Japanese troops were exhausted
and suffering from the same tropical illnesses as the defenders. To end the stalemate, the Japanese
brought in fresh troops from Singapore.
The Japanese lunched an all out offensive on April 3rd breaking through the line of
defense held by II Corps. The 194th moved its companies to support the defenders along the line from
the East Coast Road and to the west. The tanks repeatedly were sent to areas where the Japanese had
broken through which was difficult to do since the roads were clogged with retreating vehicles.
It was at this time that the tank battalion commanders received this
, "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."
Gen. Edward King announced at 10:30 that night that further resistance would result in
the massacre of 6,000 sick and wounded and 40,000 civilians. He also estimated that less than 25% of his
troops were healthy enough to continue to fight and would hold out for one more day. He ordered his staff
officers to negotiate terms of surrender.
Between 6:30 and 6:45 A.M. on April 9, 1942, the order "CRASH" was
issued. The tankers destroyed their tanks and waited for orders from the Japanese. The members of
the 194th were ordered the next day, to move to the headquarters of the Provisional Tank Group, which was at
kilometer marker 168.2.
At 7:00 P.M. on the 10th, the POWs were ordered to march. They made their way from
the former command post, and at first found the walk difficult. When they reached the main road, walking
became easier. At 3:00 A.M., they were given an hour break before being ordered to move again at 4:00
A.M. The column reached Lamao at 8:00 A.M., where the POWs were allowed to forage for food before
marching again at 9:00.
During this part of the march to reach the main road out of Bataan,
the POWs noted that they were treated well by the Japanese who were combat hardened troops. Their
guards were surprised that they had surrendered and treated them fairly well. It was at Limay that the
treatment they received would change.
When the POWs reached Limay, officers with ranks of major or higher, were separated
from the enlisted men and the lower ranking officers. The higher ranking officers were put on trucks and
driven to Balanga from where they march north to Orani. The lower ranking officers and enlisted men
reached the barrio later in the day having march through Abucay and Samal.
At 6:30 in the evening, the POWs were ordered to form detachments of 100 men.
Once this was done, they resumed the trip north, but this time they were marched at a faster pace and were
given few breaks. When they did receive a break, they had to sit in the road until they were ordered to
When they were north of Hermosa, the POWs reached pavement which made the march
easier. At 2:00 A.M., they received an hour break, but any POW who attempted to lay down was jabbed with
a bayonet. After the break, they were marched through Layac and Lurao. It was at this time that a
heavy shower took place and many of the men opened their mouths in an attempt to get water.
The men were marched until 4:00 P.M., when they reached San Fernando. Once
there, they were herded into a bull pen, surrounded by barbwire, and put into groups of 200 men. One POW
from each group went to the cooking area which was next to the latrine, and received a box of rice that was
divided among the men. Water was given out in a similar manner with each group receiving a pottery
jar of water to share.
At 4:00 A.M., the Japanese woke the men up and organized them into detachments of 100
men. From the compound, they were marched to the train station, where they were packed into small wooden
boxcars known as "forty or eights." Each boxcar could hold forty men or eight horses, but the
Japanese packed 100 men into each car and closed the doors. The POWs were packed in so tightly that the
dead could not fall to the floor. At Capas, as the living left the cars and those who had died - during
the trip - fell to the floors of the cars. As they left the cars, the Filipino civilians threw sugarcane
and gave the POWs water.
The POWs marched eight kilometers to Camp O'Donnell. The camp was an unfinished
Filipino Army Training Base. The Japanese pressed the camp into use as a POW camp on April 1, 1942.
When they arrived at the camp, the Japanese confiscated any extra clothing that the POWs had and refused to
return it to them. They searched the POWs and if a man was found to have Japanese money on them, they
were taken to the guardhouse. Over the next several days, gunshots were heard to the southeast of the
camp. These POWs had been executed for looting.
There was only one water faucet in the camp, and the prisoners stood in line from two to
eight hours waiting for a drink. The Japanese guards at the faucet would turn it off for no reason and
the next man in line would stand as long as four hours waiting for it to be turned on again. This
situation improved when a second faucet was added.
There was no water for washing clothes, so the POWs would throw out their clothing when it
had been soiled. In addition, water for cooking had to be carried three miles from a river to the camp
and mess kits could not be washed. The slit trenches in the camp were inadequate and were soon
overflowing since most of the POWs had dysentery. The result was that flies were everywhere in the camp
including the POW kitchens and in the food.
The camp hospital had no soap, water, or disinfectant. When the ranking American
doctor at the camp wrote a letter to the camp commandant, Capt. Yohio Tsuneyoshi, asking for medical supplies,
he was told never to write another letter.
The Archbishop of Manila sent a truckload of medical supplies to the
camp, the Japanese commandant refused to allow the truck into the camp. When the Japanese Red Cross sent
medical supplies the camp the Japanese took 95% of the supplies for their own use.
The POWs in the camp hospital lay on the floor elbow to elbow and only
one of the six medic assigned to care for 50 sick POWs was healthy enough to care for them. When a
representative of the Philippine Red Cross stated they could supply a 150 bed hospital for the camp, he was
slapped in the face by a Japanese lieutenant.
Each morning, the bodies of the dead were found all over the camp and
were carried to the hospital and placed underneath it. The bodies lay there for two or three days before
they were buried in the camp cemetery by other POWs who were suffering from dysentery and/or malaria. To
clean the ground under the hospital, the ground was scraped and lime was spread over it. The bodies of
the dead were placed in the area, and the area they had been laying was scrapped and lime was spread over
Work details were sent out on a daily basis. Each day, the
American doctors gave a list of names to the Japanese of the POWs who were healthier enough to work. If
the quota of POWs needed to work could not be met, the Japanese put those POWs who were sick, but could walk,
to work. The death rate among the POWs reached 50 men dying a day. The Japanese finally acknowledge
that they had to do something, so the opened a new POW camp at Cabanatuan.
On June 1, 1942, the POWs formed detachments of 100 men each and were
marched to Capas. There, the were put in steel boxcars with two Japanese guards. At Calumpit, the
train was switched onto another line which took it to Cabanatuan. The POWs disembarked and were taken to a
schoolyard where they were fed cooked rice and onion soup. From there, they were marched to Cabanatuan
which had been the headquarters of the 91st Philippine Army Division and was formerly known at Camp Panagaian.
To prevent escapes, the POWs set up a detail that patrolled the fence of the camp.
The reason this was done was that those who did escape and were caught, were tortured before being executed,
while the other POWs were made to watch. It is believed that no POW successfully escaped from the
camp. The POWs were sent out on work details to cut wood for the POW kitchens. Meals on a
daily basis consisted of 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, and sweet potato or corn. The
POWs were forced to work in the fields from 7:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening. Most of the food
they grew went to the Japanese not them.Other POWs worked in rice paddies.
The POW barracks were built to house 50 POWs, but most held between 60 and 120
men. The POWs slept on bamboo slats without mattresses, covers, or mosquito netting. The result was
many became ill.
One of the POWs he was housed with was Pfc. Frederick Dunn, 17th Ordnance. The two
men became friends before Dunn was sent out on a work detail.
Each morning, the POWs lined up for roll call. While they stood at attention, it
wasn't uncommon for them to be hit over the tops of their heads. In addition, one guard frequently
kicked them in their shins with his hobnailed boots. after arriving at the farm, the POWs went into a tool shed
to get their tools. As they left the shed, the guards hit them on their heads. While working in the
fields, the favorite punishment given to the men in the rice paddies was to have their faces pushed into the mud
and stepped on by a guard. Returning from a detail the POWs bought, or were given, medicine, food, and
tobacco, which they somehow managed to get into the camp even though they were searched when they returned.
The camp hospital was composed of 30 wards. The ward for the sickest POWs was
known as "Zero Ward," which got its name because it had been missed when the wards were counted.
The name soon meant the place where those who were extremely ill went to die. Each ward had two tiers of
bunks and could hold 45 men but often had as many as 100 men in each. Each man had a two foot wide by six
foot long area to lie in. The sickest men slept on the bottom tier since the platforms had holes cut in
them so the sick could relieve themselves without having to leave the tier.
At the camp he was assigned to Barracks 13, Group 2. It is not known if he
went out on a work detail during this time. It appears that Mickey spent most his time as a POW at
Cabanatuan. Medical records from the camp show that he was admitted to the camp hospital on September 10,
1944, suffering from malaria, but it is not known when he was discharged.
At some point, Mickey was transferred to Bilibid Prison at some point and worked as an
orderly caring for the sick in the ward where the POWs were not expected to live. One of the those he cared
for was his friend, Pfc. Frederick Dunn who became ill, on the work detail, and lost the use of his legs, so he
was sent to Bilibid Prison and put in the ward with those men who had little chance of surviving.
According to the story Dunn told Mickey's family, Mickey worked as an orderly caring
for these sick men at the prison. At first he did not recognize Dunn, but when he did, he made it his
mission to help him recover. On Thanksgiving, Dunn stated that Mickey went out and when he returned he had
beans, rice, greens, vegetables, and some corn. He ground the corn and made cornbread. He also said
that Mickey never told them how he got the food. Dunn told Mickey's family that he was alive because
Mickey had saved his life.
On December 13, 1944, the POWs heard rumors that a detail was being sent out.
They were boarded onto trucks and driven to Manila.
The POWs got off the trucks, lined up for roll call, marched to Pier 7 in Manila. During the march down
Luzon Boulevard, the POWs saw that the street cars had stopped running and many things were in disrepair.
The Americans saw that the American bombers were doing a job on the Japanese transports. There were
at least forty wrecked ships in the bay. When the POWs reached Pier 7, there were three ships docked.
One was a old run down ship, the other two were large and in good shape. They soon discovered one of the
two nicer ships was their ship.
It was at this time that the POWs
were allowed to sit down. Many fell asleep and slept until 3:45 in the afternoon when they were
awakened. At about 5:00 PM and boarded the
Oryoku Maru for transport to Japan.
The high ranking officers were the first put into the ship's afthold. Being
the first on meant that they would suffer many deaths. Around the perimeter of the hold were two tiers of
bunks for the POWs. The heat was so bad that men soon began to pass out. One survivor said, "The
fist fights began when men to pass out. We knew that only the front men in bay would be able to get enough
air." The POWs who were closer to the hold's hatch used anything they could find to fan air toward
those further away from it.
The ship left Manila at 8:00 P.M. but spent most of the night in Manila Bay. At
10:00 P.M., the Japanese interpreter threatened to have the guards fire into the holds unless the POWs stopped
screaming. Some of the POWs fell silent because they were exhausted, and others because they had died.
One major of the 26th Cavalry stated the man next to him had lost his mind.
Recalling the conversation he had with the man he said,
"Worst was the man who had gone mad but would not sit still. One kept pestering me, pushing a
mess kit against my chest, saying, 'Have some of this chow? It's good.' I smelled of it, it
was not chow. 'All right' he said, 'If you don't want it. I'm going to eat it.'
And a little later I heard him eating it , right beside me."
At 3:30 A.M. it sailed as part of the MATA-37 a convoy bound for Takao, Formosa.
The ships sailed without any lights out of the bay. By the swells in the water, the POWs could tell that
the ship was in open water. The cries for air began as the men lost discipline, so the Japanese threatened
to cover the holds and cut off all air. When the Japanese sent down fried rice, cabbage, and fried seaweed,
those further back from the opening got nothing.
The Japanese covered the holds and would not allow the slop buckets to be taken out of
the holds. Those POWs who were left holding the buckets at first asked for someone else to hold it for
awhile. When that did not work, they dumped the buckets on the men around them.
As light began to enter the hold as morning came, the POWs could see men who were in
stupors, men out of their minds, and men who had died. The POWs in the aft hold which also had a sub-hold,
put the POWs who out of their minds into it.
On the side of the holds, water had condensed on the walls so the POWs tried to scrap it
off the wall for a drink. The Japanese did allow men who had passed out to be put on deck, but as soon as
they revived they went back into the holds. The Japanese would not allow the bodies of the men who had died
to be removed from the holds.
The POWs received their first meal at dawn. Meals on the ship consisted of a
little rice, fish, some water, and three fourths of a cup of water was shared by 20 POWs. It was 8:00 A.M.,
off the coast of Luzon, and the POWs had just finished eating breakfast when they heard the sound of guns.
At first, they thought the gun crews were just drilling, because they had not heard any planes. It was only
when the first bomb hit in the water and the ship shook that they knew it was not a drill.
At first it seemed that most of the planes were attacking the other ships in the
convoy. Commander Frank Bridgit, had made his way to the top of the ladder into the hold and sat
down. He gave the POWs a play by play of the planes attacking
, "I can see two planes going for a freighter off our starboard side. Now two more are detached
from the formation. I think they may be coming for us."
The POWs heard the change in the sound of the planes' engines as they began their
dives toward the ships in the convoy. Several more bombs hit the water near the ship causing it to
rock Explosions were taking place all around the ship. In an attempt to protect themselves, the POWs
piled baggage in front of them. Bullets from the planes were ricocheted in the hold causing many
Lt. Col. Elvin Barr of the 60th Coast Artillery came up to Maj, John Fowler of the 26th
Cavalry on the cargo deck and said
, "There's a hole knocked in the bulkheads down there. Between 30 and 40 men have already
died down there."
Barr would never reach Japan. The attack by 30 to 50 planes lasted for about 20 to 30
minutes. When the planes were ran out of bombs they strafed. Afterwards, the planes flew off,
returning to their carrier, and there was a lull of about 20 to 30 minutes before the next squadron of planes
appeared over the ships and resumed the attack. This pattern repeated itself over and over during the day.
In the hold, the POWs concluded that the attacking planes were concentrating on the
bridge of the ship. They noted that the planes had taken out all the anti-aircraft guns leaving only .30
caliber machine guns to defend the ship.
At 4:30 P.M., the ship went through the worse attack on it. It was hit at least
three times by bombs on its bridge and stern. Most of the POWs, who were wounded, were wounded by
ricocheting bullets and shrapnel from exploding bombs. During the attack Chaplain Cummings, a Catholic
priest, led the POWs in the Our Father. As they prayed, the bombs that exploded near the ship sent torrents
of water over the ship.
Bullets from the planes hit the metal plates, of the haul, at an angle that prevented
most of them from penetrating the haul. Somewhere on the ship a fire started, but it was put out after
several hours. The POWs lived through seven or eight attacks before sunset. Overall, six bombs hit
the ship. One hit the stern of the ship killing many POWs.
At dusk the ship raised anchor and headed east. It turned south and turned again
this time heading west. The next turn it made was north. It headed in this direction for a good amount of
time before dropping anchor at about 8:00 P.M. The POWs figured out that they had just sailed in a
circle. What had happened is that the ship's had been hit during the attack and the ship could not be
Sometime after midnight, the POWs heard the sound of the Japanese civilians being
evacuated from the ship. During the night, the POW medics were ordered onto the deck to treat the Japanese
wounded. One medic recalled that the dead, dying, and wounded were everywhere.
The ship reached Subic Bay at 2:30 in the morning and steamed closer to the beach where
its anchor was dropped. At 4:00 A.M., the POWs were told that they would disembark at daybreak at a
pier. The moaning and muttering of POWs who were losing their minds kept the POWs up all night. That
night 25 POWs died in the hold.
It was December 15th and the POWs sat in the ship's holds for hours after
dawn. The first 35 POWs were taken out of the hold and went into the water. At 8:00 A.M. as the other
POWs waited, the sound of A Japanese guard yelled into the hold at the POWs
, "All go home; speedo!"
He shouted that the wounded would be the first to be evacuated. Suddenly, he looked up and
, "Planes, many planes!"
As the POWs were abandoning ship the planes returned and continued the attack. The ship bounced in
the water from the explosions. Chief Boatswain Clarence M. Taylor who was in the water said
, "I saw the whole thing. A bomb fall, hit near the stern hatch, and debris go flying up in the
In the hold, the POWs crowded together. Chips of rust fell on them from the
ceiling. After the raid, they took care of the wounded before the next attack started. In the hold a
Catholic priest, Father Duffy, began to pray
, "Father forgive them. They know not what they do."
The Japanese guards and interpreter had abandoned ship, but the ship's captain
remained on board. He told the POWs - with his limited English - that they needed to get off the ship to
safety. The POWs made their way over the side and into the water. As they swam to shore, the Japanese
fired at them, with machine guns, to prevent them from escaping.
Four of the planes flew low over the water above the POWs. The POWs waved
frantically at the planes so they would not be strafed. The planes banked and flew lower over the
POWs. This time the pilots dipped their wings to show that they knew the men in the water were
Americans. About a half hour later, the ship began to really burn and the bodies of the dead could be seen
on the decks.
The Japanese sent out a motorboat with a machine gun and snipers on it. The POWs
attempting to escape were hunted down and shot. It is believed as many as 30 men died in the water.
There was no real beach, so the POWs climbed up on a seawall and found the the Japanese
Naval Landing Party had set up a machine gun and had just laid flat to rest when the gun opened up on
them. Those who came ashore were warned to stay in the water, but only did so when one man climbed up
on the seawall and was wounded. There were also Japanese snipers in wait to shoot anyone who attempted to
The POWs were gathered together and marched to the tennis court at Olongapo Naval
Station which was about 500 yards from the beach. There, they were herded onto a tennis court. The
Japanese packed 1300 of the POWs on the court with 100 wounded POWs taking up a great amount of room at one
end. They could barely sit down and only lay down by lying partially on another man.
When roll was taken, it was discovered that 329 of the 1,619 POWs had been killed during the attack.
Myron was one of those who had been killed.
It is not known if Myron was one of the 500 POWs who died inside the ship's hold, or if
he escaped the hold and was shot by the Japanese while attempting to reach shore.
What is known is that Pfc. Myron Dolk died in the sinking of the
in Subic Bay, off Olongapo Navel Base, on December 15, 1944. His name appears on the Tablets of the
Missing at the American Military Cemetery at Manila.