Bataan Project
Brig. Gen. James Roy Newman Weaver
Born: 20 May 1888 - Fremont, Ohio
Parents: James T. & Jennie E. Weaver
Name: Roy Newman Weaver
    - Secretary of War changed his name - 21 Sept. 1909
Hometown: Freemont, Ohio
Married: Mary C. Pontius - 31 October 1912
Children: 1 daughter, 1 son
    - His son graduated from West Point in 1936
Education:
    - Freemont High School - Class of 1906
    - Oberlin College - attended for one year
        - appointed to U.S. Military Academy
    - United States Military Academy - West Point, New York - Class of 1911
        - Entered: 15 June 1907
        - Graduated: 13 June 1911
Commissioned: Second Lieutenant - 13 June 1911 - 15th Infantry Division
   - Transferred: 9th Infantry Division - 11 August 1911
        - stationed in the Philippine Islands
            - daughter born there
    - Army Service School - Fort Leavenworth, Kansas - 17 August 1918
Promotions:
    - Promoted: First Lieutenant - 6 April 1917
    - Promoted: Captain - 15 May 1917
    - Promoted: Major - 9 June 1918
    - Promoted: Colonel - Not Known
    - Promoted: Brigadier General - 1942
Career:
    - World War I
        - English Instructor - U.S. Military Academy - West Point, New York
            - this position kept him from going to Europe
        - 68th Armor Regiment - 2nd Armor Division
    - West Point -returned to the military academy in 1920
        - taught English and history
    - Fort Sill, Oklahoma - 1926 - 1930
    - Fort Benning, Georgia
        - trained in tanks - 1937
    - World War II
        - Commanding Officer - Provisional Tank Group - Philippine Islands
            - assumed command - 9 October 1941
        - At one point General Wainwright ordered that that the tanks be
           buried and used as pillboxes.  Viewing this as a ridiculous order,
          Weaver simply ignored it.
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8  December 1941 - 6 January 1942
    - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - Battle of the Points -commanded battle on the front lines
            - Capt. Alvin Powleit, the chief medical officer of the 192nd Tank
               Battalion, stated that while he was a Prisoner of War on Formosa, a
               Japanese officer told him that Weaver's strategy of moving the
               tanks around and having them engage the Japanese in those
               areas convinced the Japanese that the Americans had a larger
               number of tanks than they actually did.  This resulted in throwing off
               the Japanese timetable of conquering the Philippines.
        - 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 April 1942
           - sent out this message to commanding officers of the 192nd and 194th Tank Battalions:
"You will make plans, to be communicated to tank 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 possible thereafter."  
Prisoner of War:
    - 9 April 1942
    - 10 April 1942
        - Weaver and his staff driven in a car to Balanga
        - Japanese headquarters located there
            - searched and counted
            - razors, flash lights, scissors, and cameras taken from the Prisoners of War
    - 11 April 1942 - arrived at Camp O'Donnell
        - driven there
POW Camps:
    - Philippines:
        - 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
        - Tarlac POW Camp
            - camp held senior American officers
            - nothing known about the camp
Note: Weaver stated that his driver, a Sgt. Russell, was sentenced for execution by the Japanese.  According to Weaver, Russell  proudly marched to his grave, that he dug himself, while he whistled "God Bless America."  At this time, who "Sgt. Russell" was, is not known.
POW Transfer:  It was at this time that the Japanese decided that most high ranking officer would be transferred out of the Philippine Islands.
    - 11 August 1942 - marched to Tarlac train station
       - 8:00 A.M. - on train bound for Manila
       - 1:00 P.M. - arrived Manila
           - trucks took them to Pier 7
Hell Ships:
    - Oter o Maru
        - Sailed: Manila - 12 August 1942
            - Weaver and the other officers placed in ships holds
            - two wooden shelves were provided for sleeping
                - each man had an 2½ wide area to sleep in
        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 14 August 1942
POW Camps:
    - Formosa
        -  Karenko Camp
            - Arrived at camp at 3:00 P.M.
            - camp was a 150 yard square
            - about 12 buildings were in the camp
                - there were barracks, toilets, bathhouse, and kitchens
            - POWs searched and had to surrender their bags
                - stripped down to underwear and Japanese went through their clothes
                - clothes returned but shoes were not
                - given wooden clogs
            - Barracks:
                - two big squad rooms on lower floor and smaller rooms that appeared to have been offices
            - POWs moved from this camp because conditions were deplorable
            - upper floor six squad rooms
            - POWs divided into squads which was given a certain area
                - bunks placed side by side
                    - too short for average American
                    - made of criss-crossed metal slats
                    - each man had a hard mattress made from rice straw
                        - also received two heavy blankets and two light ones
                    - pillows 12 inch by 6 inch rice sacks
            - Meals: rice, vegetables, tea
                - served in small Japanese bowls
                - POWs expected to eat with chop sticks
                - Red Cross was scheduled to visit
        - Roll Call:
            - 6:00 A.M.
            - 8:00 P.M.
       - Punishment:
           - used any excuse to beat the POWs
               - most POWs at one time or another were beaten
               - enlisted men hit as many as three times a day
           - POWS who went to the latrine at night were slapped in the face
       - Work:
           - POWs who did not work received less food
               - the amount of food given for working was not enough
        - 7 June 1943 - Shirakawa Camp
            - while on Formosa, he was hit for not following orders fast enough
            - POWs farmed and raised cattle
    - Transferred:
        - 2 April 1943
            - 117 senior officers marched to train station
        - 8:30 A.M. - train left station
        - 4:00 P.M. - had traveled only 50 miles
            - lunch - cup of rice
        - POWs disembark train
    - Tamazato Camp
        - had been a Japanese military base
        - Barracks: 1 story building
            - POWs unloaded tables, chairs, benches, and other furniture for the barracks
                - carried it on their backs
            - also brought goats from Karenko
            - the POWs had been moved there because of the upcoming Red Cross visit
        - Punishment:
            - beatings stopped
                - POWs made to stand at attention for as long as 2 hours
                - punished for minor things such as: walking through the wrong door at the latrine, walking to close to the barb-wire perimeter
                  fence, lying on bunks before bed time, and failing to salute or bow to a Japanese soldier
        - Meals:  rice and hot water with a few vegetable tops in it
        - 14 April 1943 - Red Cross Packages given out
            - Japanese had misappropriated items from them
            - POWs received food and shoes
                - food gave the POWs diarrhea
               - POWs put on weight
            - Japanese wanted POWs in relatively good shape for Red Cross visit
                - POWs told what they could say to Red Cross
                - Japanese representative of Red Cross ignored the way the POWs looked
            - Spring 1943 - Japanese had POWs practice an air raid drill
                - for the POWs this was news that U.S. Forces were getting closer
      - 23 June 1942
          - 28 senior officers who were POWs marched to train station
              - rode train to Karenko
          - boarded a little dirty coastal ship
              - jammed into its hold
                  - 35 feet long by 9 feet wide
                 - shelf for sleeping
                     - so small POWs slept with one man's feet in the other man's face
              - the only food they had was what they brought with them from Red Cross packages
    - 24 June 1943 - 9:00 A.M. - arrived Keelung, Formosa
        - marched to train station
        - rode train to Taihoku
            - rode a truck 6 miles to camp
    - Shirakawa Camp:
            - camp located on a hill
        - Barracks:
            - flimsy wooden structures
        - Meals:
            - amount of rice given to POWs increased and they received vegetables
            - POWs grew food on farm but Japanese took most of it
        - Work:
            -senior officers told they did not have to work
            - Japanese wanted the POWs to speak out against the war
           - POWs cleared land for farm and built a dam
            - what was grown on the farm was taken by the Japanese
        - Punishment:
            - POWs punished for demanding their Geneva Convention Rights
               - could not sit or lie on beds before bedtime
               - could not gather in groups larger than two men
    - 1 October 1944
        - certain American, British, and Dutch POWs ordered to pack up their possessions
    - 5 October 1944
        - 10:00 P.M. - rode truck to train station
        - 11:00 P.M. - boarded and rode train all night to Heito
    - 6 October 1944 - arrived at noon
        - transferred to a narrow gauge train
        - rode train for 10 miles
        - disembark at a POW camp
           - POWs in camp were emaciated
           - spent night in camp

    - 7 October 1944
        - marched back to train station
        - returned to Heito
        - put on trucks and taken to airport
            - six Japanese transports waited for them
            - boarded planes
        - 8:00 A.M. - planes took off and flew POWs to Japan
        - 2:00 P.M. - landed in Southern Kyushu, Japan
            - boarded train and rode it to Beppu, Japan
            - spent two nights in a cheap hotel
    - 9 October 1944 - boarded train
        - taken to port and boarded ship
Hell Ship:
    - Fukuji Maru
        - Sailed: 11 November 1944 - Moji, Japan
        - Arrived: 11 November 1944 - Pusan, Korea
Fusan, Korea
    - taken to hotel and fed a decent meal
    - taken office building and slept on floor in blankets
    - returned to hotel the next morning and fed
    - marched to train station
        - took a 3 day train ride to Sheng Tai Tun, Manchuria
        - POWs were cold because of inadequate clothing
POW Camps:
        - Sheng Tai Tun, Manchuria
            - 14 November 1944 - arrived
                - high ranking officers were held there for a short time
                - many POWs suffer from tooth abscesses
                    - walked all night to get them to burst and get some relief
                    - Japanese finally brought in a dentist to pull teeth
            - 1 December 1944
                - 16 senior officers ordered to pack up their belongings
                    - marched to train station in zero weather
                    - boarded train
                    - barren train car had 288 Red Cross Packages
                        - to make sure POWs did not save any items they punched holes in cans of meat and tore bags so POWs had to eat the food
                          before it went bad
        - Sian POW Compound, Manchuria
            - 100 miles from Mukden
                - temperatures dropped to 45 degrees below zero
                - POWs pasted strips paper over windows to keep out cold
            - Punishment:
                - beatings not wide spread
                - enlisted beaten, now and again, for petty reasons
            - Work:
                - Japanese wanted officers to begin work on a farm in the Spring of 1945
                - they refused and told of what had happened at Shirakawa Camp on Formosa
Note: Weaver was beaten over the head for refusing to allow the officers, American, British, and Dutch, to work.  He was again
beaten, this time in his shins with a bamboo pole for climbing a tree to get buds to add to the soup the POWs had been given.
    - War News:
        - an enlisted man bribed a Japanese guard, with the promise of his watch, to get three newspapers for the POWs to read
        - the guard took the papers off the commandant's desk and those POWs who could read Japanese read them
            - the papers had to be returned to the desk before each the morning
            - those POWs who could read Japanese translated the papers
        - if caught the POWs would have been punished and the guard executed
        - bribes continued
            - from the papers they learned the war in Europe was going well and B-29s were bombing Japan
            - had no idea what a B-29 looked like, but the bombings made them happy
            - learned of the invasion of the Philippines and Roosevelt's death
Liberated:
    - 19 August 1945 - OSS Recovery Team parachuted into camp
        - informed POWs they were free
    - 24 August 1945 - Russians arrived
    - taken by truck to Mukden
    - 27 August 1945 - flown to Sian, China
        - his wife also received word he had been rescued
        - 1:30 P.M. arrived at Chungking, China
     - flew out of Chungking
        - sent telegram to his parents which said , " En-route home by air via Chungking.  Arrive sometime first week in September.  See you both
          shortly. Jim."

        - sent a telegram to his daughter that said , "I'm coming home ."
     - after he returned home, he remained on medical leave until January 1, 1946
         - this was done for all POWs released from camps in Manchuria
    - 24 November 1945
        - nominated for promotion to Major-General
Commanding Officer:
    - Fort Benning, Georgia
    - Fort Ord, California
    - Fort Beale, California
    - Presidio, San Francisco, California
        - 1947-1948 - retired
Medals:
    - Purple Heart
    - Bronze Star
    - Silver Star
    - Prisoner of War Medal
    - Distinguish Service Medal
    - Distinguish Service Cross
        - for operations of Provisional Tank Group - 2 February 1942
Note: Of the tank group's performance he said , "The Provisional Tank Group, USAFFE, took to the field ten days after its organization lacking a headquarters company, one light tank battalion, and both medium battalions.  It was unacclimated; unused to its weapons, armor, radios; a new arm unacquainted with and to the people with whom it was to be associated.  The group learned the hard way, for tankers - in defensive battle, covering the withdraw into Bataan for 18 days of unremitting strain and action with the enemy who did not attack in force but infiltrated at night  and around flanks, snipped by day, and used his aviation immune from air counter attack or observation."
Residence: Menlo Park, California
    - served on bard of the San Mateo County Red Cross
Died: 29 August 1967 - San Mateo, California
    - heart attack
Buried:
    - San Francisco National Cemetery - Presidio, California
        - Section:  OS   Row:  77   Site:  8-A

 

 

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