Dowell

 

Pvt. David Alexander Dowell


    Pvt. David A. Dowell was born on August 19, 1917, in Garfield, Breckinridge County, Kentucky, to Ira B. Dowell and Mary Durbin-Dowell.  His mother died giving birth to him.  His father would marry Bertha Nix and he had two half-sisters and two half-brothers.  He was also Lewis Nix's, D Company, second cousin through marriage.  He left school after the eighth grade, married Nona Priest, and worked as a farmer.    His wife died giving birth to their son.
    On January 21, 1941, David was inducted into the U.S. Army at Louisville, Kentucky.  He did his basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he was assigned to D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.  He was assigned to the company because the tank company had been a Kentucky National Guard Tank Company from Harrodsburg, and the Army wanted to fill-out its roster with men from its home state.
   
The battalion trained for nearly a year before being sent to Louisiana, to take part in maneuvers from September 1st through 30th.  At the end of the maneuvers, the tankers were ordered to Camp Polk without being given a reason instead of returning to Ft. Knox as expected.  On the side of a hill, the battalion learned that they were being sent overseas as part of Operation PLUM.  Within hours, many of the soldiers had figured out that PLUM was an acronym for Philippines, Luzon, Manila. 
    The reason for this move was an event that took place in the summer of 1941.  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, with a large radio transmitter, hundred of miles away.  The squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field.  When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day, and the next day - when a Navy ship was sent to the area - the buoys had been picked up.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
    It was at this time, men 29 years or older were given the opportunity to resign from federal service.  Those who did were replaced with men from the 753rd Tank Battalion.  This battalion had been sent to the fort, but it had not taken part in the maneuvers.  The M3 "Stuart" tanks from the battalion were also given to the 192nd.  It was at this time he received a furlough home and married.
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 27.  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 2 and had a two day layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island.
    On Wednesday, November 5, 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 11.  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 16, 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 20, 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 Gen. 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.
    After arriving in the Philippines, the process was begun to transfer D Company to the 194th Tank Battalion, which had left for the Philippines minus one company.  B Company of the battalion was sent to Alaska while the remaining companies, of the battalion, were sent to the Philippines.  The medical clerk for the192nd spent weeks organizing records to be handed over to the 194th.
    On December 1, 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 8, 1941, just hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the company was brought up to full strength at the perimeter of Clark Field.  All morning long, the sky was filled with American planes.  At noon, the planes landed to be refueled and the pilots went to lunch.  The planes were parked in a straight line outside the pilots' mess hall.
    At 12:45, two formations, totaling 54 planes, approached the airfield from the north.  When bombs began exploding on the runways, the tankers knew that planes were Japanese.  Being that their tanks could not fight planes, they watched as the Japanese destroyed the Army Air Corps.
    When the Japanese were finished, there was not much left of the airfield.  The soldiers watched as the dead, the dying, and the wounded were hauled to the hospital on bomb racks, trucks, and anything else, 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.
    That night, most men slept under their tanks since it was safer than sleeping in their tents.  They had no idea that they had slept their last night in a bed.
    One of the results of the attack was that the transfer of D Company, to the 194th, was never completed.  The company retained its designation of being part of the 192nd for both the Battle of Luzon and the Battle of Bataan.
    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 22, 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 27, and at San Isidro south of Cabanatuan on December 28 and 29.  On January 1, 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 2 to 4, 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 5/6, 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 6/7 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 5, 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 26 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 28, 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 21, 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 3.  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 8, the 194th was fighting on the East Coast Road at Cabcaban.
    The Japanese lunched an all out attack on April 3 against the defenders and broke through the main line of defense on April 7.  The tanks were a favorite target of the Japanese receiving fire on trails and while hidden in the jungle where they could not fight back.  The situation was so bad that other troops avoided being near the tanks, and the 26th Cavalry turned down a tank company's offer of assistance in a counter-attack.
    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 6,000 troops who sick or wounded and 40,000 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, David and other members of his company made the decision to try to reach Corregidor.  It is believed he was in the group of D Company men who hid in the caves and waited until dark to attempt to reach the island.  As they waited, they were warned by a Filipino that there were Japanese on the cliffs above them.
    Before they sailed, they picked up a American captain and three soldiers.  They told the captain of their plan.  He pulled out his handgun and told them that they were going to Corregidor.  Being that he had them by gunpoint, they went to Corregidor.  As they attempted to reach the island, the Japanese shelled them.  Medical records from Ft. Mills, on Corregidor, show he was hospitalized on April 16, suffering from a fever without a known cause.
    After the Japanese landed on Corregidor and the  American defenders were surrendered, he became a Prisoner of War.  The POWs remained on the beach for two weeks with little water or food.  Volunteering for the burial detail became a sought after job since those men on it were able to hunt for food and water.
    The POWs were taken by barge to a point off Luzon from which they had to jump into the water ans swim to shore.  Once on shore, they were organized into detachments of 100 men.  Having heard about the march from Bataan from men who had escaped from Bataan and reached Corregidor, they feared the worse. To their surprise, they were marched at a reasonable pace and treated fairly well.  Reacing Manila, they were marched down Dewey Boulevard, as part of a Japanese victory parade, to Bilibid Prison.  There they remained for a few days before they were marched to the train station. 
    The POWs rode the train to Calumpet were they disembarked and walked to Cabanatuan POW Camp #3.
  Cabanatuan had been the headquarters of the 91st Philippine Army Division and was formerly known at Camp Panagaian.  The camp was actually three camps.  Camp 1 was where the men who captured on Bataan and taken part in the death march where held and was not occupied until June 1.  Camp 2 did not have an adequate water supply and was closed, but was later reopened and housed Naval POWs.  Camp 3 was where those men captured when Corregidor surrender were taken.  In addition, men from Bataan who had been hospitalized when the surrender came were sent to the camp.  Camp 3 was later consolidated into Camp 1.
    Once in the camp, the POWs were allowed to run the camp.  The Japanese only entered if they had an issue they wanted to deal with.  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.
    In the camp, the Japanese instituted the "Blood Brother" rule.  If one man escaped the other nine men in his group would be executed.  POWs caught trying to escape were beaten.  Those who did escape and were caught, were tortured before being executed.  It is not known if any POW successfully escaped from the camp.
    The barracks in the camp were built to house 50 POWs, but most had between 60 to 120 POWs in them.  The POWs slept on bamboo slats, without mattresses, bedding, or mosquito netting.  Many quickly became ill.  The POWs were assigned to barracks which meant that the members of their group lived together, went out on work details together, and would be executed together since they were Blood Brothers.
    The POWs were sent out on work details one was to cut wood for the POW kitchens.  The two major details were the farm detail and the airfield detail which lasted for years.  A typical day on any detail lasted from 7:00 A.M. until  5:00 P.M.  The POWs on the farm detail would have to go to a shed each morning to get tools.  As they left the shed, the Japanese guards thought it was great fun to hit them over their heads.
    The detail was under the command of "Big Speedo" who spoke very little English.  When he wanted the POWs to work faster, he told the POWs "speedo."  Although he was known to have a temper, the POWs thought he was fair.  Another guard was "Little Speedo" who was smaller and also used "speedo" when he wanted the POWs to work faster.  The POWs also felt he was pretty fair in his treatment of them.  "Smiley" was another guard who always had a smile on his face but could not be trusted.  He was the meanest of the guards and beat men up for no reason.  He liked to hit the POWs with the club.  Any prisoner who he believed was not working hard enough got knocked over with it.  Any prisoner who he believed was not working hard enough got knocked over with it.  Each morning, 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.
    Other POWs worked in rice paddies.  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 to drive their faces deeper into the mud.  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.
    Rice was the main food given to the POWs fed to them as "lugow" which meant "wet rice."  During their time in the camp, they received few vegetables and almost no fruit.  Once in awhile, they received bread.
    The camp hospital was known as "Zero Ward" because it was missed by the Japanese when they counted barracks.  The sickest POWs were sent there to die.  The Japanese put a fence up around the building to protect themselves, and they would not go into the building.  There were two rolls of wooden platforms around the perimeter of the building.  The sickest POWs were put on the lower platform which had holes cut into it so the they could relieve themselves.  Most of those who entered the ward died.
    The POWs had the job of burying the dead.  To do this, they worked in teams of four men.  Each team carried a litter of four to six dead men to the cemetery where they were buried in graves containing 15 to 20 bodies.
    On November 1, the POWs volunteers were sought to be transported to Japan. David was one of these volunteers.  He and the other POWs were taken to Manila where they received physicals.  At Pier 7, they were boarded onto the Nagato Maru on November 6.  The ship sailed on November 7 as part of a three ship convoy. At one point, a submarine was spotted in the area and the hach covers were put on the holds.  The POWs knew what was going on because they could feel thedepth charges exploding through the ship's haul.   During this part of the voyage, seventeen POWs died.
    The ships arrived at Takao, Formosa, on the 11th, and remained in port for three days.  The Nagato Maru sailed again on the 14th, and arrived at the Pescadores Islands the same day.  Because of a storm, the ship remained off the islands.   On the 18th, the ship sailed for Keelung, Formosa, arriving the same day.  After a two day stay, the ship sailed again on the 20th for Moji, Japan, and arrived there on the 24th. 
    Once off the ship, the POWs deloused, showered, and issued new uniforms.  They were boarded onto a train and, in David's case, taken to 
Tanagawa.  In this camp the POWs built a dry dock by tearing down the side of a mountain. The POWs arrived at night and were housed in five flimsy barracks that were unheated and had dirt floors.  The POWs slept on two sets of platforms along the perimeter of each barracks.  To reach the upper bunks the POWs used ladders.  Each POW received five blankets made of peanut shell fiber and a pillow stuffed with rice husks.
    In the camp they POWs, regardless of rank, were used to construct a dry dock for Japanese submarines in violation of the Geneva Convention.  To do this, the POWs tore down the side of a mountain.  To do this, the POWs worked in groups known as "sections."  If the section did not reach its quota, the POWs were beaten.  The reason most could not meet the set quotas was that they were weak and hungry from lack of food.
    When the POWs did not load the expected number to train cars, the Japanese beat them.  The prisoners also retaliated against the Japanese by committing acts of sabotage.  One of the easiest acts of sabotage to commit was to mix the concrete for the dry-dock walls to thin.  The POWs would make the concrete soupy and mostly water.  They did this so the walls of the dry-dock would start to crumble after it was completed.
    The Red Cross boxes sent to the camp for the POWs were misappropriated by the Japanese.  They took a great portion of the food from the boxes and were seen walking around the camp eating American chocolate and smoking American cigarettes.  Empty cans from American meats, fruit, and cheese were seen by the POWs in the Japanese garbage.
    Corporal punishment was common in the camp and done for the slightest reason or for no reason.  One guard in the camp, Tsunesuke Tsuda, beat the POWs the most because he wanted to break their spirit and humble them.  Most of the beatings took place at morning or evening muster while the POWs were at attention.  The POWs were punched, slapped, clubbed, kicked, hit with shoes and belts, and even furniture was used on the POWs as they stood at attention.  Some POWs were hit in the throat which resulted in their not being able to speak for a week.  He beat the POWs so severely and often, that he was required to sign a statement not to beat the POWs under penalty of death.
   Individual beatings were also common in the camp.  When a POW was beaten, he frequently had to hold a heavy object like a log or rock, or a bucket of water, over his head as he stood at attention.  POWs also were slapped, or hit with a rifle butt, because during muster, they failed to bow to the guard at the right angle. From January 5, 1943 until March 21, 1943, the POWs the POWs were made to run excessive distances.  On one occasion, in March 1943, they were forced to run 4 to 5 miles in the rain without shirts.
    Being ill was not an excuse to get out of work.  The POW doctor had a sick call each morning and created a list of men who were too ill to go to work.  After he created it, a Japanese medical clerk took the list and decided who was sick enough to stay in camp and who had to go to work.
    He remained in the camp for over a year when he was transferred to
Omi Camp arriving there on April 14, 1944.  The camp was 60 yards long by 60 yards wide. The barracks were divided into 5 rooms with  30 to 65 POWs housed in each one.  There was a small hospital building with seven beds, a cook house to prepare meals, and washrooms.
    The Japanese officer running the camp treated the POWs fairly decent.  When the ranking Allied officer complained he usually responded fairly to the complaint.  Unlike many of the other camps, the POWs received most of what was in the Red Cross boxes except for a few things.  When the ranking officer saw a box that had not been pilfered from and complained, the POWs received an complete Red Cross box in June 1945.
    The POWs worked at three different jobs.  The POWs worked at an antiquated foundry firing the open furnaces which resulted in men receiving severe burns.  During the summer, non of the POWs wanted to work this job because the temperature rose to 120 degrees.  During the winter, this was a coveted job because the POWs were warm.
    The other job was to shovel coal and slag while other POWs carried boxes - that were strapped to their backs - into the foundry.  Those men who had metal working skills were put to work doing sheet metal work.
    The final job the POWs worked at was at a quarry.  This was hard manual labor and extremely dangerous.  About one quarter of the POWs working the detail were killed from rock slides and other accidents.  When the Americans first arrived in the camp, they found themselves assigned to this detail.  One civilian supervisor beat the POWs so badly that the ranking American officer complained to the camp commandant.  The man was removed from the detail which was shut down in November 1944.
    For every ten days they worked, they received one day off.  They also had the use of 100 books from the American Red Cross and Y.M.C.A.  In addition, during the summer of 1944, on their days off, the POWs were allowed to go swimming.
    The camp did not have a doctor until an American doctor arrived in November 1943.  Unlike the other camps, medical supplies and equipment were adequate to treat the sick and injured.  Illness in the camp was caused by the POWs' poor diet which consisted a mixture of rice, barley, and millet with fish once oe twice a week.  Each POW received 690 grams each day which resulted in the POWs having malaria, dysentery, and beriberi.  There is no indication that mail was ever withheld at the camp, and the POWs seemed to receive it regularly.  In addition, 5% of the POWs were allowed to make a shortwave message each month.
    Clothing was a problem, but it appeared that the POWs were dressed no worse than the Japanese guards, who had to wrap their feet to keep them warm.  The POWs also received the same safety devices that the Japanese had 
    David was liberated from the camp on September 6, 1945.  He was returned to the Philippines and received medical treatment.  It was at this time that he was promoted to sergeant.  After being declared healthy, David returned to the United States on the U.S.S. Hugh Rodman on October 3, 1945, at San Francisco.  David married Edith Sounders, but the marriage ended in divorce.  He married again and moved to Hocking, Ohio, where he worked for the Sunglow Corporation.
    David A. Dowell was admitted to Hocking Valley Community Hospital in Logan, Ohio, where he passed away on April 24, 1984.


 

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