Houghland


Pvt. Robert Jack Houghland


Born: 23 December 1921 - Boonville, Indiana

Parents: Oliver & Alma Houghland

Siblings: 1 sister

Home: 307 East Walnut Street - Boonville, Indiana

Nickname: "Bob"

Enlisted:

    - U.S. Army 

        - 13 February 1940 - Camp Atterbury, Columbus, Indiana

Unit:

    - 19th Ordnance Battalion
        - trained alongside the 192nd Tank Battalion at Ft. Knox
 

        - Louisiana Maneuvers -late 1941

        - returned to Ft. Knox

            - 17th Ordnance Company

            - company created from A Company of 19th Ordnance

Training:

    - Ft. Knox, Kentucky

    - Ft. Stotsenburg, Philippine Islands

Overseas Duty:

    - U.S.S. Calvin Coolidge
        - Boarded: San Francisco, California - Monday - 8 September 1941
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M.
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
            - soldiers given shore leave for the day
        - Sailed: same day
        - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands - Friday - 26 September 1941
        - Disembark
            - 17th Ordnance remained behind to unload tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
                - reattached turrets to tanks
        - rode bus to Ft. Stotsenburg
     
   

Engagements:

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1942 - 6 January 1942
            - member of tank wrecker crew
                - recovered disabled tanks

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942

            - at one point part of a wrecker crew

            - on one occasion he and Shelby Johnson were driving the

              wrecker when it was strafed and bombed by Japanese planes

            - abandoned wrecker which was bombed and strafed

            - the Japanese failed to hit wrecker or the tank it was tolling

Prisoner of War:

    - 9 April 1941

        - Death March

            - started march at Mariveles on the southern tip of

              Bataan
            - San Fernando - POWs packed into small wooden

              boxcars
            - Capas - POWs leave boxcars - dead fall out of cars
            - walk last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell
 

POW Camps:

    - Philippine Islands

        - Camp O'Donnell

            - unfinished Filipino Army training base
            - Japanese use camp for POWs
            - one water spigot for entire camp
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
            - Japanese opened new camp at Cabanatuan to lower death rate

        - Cabanatuan
            - hospitalized - Tuesday - 11 June 1942 - malaria
                - discharged - Saturday - 15 August 1942
            - hospitalized - Monday - 22 March 1943
                - discharged - no date given

            - worked as a mechanic until April 1943
Hell Ship:

    - Taga Maru
        - ships also known as the Coral Maru
        - Sailed: Manila - 19 September 1943

        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 23 September 1943

        - Sailed: 26 October 1943

        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 5 October 1943
POW Camp:

    - Japan

        - Osaka Main Camp

            - designation given when POW camp is not known 

            - Work:

                - Operated mud gun

                - worked blast furnaces

                - worked slag pits

                    - worked as stone cutter

                     - July 1944 - September 1944

Liberated:

        - September 1945

        - American planes dropped food

            - ate 26 chocolate bars - sick for 2 days
        - returned to Philippine Islands
Transport:
    - U.S.S. Joseph T. Dychman
        - Sailed: Manila - not known
        - Arrived: San Francisco - 16 October 1945
            - sent to Letterman General Hospital

Military:

    - 13 February 1946 - transferred to U.S. Air Force

        - recruiter

Discharged:

    - 28 February 1961

Married:

    - First Marriage

Children: 2 sons

    - Second Marriage

Children 2 stepsons, 2 stepdaughters

Home: Sacramento, California

    - moved to California in late 1950s

    - worked City of Sacramento Golf Courses

Died: 5 February 1997 - Sacramento, California






Next



Return to 17th Ordnance