Pfc. James Jacob Halterman

Born: 20 December 1920 - Buckhannon, West Virginia
Parents: Arthur R. Halterman & Ana E. Crites-Halterman
Siblings: 3 sisters, 4 brothers
Hometown:
    - Akron, Ohio - 1930
    - 161 Wood Street - Buckhannon, West Virginia
Enlisted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 1941 - Ashford General Hospital, West Virginia
Training:
    - Fort Knox, Kentucky
Units:
    - 19th Ordnance Battalion
        - trained alongside the 192nd Tank Battalion at Ft. Knox
        - trained to maintain 57 different vehicles used by the Army
        - trained to maintain and repair verious guns
    - 17th Ordnance Company
        - company created from a company of 19th Ordnance
        - 17 August 1941 - received overseas orders
Note: The decision for this move - which had been made on August 15, 1941 - was the result of an event that took place in the summer of 1941.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines, when one of the pilots, who was flying at a lower altitude, noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a flagged buoy in the water and saw another in the distance.  He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of an Japanese occupied island which was hundred of miles away.  The island had a large radio transmitter.  The squadron continued its flight plan south to Mariveles and returned to Clark Field.
     When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.  The next day, when another squadron was sent to the area, the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat - with a tarp on its deck - which was seen making its way to shore.  Since communication between the Air Corps and Navy was difficult, the boat escaped.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
Overseas Duty:

        - traveled by train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
            - arrived Thursday, 5 September 1941
        - ferried to Ft. McDowell, Angel Island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
            - given physicals and inoculations
            - men with medical conditions replaced
        - removed turrets from tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
     - S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
        - Boarded: Monday - 8 September 1941 - 3:00 P.M.
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M. - same day
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday - 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: 5:00 P.M. - same day
            - escorted by the heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Astoria, and an unknown destroyer
                - smoke seen on horizon several times
                -  cruiser intercepted ships
        - 16 September 1941 - crossed International Date Line
            - became Thursday - 18 September 1941
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
            - maintenance section with 17th ordnance remained behind to unload the tanks and attached turrets
                -27 September 1941 - job completed at 9:00 A.M.
Stationed:
    - Ft. Stotsenburg, Philippine Islands
        - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941
            - 8 December 1942 - lived through Japanese attack on Clark Field
                - company went to a bamboo thicket where they could disperse vehicles
                    - company set up bivouac
                        - set up machine shop trucks, half-tracks, and trucks
                - received orders to return to Ft. Stotsenburg
       - 12:45 P.M. - Japanese attacked
           - Japanese wipe out Army Air Corps
           - dead and wounded were everywhere     

Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1942 - 6 January 1942
    - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
        - 17th Ordnance worked to keep the tanks of the 192nd & 194th Tank Battalions running
        - company headquartered in ordnance depot building which was empty
        - repaired tanks damaged by Japanese or tank crews
Prisoner of War
    - 6 May 1942
        - escaped to Corregidor - 8 April 1942
        - most likely one of tank group members who found a boat and forced
          owner to take them to Corregidor by gunpoint
POW Camps:
    - Philippines:
        - Cabanatuan
            - Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
            - "Blood Brother" rule implemented
                - if one POW in the group of 10 escaped, the other nine would be killed
            - work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens, plant rice, and farm
                - when POWs lined up, it was a common practice for Japanese guards, after the POWs lined up,
                  to kick the POWs in their shins with their hobnailed boots
                - if the guards on the detail decided the POW wasn't doing what he should be doing, he was
                  beaten
                - many POWs on details were able to smuggle in medicine, food, and tobacco into the camp
            - men who attempted to escape and caught were executed
            - daily POW meal - 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
             -volunteered for transport to another occupied country
Hell Ship:
    - Nagara Maru
        - Sailed: Manila - 12 August 1942
        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 14 August 1942
     - Otaru Maru
            - ship's actual name - Suzuya Maru
        - Sailed: 14 August 1942
        - Arrived: Keelung, Formosa - 15 August 1942
POW Camps:
    - Formosa
        - Karenko

            - transferred to Heito Camp - May 1943
        - Heito
            - camp closed after bombing
            - POWs transferred to Taihoku #6 - February 1945
        - Taihoku #6
            - liberated at Taihoku
            - sent to Karnko to be evacuated
Liberated: 2 September 1945
Promoted: Sergeant

Transport:
    - U.S.S. Gospar
        - Sailed: Manila - 24 September 1945
        -Arrived: Seattle, Washington - 12 October 1945
            - taken to Madigan General Hospital - Ft. Lewis, Washington
Reenlisted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 1 February 1946
Married: Betty Miller
Children: 1 son
Died:
    - 11 December 1955
        - wounds during "Operation Sage Brush" - near Longville, Louisiana
Buried:
    - Heavner Cemetery, Buckhannon, West Virginia


 


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