S/Sgt. James R. Martin
Born: 1 December 1918 - Bellaire, Ohio
Parents: Claytus D. & Lulu Martin
Siblings: 2 brothers
Home: 3175 Trumbull Street - Belmont, Ohio
Occupation: Newspaper Collections
- Ohio National Guard
- U.S. Army
- 12 May 1940 - Cambridge, Ohio
- Fort Knox, Kentucky
- 19th Ordnance Battalion
- 17th Ordnance Company
- company created from A Company of 19th Ordnance
- trained alongside the 192nd Tank Battalion at Ft. Knox
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 Philippines.
- 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: U.S.S. President 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
- sailed south away from main shipping lanes
- escorted by the heavy cruiser - U.S.S. Astoria and unknown destroyer
- smoke seen on horizon several times
- cruiser intercepted ships
- ships from friendly countries
- 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
- Battle of Luzon
- 8 December 1942 - 6 January 1942
- Battle of Bataan
- 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
- serviced tanks of the 192nd & 194th Tank Battalions
Prisoner of War
- 9 April 1942
- Death March
- POWs started march at Mariveles on the southern tip of
- ran past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor
- American artillery returned fire
- San Fernando - POWs packed into small wooden boxcars
- each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
- Japanese packed 100 POWs into each boxcar
- POWs who died remained standing
- Capas - POWs leave boxcars - dead fall out of cars
- POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell
- Camp O'Donnell
- unfinished Filipino Army training base
- Japanese put it into use as a POW camp
- one water spigot for the entire camp
- as many as fifty POWs died each day
- Fukuoka #3B
- POWs worked at Yawata Steel Mills
Note: The work was to shovel iron ore and rebuild the ovens. The POWs were sent into the ovens to clean out the debris. Since the ovens were hot, because the Japanese would not let them cool off, the POWs worked faster on this detail. Many of the products from the mill helped the Japanese war effort. If an air raid took place while the POWs were at the mill, they were put into railway cars and the train was pulled into a tunnel. Those POWs further from the tunnel took cover in two air raid shelters.
Although medical supplies for the POWs were sent to the camp by the Red Cross the Japanese commandant, and doctor, would not give the American medical staff the medicine that was in the packages. Any surgery in the camp had to be performed with crude medical tools even though the Red Cross had sent the proper surgical tools.
Those POWs who reported for sick call were exposed to cold weather for long periods of time. In addition, the Japanese corpsmen, who did not have medical training, beat the POWs and were allowed to diagnose what illness the prisoners had which contributed to the poor health of the POWs. To meet quotas for workers, the sick POWs were required to work even if it meant they could possibly die from doing it.
Three days a month, the POWs were allowed to exchange their worn out clothing for new clothing, but a Japanese guard beat POWs attempting to exchange their clothing. The POWs went without clothing to avoid the beatings which resulted in men developing pneumonia and dying.
The POWs were beaten daily with fists and sticks for violating camp rules, and the guards often required them to stand at attention, in the cold, while standing water. During the winter, they often had water thrown on them. There were two brigs in the camp which had as many as 20 POWs in them at a time.
- 1 September 1944
- Martin was caught smoking when the POWs were not allowed to smoke
- taken to guardhouse and beaten with club and kicked
- his eye was swollen shut and his head was gashed
- Nissyo Maru
- Sailed: Manila – 14 July 1944
- Arrived: Takao, Formosa – 17 July 1944
- Sailed: 28 July 1944
- Arrived: Moji, Japan – 3 August 1944
- 13 September 1945
Reenlisted: 8 December 1945
- U.S. Army-Air Corps
Died: 23 November 1990
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