Sgt. Robert W. Shubert


Born: 11 December 1916 - Shawnee, Ohio

Parents: Theodore Shubert & Rosa White-Shubert

Siblings: 2 sisters, 1 brother
    - mother passed away in 1937

Hometown:

    - Shawnee, Ohio

Occupation: Glass factory worker
    - 1940 - living at 620 Elm Street - Shawnee, Ohio - lodger

Inducted:

    - U. S. Army

        - 5 February 1941 - Ft. Hayes, Columbus, Ohio

Training: 

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

Overseas Duty: 

    - Sailed: San Francisco - Monday - 27 October 1941

    - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - - Sunday - 2 November 1941

        - soldiers given shore leave
    - Sailed: Tuesday - 4 November 1941
    - Arrived: Guam - unknown date
    - Sailed: next day
    - Arrived: Manila - Thursday - 20 November 1941     
        - soldiers disembark and taken to Ft. Stotsenburg

        - maintenance section remains behind to unload tanks
        - Gen. Edward P. King greeted soldiers
            - apologized that they had to live in tents
            - made sure they had Thanksgiving dinner before he had his
                - their dinner was a stew thrown into their mess kits

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
            - 31 December 1941

                - Baluiag - company's tanks hid inside huts as Japanese crossed bridge into barrio
                    - tanks stayed hidden as Japanese built up forces
                    - tanks open up on the Japanese tanks at the end of the bridge
                        - came bursting out of huts
                    - drove Japanese toward tanks of 2nd Lt. Marshall Kennady's tanks who was waiting for them
                    - Kennady's tanks held fire until Japanese were in full view
                        - Americans chased the Japanese up and down the streets of the barrio and through buildings
                        - by time they disengaged, they had destroyed eight Japanese tanks
        - 192nd last unit to enter Bataan before bridge is destroyed

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
             -  2 February 1942 - 5:15 P.M. - Platoon of C Company tanks ordered to Quinan Point
                - Japanese landed troops on point that were cut off
                - tanks did reconnaissance and attacked from left of line

                     - sprayed Japanese with machine gun fire
                - .37 milometer antitank gun spotted and tanks withdraw

                    - it was not known at the time, but the gun had been knocked out by mortar fire

            - 3 February 1942 - repeated maneuver from day before to left of line of defense

                - as the tanks moved forward, the 45th Infantry, Philippine Scouts follow

                - tanks had to avoid tree stumps which they could hang up on

                    - the tree stumps made it hard for the tanks to maneuver
                - tanks disengage returned to tank group

            - 4 February 1942

                - 8:30 A.M. - five tanks and radio car arrived at point

                    - each tank crew received a walkie-talkie and given a number
                        - radio car also received a walkie-talkie

                    - tanks identified as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

                    - tanks were directed to where they were needed

                    - Japanese driven back to cliff line

                        - tanks returned to tank group

                        - infantry left to mop up

            - February 1942 - Battle of the Pockets

                - Japanese offensive stopped and pushed back creating two pockets with trapped troops

                    - tanks sent in to support infantry

                    - one tank entered the pocket and the next tank waited for the relieved tank to exit pocket before it entered

                - Japanese attempted to pour gasoline into tank vents

                    - machine gunned

                    - if they reached the tank, another tank sprayed the tank with machine gun fire

                    - did not like to do this because the rivets often popped wounding crew

                - Two methods used to wipe out pockets
                    - First Method:

                        - the tank carried three Filipino soldiers each with a sack of hand grenades

                            - as tank approached, the Japanese dove into foxholes

                            - tank passed over hole and each man dropped a grenade into the hole

                                - grenades were WWI ordnance and one out of three usually exploded

                    - Second Method:

                        - the driver parked tank over foxhole

                            - one track was over hole

                            - the driver gave gas to the opposite track which spun the tank grinding it into ground

                            - tankers slept upwind from tanks because of rotting flesh in the tracks

            - 3 April 1942
                - Japanese launched major offense

                - tanks used to plug holes in defense line

                - became a favorite target of Japanese artillery

            - 8 April 1942

                - General Edward P. King decided further resistance was futile

                - had 6,000 wounded and 40,000 civilians

                    - feared Japanese would massacre them

                - estimated that he had enough troops to fight for one more day

                - 10:30 P.M. sent staff officer 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."         
Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942

        - Death March

             - Mariveles - POWs start march at southern tip of Bataan
            - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
                - Americans on Corregidor returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars
                - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                - 100 POWs packed into each car
                - POWs who died remained standing
            - Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
            - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell

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 2½ 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   
               - 4 June 1942 - transfer of POWs completed
                   - only sick POWs remained at Camp O'Donnell
    - Cabanatuan
            - original name - Camp Panagaian
                - Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
                    - 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:
                - went out on work detail

                - became ill

                - returned to Cabanatuan
Hospitalized: Thursday - 17 September 1942 - malaria & malnutrition
    - admitted to Building 17

Died:

    - Friday - 18 September 1942 - malaria &  malnutrition

        - Approximate time of death - 4:00 AM
        - family learned of his death - 3 July 1943

Buried:

    - Bilibid Prison Cemetery

Reburied:

    - American Military Cemetery - Manila, Philippine Islands

        - Plot:  A   Row:  12   Grave:  173
Memorial Service:
    - Shawnee Methodist Church - 15 August 1943


 

 

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