Bataan Project

  2nd Lt. John Jacob Hummel

Born: 11 December 1917 - Mayfield, Washington
Parents: Jasper Hummel & Sada Mayfield-Hummel


Inducted : Unknown

Education: left school after junior year joined the Civilian Conservation Corps

     - returned to school

     - graduated high school 1936

     - went to Alaska - worked goldfields, worked in a roadhouse, built a school to earn

       enough money for college

Education:  University of Washington

     - joined ROTC 

     - left school before graduation


    - Fort Lewis, Washington


    - 194th Tank Battalion

        - assigned to D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion

        - the company was scheduled to be transferred to the 194th Tank Battalion but never was officially transferred to the battalion
        - the company fought with the 194th, but kept its 192nd designation

    - half-track commander

Note: On August 15, 1941, the 194th received orders, from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, 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 noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a buoy in the water.  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, with a large radio transmitter, hundred of miles away.  The squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field.  By the time the planes landed, 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.
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

        - 16 September 1941 - crossed International Dateline
            - date jumped to Thursday, 18 September 1941
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
    - Ft. Stostenburg, Philippines
        - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941   


    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
            - The morning of December 8th, December 7th in the United States, the tankers
              were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield.
            - 12:45 P.M. - the airfield was bombed destroying the Army Air Corps
                - tankers were receiving lunch from food trucks when attack came
            - HQ Company members remained in 194th command area
                - could do little more than take cover during attack
            - As HQ Company watched the wounded and dying carried to hospital on anything that would
              carry them
                  - most had missing arms or legs
                  - when hospital ran out of room, wounded put under the hospital
            - Next day, members of company walked around airfield and saw the dead laying everywhere
            - 10 December 1941
                - battalion sent to Mabalcat
                    - C Company was sent to Southern Luzon to support troops
            - 12 December 1941
                - moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
                    - arrived 6:00 A.M.
            - 14 December 1941
                - A Co. & D Co., 192nd moved to just north of Muntinlupa
            - 15 December 1941
                - received 15 Bren gun carriers
                - turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
                - Bren gun carriers used to test ground to see if it could support tanks
            - 22 December 1941
                - sent to Rosario
                    - west and north of the of barrio
                    - ordered out of the 71st Division Commander
                        - said they would hinder the cavalry's operation
            - 22/23 December 1941
                - operating north of Agno River
                - main bridge at Carmen bombed
            - 24 December 1941
                - operating in Hacienda Road area
            - 26 December 1941

                - wounded in his neck outside of Carmen when half-track

                   came under fire

                - held his fingers to the wounds on both sides of his neck

                   until he received first aid
                - half-track knocked out

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
             - HQ Company serviced tanks and supplied crews with ammunition, gas, and
            - January 1942
                - tank companies reduced to three tanks per platoon

    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."
           - 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
            - 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

            - Unknown Date: transferred to Quartermaster Corps 

    - Escaped to Corregidor

        - swam to island
        - assigned to unit to defend i sland

Prisoner of War: 

    - 6 May 1942

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
            - Hummel stated that why he was a POW in the camp he buried American POWs who were still alive , "They made us route out the sick.  Then we had to take 20 or 30 of these poor guys and load them on doors or anything we could find and march them to the graves we had dug already.  We'd throw the men in the pits and start shoveling, trying not to think.  Sometimes their hands or legs stick out and hang limply and twist a little, or we'd hear a desperate, smothered cry."

    - 1 November 1942
        - 1500 POW names drawn by Japanese
            - POWs selected were sent to Japan
            - POWs never were told this, they figured it out on their own
    - 5 November 1942
        - 3:00 A.M. - POWs left camp and marched to the Barrio of Cabanatuan
            - before they left camp, they were given their breakfast to take with them
                - rice and what the Japanese called a "large piece of meat"
                - the piece of meat was two inches square and a quarter inch thick
                    - it was large compared to a piece of meat they usually received
        - Barrio of Cabanatuan
            - boarded train
                - 98 POWs were put into each car
                - the POWs could move if they worked together
            - rode train to Manila
                - arrived at 5:00 P.M.
            - marched to Pier 7
                - slept on a concrete floor inside a building
Hell Ship:

    - Nagato Maru

        - Boarded: Manila - 6 November 1942 - 5:00 P.M.
            - Japanese attempted to put 600 POWs into one hold
                - settled for somewhere between 550 and 560
                - 9 POWs had to share a 4 foot, 9 inch, by 6 foot, 2 inch, space
                    - to sit, POWs had to draw their knees under their chins
        - Sailed: 7 November 1942
            - two latrines were suppose to service 1500 POWs
                - the POWs had to stand in line to use them
                - extremely sick could not reach latrines
                    - tubs put in holds for the sick
                    - to reach them, they had to walk on other POWs
                    - floor quickly became covered in human waste
                - hold infested with lice, fleas, and roaches
            - Meals: no system in place for distribution of food
                - the sickest POWs did not eat
                - water was almost non-existent
            - holds were extremely hot
                - POWs were rotated on deck
        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 11 November 1942
            - stayed three days in harbor
            - POWs were not allowed on deck for short periods of time
        - Sailed: 15 November 1942
        - Arrived: Mako, Pecadores Islands
            - same day
        - Sailed: 18 November 1942
        - Arrived: Keelung, Formosa - same day
        - Sailed: 20 November 1942
            - POWs felt explosions from depth charges
        - Arrived: Moji - 24 November 1942
            - stayed in ship until 5:00 P.M. the next day
            - as they left ship, POWs received a piece of colored wood
                - the color determined what camp the POW was sent to
            - POWs deloused and showered after coming ashore
            - inoculated
            - given new clothing
        - POWs ferried to Himoneski, Honshu
            - boarded train and rode along northern side of the Inland Sea to Osaka-Kobe Area
            - divided into detachments, according to colored wood chips, and sent to camps
POW Camp:

    - Japan:

        - Tanagawa Camp

            - also known as Osaka #4-B
            - Arrived: November 1942
            - Work: regardless of rank, the POWs were required to work at removing the side of a mountain for a Japanese Navy dry dock
                -  in violation of the Geneva Convention.
            - Punishment:
                - subjected to daily beatings at morning and evening muster.
                    - during many of the beatings, they were forced to stand at attention from 2 to 2½ hours
                        - sometimes resulting in them not receiving their next meal
                        - shoes, rifle butts,  belts, sticks, shovels, clubs, fists, and even furniture were used in the beatings
                        - no real reason was needed for the beatings, but a violation of some camp rule usually was the given reason
                    - POWs beaten if their detail did not remove their quota of material from the work site
                        - they failed to meet the quota because they were too hungry and weak to meat the quota
                        - while being beaten, the POWs were forced to hold a heavy log or rock above their heads.
                    - on one occasion 30 officers were made to stand at attention so that the Japanese found out who had misplaced a Japanese book
    -  January 1943 -selected to be sent to Zentsuji Camp

        - Zentsuji Camp

            - Arrived: 15 January 1943
            - POWs worked as stevedores at railroad yard and the Port of Takamatsu
                - when American planes bombed rail yard, the POWs were locked inside boxcars
            - poor diet resulted in deaths of POWs
            - medicine and medical supplies were available to POWs

            - Punishment:
               - two civilian guards, Leatherwrist and Clubfist hit POWs
                    - both had bad hands
               - Leatherwrist hit the POWs with his leather brace
               - Clubfist also hit the POWs
                    - they would also kick the POWs
                    - both guards hit the POWs for no reason
                        - often used a kindo stick, bayonet, or rifle buttss
            - 25 June 1945 - large group of POWs transferred from camp
                - during trip, American planes were everywhere
                - the Japanese believing the train was going to be strafed, uncouple the engine and left the
                  baggage cars and boxcars the POWs were in as targets
                    - did this several times

        - Rokuroshi Camp

            - camp contained mostly officers

            - Arrived: 25 June 1945
Liberated: 7 September 1945
    - POWs evacuated - 8 September 1945
    - rode train to Yokohama

        - when the former POWs arrived, an U.S. Army band was playing, "California, Here I Come."
            - hearing the song choked many of the former POWs up

        - taken down to the docks and had a meal of hot cakes, jam, butter, and coffee
    - returned to the Philippine Islands
    - U.S.S. Storm King
        - Sailed: Manila - not known
        - Arrived: San Francisco - 15 October 1945
            - hospitalized at Letterman General Hospital

Discharged: 22 October 1946


     - returned to University of Washington and graduated ten years after he started

Reenlisted: Army Reserve
    - Rank: Major

    - Retired: Lieutenant Colonel

Married: Evelyn Nell Geisler - 21 August 1941

Children: 1 daughter, 2 sons

    - one son died at three years old

Occupation: Customer Service Supervisor - Johns-Manville Company

Second Marriage: Caroline Holger-Ricter - 21 November 1975

Died: 9 May 1997 - Mayfield, Washington


    - Claquato  Cemetery Association - Chehalis, Washington




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