Kubly_R



Pfc. Robert C. Kubly
Born: 31 March 1913 - Monticello, Wisconsin
Parents: Conrad & Emma Kubly

    - father died during 1920s

    - moved to Center, Wisconsin

    - living in Portage, Wisconsin - when he was inducted

Siblings: 4 sisters

Hometown: Evansville, Wisconsin

Occupation: farm hand

Enlisted: Wisconsin National Guard

Inducted: 

    - U. S. Army 

        - 25 November 1940 - Janesville, Wisconsin

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

        - attended cook's school

        - A Company's mess sergeant 

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

Overseas Duty: 

    - battalion travels by train, over four different train routes to San Francisco, California

    - taken to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay by the ferry the U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
    - October 25 & 26 - physicals given by battalion's medical detachment
        - some men released and replaced
        - others held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date
    - Boarded: U.S.S. General H. L. Scott - Monday - 27 October 1941

    - Sailed: same day
    - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Sunday -  Sunday - 2 November 1941
            - arrived in the morning
            - soldiers receive shore leave
    - Sailed: Wednesday - 5 November 1941

        - took southern route away from main shipping lanes
        - joined by the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and the transport, S.S. President Calvin Cooledge
            - smoke seen on horizon
            - Louisville revved its engines, its bow came out of water, and it intercepted the ship
                - ship was from a neutral country
     - Sunday - 9 November 1941 - crossed International Dateline
         - soldiers woke up on Tuesday - 11 November 1941
    - Arrived: Guam
        - ship loads vegetables, bananas, water, coconuts
    - Sailed: next day
    - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands -  Thursday - 20 November 1941
        - entered bay - 8:00 A.M.
        - disembarked in the afternoon

    - battalion rode train to Fort Stotsenburg
    - tanks unloaded by 17th Ordnance

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1942 - 6 January 1942
            - 12 December 1941 - Barrio of Dau
                - guarded a road and railway
            - 23/24 December 1941
                - Urdaneta. Pangasinan Province
                    - while outside barrio the company's commander Captain Walter Write was killed

                    - because the tanks were not allowed to withdraw, they almost were captured
                    - tanks made end run to a bridge in the Bayambang Province over the Agno River
            - 25 December 1941 - tanks held south bank of Agno River from Carmen to Tayung

                - asked to hold the position for six hours
                - held the position until 5:30 A.M. until December 27th
                - prevented Japanese from crossing river
                - A Company attached to 194th - east of Pampanga

            - 30 December 1941

                - on road east of Zaragoza   

                - Japanese bicycle battalion rode into bivouac
                - when last bicycle goes past tanks, the tankers fired

                - tankers wiped out the Japanese
                - 2nd Lt. William Read killed in action during withdraw from area

            - 1 January 1942
                - held bridge which allowed troops from southern Luzon to escape toward Bataan

    - Battle of Bataan        
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942

        - 23 January 1942 - 17 February 1942
            - wiped out Japanese troops cut off behind main line of defense

        - 27 January 1942
            - tanks held position for six hours to allow a new line of defense to form
            - tanks and self-propelled mounts inflict 50% casualties on three Japanese units

        - 28 January 1942 - beach duty

Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942

        - Death March

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
        - 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 - San Fernando

        - 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 dysentery & malaria

            - discharged:  He was taken by Japanese on 10 October 1942
            - admitted to Ward 8 - Bilibid Prison
                - malaria

          - Cabanatuan #1

              - original name - Camp Panagaian
                  - Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
                      - 1 June 1941 - 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
                          - camp created to keep Corregidor POWs separated from Bataan POWs
                          - Corregidor POWs were in better shape
                              - January 1943 - POWs from Camp 3 consolidated into Camp 1
        - Camp Administration:
            - the Japanese left POWs to run the camp on their own
                - Japanese entered camp when they had a reason
                - POWs patrolled fence to prevent escapes
                    - Note: men who attempted to escape were recaptured
                    - Japanese beat them for days
                    - executed them
            - Blood Brother Rule
                - POWs put into groups of ten
                    - if one escaped the others would be executed
                    - housed in same barracks
                    - worked on details together
            - 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 because they didn't like the way the POWs lined up
            - Work Details:
                - Two main details
                    - the farm and airfield
                        - farm detail
                            - POWs cleared land and grew comotes, cassava, taro, sesame, and various greens
                            - Japanese took what was grown
                    - Guards:
                        - Big Speedo - spoke little English
                            - in charge of detail
                            - fair in treatment of POWs
                            - spoke little English
                                - to get POWs to work faster said, "speedo"
                        - Little Speedo
                            - fair in treatment of POWs
                        - Smiley
                            - always smiling
                            - could not be trusted
                            - meanest of guards
            - Airfield Detail:
                - Japanese built an airfield for fighters
                    - POWs cut grass, removed dirt, and leveled ground
                        - at first moved dirt in wheel barrows
                        - later pushed mining cars
                    - Guards:
                        - Air Raid
                            - in charge
                            - usually fair but unpredictable
                                - had to watch him
                        - Donald Duck
                            - always talking
                            - sounded like the cartoon character
                            - unpredictable - beat POWs
                            - POWs told him that Donald Duck was a big American movie star
                                - at some point, he saw a Donald Duck cartoon
                                - POWs stayed away from him when he came back to camp
                - Work Day: 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
                    - worked 6 days a week
                        - had Sunday off
            - Other Details:
                - work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens and plant rice
                    - 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
            - Burial Detail
                - POWs worked in teams of four
                    - carried 4 to 6 dead to cemetery at a time in liter
                    - a grave contained from 15 to 20 bodies
            - daily POW meal
                - 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
                 - rice was main staple, few vegetables or fruits
        - 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
            - went out on work detail

          - Bilibid Prison
            - Admitted: not known
                - malaria
            - Discharged: 17 May 1943
    - Cabanatuan
        - sent back to camp after he was discharged from the hospital

Hell Ship: 

    - Taga Maru - ship also known as Coral Maru

        - Sailed: Manila - 20 September 1943

        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 23 September 1943

        - Sailed: Takao - 26 September 1943

        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 5 October 1943

POW Camp:

    - Japan:

          -  Sakurajima

              - Work: Osaka Iron Works

              - camp was destroyed in air raid

          - Nagoya #9

              - 29 May 1945 - 5 September 1945

              - Work: Stevedores Iwase docks
Note:  In the camp, the Japanese did not give out the Red Cross packages to the POWs.  Instead, they raided the packages and took the canned meats, fruit, soup, chocolate and cigarettes from the packages for themselves.  The POWs also were beaten for braking camp rules.
    While he was in the camp, 15 POWs were accused of stealing rice from sacks that they were unloading from a ship.  One of these POWs was, Lyle Harlow, a member of the 192nd.  Once they returned to the camp, they were forced to kneel for from an 1 to 5 hours to get them to confess.  Six of the fifteen men confessed and the others were fed and sent to their barracks.
    When the camp commandant left the camp at 8:30 that evening, all the POWs were called from the barracks by the second in command and ordered to stand at attention.  They were then beaten with pick axe handles, rope, that was about 3 inches thick and five feet long, clubs, and farrison belts across the buttocks, face, and legs.
    When the POWs passed out, they were either thrown into a large tub of water, with their hands and feet bound, or they had water poured on them until they revived.  They once again had to stand at attention as the beating continued for a total of 3 hours.  One POW counted that he received 150 blows to his face and 20 on his buttocks.

Liberated: September 1945
    - returned to the Philippines

Promoted_ Sergeant
Sailed: Manila - U.S.S. Yarmouth
Arrived: San Francisco - 8 October 1945

Discharged: 14 May 1946

Married: Josephine Soderstrom

    - 27 November 1945 - Rockford, Illinois

Children:

    - 1 daughter

        - born 1947

        - died 1948

    - 1 son

Residence:

    - moved to California in 1948

Died:

    - 7 December 2004 - Ontario, California




 

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