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 National Guard.
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 sent
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
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
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
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
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 men.
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
On April 9, 1942, the
tankers received the order "crash."
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 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 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 2½ 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
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
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
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 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 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
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."
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 casualties. .
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 steered.
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
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 shouted,
"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
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 escape.
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
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.
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 raids.
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
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.
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.
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.
The 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 ship.
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 Brainerd.
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.