2nd Lt. Marshall Howard Kennady Jr. was born on February 22, 1919, in Bexar County, Texas, and grew
up with his sister and brother in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the son of Marshall H. Kennady Sr. & Helen
Lehnen-Kennady. His father was a colonel in the Texas State Guard. Marshall graduated from Texas A&M
College in 1940 and commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army.
The decision for this move - which
had been made in August 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
It is not known if Marshall was a member
of the 753rd Tank Battalion assigned to the 192nd Tank
Battalion at Camp Polk, Louisiana, or if he joined the
battalion on Angel Island, in San Francisco Bay, as the battalion
prepared for duty in the Philippine Islands.
The battalion took different train routes to Ft. Mason in San Francisco, California, and were
ferried to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island on the
U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe. On the island, they were given physicals and inoculated for duty in the
Philippine Islands by the battalion's medical detachment. Men who had minor medical conditions were held back
and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date. Some men were simply replaced.
The 192nd was boarded onto the
U.S.A.T. Gen. Hugh L. Scott and sailed on Monday, October 27th. During this part of the trip, many tankers
had seasickness, but once they recovered they spent much of the time training in breaking down machine guns, cleaning
weapons, and doing KP. The ship arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2nd and had a two day
layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island.
On Wednesday, November 5th, the ship sailed for Guam but took a southerly route away from the main
shipping lanes. It was at this time it was joined by, the heavy cruiser, the
U.S.S. Louisville and, another transport, the
S.S. President Calvin Coolidge. Sunday night,
November 9th, the soldiers went to bed and when they awoke the
next morning, it was Tuesday, November 11th. During the
night, while they slept, the ships had crossed the
International Date Line. On Saturday, November 15th,
smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon. The
Louisville revved up its engines, its bow came out of the
water, and it shot off in the direction of the smoke. It
turned out the smoke was from a ship that belonged to a
When they arrived at Guam on Sunday,
November 16th, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and
vegetables before sailing for Manila the next day. At
one point, the ships passed an island at night and did so in
total blackout. This for many of the soldiers was a sign
that they were being sent into harm's way. The
ships entered Manila Bay, at 8:00 A.M., on Thursday, November
20th, and docked at Pier 7 later that morning. At
3:00 P.M., most of the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft.
Stotsenburg. Those who drove trucks drove them to the
fort, while the maintenance section remained behind at the
pier to unload the tanks.
At the fort, they were greeted by General
Edward P. King, who apologized they had to live in tents along
the main road between the fort and Clark Airfield. He
made sure that they had what they needed and received
Thanksgiving Dinner before he went to have his own
dinner. Ironically, November 20th was the date that the National
Guard members of the battalion had expected to be released
from federal service.
The members of the battalion pitched the
tents in an open field halfway between the Clark Field
Administration Building and Fort Stotsenburg. The tents
were set up in two rows and five men were assigned to each
tent. There were two supply tents and meals were
provided by food trucks stationed at the end of the rows of
For the next seventeen days the tankers
worked to remove cosmoline from their weapons which had
been greased to protect them from rust while at sea.
They also loaded ammunition belts and did tank maintenance.,
and prepared for maneuvers with the 194th Tank Battalion.
On December 1, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield to guard against
Japanese paratroopers. Two members of each tank crew had to remain with the tank at all times and received their
meals from food trucks.
The morning of December 8, the officers were called to a meeting and informed of the Japanese attack
on Pearl Harbor just hours earlier. After hearing the news, they returned to their companies and informed the
enlisted men of the attack.
When the members of HQ Company were
told of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor they
laughed. Having been in the Philippines for eighteen
days, they believed that this was the start of the extended
maneuvers. The company commander, Capt Fred Bruni, told
them to listen up because what he was saying was the
truth. He again told them that Pearl Harbor had been
bombed, and they were given guns and told to clean them.
As they did this, they still believed that they had started
maneuvers. It was around noon that this belief was
That morning the sky was filled with
American planes flying in every direction. At noon, the
planes landed, the pilots lined up their planes in a straight
line to be refueled, went to lunch. It was
12:45 in the afternoon, and the tank crews had sent two
members of each crew to the food truck to get their
lunches. The tankers stated that as they looked north,
they saw planes approaching the airfield and had enough time
to count 54 planes information. Many believed the planes
were Americans coming to reinforce the Army Air
Corps. It was only when they saw what they described as
"rain drops" falling out of the planes, and red
dots on the wings, that they knew the planes were Japanese.
During the bombing, the tank crews
remained in their tanks. For some unknown reason, most of
the Japanese Zeros did not go after the tanks. When they
did, the bombs landed between the tanks. The tank
crews had orders not to fire at the planes but many of them
did anyway. When the Japanese were finished, there was
not much left of the airfield. The tankers watched as
the dead, dying, and wounded were hauled to the hospital on
bomb racks, trucks, or anything else that could carry the
wounded. When the hospital filled, they watched the
medics place the wounded under the building. Many of
these men had their arms and legs missing.
That night, there was one air raid
after another. Since they did not have any foxholes,
the men used an old latrine pit for cover. Being that it
was safer in the trench than in their tents, the men slept
in the pit. The entire night they were bitten by
mosquitoes. The next morning the decision was made to move
the company into an tree cover area. Without knowing it,
Marshall had slept his last night on a cot or bed.
From this point on, he slept in a blanket on the ground.
The battalion remained at Clark Field
for two weeks when they were ordered north toward Lingayen
Gulf because the Japanese were landing troops there. On
December 23 and 24, the battalion was in the area of
Urdaneta. The bridge they were going to use to
cross the Agno River was destroyed and the tankers made an end
run to get south of river. As they did this, they ran
into Japanese resistance early in the evening. They
successfully crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.
On December 25, the tanks of the
battalion held the southern bank of the Agno River from Carmen to
Tayung, with the tanks of the 194th holding the line on the
Carmen-Alcala-Bautista Road. The tanks held the
position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27, when they
fell back toward Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan. The
tanks were at San Isidro, south of Cabanatuan, on December 28
and 29. While there, the bridge they were suppose to
cross over the Pampanga River was destroyed, but they were
able find a crossing over the river.
Marshall was the tank platoon
commander of the three tanks assigned to HQ Company.
His tanks were with C Company as the company withdrew to
Baluiag, where the tanks encountered Japanese troops. It
was at Baluiag that Lt. William Gentry's platoon of tanks won
the first tank victory of World War II against enemy
On December 31, 1941, Gentry sent out
reconnaissance patrols north of the town of Baluiag.
The patrols ran into Japanese patrols, which told the
Americans that the Japanese were on their way. Knowing
that the railroad bridge was the only way into the town, Lt.
Gentry set up his defenses in view of the bridge and the
rice patty it crossed.
Early on the morning of the 31st, the Japanese began moving troops and across the bridge.
The engineers came next and put down planking for tanks. A little before noon Japanese tanks began crossing the
Later that day, the Japanese had
assembled a large number of troops in the rice field on the
northern edge of the town. One platoon of tanks under
the command of 2nd Lt. Marshall Kennady were to the southeast
of the bridge. Gentry's tanks were to the south of the
bridge, hidden in huts, while third platoon commanded by
Capt. Harold Collins was to the south on the road leading out
of Baluiag. 2nd Lt. Everett Preston, and his tank
platoon, had been sent south to find a bridge to cross to
attack the Japanese from behind.
Major Morley came riding in his jeep into Baluiag and stopped in front of a hut where he was
spotted by the Japanese who had lookouts in the town's church's steeple. The Japanese lookout became very
excited. Morley, not wanting to give away the tanks positions, got into his jeep and drove off. Gentry had
told him that his tanks would hold their fire until he was safely out of the village.
When Gentry felt the Morley was out of danger, he ordered his tanks to open up on the
Japanese tanks at the end of the bridge. Gentry's tanks then came smashing through the huts' walls and
drove the Japanese in the direction of Lt. Marshall Kennady's tanks who had been radioed and were waiting.
Kennady held his fire until the
Japanese were in view of his platoon and than joined in the
hunt. The Americans chased the tanks up and down the
streets of the barrio through buildings and under them.
By the time Bill's unit was ordered to disengage from the
enemy, they had knocked out at least eight enemy
tanks. This was the first American tank battle
victory of World War II.
Gentry and the other tankers withdrew
to Calumpit Bridge which they discovered it had been blown
up when they reached it. Finding a crossing the tankers
made it to the south side of the river. Knowing that
the Japanese were close behind, the Americans took their
positions in a harvested rice field and aimed their guns to fire
a tracer shell through the harvested rice. This would
cause the rice to ignite which would light the enemy troops.
Gentry spaced his tanks about 100 yards
apart. The Japanese crossing the river knew that
the Americans were there because the tankers shouted at each
other to make the Japanese believe troops were in front of
them. The Japanese were within a few yards of the tanks
when the tanks opened fire.
Lighting the rice stacks, the Americans opened up with small fire than used their .37 mm
guns. The fighting was such a rout that the the tankers were using a .37 mm shell to kill one Japanese soldier.
The tanks were next sent to the barrio of Porac to aid the Filipino army which was having
trouble with Japanese artillery fire. From a Filipino lieutenant, the takers learned where the guns were and
attacked. Before the Japanese withdrew, the tankers had knocked out three of the guns.
After this, the tanks withdrew to the
Hermosa Bridge and held it on the north side until all the
troops were across. The tanks then crossed to the south
and destroyed the bridge which held the Japanese up for a
In addition to serving as a rear guard, the tankers burnt everything that was being left
behind. The tankers burnt warehouses, banks, and businesses that would help the Japanese.
The evening of April 8, 1942, Capt.
Fred Bruni gave his men the news of the surrender.
While informing the members of the company of the surrender,
he waved his arm toward the tanks and told the men that they
would no longer need them. As he spoke, his voice
choked. He turned away from the men for a moment, and when
he turned back he continued. He next told the sergeants
what they should do to disable the tanks. During the
announcement, Bruni emphasized that they all were to surrender
together. He told the soldiers to destroy their
weapons and any supplies that could be used by the
Japanese. The only thing they were told not to destroy were the
company's trucks. He also told them that from this point
on, it was each man for himself. The men waited
in their bivouac until ordered to move. Somehow, Bruni
had found enough bread and pineapple juice for what he
called, "Their last supper." Bruni told his men that
from this point on it was each man for
himself. Most of the company remained in their bivouac
for two days while others attempted to escape to
The soldiers proceeded to pile up their
guns and ammunition and set the pile on fire. They
stayed in their bivouac and waited for orders. At the
same time that they were sad, they were also kind of excited
and wondered what was going to happen to them.
After remaining in their bivouac for two days, the members of HQ Company were ordered out to the
road that ran by their encampment. Once on the road, the POWs were ordered to kneel along the sides of the road
with their possessions in front of them. As they knelt, the passing Japanese soldiers took what they wanted from
the Americans. Afterwards, the soldiers boarded trucks and drove to Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan.
At Mariveles, the POWs were searched
and personal possessions were confiscated by the
Japanese. It was also from there that Marshall started
what became known as the death march. During the march
he received almost no food and little water. The POWs
made their way north to San Fernando where they were placed
in a bull pen. In one corner was slit trench that the
POWs used as a latrine. The surface of the trench was
alive with insects.
After being held in the pen, the POWs
were ordered to form 100 men detachment. From there,
they were marched to the train station in San Fernando.
The POWs were boarded into small wooden boxcars used to
haul sugarcane. Each car could hold forty men or eight
horses, but the Japanese packed 100 men into the cars.
In the cars, men died from the heat and lack of air but
remained standing since there was no room for them to fall to the
floor. At Capas, those POWs still alive disembarked and
the bodies of the dead fell from the cars as they climbed
out. The POWs walked the last few miles to Camp
The camp was an unfinished Filipino
training base. The Japanese pressed the camp into use
as a POW camp on April 1, 1942. When they arrived at the
camp, the Japanese confiscated any extra clothing that the
POWs had and refused to return it to them. They searched
the POWs and if a man was found to have Japanese money on
them, they were taken to the guardhouse. Over the next
several days, gunshots were heard to the southeast of the
camp. These POWs had been executed for looting.
There was only one water faucet in the
camp, and the prisoners stood in line from two to eight
hours waiting for a drink. The Japanese guards at the
faucet would turn it off for no reason and the next man in
line would stand as long as four hours waiting for it to be
turned on again. This situation improved when a second
faucet was added.
There was no water for washing clothes,
so the POWs would throw out their clothing when it had been
soiled. In addition, water for cooking had to be carried
three miles from a river to the camp and mess kits could
not be washed. The slit trenches in the camp were
inadequate and were soon overflowing since most of the POWs had
dysentery. The result was that flies were everywhere in
the camp including the POW kitchens and in the food.
The camp hospital had no soap, water, or
disinfectant. When the ranking American doctor at
the camp wrote a letter to the camp commandant, Capt. Yohio
Tsuneyoshi, asking for medical supplies, he was told never to
write another letter.
The Archbishop of Manila sent a
truckload of medical supplies to the camp, the Japanese commandant
refused to allow the truck into the camp. When the
Japanese Red Cross sent medical supplies the camp the Japanese
took 95% of the supplies for their own use.
The POWs in the camp hospital lay on the
floor elbow to elbow and only one of the six medic
assigned to care for 50 sick POWs was healthy enough to care
for them. When a representative of the Philippine Red
Cross stated they could supply a 150 bed hospital for the
camp, he was slapped in the face by a Japanese lieutenant.
Each morning, the bodies of the dead
were found all over the camp and were carried to the hospital
and placed underneath it. The bodies lay there for two
or three days before they were buried in the camp cemetery
by other POWs who were suffering from dysentery and/or
malaria. To clean the ground under the hospital, the ground
was scraped and lime was spread over it. The bodies of
the dead were placed in the area, and the area they had been
laying was scrapped and lime was spread over it.
Work details were sent out on a daily
basis. Each day, the American doctors gave a list of
names to the Japanese of the POWs who were healthier enough to
work. If the quota of POWs needed to work could not
be met, the Japanese put those POWs who were sick, but could
walk, to work. The death rate among the POWs reached
50 men dying a day. The Japanese finally acknowledge
that they had to do something, so the opened a new POW camp at
On June 1, 1942, the POWs formed detachments of 100 men each and were marched to Capas.
There, the were put in steel boxcars with two Japanese guards. At Calumpit, the train was switched onto another
line which took it to Cabanatuan. The POWs disembarked and were taken to a schoolyard where they were fed cooked
rice and onion soup. From there, they were marched to Cabanatuan which had been the headquarters of the 91st
Philippine Army Division.
The camp was actually three camps.
Camp 1 was where the men who captured on Bataan and taken
part in the death march where held. Camp 2 did not have
an adequate water supply and was closed. It later
reopened and housed Naval POWs. Camp 3 was where those
men captured when Corregidor surrender were taken. In
addition, men from Bataan who had been hospitalized when the
surrender came were sent to the camp. Camps 3 was
later consolidated into Camp 1.
Once in the camp, the POWs were allowed
to run the camp. The Japanese only entered if they
had an issue they wanted to deal with. To prevent
escapes, the POWs set up a detail that patrolled the fence of the
camp. The reason this was done was that those who did
escape and were caught, were tortured before being executed,
while the other POWs were made to watch. It is believed
that no POW successfully escaped from the camp.
In the camp, the Japanese instituted the
"Blood Brother" rule. If one man escaped
the other nine men in his group would be executed. POWs
caught trying to escape were beaten. Those who did
escape and were caught, were tortured before being
executed. It is not known if any POW successfully escaped from
The barracks in the camp were built to
house 50 POWs, but most had between 60 to 120 POWs in
them. The POWs slept on bamboo slats, without
mattresses, bedding, or mosquito netting. Many quickly became
ill. Tom was assigned to Barracks 7, Group II,which
meant that the members of his group lived together, went out on
work details together, and would be executed together since
they were Blood Brothers.
The POWs were sent out on work details to cut wood for the POW kitchens. The two major
details were the farm detail and the airfield detail which lasted for years. A typical day on any detail lasted
from 7:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M.
Rice was the main food given to the POWs fed to them as "lugaii" which meant "wet
rice." During their time in the camp, they received few vegetables and almost no fruit. Once in awhile,
they received bread.
The farm detail was under a Japanese
guard known as "Big Speedo" because he was taller
than most of the Japanese. He knew very little English
and used the word "Speedo" when he wanted the POWs
to work faster. Overall, the POWs felt he treated them
fairly and did not abuse them. There was also a
smaller Japanese guard known as "Little Speedo," who was fair
to the POWs. Smiley was another guard who
the POWs quickly learned not to trust. He always had a
smile on his face, but he was mean and beat the POWs for no
The POWs cleared the area and planted comotes,
cassava, taro, sesame, and various greens. The
Japanese used most of the food for themselves. When the
POWs arrived at the farm, they would enter a shed. As
they came out, it was common for them to be hit over the heads
by the guards.
The Japanese wanted an airfield for
their fighters, so the POWs were given the job of constructing
it. The POWs leveled the land and moved dirt. At
first, they used wheelbarrows to move the soil, but when
this became inefficient, mining cars and track were brought
in, and the POWs loaded the cars and pushed them to where the
dirt was being dumped.
The POWs also worked planting
rice. While doing this, one the favorite punishments was for a
guard to push a man's face into the mud. Once his head was in
the mud, the guard would step on his head to drive it
deeper. Other details did go out, but usually lasted a
few days. Major details, of hundreds of men, left the
camp and worked on projects that lasted years. When, due
to illness or death, details became depleted, more POWs
left the camp for details as replacements.
The camp hospital was known as "Zero
Ward" because it was missed by the Japanese when
they counted barracks. The sickest POWs were sent there
to die. The Japanese put a fence up around the
building to protect themselves, and they would not go into the
building. There were two rolls of wooden platforms
around the perimeter of the building. The sickest POWs
were put on the lower platform which had holes cut into it
so the they could relieve themselves. Most of those who
entered the ward died.
The POWs had the job of burying the
dead. To do this, they worked in teams of four men.
Each team carried a litter of four to six dead men to the
cemetery where they were buried in graves containing 15 to 20
Marshall was held at Cabanatuan
until October 1942, when he was selected for transport to the
Davao Penal Colony on the Island of Mindanao to work on a
labor detail. The POWs were taken to Manila and boarded
on Erie Maru which sailed on October 28. After
stopes at Iloido and Cebu, Mindanao, the ship arrived at
Lasang, Mindanao, on November 7.
The POWs were taken to the Davao Penal
Colony. At the camp, the POWs were housed in eight
barracks that were about 148 feet long and about 16 feet
wide. A four foot wide aisle ran down the center of each
barracks. In each barracks, were eighteen bays.
Twelve POWs shared a bay which meant 216 POWs lived in each
barracks. Four cages were later put in a bay, and each
cage held two POWs.
The camp discipline was poor and the American commanding officer changed frequently. The
junior officers refused to take orders from the senior officers. Soon, the enlisted men spoke anyway they wanted
to, to the officers. The situation improved because all majority of POWs realized that discipline was needed to
At first, the work details were not
guarded. The POWs plowed, planted, and harvested the
crops. The sick POWs made baskets. In April 1943,
the POWs working conditions varied. Those working the
rice fields received the worst treatment. They were
beaten for not meeting quotas, misunderstandings between the
POWs and guards, and a translator who could not be trusted to
tell the truth.
Many of the POWs became ill with
what was called, "Rice Sickness". This
illness was caused by a POW cutting his foot or leg on a rice
stalk. The POW developed a rash and suffered from
severe swelling. If a POW bruised himself, the bruise
developed into a ulcer. Most, if not all the prisoners,
suffered from malaria.
As the American forces got closer to the
Philippine Islands the Japanese began to send as many POWs
to Japan or other occupied countries as possible. On June 6,
1944, the Japanese sent Marshall and other POWs to Lasang,
Mindano, by truck. Once there, the POWs were boarded
Yashu Maru and held in the ship's front
holds for six days before it sailed. The ship sailed
on the 12th and dropped anchor off Zamboanga, Mindano. for two
days before sailing for Cebu City arriving on June
17th. The POWs were taken off the ship and held in a
warehouse. The POWs were returned to the dock and
boarded an unnamed ship and arrived at Manila on June 25 and
sent to Bilibid Prison. From there they were sent to
In mid-October a list of names of POWs being
transferred from the Philippines was posted at the
camp. On October 19, six trucks arrived a the camp and
spent the night. The next morning, the POWs were fed
corn cakes and rice for breakfast. The POWs were
inspected at 7:30 A.M. and received a cornbread and rice.
The POWs were packed onto the six trucks so tightly that they could not sit down which made the
ride unpleasant. Most of the trucks had 50 men on them.
It is not known when the trucks left the
camp but at 11:00 A.M. as they made their way to Blibid
Prison, the POWs saw two large formations of American planes
on their way to bomb a Japanese fortification at Nichols
Field and the Port Area of Manila. It was the fifth or
sixth day in a roll that the POWs had seen American planes.
At noon, the POWs had lunch but could
not get off the trucks. If a man had to relieve
himself, he had to make his way to the side of the truck and
urinate or defecate over the side. The trucks arrived
at Bilibid at 4:00 P.M.
On December 8, 1944, Marshall was
selected to be sent to another part of the Japanese
Empire. On December 12, 1944, roll call was taken and
the names of the men selected for transport to Japan were
called. At 4:00 a.m. the morning of December 13,
Marshall and the other POWs were awakened and roll call was
taken. Afterwards, the POWs were allowed to roam the
prison until they formed detached and were marched to Pier 7
in Manila. During the march, they could see the damage being
done by American planes. Once there, the POWs were
told to sit. Many of the men laid down and slept until
they were awakened to board the ship. About 5:00 PM,
the POWs were boarded onto the
The high ranking officers were the first put into the ship's aft hold. Being the first
on meant that they would suffer many deaths. Around the perimeter of the hold were two tiers of bunks for the
POWs. The heat was so bad that men soon began to pass out. One survivor said,
"The fist fights began when men to pass out. We knew that only the front men in bay would be able to get
The POWs who were closer to the hold's hatch used anything they could find to fan air toward those
further away from it.
The ship left Manila at 8:00 P.M. but
spent most of the night in Manila Bay. At 10:00
P.M., the Japanese interpreter threatened to have the guards
fire into the holds unless the POWs stopped screaming.
Some of the POWs fell silent because they were exhausted, and
others because they had died.
One major of the 26th Cavalry stated the man next to him had lost his mind. Recalling the
conversation he had with the man he said,
"Worst was the man who had gone mad but would not sit still. One kept pestering me, pushing a mess kit
against my chest, saying, 'Have some of this chow? It's good.' I smelled of it, it was not chow.
'All right' he said, 'If you don't want it. I'm going to eat it.' And a little later I
heard him eating it , right beside me."
At 3:30 A.M. it sailed as part of the
MATA-37 a convoy bound for Takao, Formosa. The ships
sailed without any lights out of the bay. By the swells
in the water, the POWs could tell that the ship was in open
water. The cries for air began as the men lost
discipline, so the Japanese threatened to cover the holds and cut
off all air. When the Japanese sent down fried rice,
cabbage, and fried seaweed, those further back from the
opening got nothing.
The Japanese covered the holds and would not allow the slop buckets to be taken out of the
holds. Those POWs who were left holding the buckets at first asked for someone else to hold it for awhile.
When that did not work, they dumped the buckets on the men around them.
As light began to enter the hold as
morning came, the POWs could see men who were in stupors,
men out of their minds, and men who had died. The POWs
in the aft hold which also had a sub-hold, put the POWs who
out of their minds into it.
On the side of the holds, water had
condensed on the walls so the POWs tried to scrap it off the
wall for a drink. The Japanese did allow men who had
passed out to be put on deck, but as soon as they revived they
went back into the holds. The Japanese would not allow
the bodies of the men who had died to be removed from the
The POWs received their first meal at
dawn. Meals on the ship consisted of a little rice,
fish, some water, and three fourths of a cup of water was
shared by 20 POWs. It was 8:00 A.M., off the coast of
Luzon, and the POWs had just finished eating breakfast when
they heard the sound of guns. At first, they thought
the gun crews were just drilling, because they had not heard
any planes. It was only when the first bomb hit in the
water and the ship shook that they knew it was not a drill.
At first it seemed that most of the
planes were attacking the other ships in the convoy.
Commander Frank Bridgit, had made his way to the top of the
ladder into the hold and sat down. He gave the POWs a
play by play of the planes attacking,
"I can see two planes going for a freighter off our starboard side. Now two more are detached from the
formation. I think they may be coming for us."
The POWs heard the change in the sound
of the planes' engines as they began their dives
toward the ships in the convoy. Several more bombs hit
the water near the ship causing it to rock Explosions
were taking place all around the ship. In an attempt to
protect themselves, the POWs piled baggage in front of
them. Bullets from the planes were ricocheted in the
hold causing many casualties. .
Lt. Col. Elvin Barr of the 60th Coast Artillery came up to Maj, John Fowler of the 26th Cavalry
on the cargo deck and said,
"There's a hole knocked in the bulkheads down there. Between 30 and 40 men have already died down
Barr would never reach Japan. The attack
by 30 to 50 planes lasted for about 20 to 30 minutes.
When the planes were ran out of bombs they strafed.
Afterwards, the planes flew off, returning to their carrier,
and there was a lull of about 20 to 30 minutes before the next
squadron of planes appeared over the ships and resumed the
attack. This pattern repeated itself over and over
during the day.
In the hold, the POWs concluded that
the attacking planes were concentrating on the bridge of
the ship. They noted that the planes had taken out all
the anti-aircraft guns leaving only .30 caliber machine guns
to defend the ship.
At 4:30 P.M., the ship went through the
worse attack on it. It was hit at least three
times by bombs on its bridge and stern. Most of the
POWs, who were wounded, were wounded by ricocheting bullets and
shrapnel from exploding bombs. During the attack
Chaplain Cummings, a Catholic priest, led the POWs in the Our
Father. As they prayed, the bombs that exploded near the
ship sent torrents of water over the ship.
Bullets from the planes hit the metal
plates, of the haul, at an angle that prevented most of them
from penetrating the haul. Somewhere on the ship a fire
started, but it was put out after several hours. The
POWs lived through seven or eight attacks before sunset.
Overall, six bombs hit the ship. One hit the stern
of the ship killing many POWs.
At dusk the ship raised anchor and headed east. It turned south and turned again this time
heading west. The next turn it made was north. It headed in this direction for a good amount of time before
dropping anchor at about 8:00 P.M. The POWs figured out that they had just sailed in a circle. What had
happened is that the ship's had been hit during the attack and the ship could not be steered.
Sometime after midnight, the POWs heard the sound of the Japanese civilians being evacuated from
the ship. During the night, the POW medics were ordered onto the deck to treat the Japanese wounded. One
medic recalled that the dead, dying, and wounded were everywhere.
The ship reached Subic Bay at 2:30 in the morning and steamed closer to the beach where its
anchor was dropped. At 4:00 A.M., the POWs were told that they would disembark at daybreak at a pier. The
moaning and muttering of POWs who were losing their minds kept the POWs up all night. That night 25 POWs died in
It was December 15th and the POWs sat
in the ship's holds for hours after dawn. The
first 35 POWs were taken out of the hold and went into the
water. At 8:00 A.M. as the other POWs waited, the sound
of A Japanese guard yelled into the hold at the POWs,
"All go home; speedo!"
He shouted that the wounded would be the first to be evacuated. Suddenly, he looked up and shouted,
"Planes, many planes!"
As the POWs were abandoning ship the planes returned and continued the attack. The ship bounced in the
water from the explosions. Chief Boatswain Clarence M. Taylor who was in the water said,
"I saw the whole thing. A bomb fall, hit near the stern hatch, and debris go flying up in the air."
In the hold, the POWs crowded
together. Chips of rust fell on them from the
ceiling. After the raid, they took care of the wounded
before the next attack started. In the hold a Catholic
priest, Father Duffy, began to pray,
"Father forgive them. They know not what they do."
The Japanese guards and interpreter had
abandoned ship, but the ship's captain remained on
board. He told the POWs - with his limited English -
that they needed to get off the ship to safety. The POWs
made their way over the side and into the water. As they
swam to shore, the Japanese fired at them, with machine
guns, to prevent them from escaping.
Four of the planes flew low over the
water above the POWs. The POWs waved frantically at
the planes so they would not be strafed. The planes
banked and flew lower over the POWs. This time the pilots
dipped their wings to show that they knew the men in the water
were Americans. About a half hour later, the ship
began to really burn and the bodies of the dead could be seen
on the decks.
The Japanese sent out a motorboat with a machine gun and snipers on it. The POWs
attempting to escape were hunted down and shot. It is believed as many as 30 men died in the water.
There was no real beach, so the POWs
climbed up on a seawall and found the the Japanese Naval
Landing Party had set up a machine gun and had just laid flat
to rest when the gun opened up on them. Those
who came ashore were warned to stay in the water, but only did
so when one man climbed up on the seawall and was
wounded. There were also Japanese snipers in wait to
shoot anyone who attempted to escape.
The POWs were gathered together and
marched to the tennis court at Olongapo Naval Station which
was about 500 yards from the beach. There, they were
herded onto a tennis court. The Japanese packed 1300 of
the POWs on the court with 100 wounded POWs taking up a great
amount of room at one end. They could barely sit down
and only lay down by lying partially on another man.
While the POWs were at Olongapo, a Japanese
officer, Lt. Junsaburo Toshio, told the ranking American
officer, Lt. Col. E. Carl Engelhart, that those too badly
wounded to continue the trip would be returned to
Bilibid. Fifteen men were selected and loaded onto a
truck. They were taken into the mountains and never seen
again. What was learned was that these men were taken to
a cemetery and shot. They were also buried in the
cemetery. The remainder of the POWs remained on the
tennis court. During this time, they were given water but
The POWs remained on the tennis court for
nine days. During their time on the courts, American
planes attacked the area around them. The men watched as
the fighter bombers came in vertically releasing bombs as
they pulled out of the dives. On several occasions, the
planes dove right at the POWs, dropped their bombs, and
pulled out of the dives. The bombs drifted over the POWs
and landed away from them exploding on
Since the POWs had no place to hide,
they watched and enjoyed the show. They believed that
the pilots knew they were Americans but had no way of knowing
if this was true. But what is known is that not one
bomb was dropped on them even though they could be seen from
The evening of December 16th, the Japanese brought 50 kilo bags of rice for the POWs to
eat. About half the rice had fallen out of the bags because of holes. Each POW was given three
spoonfuls of raw rice and a spoonful of salt.
At about 8:00 AM on the morning of December 22nd, 22 trucks arrived at the tennis court.
Rumors flew on where they were going to be taken. At about 4:00 PM, a Taiwanese guard told the POWs, in broken
"No go Cabanatuan. Go Manila; maybe Bilibid."
The guard knew as little as the POWs.
On December 22nd, the POWs were taken
by truck to San Fernando, Pampanga, arriving there about
four or five in the afternoon. Once there, they were put
in a movie theater. Since it was dark, the POWs saw
the theater as a dungeon.
During the time at San Fernando,
Pampanga, the POWs lived through several air raids. The
reason for the air raids was the barrio was military
headquarters for the area. Most of the civilians had been
moved out of the barrio. Many of the Americans
began to believe they had been taken there so that they would
be killed by their own countrymen.
On December 23rd, at about 10:00 P.M., the Japanese interpreter spoke to the ranking American
officer about moving the POWs. The Japanese loaded the seriously ill into a truck. The remaining POWs
believed that the POWs in the truck were taken to Bilibid Prison. Those remaining were moved to a trade school
building in the barrio.
After 10:00 A.M. on December 24th, the
POWs were taken to train station. The POWs saw that
the station had been hit by bombings and that the cars they
were boarding had bullet holes in them from strafing.
180 to 200 were packed into steel boxcars with four guards in
each boxcar. The doors of the boxcars were kept
closed and the heat in the cars was terrible. Ten to
fifteen POWs rode on the roofs of the cars along with two
guards. The guards told these POWs that it was okay to
wave to the American planes.
On December 25th, the POWs disembarked
at San Fernando, La Union, at 2:00 AM. They walked
two kilometers to a school yard on the southern outskirts of
the barrio. From December 25th until the 26th, the
POWs were held in a school house. The morning of
December 26th, the POWs were marched to a beach. During this
time the prisoners were allowed one handful of rice and a
canteen of water. The heat from the sun was so bad that
men drank seawater; Many of those men died.
Most of the remaining prisoners where boarded onto the
Enoura Maru or
Brazil Maru on December 27th. The daily routine
for the POWs on the ship was to have six men climb out of
the hold. Once on deck, they would use ropes to pull up
the dead and also pull up the human waste in buckets.
Afterwards, the men on deck would lower ten buckets containing
rice, soup, and tea.
During the night of December 30th, the
POWs heard the sound of depth charges exploding in the
water. The ship arrived at Takao, Formosa, on December
31st and docked around 11:30 AM. After arriving at
Takao, each POW received a six inch long, 3/4 inch wide piece
hardtack to eat. This was the first bread they had
since receiving crackers in their Red Cross packages in
1942. During the time in the harbor, the POWs received
little water. From January 1st through the 5th, the POWs
received one meal and day and very little water.
This resulted in the death rate among the POWs to rise.
On January 6th, all the prisoners were moved to the Enoura
Maru, and the POWs began to receive two meals a day.
Enoura Maru also came under attack by American planes
the morning of January 9th, while the POWs were receiving
their first meal of the day. At that time, the sound of
ship's machine-guns was heard, and the POWs heard the
explosions of bombs falling closer and closer to the ship,
while the waves created from the explosions rocked the ship.
One bomb that hit the ship exploded in
the corner of the forward hold killing 285
prisoners. The surviving POWs remained in the hold for
three days with the dead. The stench from the dead
filled the air. On January 11th a work detail was
formed and the dead were removed from the hold onto a barge
which took the bodies to shore. The POWs on the detail
were too weak to carry the bodies, so ropes were tied to
their legs and the bodies were dragged to shore and buried in a
mass grave. Later in the day, the survivors of the
forward hold were moved into another hold.
About 1000 POWs were transferred to the
Brazil Maru on Saturday, January 13th. The ship
sailed at dawn on the 14th as part of a convoy.
Sometime afternoon, the POWs received their first meal of a
quarter cup of red rice for each POW. The POWs found
the first night on the ship was extremely cold. What
made it worse was that most of the POWs had dysentery.
During the trip, the POWs received two meals a day which
consisted of each man receiving a third of a cup of rice
and eight teaspoons of tea.
During this part of the trip, as many as 30
POWs died each day. The ship also towed one or two
other ships which had been damaged. Of the original 1619
men that boarded the Oryoku Maru, only 459 of the POWs had
survived the trip to Japan. After being disembarked, the
POWs formed detachments and were marched to the train
station. From there, they road a train to various POW
camps along the line.
Marshall was held as a POW at
#1-D, and shortly after arriving he was put into the camp
hospital. The POWs were at the mercy of a Japanese
private, Masato Hada, who was in charge of medical supplies
for them. He refused to issue medical supplies or
medicines that would help the sick. He also forced the
sick and weak to do calisthenics even though they were in no
condition to do them. He was also known to have made the
sick stand at attention while holding a bucket of water
over their heads and to beat and physically abuse the
According to records kept at the camp, 2nd Lt. Marshall H. Kennady died on Monday, February 19,
1945, of dysentery and malnutrition. After his death, he was cremated and his ashes were placed into an urn with
those of 98 other POWs who had died in the camp.
After the war, on Tuesday, September
27, 1949, the remains of 2nd Lt. Marshall H. Kennady Jr.
were reburied, in Section 82, Site 1B-1D - with the ashes of
the other POWs who had died at Fukuoka #1-D - at Jefferson
Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. He
shares his grave with
Capt. Donald Hanes of HQ Company,
2nd Lt. Everett Preston of D Company, and
2nd Lt Harry Black of B Company.
The photo below is of part of the headstone on the grave.