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Capt. Arthur J. Root


 

    Capt Arthur J Root was born to Oscar Root & Margaret Sharpe-Root on August 24, 1917, in Brainerd, Minnesota.  He attended local schools and graduated from Washington High School in Brainerd in 1936.  On May 24, 1939, he married Harriet Alice Eide.  The couple resided with his parents at 220 Southwest 5th Street.  He worked as a salesman in a retail store.  

    On June 10, 1936, he had joined the Minnesota National Guard in Brainerd.  His company was federalized in November 1940, and he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on February 10, 1941, as the company was leaving for Fort Lewis, Washington.  The tank company was now A Company, 194th Tank Battalion.  At Ft. Lewis he trained with his tank company, as a tank platoon commander, for a little over six months.
    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, by the time another squadron was sent to the area the next day, 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.

    The battalion traveled by train to Ft. Mason, in San Francisco, and were ferried on the U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe, to Angel Island, Arthur and the other members of the battalion received physicals and inoculated for duty in the Philippine Islands.  Those determined to be too old for overseas duty were reassigned.  Replacements joined the battalion at this point.

    On September 8, 1941, the battalion sailed for the Philippine Islands at 9:00 P.M. on the S.S. President Calvin Cooledge and at 7:00 AM on Sunday, September 13, arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii.  The tankers were allowed ashore but had to report back in the afternoon before the ship sailed at 5:00 PM.  The ship took a southerly route away from the major shipping lanes and was joined by the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Astoria, and an unknown destroyer.  During this part of the trip, the Astiria took off, several times, to intercept ships when smoke was spotted on the horizon.  Each time it turned out the ship was from a friendly country.

    The 194th arrived in the Philippines on September 26.  After entering Manila Bay, the ranking officers met with a boarding party and decided the 194th and 17th Ordnance would be taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg, about 60 miles north of Manila.  The maintenance section of the battalion remained behind to unload tanks.  Since the commanding officer of the instillation, General Edward King had not received  advanced warning of the arrival of the units, the tankers found themselves living in tents along the main road between Ft. Stotsenburg and Clark Airfield.  At some point, he became the commanding officer of A Company.

    For over two months, the battalion trained at Ft. Stotsenburg awaiting for additional training to take place with the arrival of the 192nd Tank Battalion.  The M-3 tanks that they now had were totally new to the tankers, so training in them would be beneficial.  The training they would receive was not what they expected.  It is known that the 194th were allowed to simulate deployment against an invasion force in early November 1941.

    The morning of December 8, the officers were called together and told of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The tanks were ordered to the north end of Clark Airfield.  Their job was to engage Japanese paratroopers.
    All morning long the sky was filled with American planes.  At noon, the planes landed, to be refueled, and the pilots went to lunch.  At 12:45, the tankers saw planes approaching the airfield from the north.  They debated that the planes were American bombers and had time enough to count 54 planes in formation.  When bombs began exploding on the airfield, they knew the planes were Japanese.
    On December 22, they were ordered to the Agno River near Carmen.  There, they engaged the Japanese.  The Japanese attempted to cross the river in several places.   The tankers fired on them with their machine guns killing as many as 500 enemy troops.
    The tankers were at Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan on December 27, and at San Isidro south of Cabanatuan on December 28 and 29.  On January 1, conflicting orders were received by the defenders who were attempting to stop the Japanese advance down Route 5.  Doing this would allow the Southern Luzon Forces to withdraw toward Bataan.  General Wainwright was unaware of the orders since they came from Gen. MacArthur's chief of staff.
    Because of the orders, there was confusion among the Filipinos and American forces defending the bridge, over the Pampanga River, about withdrawing from the bridge and half of the defenders withdrawing.  Due to the efforts of the Self Propelled Mounts, the 71st Field Artillery, and a frenzied attack by the 192nd Tank Battalion the Japanese were halted.

   It is known that on December 24, 1941, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and that he was promoted to Captain on February 11, 1942.  At some point he wrote home and said:
    "This is one of the warmest winters I have ever spent.  Everything seems strange but don't worry any.  We got plenty to eat and are well
     satisfied with everything.  Send me all the news from home."

    The night of January 5, the tank battalion was holding a position near Lubao.  It was about 2:00 in the morning when one of the battalion’s outposts challenged approaching soldiers.  The soldiers turned out to be Japanese.  When they attacked, the Japanese were mowed down by the guns of the tanks.  The Japanese sent up flares to show where the American tanks were located.  They then charged toward the tanks, through an open field, and were mowed down.  When the Japanese disengaged at 3:00 A.M., there were large numbers of Japanese dead and wounded in front of the tanks.
    At 2:30 A.M., on January 6, the Japanese attacked at Remlus in force using smoke which was an attempt by the Japanese to destroy the tank battalions. That night the tanks withdrew into the peninsula with the 192nd holding its position so that the 194th Tank Battalion could leap frog past it, cross the bridge, and then cover the 192nd's withdraw over the bridge.  Once the 192nd crossed the bridge, the engineers destroyed it ending the Battle of Luzon.
    January 8, a composite tank company was formed under the command of Capt. Donald Haines, B Co., 192nd.  Its job was to protect the East Coast Road north of Hermosa open and to stop Japanese tanks attempting to use it to overrun the next defensive line that was forming. While in this position, the tanks were under constant enemy artillery fire.  The rest of the tanks were ordered to bivouac south of the Abucay-Hacienda Road.
    When word came that a bridge was going to be blow, all the tanks were ordered out of the area, which included the composite company.  This could have resulted in a catastrophe, but the Japanese did not take advantage of the situation.
    The tanks bivouacked south of the Pilar-Bagac Road and about two kilometers from the East Coast Road.  It had almost been one month since the tank crews had a rest and the tanks had maintenance work done on them by 17th Ordnance.  It was also on this day that the tank platoons were reduced to three tanks per tank platoon.  The men rested and the tanks received the required maintenance.  Most of the tank tracks had worn down to bare metal and the radial engines long past their 400 hour overhauls.
    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."
    The battalions were sent to cover the junctions of the Back Road and East Road with the Abucay-Heicienda Road on January 25.  While holding the position, the 45th Infantry, Philippine Scouts, fought its way to the position at 3:00 A.M.  One platoon was sent to the front of the the column of trucks which were loading the troops.  The tanks provided heavy fire so that the infantry could withdraw and inflicted heavy losses on the Japanese.
    Later on January 25, both the 192nd and 194th held a defensive line on the Bakanga-Cardre-BaniBani Roads until the withdraw was completed at midnight.  They held the position until the night of January 26/27, when they dropped back to a new defensive line roughly along the Pilar-Bagac Roads.  When ordered to withdraw to the new line, the 192nd found that the bridge at Balanga, that they were suppose to use had been destroyed by enemy fire.  To withdraw, they had to use secondary roads to get around the barrio and tanks were still straggling in at noon.
    The tank battalions, on January 28, were given the job of protecting the beaches. The Japanese later admitted that the tanks guarding the beaches prevented them from attempting landings.
    The tank battalions, on their own, took up the job of protecting the airfields at Cabcaban, Bataan, and Mariveles, since Japanese paratroopers were known to be available.  The tanks and half-tracks were well hidden in the jungle around the airfields and different plans were in place to be used against Japanese forces.  There was only one major alert in March when 73 Japanese planes came over.
    In March, the amount of gasoline was reduced to 15 gallons a day for all vehicles except the tanks.  This would later be dropped to ten gallons a day.  At the same time, food rations were cut in half again.  Also at this time, Gen. Weaver suggested to Gen. Wainwright that a platoon of tanks be sent to Corregidor.  Wainwright ignored this suggestion.
    On April 3rd, at 3:00 P.M., the Japanese lunched a major offensive with fresh troops brought in from the Dutch East Indies and the Singapore.  The main battle line was pushed back far enough that the Japanese long range artillery could shell the rear area.  On April 7th, the 57th Infantry, Philippine Scouts, supported by tanks, attempted to restore the line, but Japanese infiltrators prevented this from happening.  During this action, one tank was knocked out but the remaining tanks successfully withdrew.
    The Japanese lunched an all out attack on April 3 against the defenders and broke through the main line of defense on April 7.  The tanks were a favorite target of the Japanese receiving fire on trails and while hidden in the jungle where they could not fight back.  The situation was so bad that other troops avoided being near the tanks, and the 26th Cavalry turned down a tank company's offer of assistance in a counter-attack.

    Arthur was able to send a telegram home on April 4, 1942.  In it he said,  "Everything OK, I am well, eating well.  Love, Arthur."  When Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese, he became a Prisoner of War.  The POWs were ordered to the bivouac of the Provisional Tank Group.  It was from there that they were marched to join the main column of POWs on the march out of Bataan.

    It was the evening of April 8 that Gen. Edward P. King decided that further resistance was futile, since approximately 25% of his men were healthy enough to fight, and he estimated they would last one more day.  In addition, he had over 6,000 troops who sick or wounded and 40,000 civilians who he feared would be massacred.  At 10:30 that night, he sent his staff officers to negotiate surrender terms.
    Tank battalion commanders received this order, "You will make plans, to be communicated to company commanders only, and be prepared to destroy within one hour after receipt by radio, or other means, of the word 'CRASH', all tanks and combat vehicles, arms, ammunition, gas, and radios: reserving sufficient trucks to close to rear echelons as soon as accomplished."      
    On April 10, the Japanese arrived and ordered the HQ personnel onto the road.  They quickly stripped the POWs of their watches, pens, and sun-glasses.  They were taken to a trail and found that walking on the gravel trail was difficult.  They immediately witnessed "Japanese Discipline" toward their own troops.  The Japanese apparently were marching for hours, and if a man fell, he was kicked in his stomach and hit in the head with a rifle butt.  If he still did not get up, the Japanese determined that the man was exhausted and left him alone.
    The trial the POWs were on ended when they reached the main road.  The first thing the Japanese did was to separate the officers from the enlisted men and counted them.  The POWs were left in the sun for the rest of the day wondering what was going to happen.  That night they were ordered north which was difficult, on the rocky road, in the dark since they could not see where they were walking.  Whenever they slipped, they knew they had stepped on the remains of a dead soldier.
    The POWs made their way north against the flow of Japanese horse artillery and trucks that was moving south.  At times, they would slip on something wet and slippery which were the remains of a man killed by Japanese artillery the day before.  When dawn came, the walking became easier but as the sun rose it became hotter and they POWs began to feel the effects of thirst.   It was then that the POWs saw a group of Filipinos being marched by the Japanese.  They realized that they had been hungry, but the Filipinos had been starving.
    When the men crossed the Lamao River, they smelled the sweet smell of death. The Japanese had heavily bombed the area causing many casualties and many of the dead lay partially in the river.  The air corps POWs in front of them ran to the river and drank.  Many would later die from dysentery at Camp O'Donnell.
    The POWs made their way north to Limay and next reached Orani.  At Orani, the high ranking officers had been put into a bullpen where they were ordered to lay down.  In the morning, the POWs realized that they had been lying in the human waste of POWs who had already used the bullpen.  At noon, they received their first food.  It was a meal of rice and salt.  Later in the day, enlisted POWs arrived.
    At 6:30 or 7:00 that evening, they resumed the march and were marched at a faster pace.  The guards also seemed to be nervous about something.  The POWs made their way to just north of Hormosa. where the road went from gravel to concrete, and the change of surface made the march easier.  When the POWs were allowed to sit down, those who attempted to lay down were jabbed with bayonets.
    The POWs continued the march and for the first time in months it began to rain which felt great and many men attempted to get drinks.  The POWs finally arrived at San Fernando, where they were put into a pen and remained the rest of the day.
    At 4:00 in the morning, the Japanese woke the POWs and marched them to the train station.  They were packed into small wooden boxcars known as "forty or eights."  They were called this since each car could hold forty men or eight horses.  The Japanese packed 100 men into each car and shut the doors.  The heat in the cars was unbearable and many POWs died.  They could not fall to the floors since there was no room for them to fall.  The POWs rode the train to Capas arriving there at 9:00 AM.  There, the living disembarked from the cars and the dead fell to the floors.  The POWs walked the last eight kilometers to Camp O'Donnell which was an unfinished Filipino Army 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.
    To get out of the camp, Arthur was sent out on a work a large work detail that left the camp.  Another officer on the detail was Capt. Clinton Quinlen also of the 194th Tank Battalion.  The POWs on the detail were under the command of Lt. Col. Ted Wickord of the 192nd Tank Battalion.
    The POWs were sent to Calaun to rebuild the bridge there that had been destroyed during the withdraw into Bataan.  The POWs rebuilt the bridge at Calaun from May 11 to June 16.
    The detail next rebuilt the bridge at Batangas, Batangas, from June 7th until July 12.  On June 15, he injured his leg.  The wound from the injury would not heal.  On July 11, the detail moved to Lipa, Batangas, to rebuild the bridge there.  The POWs remained at this barrio until August 2.
    The POWs arrived at Candelaria on August 3 to rebuild the bridge there.  They remained there until September 25.  It was at that time that Clinton and the other POWs were sent to Cabanatuan POW Camp arriving there on September 27.
    It was in the camp that his wife was notified that he was a POW on May 27, 1943.  It is known that on Monday, August 23, 1943, Arthur was admitted into the camp hospital.  The report kept by the hospital staff did not indicate why he was admitted or when he was discharged.  On October 14, 1944, a list was posted in the camp with the names of the POWs who were being transferred to Bilibid Prison outside Manila.  Arthur's name was on it.

    The morning of December 12, the POWs heard rumors that the POWs who had been selected to be transported from the Philippines.  The Japanese were attempting to evacuate as many POWs as possible so they could not be liberated by advancing American forces.
    The POWs went through what was a farce of an inspection.  They were told cigarettes, soap, and salt would be issued.  The POWs were also told that they would also receive a meal to eat and one to take with them.  The Japanese stated they would leave by 7:00 in the morning, so the lights were left on all night.  At 4:00 AM the morning of December 13, Clinton and the other POWs were awakened. By 8:00 AM, the POWs were lined up roll call was taken and the names of the men selected for transport to Japan were called.  The prisoners were allowed to roam the compound until they were told to "fall-in".  The men were fed a meal and then marched to Pier 7 in Manila.
    The Americans saw that the American bombers were doing a job on the Japanese transports.  There were at least forty wrecked ships in the bay.  When the POWs reached the pier, there were three ships docked.  One was a old run down ship, the other two were large and in good shape.  They soon discovered one of the two nicer ships was their ship.  At 5:00 PM and boarded the Oryoku Maru for transport to Japan.
    It was at this time that the POWs were allowed to sit down.  Many of the POWs slept until 3:45 in the afternoon.  About 5:00 P.M., they boarded the ship for transport to Japan.  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 began to pass out.  We knew that only the front men in bay would be able to get enough air."  The POWs who were closer to the hold's hatch, used anything they could find to fan air toward those further away from it.
    700 POWs were put in the forward hold, with 800 in its middle hold, and 100 in its aft hold.  The ship moved to a point in Manila Bay and dropped anchor and remained there for two days.  The Japanese hoped that the a storm would provide cover for the ships.  It sailed and became a part of a convoy which moved without lights.  The one thing that had not been anticipated was for the weather to improve. 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.
    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."
    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 holds.
    The POWs received their first meal at dawn which 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 there."  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. The POWs believed the other ships in the convoy had been sunk.
    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 the hold.
    It was December 15 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 in 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.

   It is not known exactly when Capt. Arthur J. Root died.  He may have died in one of the ship's holds, or he may have been shot while swimming to shore, or after reaching shore. 
Since Capt. Arthur J. Root's remains were not recovered.  His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at the American Military Cemetery at Manila.  His family would officially receive word of his death on July 24, 1945.

    It should be mentioned that one of the effects of Arthur's death was that his mother suffered so badly from grief at the loss of her only child, that she ended up in a sanatorium.





 


 

 



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