Maj. John Baptiste Rago

Born: 26 January 1902 - Cook County, Illinois
Parents: Paolo Rago & Francisca Chairo-Rago
Siblings: 2 Sisters
Home: 914 North 16th Avenue, Melrose Park, Illinois
Education:
    - Proviso Township High School - Class of 1920
    - Loyola University Dental School
Married:
    - Katherine Fry - 8 December 1933
Divorced: 1954
Children: 2 sons
Enlisted
    - U.S. Army Dental Corps
Stationed:
   - Fort Knox, Kentucky
Overseas Duty:
    - Philippine Islands
        - held rank of captain
        - orders issued - 21 March 1941
        -Sailed: New York - 8 April 1941
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
    - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - promoted: Major
Prisoner of War:
    - 9 April 1942
POW Camps:
    - Philippine Islands
        - Camp O'Donnell
        - Cabanatuan
Hell Ship:
    - Hokusen Maru
        - scheduled to sail on Arisan Maru
        - Japanese switched POW detachments since Hokusen Maru was ready to sail and not the POWs in the ship's detachment had arrived
        - Boarded: 1 October 1944
        - Sailed: Manila - 3 October 1944
            - dropped anchor remained off breakwater
       - Sailed: 5 October 1944
           - stopped at Cabcaban, Bataan 
       - Arrived: Hong Kong - 11 October 1944
           - attacked by American planes
       - Sailed: 21 October 1941
       - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 11 November 1944
           - POWs taken ashore
POW Camp:
    - Inrin Temprary
         - POWs did light work since they were in such poor condition
Hell Ship:
    - Enoshima Maru
        - Sailed: Takao, Formosa - 25 January 1945
            - put in hold carrying hemp
            - discovered sacks of sugar and pellets of canned tomatoes under hemp
            - POWs feasted on the canned tomatoes
        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 30 January 1945
            - approximately 564 POWs were on the ship
            - POWs marched to schoolhouse
            - stripped off their clothes before entering - lice infested
            - deloused
POW Camp:
    - Osaka Dispatch Camp #8
        - also known as Naru Dispatch Camp
        - 29 May 1945 - camp closed
    - Nagoya #9-B
        - 16 July 1944 - transferred to camp
            - Camp had a ten foot fence around it
        - Work:
            - POWs worked as stevedores on docks loading and unloading ships
            - work day went form 7:00 A.M.to 6:30 P.M.
            - 1 hour for lunch and two half hour breaks
            - when docks were busy, 100 POWs returned at 8:00 P.M. and worked to midnight or 4:00 A.M.
            - 100 POWs worked in the camp garden
        - Barracks:
            - 100 feet long by 24 feet wide
            - two tiers of platforms around the perimeter for sleeping
                - POWs slept on straw mats
                - eight foot wide aisle down the middle of barracks
                - floors were dirt
        - Meals:
            - six POWs assigned to kitchen
                - primarily rice, wheat, and soybeans
                - sometimes vegetables like onions or daikons a Japanese beet
                - fish that was fried or in a soup
        - Clothing:
            - provided by Japanese Army
            - many POWs wore Japanese Army uniforms and the traditional Japanese shoe, the geta
                - those who still had GI shoes were given leather to repair them
        - Work Clothes: straw shoes, hats, raincoats that were used at work
        - Work:
            - most of the POWs walked three quarters of a mile and worked on the docks loading and unloading coal, rice, and beans
            - worked from 7:30 A.M. until 6:30 P.M.
                - received a hour lunch and two half hour breaks
                - when the port was extremely busy, 100 POWs worked from 8:00 P.M. until midnight or 4:00 A.M.
        - Punishment:
           - collective punishment practiced toward the POWs
            - usually involved stealing rice or beans at docks
            - on occasion, the POWs were denied coal, duing the winter, for 7 days because one POW broke a rule
            - on another occasion, 15 POWs were accused of stealing rice from sacks they were unloading from a ship
            - when they returned to camp, they were forced to kneel fro 1½ to five hours to get them to confess
            - six of the fifteen men confessed and the remainder were fed and sent to the barracks
            - when the camp commandant left at 8:00 P.M. the men sent to their barracks were called outisde
            - they were ordered to stand at attention and were beaten with pick axe handles, rope, that was about 3 inches round and 5 feet long,
              clubs, and farrison belts across their buttocks, faces, and legs
                - one POW said he was hit 150 times on his face and 20 times on his buttocks
            - POWs often were kicked with  hobnailed boots
           - POWs who passed out were thrown into a large tub of water - with their hands and feet bound - or they had water poured on them
             to revive them
                - when they were revived, they were beaten again
        - Red Cross Boxes:
            - the Japanese misappropriated the canned meats, canned fruits, cigarettes, medicine and medical supplies
                - also used Red Cross clothing and shoes
        - Hospital:
            - assigned to hospital after he arrived at camp
            - 42 foot long by 24 wide area at the end of barracks was walled off to create one
                - had beds for 20 patients
                - on average 100 POWs were sick each day
            - four American medics, and a Japanese medical technician
                    - Rago was a dentist
                        - a medical doctor later arrived at the camp
                    - pneumonia killed many POWs
                    - men suffering from dysentery and diarrhea not considered ill and had to work
                    - beaten with shovels to get them to work
                    - meal rations cut
                    - 16 August 1945 - all medical records destroyed
            - Burials:
                - bodies put in a 4 foot square by two foot tall wooden box with handles
                - carried to crematorium behind a Buddhist priest, wearing white and gold robes, from the local village
                - ashes returned to camp in 4 inch square by 12 inch high wooden box
                - man's name and serial number on the box
                - given to camp commandant who kept it in his office
Liberated: 5 September 1945
Promoted Lt. Colonel
Military Career:
    - Transferred to U.S. Air Force
    - Served in Korea
Stationed: Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida
Promoted: Colonel
Married:
Residence:
    - moved to Florida - 1957
Died: 17 November 1976 - South Miami General Hospital






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