2nd Lt. Carroll M. Guin was born on August 16, 1910, in Minnesota to Edgar L.
Guin & Anna Jane Mix-Guin. With his three sisters and five brothers he resided at 133 Third
Avenue in Brainerd, Minnesota. During the 1920s, his mother died and his family moved to Bay Lake,
Minnesota. It is known that Carroll played basketball in high school, graduated in 1928, and attended
college for one year.
On June 11, 1935, Carroll married Agnes M. Johnson and became the father of a
son. It is known that he worked in automotive salvage and at some point, Carroll joined the Minnesota
Carroll's tank company was federalized on February 10, 1941, and sent for training
at Fort Lewis, Washington, as the first sergeant of his company. His tank company was now A Company,
194th Tank Battalion. The battalion trained at Ft. Lewis seven months when it received orders to be
On August 15, 1941, the battalion received orders for duty in the Philippines
because of an event that happened during the summer. A squadron of American fighters was flying over
Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots, whose plane was 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, and had a large radio transmitter on
it. The squadron continued its flight plan and flew south to Mariveles before returning to Clark
Field. By the time the planes landed that evening, it was too late to do anything that day.
The next morning, another squadron was sent to the area and found that the buoys
had been picked up by a fishing boat which was seen making its way toward shore. Since communication
between and Air Corps and Navy was poor, the boat was not intercepted. It was at that time the
decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
In September 1941, the 194th was sent to Ft Mason in San Francisco, California,
where they were ferried on the
U.S.A.T Frank M Coxe, to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island. The battalion's medical detachment
inoculated and gave physicals to the soldiers. Anyone with a medical condition was released and
replaced. On September 8th at 3:00 P.M., they boarded onto a transport for the Philippine
Islands. On September 8, 1941, the battalion was boarded the
U.S.S. Calvin Coolidge, which sailed at 9:00 P.M. The battalion arrived at Hawaii on September
13th, remained in port most of the day, and sailed later in the day, but took a southerly route away from
the main shipping lanes, where it was joined by the heavy cruiser, the
U.S.S. Astoria, and an unknown destroyer as its escorts.
During the voyage, on several occasions, smoke from unknown ships were seen on the
horizon. The cruiser revved up its engines and intercepted the ships. On each occasion, it
turned out that the ship belonged a friendly country.
The ships crossed the International Date Line on Tuesday, September 16, and it
became Thursday, September 18. On September 26th, they arrived at Manila Bay at 7:00 A.M., but did
not reach Manila until later in the morning. The soldiers did not disembark until 3:00 P.M. The
maintenance section of the battalion helped 17th Ordnance unload the 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 Colonel 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 tank battalions were made aware of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the
morning of December 8th. The tank and half track crews were brought up to full strength at the
perimeter of Clark Field. All morning long, the tankers watched as the sky was filled with American
planes. At twelve noon, the planes landed, to be refueled, and the pilots went to lunch.
As the tankers sat at their tanks eating lunch, a formation of 54 planes
approached the airfield from the north. At first, the tankers thought they were American. As they
watched, they saw what looked like "rain drops" fell from the planes. It was when bombs began
exploding on the runways that they knew the planes were Japanese.
It was at this time that Guin was assigned to D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, as
a tank platoon commander. It was believed that the company had been transferred to the 194th from the
192nd, but the reality was that, with the start of the war, the company was never transferred.
The morning of December 8, 1941, the battalion was ordered to the perimeter of
Clark Airfield 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 12:45 in the afternoon, the planes landed and the pilots went to lunch.
At 12:45 P.M., the tankers were having lunch when planes approached the airfield
from the north. As they watched, some men commented they must be American. They counted 54
planes. 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 194th was sent to Mabalcat December 10th, and it was at this time that C
Company was sent to southern Luzon where the Japanese were landing. On the 12th, the A and D Company,
192nd, were sent to a new bivouac south of San Fernando and arrived at 6:00 A.M. They received Bren
gun carriers on the 15th and used them to test the ground to see if it could support the weight of a tank.
Around December 22nd, his tank platoon was ordered north, to Rosario, to slow the
advancing Japanese who had landed troops at Lingayen Gulf. On December 25th, Harold's tank
platoon had taken positions west of Carmen. When they began taking fire from a strong Japanese force,
he ordered the tanks to open fire with their machine guns. Realizing that they had a very good chance
of being cut off, he ordered his tanks to withdraw through Carmen the evening of December 26th.
The battalions were holding the Tarlec Line on December 28th and withdrew to form
the Bamban Line the night of the 29th/30th which they held until they were ordered to +withdraw. On
January 2nd the battalions withdrew to Layac Junction with the 194th using highway 7. The 194th,
covered by the 192nd, withdrew across the Culis Creek into Bataan. After the 192nd crossed the
bridge, it was blown starting the Battle of Bataan.
In January 1942, the tank companies were reduced to three tanks in each
platoon. This was done so that D Company, 192nd, attached to the 194th, would have tanks. The
company had abandoned its tanks after the bridge they were scheduled to use had been destroyed by the
engineers before they had crossed.
On January 20th, A Company was sent to save the command post of the 31st
Infantry. On the 24th, they supported the troops along the Hacienda Road, but they could not reach
the objective because of landmines that had been planted by ordnance.
The battalion held a position a kilometer north of the Pilar-Bagac Road with four
self propelled mounts. At 9:45 A.M., a Filipino warned the tankers that a large force of Japanese
were on there way. When they appeared the battalion, and self propelled mounts, opened up with
everything they had. The Japanese broke off the attack, at 10:30 A.M., after losing 500 of their 1200
On January 28th, the tank battalions were given beach duty with the 194th assigned
the coast from Limay to Cacaben. The half-tracks were used to patrol the roads.
In March, the 194th was attempting to free two tanks that were stuck in the
mud. As the tankers worked to get them out, Japanese Regiment entered the area. Lt. Col. Miller
ordered the tanks to fire at point blank range and ran from tank to tank directing fire. When they
stopped firing, they had wiped out the regiment.
Gen Weaver also suggested to Gen Wainwright that a platoon of tanks be sent to
Corregidor. This idea was rejected by Wainwright. On March 30, 1942, his wife received a
letter from him that was written on January 20th. In it he said he was well and in good
The Japanese brought fresh troops to Bataan since the Americans and Filipinos with
the help of tropical illnesses had fought the Japanese to a standstill. On April 4th, the Japanese
launched a major offensive. In an attempt to stop them, the tanks were sent into various
sectors. It was also at this time that tanks became the favorite targets of Japanese planes an
The tanks were fighting on the East Coast Road at Cabcaban when General King
determined that the situation was hopeless and sent his staff officers to meet with the Japanese command.
Somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45 in the morning the tankers received the order
"bash" and destroyed their tanks. The tanks were circled and an armor piercing shell was fired into
the engines of each tank. Afterwards, the gasoline cocks were opened in the crew
The evening of April 8, 1942, Gen. Weaver determined that only 25% of his troops
were healthy enough to continue to fight, and if they did, they would last only one more day. He had
almost 6,000 men who were wounded or sick, and an additional 45,000 civilians who he believed would be
slaughtered. It was at that time he decided to send his staff officers to negotiate surrender terms.
On April 9, 1942, the tankers received the order
This meant they were to destroy their tanks. After destroying their tanks, the tankers
remained in their bivouac until receiving further orders.
The company remained in its bivouac until April 10th when the Japanese arrived and ordered
HQ Company to move to the headquarters of the Provisional Tank Group, which was at kilometer marker 168.2.
They remained there until 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.
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 move.
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
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
The POWs walked the last eight kilometers to Camp O'Donnell which was an unfinished
Filipino Army training base that the Japanese pressed into use as a POW camp. The Japanese believed the
camp could hold 15,000 to 20,000 POWs. When they arrived at the camp, the camp commandant lectured them and
told them they were not prisoners of war but captives and would be treated as such. The POWs were searched
and anyone found with Japanese money were separated from the other POWs and sent to the guardhouse. These
POWs were accused of looting the bodies of dead Japanese soldiers. Over several days, gunshots were heard
coming from southeast of the camp.
The Japanese also took away any extra clothing that the POWs carried with them and
refused to return it. Since there was no water to wash their clothing, the POWs threw away soiled clothing
and stripped the dead of their clothing. Few of the POWs in the camp hospital had clothing.
There was only one water faucet for the entire camp and men stood in line from 2Â½ to 8
hours waiting for a drink. The Japanese guard in charge of the spigot would turn it off, for no reason, and
the next man in line would have to wait up to four hours for it to be turned on again. Water for cooking food had
to be hauled three miles to the camp. Mess kits could not be cleaned.
Since most of the POWs had dysentery, the slit trenches overflowed which resulted in
flies being everywhere in the camp including the camp kitchen and in the food. The camp hospital had no
water, soap, or disinfectant which also caused diseases to spread. When the ranking American doctor
presented a letter with the medicines and medical supplies they needed to treat the sick, the camp commander,
Captain Yoshio Tsuneyoshi, told him never to write another letter. He also said that the only thing he
wanted to know about the POWs were their names and serial numbers after they died.
The Archbishop of Manila sent a truck full of medical supplies to the camp, but
the Japanese refused to let it into the camp. When a representative of the Philippine Red Cross told a
Japanese lieutenant that they could set up an 150 bed hospital for the POWs, he was slapped in the face by the
lieutenant. Medicines sent to the camp by the Red Cross were confiscated by the Japanese for their own use.
The POWs called the hospital "Zero Ward" because most of the men who entered it never
came out alive. The Japanese were so afarid of contracting an illness that they put a barbed wire fence up
around it. The POWs in the hospital lay elbow to elbow on the floor and operations were performed with
knives from mess kits. Only one medic, out of every six assigned to treat the sick, was healthy enough to
perform his duties.
Each morning, the POWs walked around the camp and collected the bodies of the dead and
placed them under the hospital building. To clean the ground, the POWs moved the bodies, scrapped the
ground, put down lime to sterilize the ground, moved the bodies back, and repeated the process where the
bodies had been. It took two to three days to bury a man after he died.
Any POW, if he could walk, went out on a work detail for the day such as the one
collected wood for the POW kitchen. Some POWs went out on work details which lasted for months to get out
of the camp. The worse detail a man could be put on was the burial detail. On this detail, two POWs
carried a dead man to the camp cemetery. Once there, they put the body in a grave and held the body down
with a pole, since the water table was high, and covered it with dirt. The next morning, when the burials
resumed, the dead were often sitting up or had been dug up by wild dogs. The Japanese finally acknowledged that
they had to do something to lower the death rate, so they opened a new POW camp.
On June 1, the POWs formed detachments of 100 men and were marched to Capas, where they
were put into steel boxcars. Each car had two Japanese guards. During the trip at Calumpit, the train
was switched onto a track that took it to Cabanatuan. When the POWs left the cars, they were herded into a
schoolyard where they were fed cooked rice and onions soup. They were marched to the new camp which was a
former Philippine Army Base and had been the home of the 91st Philippine Army Division's home.
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
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.
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.
It is not known if Caroll went immediately to the new camp, or if he was sent there
after returning to from a work detail. At some point, he was transferred to Bilibid Prison. The POWs
there were starved of news from the outside world because the camp was actually a prison.
Meals for the POWs consisted of half to three quarters of a mess kit of rice twice a
day. To cook the food, the POWs cut down trees and tore down wooden structures for firewood. The rice
was contaminated so many of them came down with dysentery. Since the food ration was so small the POWs
often ate garbage from scrap cans and ate from the pig troughs.
Most of the POWs slept on the concrete floor without the benefit of mosquito netting which
resulted in many developing malaria. Many of the prisoners at the prison died from starvation, malaria, and
dysentery. There were only three showers in the prison that the POWs could use. Clothing for the POWs
consisted of two g-strings and two pairs of socks.
On December 12, 1944, the POWs heard rumors that a detail was being sent out. The
POWs went through what was a farce of an inspection. They were told cigarettes, soap, and salt would be
issued. The POWs were also told that they would also receive a meal to eat and one to take with them.
The Japanese stated they would leave by 7:00 in the morning, so the lights were left on all night. At 4:00
a.m. the morning of December 13th, the POWs were awakened.
By 8:00, the POWs were lined up roll call was taken and the names of the men selected
for transport to Japan were called. The prisoners were allowed to roam the compound until they were told to
"fall-in." The men were fed a meal and then 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 of the POWs slept
until 3:45 in the afternoon. They were awakened about 5:00 PM and boarded the Oryoku Maru for transport to
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 began 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 sailed and became a part of a convoy, MATA 37, which moved without
lights. 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.
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
, 'If you don't want it. I'm going to eat it.' And a little later I heard him eating it , right beside
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
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. 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 air."
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.
While the POWs were at Olongapo, a Japanese officer, Lt. Junsaburo Toshio, told the
ranking American officer, Lt. Col. E. Carl Engelhart, that those too badly wounded to continue the trip would be
returned to Bilibid. Fifteen men were selected and loaded onto a truck. They were taken into the
mountains and never seen again. What was learned is that these men were taken to a cemetery and shot.
They were buried at a cemetery nearby. The remainder of the POWs remained on the tennis courts for five or
six days. During that time, they were given water but not fed.
The POWs remained on the tennis court for nine days. During their time on
the courts, American planes attacked the area around them. The men watched as the fighter bombers came in
vertically releasing bombs as they pulled out of the dives. On several occasions, the planes dove right at
the POWs, dropped their bombs, and pulled out. The bombs drifted over the POWs and landed away from them
exploding on contact.
Since the POWs had no place to hide, they watched and enjoyed the show. They
believed that the pilots knew they were Americans but had no way of knowing if this was true. But what is
known is that not one bomb was dropped on them even though they could be seen from the planes.
The evening of December 16th, the Japanese brought 50 kilo bags of rice for
the POWs. About half of the rice had fallen out of the bags because of holes. Each POW was
given three spoons of raw rice, and a quarter of a spoon of salt.
At about 8:00 AM on the morning of December 22nd, 22 trucks arrived at
the tennis court. Rumors flew on where they were going to be taken. At about 4:00 PM, a Taiwanese
guard told the POWs, in broken English,
"No go Cabanatuan. Go Manila; maybe Bilibid."
The guard knew as little as the POWs.
The POWs were taken by truck to San Fernando, Pampanga, arriving there about four
or five in the afternoon. Once there, they were put in a movie theater. Since it was dark, the
POWs saw as a dungeon.
During their time at San Fernando, Pampanga, the POWs lived through several air
The reason for the air raids was the barrio was military headquarters for the area. Most of the
civilians had been moved out of the barrio. Many of the Americans began to believe they had been
taken there so that they would be killed by their own countrymen.
December 23rd, at about 10:00 PM, the Japanese interpreter came and spoke to
the ranking American officer about moving the POWs. The Japanese loaded the seriously ill POWs into a
truck. Those remaining behind believed they were taken to Bilibid. The remaining POWs were moved to
a trade school building in the barrio.
After 10:00 AM on December 24th, the POWs were taken to the train station. The
POWs saw that the station had been hit by bombings and that the cars they were to board had bullet holes in
them from strafing. 180 to 200 were packed into steel boxcars with four guards. The doors of
the boxcars were kept closed and the heat in the cars was terrible.
Ten to fifteen POWs rode on the roofs of the cars along with two guards. The guards
told these POWs that it was okay to wave to the American planes.
On December 25th, the POWs disembarked at San
Fernando, La Union, at 2:00 AM and disembarked. They walked two kilometers to a school yard on the southern
outskirts of the barrio. From December 25th until the 26th. The POWs were held in a school house.
The morning of December 26th, the POWs were marched to a beach. During this time the prisoners were allowed
one handful of rice and a canteen of water. The heat from the sun was so bad that men drank
seawater. Many of those men died.
The remaining prisoners at San Fernando, La Union,
where they boarded onto another ship the
Enoura Maru or
Brazil Maru. The daily routine on the Enoura Maru was for the POWs on the ship was to have six
men climb out of the hold. Once on deck, they would use ropes to pull up the dead and also pull up the human
waste in buckets. Afterwards, the men on deck would lower ten buckets containing rice, soup, and tea.
During the night of December 30th, the POWs heard the sound of depth
charges exploding in the water. The ship arrived at Takao, Formosa, on December 31st and dropped anchor
around 11:30 AM. After arriving at Takao, Formosa, each POW received a six inch long, 3/4 inch wide piece
hardtack to eat. This was the first bread they had since receiving crackers in their Red Cross packages in
1942. During the time in the harbor, the POWs received little water. From January 1st through the 5th,
the POWs received one meal and day and very little water. This resulted in the death rate among the POWs to
rise. On January 6th, the POWs from the Brazil Maru were transferred to the
Enoura Maru and began to receive two meals a day.
Enoura Maru also came under attack by American planes the morning of January 9th. The POWs were
receiving their first meal of the day, when the sound of ship's machine guns was heard. The explosions of
bombs falling closer and closer to the ship was also heard. The waves created from the explosions rocked the
One bomb that hit the ship exploded in the corner of the forward
hold killing 285 prisoners. The surviving POWs remained in in the hold for three days with the dead.
The stench from the dead filled the air. On January 11th a work detail was formed and the dead were
removed from the hold and placed on a barge which carried them to shore. The POWs on the detail were too weak
to lift the bodies, so ropes were tied to the legs and the bodies were dragged to shore and placed in a mass
grave. Later in the day, the survivors of the forward hold were moved into another hold.
It is not known if Lt. Carroll Guin died
on January 9, 1945, and that his body was taken ashore and cremated and buried in a mass grave at Takao, Formosa,
on a beach not far from the pier. Of the original 1619 men that boarded the
Oryoku Maru, on December 15, 1944, only 459 POWs survived the trip to Japan. His family was officially
notified of his death on July 25, 1945, and held a memorial service on September 9th at the Methodist Church in
After the war, the remains of the
POWs buried in the mass grave on Formosa were reburied at the Punch Bowl in Hawaii. Lt. Carroll Guin's family
also had a headstone placed at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Section 4, Site 1469.