HeardN

Pfc. Noah Cecil Heard


Born: January 31, 1925 - Lyon, Kansas

    Note: - Last Name: "Hurd" on 1925 Kansas State Census

Parents: William "Dutch" Heard & Nannie C. Wheatley-Heard

    - His father's first wife died; Noah was the only child from his

      father's second marriage.

    - His father died before Noah was born or during Noah's first months of infancy

    - lived in Grover, Colorado, in 1930

Siblings: 2 half-sisters, 1 half-brother

Home: Hotel Rock - San Francisco, California

Enlisted: California National Guard

    - WWII enlistment record shows Noah's year of birth as 1922.  He may have lied about his

      age to join the National Guard.

Inducted:

    - U.S. Army

        - 10 February 1941 - Salinas Army Airfield

Training: 

    - Fort Lewis, Washington
        - not known what specific training he received

Units: 

    - 194th Tank Battalion

Note: On August 15, 1941, orders were issued at Ft.Knox, Kentucky, for the 194th to be sent to the Philippines because of an event that happened earlier during the summer.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf 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 hundred of miles away, which a large radio transmitter.  The squadron continued its flight plan and flew south to Mariveles before returning to Clark Field.  By the time the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day. 
    The next day, by the time another squadron was sent to the area, the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat which was seen making its way to shore.  Since communication between the 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.
Overseas Duty:
    - 4 September  1941 -
        - battalion traveled by train to Ft. Mason in San Francisco, California
    - Arrived: 7:30 A.M. - 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
   
- Ship: 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
        - Tuesday - 16 September 1941 - crossed International Dateline
            - date became Thursday - 18 September 1941
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
        - returned to Manila to help 17th Ordnance with unloading of tanks
    - Philippines
        - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941 

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942

            - 8 December 1941
                - Clark Field bombed
                - 10 hours after Pearl Harbor
        - 13 December 1941
                - sent to southern Luzon
                - Japanese landing troops
        - 15 December 1941
            - holding Tagaytay Ridge
            - attempted to catch Fifth Columnist who were sending up flares at night
                - did this until Christmas Eve
            - reconnaissance parties sent out Nusugbu,Balangas, and Batangas Bays
                - also into Lucena, Paglibo, and Lucban areas
        - 24 December 1941 - promoted: Captain
        - 25 December 1941
            - withdrew over Taal Lake Road to Santo Tomas and bivouacked near San Paolo
            - assisted in operations at Lucena-Pagbilao-Lucban area
                - Japanese landing troops at Mauban and Antimonan
    - 31 December 1941
        - rejoined battalion
        - covered withdrawal of Philippine Army Divisions south of Route 3
    - 2 January 1942
        - both tank battalions ordered to withdrawal to Lyac Junction and cover position
            - 194th withdrew there on Highway 7
    - 5 January 1942
        - C Company and A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, withdrew from Guagua-Poraline Line
        - 1:50 A.M. - Japanese attempted to infiltrate
            - bright moonlight made them easy to see
            - tanks opened fire
            - Japanese lay down smoke which blew back into them
        - 3:00 A.M. - Japanese broke off engagement
            - suffered 50% casualties
        - Remedios - established new line along dried creek bed
    - 6/7 January 1942
        - 194th, covered by 192nd, crosses Culis Creek into Bataan
        - both battalions bivouacked south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
        - rations cut in half
    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942 

            - January 1942
                - tank companies reduced to three tanks per platoon
       - 8 January 1942
           - composite tank company made up of tanks from the 192nd and 194th sent to protect East Coast Road north of Hermosa
               - their job was to keep the East Road open  north of Hermosa and prevent the Japanese from driving into Bataan before the main
                 battle line had been formed
         - remainder of tanks ordered to bivouac for night south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
             - tankers had been fighting for a month without a rest
             - tanks also needed overdue maintenance
             - 17th Ordnance
        - all tank companies reduced to ten tanks
             - three per tank platoon
        - sent to reopen Moron Road so General Segunda's forces could withdraw
            - tanks knock out an anti-tank gun
            - two tanks disabled by landmines but recovered
            - mission abandoned
            - Gen. Segunda's troops escaped using beach but lost their heavy equipment
Note: It was at this time the tank battalions received these orders which came from Gen. Weaver, "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."
    - 12 January 1942
        - C Company, with D Company, 192nd, sent to Cadre Road
            - forward position with little alert time
    - 13 January 1942
        - mines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching Cadre Road
            - returned to battalion
    - 16 January 1942
        -  C Company sent to Bagac to reopen Moron Highway
            - highway had been cut by Japanese
            - Moron Highway, and Junction of Trail 162
                - tank platoon fired on by antitank gun
                    - tanks knock out gun
                    - cleared roadblock with support of infantry
    - 20 January 1942
        - Banibani Road -tanks sent in to save 31st Infantry command post
    - 24 January 1942
        - tanks order to Hacienda Road in support of troops
            - landmines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching road
    - 26 January 1942
        - the battalion held a position a kilometer north of the Pilar-Bagac Road
            - four self-propelled mounts with the battalion
        - 9:45 A.M. - warned by Filipino a large Japanese force was coming
        - when the enemy appeared they opened up with all the battalion had 
        - 10:30 A.M. - Japanese withdrew after losing 500 of 1200 men
        - prevented new defensive line being formed from being breached
    - 28 January 1942
        - 194th tanks given beach duty protecting southern beaches
        - guarded coast from Limay to Cabcaben
        - half-tracks patrolled roads
            - maintained radio contact with on-shore and off-shore patrols
    - March 1942
        - each battalion's gas ration is cut to 15 gallons a day
        - food ration is also cut
    - 4 April 1942
        - Japanese launched major offensive
        - tanks sent into various sectors to stop Japanese advance
    - 6 April 1942
        - four tanks sent to support 45th Philippine Infantry and 75th Infantry, Philippine Scouts
            - one tank knocked out by anti-tank fire
            - other tanks covered withdraw
        - 3rd Platoon sent up west coast road
            - near Mount Samat ran into heavy Japanese force
            - the tanks withdrew to Marivales
    - 8 April 1942
        - fighting on East Coast Road at Cabcaban
    - 9 April 1942
        - tankers received order "crash" at 6:45 A.M.
        - destroyed their equipment and tanks
        - 7:00 A.M. - order issued to cease all hostilities
Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942

        - Death March

            - Mariveles - POWs start march at southern tip of Bataan
            - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
                - Americans on Corregidor returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars
                - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                - 100 POWs packed into each car
                - POWs who died remained standing
            - Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
            - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell
  

POW Camps:

    - Philippine Islands:

        - Camp O'Donnell
            - 1 April 1942 - unfinished Filipino training base Japanese put into use as a POW camp
                - Japanese believed the camp could hold 15,000 to 20,000 POWs
            - POWs searched upon arrival at camp
                - those found with Japanese money were accused of looting
                - sent to guardhouse
                - over several days, gun shots heard southeast of the camp
                    - POWs who had money on them had been executed
            - Japanese took away any extra clothing from POWs as they entered the camp and refused to return it
                - since no water was available for wash clothing, the POWs threw soiled clothing away
                - clothing was taken from dead
                - few of the POWs in the camp hospital had clothing
            - POWs were not allowed to bathe
            - only one water spigot for entire camp
                - POWs waited 2 hours to 8 hours to get a drink
                    - water frequently turned off by Japanese guards and next man in line waited as long as 4 hours
                      for water to be turned on again
                    - mess kits could not be cleaned
                - POWs had to carry water 3 miles from a river to cook their meals
                - second water spigot installed a week after POWs arrived
            - slit trenches overflowed since many of the POWs had dysentery
                - flies were everywhere including in camp kitchens and food
            - camp hospital had no water, soap, or disinfectant
            - the senior POW doctor wrote a list of medicines he wanted to treat the sick and was told by the camp commandant, Capt. Yoshio
              Tsuneyoshi, never to write another letter
                - Tsuneyoshi said that all he wanted to know about the American POWs was their names and numbers
                  when they died
                - refused to allow a truckload of medicine sent by the Archbishop of Manila into the camp
                - 95% of the medicine sent by Philippine Red Cross was taken by the Japanese for their own use
            - POWs in camp hospital lay on floor elbow to elbow
            - operations on POWs were performed with mess kit knives
            - only one medic out of six assigned to care for 50 sick POWs, in the hospital, was well enough to work
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
                - each morning dead were found everywhere in the camp and stacked up under the hospital
                - ground under hospital was scrapped and cover with lime to clean it
                - the dead were moved to this area and the section where they had laid was scrapped and cover with lime
                - usually not buried for two or three days
            - work details: if a POW could walk, he was sent out on a work detail
                - POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and malaria
                    - to bury the dead, the POWs held the body down with a pole while it was covered with dirt
                    - the next day when they returned, the bodies often were sitting up in the graves or had been dug up by
                      wild dogs
        - Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate
            - 1 June 1942 - POWs formed detachments of 100 men
                - POWs marched out gate and marched toward Capas
                    - Filipino people gave POWs small bundles of food
                        - the guards did not stop them
                - At Capas, the POWs were put into steel boxcars and rode them to Manila
                - train stopped at Calumpit and switched onto the line to Cabanatuan
                    - POWs disembark train at 6:00 P.M. and put into a school yard
                    - fed rice and onion soup           

        - Scrap Metal Detail - Pampanga Province

            - POWs tied together vehicles and drove them to San Fernando

            - from San Fernando, the vehicles were taken to Manila to be sent to Japan

            - spent time in Pampanga Provincial Hospital suffering from malaria

        - Bilibid Prison
            - Admitted: 10 October 1942

                - back injury
            - Discharged: not known

        - Cabanatuan

            - 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
        - Las Pinas Work Detail - 6 December 1942

            - Nichols Field Detail

            - POWs built runways with picks and shovels at Nichols Field
                - literally removed the side of a mountain by hand
                - POWs killed by Japanese for violating rules
                - housed at Pasay School
                    - fed leftovers from the Japanese kitchen
        - Bilibid Prison
            - family received POW postcard from him while he was a POW there
            - Hospitalized
                - Admitted: not known
                    - simple fracture lumbar vertebrae
                - Discharged: 28 June 1943

                    - sent to Cabanatuan
        - Cabanatuan
            - POWs trucked to Manila

Hell Ship:

    - Clyde Maru

        - Sailed: Manila - 23 July 1943

        -Arrived: Santa Cruz, Zambales, Philippines - same day

                - loaded manganese ore

             - remained in port for three days

       -  Sailed: 26 July 1943

           - 100 POWs permitted on deck at a time from 6:00 AM to

             4:00 PM

        -  Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 28 July 1943

        - Sailed: 5 August 1942 - at 8:00 AM

            - part of nine ship convoy

        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 7 August 1943

            - POWs lined up on dock - 8 August 1943

            - marched to rail station and boarded train

                - 9:30 AM - train departed

                    - two day train trip

                - 7:30 PM - 10 August 1943 - arrived at Omuta, Kyushu

                    - POWs marched 18 miles

                        - eighteen POWs rode a truck because they could not walk
POW Camp:

    - Japan

        - Fukuoka #17

            - POWs arrived - 10 August 1943

            - camp had a ten foot high wooden fence around it

                - three electrified wires topped the fence 

                - 50 POWs assigned to each barracks

                    - barracks 20 feet wide by 120 feet long

                    - ten rooms in a barracks

                        - four to six men assigned to each room

Guardhouse:
    - Monday - 1 May 1944
        - Heard broke into canteen and stole supplies
        - sentenced to 25 days of solitary confinement
    - Saturday - 20 May 1944
        - Heard escaped cell and broke into the warehouse and stole supplies
        - had previous escaped twice before and stolen articles
        - released from guardhouse and assigned to mess hall

            - warned that if he stole anything else, he would be killed
            - caught stealing rice 4 days after he was released

        - Heard sentenced to one week in guardhouse

            - Capt. Archille Tisdelle - ranking American officer
                - attempted to get Heard sent to another camp

            - Japanese guards beat him with their fists as they took him to guardhouse
    - Tuesday - 30 May 1944
        - Heard had been confined to guard house for stealing
            - he had previously been caught stealing 5 or 6 times
        - the first time he was caught, he was confined 3 or 4 days in the guardhouse
Executed:

    - According to an affidavit by former POW, Major Thomas H. Hewett, Heard had escaped from the guardhouse where he had been placed
      for stealing food.  The date of the escape was the night of 30 May 1944, sometime around midnight. The affidavit also stated that Heard was
      caught during the night in a latrine.
    - 1st Lt. Kei Yuri ordered that Heard be beaten
        - he was beaten with fists, clubs, and rifles

    - Wednesday - 31 May 1944
        - Lt John H. Allen and Lt. Owen W. Romaine were called to the commandant's office

        - Lt. Kel Yuri stated he would execute Heard

            - Japanese Field Regulation of the Army allowed it

                - told the American officers what he was going to do
                - former camp interpreter stated that Yuri said he was going to, "Get rid of him."

                - some reports state Heard had been caught stealing food

                - others state Heard stole Red Cross packages
                - trial transcripts state Heard had escaped six times from the camp
                    - Yuri considered him incurable

                - Lt. John H. Allen's, 192nd Tank Battalion, account of Noah Heard's execution:


"Yuri stood in front of Heard running his thumb along the blade of his sword.  Then he put the sword in its scabbard but pushed Heard's head back with the scabbard."

    - Heard was taken behind guardhouse and ordered by Yuri to kneel
    - According to Lt. Allen, Heard staggered as he was taken behind the building.  Allen and others slipped into an empty building to see what the Japanese were going to do
      Allen told the court what he saw.

 

 "At the command of Lieutenant Yuri, a Jap guard bayoneted Heard in the middle of his back.  Heard grunted and as he rolled over, he screeched.   A second Jap bayoneted Heard in the abdomen.  Yuri, the interpreter, and others examined the body.  It was still twitching so another guard slashed Heard vertically across the throat.  Other guards came out and slashed his abdomen to ribbons."


Allen also stated that while Heard was on the ground twitching, a Japanese guard walked up to him and cut his throat.

Buried:
    - camp cemetery
Reburied:

    - Golden Gate National Cemetery - San Bruno, California
        - Section: J  Site 295
Note:
    - 1st Lt.
Kei Yuri was later sentenced to death


 

 

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