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 various guns
    - 17th Ordnance Company
        - 17 August 1941
            - company created from A Company, 19th Ordnance
            - received overseas orders same day
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:
        - original name - Camp Panagaian
        - Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
            - put into use by Japanese as a POW camp
            - actually three camps
                - Camp 1: POWs from Camp O'Donnell sent there in attempt to lower death rate
                - Camp 2:  two miles away
                    - all POWs moved from there because of a lack of water
                    - later used for Naval POWs
                - Camp 3: six miles from Camp 2
                    - POWs from Corregidor and from hospitals sent there
                        - September 1942 - Camps 1 & 3 consolidated
                - "Blood Brother" rule implemented
                    - if one POW in the group of 10 escaped, the other nine would be killed
                - POWs patrolled fence to prevent escapes
                - Barracks:
                    - each barracks held 50 men
                        - often held between 60 and 120 men
                        - slept on bamboo slats without mattresses, covers, and mosquito netting
                            - diseases spread easily
                        - no showers
            - Morning Roll Call:
                - stood at attention
                    - frequently beaten over their heads for no reason
                - when POWs lined up for roll call, it was a common practice for Japanese guards, after the POWs lined up, to kick the POWs in
                  their shins with their hobnailed boots
            - Work Details:
                - Work Day: 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
                - work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens, plant rice, and farm
                    - they also were frequently hit with a pick handle, for no reason, as they counted off
                - POWs on the rice planting detail were punished by having their faces pushed into the mud and stepped on
                - the POWs had to go into a shed to get the tools, as they came out, they were hit on their heads
                - 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
            - to prevent escapes, the POWs set up patrols along the camp's fence
            - men who attempted to escape and caught were executed after being beaten
                - the other POWs were forced to watch the beatings
            - daily POW meal - 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
                - most of the food the POWs grew went to the Japanese
        - Camp Hospital:
            - 30 Wards
                - each ward could hold 40 men
                    - frequently had 100 men in each
               - two tiers of bunks
                   - sickest POWs on bottom tier
               - each POW had a 2 foot by 6 foot area to lie in
            - Zero Ward
              - given name because it had been missed when counting wards
              - became ward where those who were going to die were sent
              - fenced off from other wards
                  - Japanese guards would not go near it
                  - POWs sent there had little to no chance of surviving
                  - medical staff had little to no medicine to treat sick
                  - many deaths from disease caused by malnutrition
             -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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