Tschudi

 


Pvt. Peter Henry Tschudi


Born: 30 January 1915 - Detroit, Michigan

Parents: Peter C. Tschudi & Millie Tessman-Tschudi

Siblings: 1 sister, 1 brother

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Occupation: Stimpson Computer Scale Company

Inducted:

    - U. S. Army

        - 5 March 1941

Training: 

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky
        - Arrived: 28 November 1941
        - January 1941 - attended specific tank school
    - Louisiana Maneuvers
        - 1 September 1941 - 30 September 1941            

            - ordered to Camp Polk after maneuvers

            - received overseas orders

            - men 29 years old or older replaced

            - received replacements from 753rd Tank Battalion
            - also received the 753rd's M3 "Stuart" Tanks

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

        - battalion sent west over four different train routes
        - D Company sent over southern route
    - Arrived: San Francisco, California
        - taken by ferry to Angel Island by U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
        - given physicals and inoculations
        - some men held back and scheduled to rejoin battalion at a later date

Note:    The reason for this move was an event that took place in the summer of 1941.  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.  When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day, and the next day - when a Navy ship was sent to the area - the buoys had been picked up.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
Overseas  Duty:

    - Boarded:  U.S.A.T. Gen. Hugh L. Scott

    - Sailed: Monday -27 October 1941
    - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii -  Sunday - 2 November 1941

        - soldiers given shore leave to see the sights
    - 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, the President Calvin Coolidge

            - smoke seen on horizon and the Louisville took off and intercepted the ship   

            - unknown ship was from a neutral country
    - International Dateline - crossed the night of 9 November 1941

    - Arrived: Guam - 16 November 1941
        - took on water, bananas, vegetables, and coconuts

    - Sailed: next day
    - Arrived: Manila - Thursday - 20 November 1941

        - soldiers disembark and taken to Ft. Stotsenburg
        - maintenance section remained at pier to unload tanks

Stationed:
        - Ft. Stotsenburg
            - General Edward King met the soldiers when they arrived

            - apologized to soldiers about living conditions
            - lived in tents along main road between fort and Clark Airfield
            - made sure they all had Thanksgiving Dinner before he had his dinner
            - received half-tracks

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
            - 8 December 1941
                - lived Japanese attack on Clark Field
                - planes did not go after tanks
                - after attack 194th sent to a bivouac three kilometers north of Clark Field
                    - from there they were sent to Barrio of San Joaquin on the Malolus Road
            - 12 December 1941
                - moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
                    - arrived 6:00 A.M.
            - 15 December 1941
                - received 15 Bren gun carriers
                - turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts

                       -  Peter's father became ill and died in December 1941
            - 22 December 1941
                - sent to Rosario
                    - west and north of the of barrio
                    - ordered out of the 71st Division Commander
                        - said they would hinder the cavalry's operation
            - 22/23 December 1941
                - operating north of Agno River
                - main bridge at Carmen bombed
            - 24/25 December 1941
                - tank battalions make end run to get south of Agno River
                    - ran into Japanese resistance but successfully crossed river
            - 25/26 December 1941
                - held south bank of Agno River from west of Carmen to Carmen-Akcaka-Bautista
                  Road
                - 192nd held from Carmen to (Route 3) to Tayug (northeast of San Quintin)
            - 26/27 December 1941
                - ordered to withdraw
                    - 1 platoon forced its way through way through Carmen
                        - lost two tanks
                            - one tank belonged to company commander - Captain Edward Burke
                                - believed dead, but was actually captured
                            - one tank crew rescued
                - new line Santa Ignacia-Gerona-Santo Tomas-San Jose
                - rest of battalion made a dash out
                    - lost one tank at Bayambang
                    - another tank went across front receiving fire and firing on Japanese
                - Lt. Petree's platoon fought its way out and across Agno River
                - D Company, 192nd, lost all its tanks except one
                    - the tank commander found a crossing
                    - Japanese would use tanks later on Bataan

            - 29/30 December 1941
                - new line at Bamban River established
                - tank battalions held line until ordered to withdraw
            - 30/31 December 1941
                    - tank battalions held Calumpit Bridge
                    - covering withdraw of Philippine Divisions south on Rt. 3, San Fernando
            - 2 January 1942
                - both tank battalions ordered to withdrawal to Lyac Junction
                - 194th withdrew there on Highway 7
            - 5 January 1942
                - C Company and A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, withdrew from Guagua-
                   Poraline Line and moved into position between Sexmoan and Lubao
                - 1:50 A.M. - Japanese attempted to infiltrate
                    - bright moonlight made them easy to see
                    - tanks opened fire
                    - Japanese lay down smoke which blew back into them
                - 3:00 A.M. - Japanese broke off engagement
                    - suffered 50% casualties
                - Remedios - established new line along dried creek bed 

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - promoted: Private First Class

           - January 1942
                - tank companies reduced to three tanks per platoon
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."
 
          - 8 January 1942
                - composite tank company made up of tanks from the 192nd and 194th sent to protect
                  East Coast Road north of Hermosa
                    - their job was to keep the East Road open  north of Hermosa and prevent the
                      Japanese from driving into Bataan before the main battle line had been formed
                - remainder of tanks ordered to bivouac for night south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
                    - tankers had been fighting for a month without a rest
                    - tanks also needed overdue maintenance
                    - 17th Ordnance
                - all tank companies reduced to ten tanks
                - three per tank platoon
                - sent to reopen Moron Road so General Segunda's forces could withdraw
                - tanks knock out an anti-tank gun
                - two tanks disabled by landmines but recovered
                - mission abandoned
                - Gen. Segunda's troops escaped using beach but lost their heavy equipment
        - 12 January 1942
                - C Company, with D Company, 192nd, sent to Cadre Road
                    - forward position with little alert time
        - 13 January 1942
                - mines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching Cadre Road
                - returned to battalion
        - 16 January 1942
                -  C Company sent to Bagac to reopen Moron Highway
                    - highway had been cut by Japanese
                    - Moron Highway, and Junction of Trail 162
                        - tank platoon fired on by antitank gun
                            - tanks knock out gun
                            - cleared roadblock with support of infantry
        - 20 January 1942
                - Banibani Road -tanks sent in to save 31st Infantry command post
        - 24 January 1942
                - tanks order to Hacienda Road in support of troops
                     - landmines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching road
        - 26 January 1942
            - the battalion held a position a kilometer north of the Pilar-Bagac Road
                - four self-propelled mounts with the battalion
            - 9:45 A.M. - warned by Filipino a large Japanese force was coming
                - when the enemy appeared they opened up with all the battalion had
                - 10:30 A.M. - Japanese withdrew after losing 500 of 1200 men
                - prevented new defensive line being formed from being breached
        - Hospital #2 - Cacaben, Bataan
            -reason for hospitalization not known

Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942
        - in hospital at Cabcaben when surrender took place
        - remained at Cababen until May 1942

POW Camps: 

    - Philippine Islands:
        - Cabcaben POW Camp - 19 May 1942
            - POWs had been patients at Hospital #2
            - Japanese used POWs as "Human Shield" to protect artillery that had been set up next to
               hospital

        - Bilibid Prison
            - POWs taken by truck to Bilibid
                - sent to Cabanatuan

         - 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

        - 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
            - hospitalized - 27 June 1942
                - discharged - not known
         - Camp Murphy Detail

             - POWs built runways - Zablan Field - Camp Murphy
             - when most of detail moved on to Nielson Field, he remained behind at Camp Murphy

             - During his time on the detail, he developed beriberi and was sent to Bilibid Prison

                 - admitted to the hospital ward - 25 September 1944
             - Discharged - 1 October 1944
        - Drafted for transfer to Japan

Hell Ship:
    - Hokusen Maru
        - Boarded: 21 September 1944
            - moved to buoy and dropped anchor
                - POWs start  going insane from heat in holds
               - Japanese threaten to shoot POWs unless they are silenced
               -POWs kill insane
        - Sailed: Manila - 4 October 1944
            - stopped at Cabcaben, Philippine Islands
            - stopped 5 October 1944 - San Fernando, La Union, Philippine Islands
                - joined convoy
            - 6 October 1944 - convoy attacked by submarines
                - two ships sunk
            - 9 October 1944 - airplane scare - convoy broke up
                - sailed for Hong Kong
                - ran into wolf pack - ship sunk
        - Arrived: Hong Kong - 11 October 1944
            - attacked by American planes while in port
        - Sailed: 21 October 1944
        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 24 October 1944
        - Disembark: 8 November 1944
            - POWs in such bad shape that Japanese decided to leave them on Formosa

        Note: Peter had been scheduled to sail on Arisan Maru. The Japanese switched POW detachments since the Hokusen Maru was ready to
                  sail and not all the POWs had arrived.  The Arisan Maru was sunk by an American
submarine. All but nine of the 1775 POWs on
                  the ship died.

POW Camp:

    - Formosa:

        - Inrin Temporary

            - 11 November 1944 - 14 January 1945

Hell Ship:

    - Melbourne Maru

        - Sailed: Formosa - 14 January 1945

        - Arrived: Moji, Japan  - 23 January 1945

POW Camp:

    - Japan:
        - Ashio #9-B
Note:  The POWs were taken to Northern Japan to Ashio Camp, which was located on the side of a mountain.  Living conditions in the camp were atrocious.  The camp had a limited amount of water because the water line to the camp was broken. This meant they could not wash after working and for cooking.  The POW kitchen was 40 feet from the latrines resulting in flies being everywhere in the kitchen.  The Japanese also did not supply lids for the cooking utensils.  The Japanese guard in charge of the POW mess stole food for himself that was meant for them.  POWs reported he was seen carrying sacks of rice and sugar, assigned to them, from the camp.
    In the camp, the POWs slept in barracks that were inadequately heated and during the cold nights the POWs had only thin blankets to cover themselves with.  The Red Cross blankets that were sent to the camp, for the POWs, were issued to the guards.
    The Japanese appropriated the Red Cross packages for themselves and stored them in a warehouse inside the camp.  Besides the blankets, they also took chocolate, canned meats, fruit, and milk, and clothing meant for the POWs.  Since a certain number of POWs had to report for work each day, the Japanese medic in charge of the sick bay, sent men to work who were too sick to do heavy work.  The Japanese also withheld medicine and medical supplies sent for POW use and used it for themselves.
    The POWs worked in the Ashio Copper mine which had been closed but reopened because of the war.  Safety regulations in the mine was almost none existent and POWs were frequently injured.  A number of POWs were transferred from the camp in May 1945.

        - Sendai #7

            - Arrived: 14 May 1945
Note: The POWs in the camp worked in a copper mine owned by the Kajima Company.  The POWs would wake up at 5 A.M., eat breakfast, and arrive at the mine at 7 A.M.  The POWs worked under Mitsubishi supervision, and the POWs believed these supervisors wanted to work them to death.  They had a 30 minute lunch break and worked to 5:00 P.M.  The POWs returned to camp, usually after dark, had supper, then went to bed.
    To get into the mine, the POWs climbed up the side of a mountain and downstairs into the mine.  When they got the bottom, the guards who had escorted them were always waiting for them.  The POWs finally discovered that the guards used an entrance which had been cut through the side of the mountain.
    The POWs worked three jobs, drillers, mine car loaders, and mine car pushers, with the miners had the worst job. The work in the mine was dirty, dangerous, and difficult. Each miner was furnished a carbide headlamp as his only lighting.  A quota was set but the Japanese and the Japanese were always raising the quota.  The number of carloads mined by the men were never enough.  The POWs were beaten for not working hard enough or fast enough. Many shafts of the mine were so low that the miners had to crawl through to get to the ore. Some shafts had standing water with threats of sudden flooding. Lighting was poor and most areas were not even shored up to prevent cave-ins. Accidents were frequent and many POWs were hurt. There was no gas detecting equipment and there was always the danger of setting off an explosion from the open burning carbide headlamps.
    While working in the mine the POWs were abused by the civilian foreman, Hichiro Tsuchiya, who was known to the POWs as "Patches."  Tsuchiya used any excuse to abuse the POWs.  He was known to hit the POWs for no reason in their faces and to also use a wooden club or pick axe handle.  He also used a sledge hammer to hit the POWs on their heads.   His parents received a postcard from him in January 1945.
    In the camp, the POWs were denied adequate food, clothing and medical treatment.  After his arrival in the camp, the Japanese began having the prisoners stand at attention for long hours, without food or water, because a camp rule had been broken.  This went on until July.   Medical care in the camp was almost none existent.  A prisoner had to be near death to receive medical attention.  In most cases, when it was given the POW was too far gone for it to do any good. 

Liberated: September 1945

    - former POWs rode train to Tokyo

    - boarded U.S.S. Rescue and were taken to Manila
Transport:
    - U.S.S. Rescue
        - Sailed: Manila - not known
        - Arrived: San Francisco - 10 October 1945

Married: Ella Lacefield

Children: 1 daughter, 1 son

Died:

    - 17 June 1967 - Louisville, Kentucky

Buried:

    - Saint Stephen's Cemetery - Louisville, Kentucky 



 

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