Allen, 2nd Lt. John H. Jr.

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2nd Lt. John Henry Allen
Born: 28 June 1917 – Minnesota
Parents: John H. Allen Sr. and Rose Bollman-Allen
Siblings: 1 brother
Home: 225 Charles Street – Saint Paul, Minnesota
– Central High School – St. Paul, Minnesota
– Class of 1935
– The University of Minnesota – Class of 1940
– Reserve Officers Training Corps
– U. S. Army
– 1941 – Fort Snelling, Minnesota
– inducted as an enlisted man
– Ft. Benning, Georgia
– 753rd Tank Battalion
– 192nd Tank Battalion
– volunteered or had his name drawn to join the battalion at Camp Polk, Louisiana
– Provisional Tank Group
– tank group’s communications officer
Overseas Duty:
– the decision had been made in August 1941
– it was the result of an event that took place in the summer of 1941.
– A squadron of American fighters was over Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines
– one of the pilots – who was flying at a lower altitude – noticed something odd
– He took his plane down and identified a flagged buoy in the water and saw another in the distance.
– He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest,
– the buoys were in the direction of a Japanese occupied island which was hundreds of miles away 
– The island had a large radio transmitter
– The squadron continued its flight plan south to Mariveles and returned to Clark Field.
– When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.
– The next day, when another squadron was sent to the area
– the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat – with a tarp on its deck – which was seen making its way to shore
– Since communication between the Air Corps and Navy was difficult, the boat escaped.
– It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
– rode a train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
– Fort McDowell, Angel Island, California
– ferried to island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
– received physicals from medical detachment – 25 October 1941 – 26 October 1941
– men with minor health issues held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date
– other men simply replaced
– Boarded: U.S.A.T. Hugh L. Scott
– Sailed: San Francisco – Monday – October 27, 1941
– Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii – Sunday – 2 November 1941
– soldiers were given shore leave
– Sailed: Tuesday – 4 November 1941
– took a southern route away from mains shipping lanes
– joined by the U.S.S. Louisville and S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
– stopped at Wake Island to drop off B-17 ground support crews and pick up supplies
– 11 November 1941 – crossed International Dateline
– 15 November 1941 – smoke was seen on the horizon
– Louisville intercepts ship from a friendly county
– two other intercepted ships were Japanese freighters hauling scrap metal to Japan
– Arrived: Guam – 16 November 1941
– the ship took on water, bananas, vegetables, and coconuts
– Sailed: 17 November 1941
– Arrived: 20 November 1941 – Manila, Philippine Islands
– soldiers disembarked the ship three to four hours after arrival
– boarded buses
– Stationed: Ft. Stotsenburg
– housed in tents along the main road between fort and Clark Airfield
– tents were near the runway that B-17s took off on
– planes flew over the bivouac about 100 feet off the ground
– the noise was tremendous and dirt was blown everywhere 
– General Edward King greeted them and apologize for their living quarters
– made sure that the soldiers had dinner – a stew thrown into their mess kits – before he had his own dinner
– Philippine Islands
– transferred to Headquarters Detachment, Provisional Tank Group
Work Day:
– 5:15 A. M. – reveille
– washing – the lucky man washed by a faucet with running water
– 6:00 A.M. – breakfast
– 7:00 to 11:30 A.M. 
– Noon – lunch
– 1:30 to 2:30 P.M. – worked
– the shorter afternoon work period was based on the belief that the climate made it too hot to work
– the tankers worked until 4:30 P.M.
– the term “recreation in the motor pool” was used for this work time
– during this time, the tank crews learned about the M3A1 tanks
– tank commanders read manuals on tanks and taught crews about the tanks
– studied the 30-caliber and 50 caliber machine guns
– spent three hours of each day taking the guns apart and putting them back together
– did it until they could disassemble and assemble the guns blindfolded
– could not fire guns since they were not given ammunition
– the base commander was waiting for General MacArthur to release the ammunition
– 5:10 – dinner
– after dinner, the soldiers were free to do what they wanted to do
– the soldiers spent their free time bowling, going to the movies,
– they also played horseshoes, softball, badminton, or threw a football around
– on Wednesday afternoons, they went swimming
– men were allowed to go to Manila in small numbers
Provisional Tank Group
– transferred to the tank group
– 10 days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, a pilot reported Japanese milling around in the South China Sea
– 1 December 1941
– tanks ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field
– 194th guarded the north end of the airfield and the 192nd guarded the south end
– two crew members of each tank crew remained with the tanks at all times
– meals served by food trucks
– those not assigned to a tank or half-track remained at the command post
Battle of Luzon
– 8 December 1941 – 6 January 1942
– wherever the tanks where HQ Company were nearby
– the battalion remained at Clark Field and lived through several more attacks
– 21 December – 192nd ordered to the Lingayen Gulf where the Japanese were landing troops
– at Rosario, there was only enough gasoline for one tank platoon, from B Company, to proceed north to support the 26th Cavalry
– December 23 and 24, the battalion was in the area of Urdaneta
– The bridge they were going used to cross the Agno River was destroyed and the tankers made an end run to get south of the river.
– They successfully crossed the river in the Bayambang Province.
– at Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan on December 27 and at San Isidro south of Cabanatuan on December 28 and 29
– 1 January 1942 – the defenders were attempting to stop the Japanese advance down Route 5
– this allowed the Southern Luzon Forces to withdraw toward Bataan
– received orders to withdraw from MacArthur’s chief of staff
– Gen. Jonathan Wainwright was unaware of the orders
– about half the defenders withdrew
– Wainwright countermanded the orders
– due to a frenzied attack by the Self-Propelled Mounts, the 71st Field Artillery, and a frenzied attack by the 192nd Tank Battalion the Japanese were halted
– southern Luzon forces made it through
– 6 January – at 2:30 A.M., the Japanese attacked at Remedios in force using smoke – this was an attempt 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 leapfrog past it, cross the
   bridge, and then cover the 192nd’s withdrawal over the bridge
– The 192nd was the last American unit to enter Bataan.
Battle of Bataan
– 7 January 1942 – 9 April 1942
– 7 January – the tank battalions were covering the withdrawal of all troops around Hermosa
– 8 January – the battalion was between Culo and Hermosa and assigned a road to enter Bataan
– the road it was on was worse than having no road
– the half-tracks kept throwing their rubber tracks and members of 17th Ordnance assigned to each battalion had to re-track them in dangerous situations.
– After daylight, Japanese artillery fire was landing all around the tanks.
– 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
– the tanks had maintenance work done on them by the 17th Ordnance Company 
– the tank platoons were reduced to three tanks per tank platoon
– the tanks taken from them were given to D Company
– the company had lost all its tanks 
– 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.
– 16 January 1942 – battlefield commission
– 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.”
– 25 January – The battalions were sent to cover the junctions of the Back Road and East Road with the Abucay-Hacienda Road 
– the 45th Infantry, Philippine Scouts, fought its way to the position at 3:00 A.M. – –  – One tank platoon was sent to the front of 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.
– both the 192nd and 194th held a defensive line on the Bakanga-Cardre-BaniBani Roads until the withdraw was completed at midnight
– held the position until the night of January 26/27, when they dropped back to a new defensive line roughly along the Pilar-Bagac Road
– ordered to withdraw to the new line
– the 192nd found that the bridge at Balanga, that they were supposed to use had been destroyed by enemy fire
– used the secondary roads to get around the barrio and tanks were still straggling in at noon
– January 28 the tank battalions were given the job of protecting the beaches
– 192nd was assigned the coastline from Paden Point to Limay along Bataan’s east coast
– the battalion’s half-tracks patrolled the roads
– The Japanese later admitted that the tanks guarding the beaches prevented them from attempting landings.
– B Company had a firefight with Japanese landing barges
– Companies A & C were ordered to the west coast of Bataan while B Company – which was held in reserve
– 17th Ordnance held the southern shore of Bataan
– The tankers were awake all night and attempted to sleep under the jungle canopy, during the day, which protected them from being spotted by Japanese
   reconnaissance planes.
– During the night, they were kept busy with repeated threats both on and offshore.
– Battle of the Points – 27 January 1942 until 13 February 1942
– The Japanese had been landed on two points and had been cut off.
– The tankers were sent in to wipe out these positions.
– 22 January to 8 February – the Quinawan-Aglaloma point
– 27 January to 13 February – the Siliiam-Anyasan point
– The defenders successfully eliminated the points by driving their tanks along the Japanese defensive line and firing their machine guns.
– The 45th Infantry, Philippine Scouts followed the tanks eliminating any resistance and driving the Japanese Marines over the edge of the cliffs where they
   hid in caves.
– The tanks fired into the caves killing or forcing them out of them into the sea.
– According to Capt. Alvin Poweleit, the battalion’s surgeon, the tanks did a great deal of damage.
– Battle of the Pockets – 23 January 1942 until 17 February 1942
– tanks wiped out Japanese trapped behind the main battle line
– What made this job so hard was that the Japanese dug “spider holes” among the roots of the trees. 
– the Americans could not get a good shot at the Japanese.
– the Japanese sent soldiers, with cans of gasoline, against the tanks
– they attempted to jump onto the tanks, pour gasoline into the vents on the back of the tanks, and set the tanks on fire
– if the tankers could not machine gun the Japanese before they got to a tank, the other tanks would shoot them as they stood on a tank
– they did not like to do this because of what it did to the crew inside the tank
– When the bullets hit the tank, its rivets would pop and wound the men inside the tanks.
– Since the stress on the crews was tremendous, the tanks rotated into the pocket one at a time.
– A tank entered the pocket and the next tank waited for the tank that had been relieved to exit the pocket before it would enter.
– This was repeated until all the tanks in the pocket were relieved.
– A, B, and C Companies, were able to clear the pockets
– one C Company tank which had gone beyond the American perimeter was disabled and the tank just sat there
– When the sun came up the next day, the tank was still sitting there. During the night, its crew was buried alive, inside the tank, by the Japanese.
– the tank was turned its side to remove the dirt and recover the bodies of the crew
– The tank was put back into use.
– It was for their performance during this battle that the 192nd Tank Battalion would receive one of its Distinguished Unit Citations.
– 1 March 1942 
– food rations were cut in half
– this meant only two meals a day
– The soldiers were hungry and began to eat everything they could get their hands on to eat.
– Carabao was tough but if they were cooked long enough they could be eaten
– They ate horse meat provided by the 26th U.S. Cavalry
– the Japanese also dropped surrender leaflets with a scantily clad blond on them
– they would have been more successful at getting the Americans to surrender if the picture had been hamburger 
– fresh troops brought in from Singapore
– launch a major offense
– 6 April 1942
– four tanks sent to support the 45th Philippine Infantry and 75th Infantry, Philippine Scouts
– one tank knocked out by the anti-tank fire at the junction of Trails 8 and 6
– other tanks covered withdraw
– 3rd Platoon sent up the west coast road
– near Mount Samat ran into heavy Japanese force
– the tanks withdrew to Marivales
– C Company was ordered to the west side of the defensive line and ordered to reinforce the east side of the line
– the company could not reach the assigned area because the roads were blocked with retreating units
– 8 April 1942
– B and D Companies and A Company, 194th, were preparing a suicide attack to stop the Japanese advance
– Gen. Edward P. King decided that further resistance was futile since approximately 25% of his men were healthy enough to fight
– 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
– His troops were on one-quarter rations, and even at that ration, he had two days of food left.
– 6:30 P.M. – order goes out to be prepared to destroy all equipment of use to the Japanese
“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.”
– that evening that Capt. Fred Bruni, the commanding officer of HQ Company, called his men together
– he informed them that they would surrender to the Japanese the next morning at 7:00 
– they were instructed to destroy any weapons or supplies that the Japanese could use.
– the sergeants were instructed to destroy the company’s three tanks
– they were told not to destroy the company’s trucks
– As he spoke, his voice choked and he turned away from his men for a moment.
– he turned around and face them again and emphasized that they would surrender together.
– Somehow, Bruni came up with enough bread and pineapple juice for the men
– they had what he called, “Our last supper.”
– 10:30 P.M. – the decision made to send white flag across the battle line
– 11:40 P.M. – ammunition dumps were blown up
– 12:00 Midnight – B, D, and A Company, 194th, were ordered to stand down
– At 2:oo A.M. April 9, Gen. King sent a jeep under a white flag north
– it carried Colonel Everett C. Williams, Col. James V. Collier, and Major Marshall Hurt
– their job was to meet with the Japanese commander about the terms of surrender
 – The white flag was bedding from A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion
– the driver was from the Provisional Tank Group
– shortly after daylight Collier and Hunt returned with word of the appointment
– the tankers received this message over their radios at 6:45 A.M. – 9 April 1942
– circled tanks and fired an armor-piercing shell into each tank’s engine
– opened gasoline cocks and dropped grenades into the crew compartment
– Gen. King with his two aides, Maj. Cothran and Captain Achille C. Tisdelle Jr. got into a jeep carrying a large white flag
– They were followed by another jeep – also flying another large white flag – with Col. Collier and Maj. Hurt in it
– As the jeeps made their way north, they were strafed and small bombs were dropped by a Japanese plane
– The drivers of both jeeps managed to avoid the bullets
– The strafing ended when a Japanese reconnaissance plane ordered the fighter pilot to stop strafing
– About 10:00 A.M. the jeeps reached Lamao where they were received by a Japanese Major General
– he informed King that he reported his coming to negotiate a surrender 
– he stated an officer from the Japanese command would arrive to do the negotiations
– King was told Japanese troops would not attack for thirty minutes while he decided what he would do
– after a half-hour, no Japanese officer had arrived from their headquarters
– the Japanese attack resumed
– King sent Col. Collier and Maj. Hunt back to his command 
– ordered any unit inline with the Japanese advance should fly white flags
– shortly after this was done a Japanese colonel and interpreter arrived
– King was told the officer was Homma’s Chief of Staff and he had come to discuss
   King’s surrender
– King attempted to get insurances from the Japanese that his men would be treated as prisoners of war
– the Japanese officer – through his interpreter accused King of declining to surrender unconditionally
– King stated he had enough trucks and gasoline to carry his troops out of Bataan
– he was told that the Japanese would handle the movement of the prisoners
– the two men talked back and forth until the colonel said through the interpreter, “The Imperial Japanese Army are not barbarians.” 
– King found no choice but to accept him at his word
Prisoner of War:
– 9 April 1942
– Death March
– Mariveles – POWs started the march at the 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 since they could not fall to the floors
– Capas – dead fell to the floor as living left boxcars
– POWs walked the last ten miles to Camp O’Donnell
– 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 the guardhouse
– over several days, gunshots 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 the entire camp
– POWs waited 2½ hours to 8 hours to get a drink
– water frequently turned off by Japanese guards and the next man in line waited as long as 4 hours for the 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
– the 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 were 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 the Philippine Red Cross was taken by the Japanese for their own use
– POWs in the camp hospital lay on the floor elbow to elbow
– operations on POWs were performed with mess kit knives
– only one medic out of six medics – assigned to care for 50 sick POWs – 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
– the dead were moved to one area under the hospital
– the ground in that area was scraped and covered with lime to clean it
– the dead were moved to the cleaned area and the area where they had lain was scraped and covered with lime
– the dead were 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 a new POW camp to lower the death rate
– In May, his brother received a letter from the War Department

“Dear Mr. C. Allen:

        “According to War Department records, you have been designated as the emergency addressee of Second Lieutenant John H. Allen Jr., O,890,115, who, according to the latest information available, was serving in the  Philippine Islands at the time of the final surrender. 

        “I deeply regret that it is impossible for me to give you more information than is contained in this letter.  In the last days before the surrender of Bataan, there were casualties which were not reported to the War Department.  Conceivably the same is true of the surrender of Corregidor and possibly other islands of the Philippines.  The Japanese Government has indicated its intention of conforming to the terms of the Geneva Convention with respect to the interchange of information regarding prisoners of war.  At some future date, this Government will receive through Geneva a list of persons who have been taken prisoners of war.  Until that time the War Department cannot give you positive information. 

        “The War Department will consider the persons serving in the Philippine Islands as “missing in action” from the date of surrender of Corregidor, May 7, 1942, until definite information to the contrary is received.  It is to be hoped that the Japanese Government will communicate a list of prisoners of war at an early date.  At that time you will be notified by this office in the event that his name is contained in the list of prisoners of war.   In the case of persons known to have been present in the Philippines and who are not reported to be prisoners of war by the Japanese Government, the War Department will continue to carry them as “missing in action” in the absence of information to the contrary, until twelve months have expired.  At the expiration of twelve months and in the absence of other information the War Department is authorized to make a final determination.

        “Recent legislation makes provision to continue the pay and allowances of persons carried in a “missing” status for a period not to exceed twelve months;  to continue, for the duration of the war, the pay and allowances of persons known to have been captured by the enemy; to continue allotments made by missing personnel for a period of twelve months and allotments or increase allotments made by persons by the enemy during the time they are so held;  to make new allotments or increase allotments to certain dependents defined in Public Law 490, 77th Congress.  The latter dependents generally include the legal wife, dependent children under twenty-one years of age and dependent mother, or such dependents as having been designated in official records.  Eligible dependents who can establish a need for financial assistance and are eligible to receive this assistance the amount allotted will be deducted from pay which would otherwise accrue to the credit of the missing individual.

                                                                                                                                                                    “Very Truly yours

                                                                                                                                                                            J. A. Ulio (signed) 
                                                                                                                                                                       Major General
                                                                                                                                                                   The Adjutant General”

– 1 June 1942 – POWs formed detachments of 100 men
– POWs marched out the 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 the cars to Calumpit
– the train stopped at Calumpit and switched onto the line to Cabanatuan
– POWs disembark the train at 6:00 P.M. and put into a schoolyard
– fed rice and onion soup
– Cabanatuan:
– original name: Camp Panagatan
– Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
– actually three camps
– Camp 1: POWs from Camp O’Donnell
– Camp 2: four 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
– POWs later moved to Camp 1
– Camp 1:
– work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens, plant rice, and farm
– 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
– they also were frequently hit with a pick handle, for no reason, as they counted off
– POWs on the rice planting detail were punished by having their faces pushed into the mud and stepped on to drive them deeper into the mud
– the POWs had to go into a shed to get the tools, as they came out, they were hit on their heads
– if the guards on the detail decided the POW wasn’t doing what he should be doing, he was beaten
– many POWs on details were able to smuggle in medicine, food, and tobacco into the camp
– to prevent escapes, the POWs set up patrols along the camp’s fence
– men who attempted to escape and caught were executed after being beaten
– the other POWs were forced to watch the beatings
– daily POW meal – 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato, or corn
– Barracks:
– each built to house 50 POWs
– 60 to 120 POWs were housed in each barracks
– POWs slept on bamboo slats
– many became sick from the lack of bedding and covers
– no showers
– Camp Hospital:
– 30 Wards
– each ward could hold 40 men
– frequently had 100 men in each
– two tiers of bunks
– sickest POWs on the bottom tier
– each POW had a 2 foot by 6-foot area to lie in
– Zero Ward
– given the 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
– many deaths caused by malnutrition
– others became ill because of lack of bedding, covers, and mosquito netting
– It was in July 1942 that his brother received another message from the War Department. The following is an excerpt from it.

“The last report of casualties received by the War Department from the Philippines arrived early in the morning of May 6. Through this date, Second Lieutenant John H. Allen Jr. had not been reported as a casualty. The War Department will consider the persons serving in the Philippine Islands as “missing in action” from the date of the surrender of Corregidor, May 7, until definite information to the contrary is received.

“Efforts to secure prisoner of war lists from the Philippines have not been successful to this date due to the lack of communication and the fact that the Japanese Government has not yet given permission for the Swiss representative and the International Red Cross delegates to make visits to prisoner of war camps in the islands. When the lists of prisoners are received, we will clear the name of your son and send you any additional information that we may have.”

– 7 August 1942 – a POW escaped from the camp 
– 17 September 1942 – he was captured and placed in solitary confinement a
– he was beaten over the head with an iron bar by a Japanese sergeant
– Col. Mori, would parade him around the camp
– used the man as an example as he lectured the POWs
– the man wore a sign that read, “Example of an Escaped Prisoner”
– 12 September 1942 – three POWs escaped 
– 21 September 1942 – recaptured
– their feet were tied together
– their hands were crossed behind their backs and tied with ropes
– a long rope was tied around their wrists and they were suspended from a rafter
– their toes barely touched the ground causing their arms to bear all the weight of their bodies
– beaten while hanging from rafters
– the punishment lasted three days
– they were cut from the rafter and they were tied hand and foot
– they were placed in the cooler for 30 days on a diet was rice and water
– finally released
– 29 September 1942 – three POWs executed
– caught attempting to escape
– Americans patrol stopped them at the fence
– the Japanese heard the commotion
– three men were beaten for 2½ hours
– one so bad his jaw was broken
– the three were tied to posts by the main gate
– their clothes were torn off them
– beaten on and off for the next 48 hours
– anyone passing them was expected to urinate on them
– after three days they were cut down and thrown into a truck
– they were taken to a clearing in sight of the camp and shot
– 14 October 1942 – Japanese claimed food rations improved
– 550 grams of rice, 100 grams of meat, 330 grams of vegetables, 20 grams of fat, 20 grams of sugar, 15 grams of salt, and 1 gram of tea
– at some point, 50 grams of mongo beans replaced some of the rice
– sick POWs also received an additional 50 grams of meat
– Meals were actually
– wet rice and rice coffee for breakfast
– Pechi green soup and rice for lunch
– Mongo bean soup, Carabao meat, and rice for dinner
– the farm and airfield
– 4 November 1942 – 1300 POWs selected to be sent to Japan
– Japanese issued each man 1 pair of shoes, 1 undershirt, and 1 blue denim uniform
– told to put on their best clothing
– marched to a ball field
– told to remove clothing and issued Japanese clothing
– 11 November 1942 – deep latrines dug in camp
– at least 18 feet deep
– 12 November 1942 – Fr. Bruttenbruck – a German Catholic priest brought packages for POWs and medicine
– 15 November 1942 – 100 POWs worked in the hospital area of the camp
– cut grass, dug drainage ditches, dug latrines, dug sump holes
– 20 November 1942 – Pvt. Donald K. Russell – left camp at 9:30 P.M.
– got past guards
– at 12:30 A.M. – caught trying to reenter the camp
– had a large bag of canned goods
– 21 November 1942 -12:30 P.M. – he was shot
– 23 November 1942 – Farm Detail
– Japanese wanted 750 healthy POWs for farm work 
– wanted to get the farm started
– there were only 603 healthy officers and enlisted men in the camp
– from this time on, they wanted 1000 men daily for the details
– POWs cleared land and grew camotes, cassava, taro, sesame, and various greens
– Japanese took what was grown
– each day, 150 POWs planted corn and cleared fields with picks and shovels on the camp farm
– they cleaned ant hills that were 3 feet to 4 feet high from the fields by digging them out
– the red ants were about ¾ of an inch long
– Guards:
– Big Speedo – spoke little English
– in charge of the detail
– fair in his treatment of POWs
– spoke little English
– to get POWs to work faster said, “speedo”
– Little Speedo
– also used “speedo” when he wanted POWs to work faster
– he punished the POWs by making them kneel on stones
– Smiley
– a Korean guard
– always smiling
– could not be trusted
– meanest of guards
– this was the worse detail to work
– 16 November 1942 – Cpl. Peter Lanianuskas shot while attempting to escape
– POWs believed he was really executed
– 26 November 1942 – Thanksgiving Day
– POWs did not work because the guards had been out all night chasing guerrillas
– meal – double meat ration and mongo beans
– 28 November 1942 – it was noted the POWs were receiving carabao meat every day
– 850 blankets were also issued, but a large number of men still did not have blankets
– 1 December 1942 – meals:
– breakfast – wet rice and rice coffee for breakfast
– lunch – pichi green soup and rice
– dinner – mongo bean soup with carabao meat and rice
– 12 December 1942 to 19 December 1942 – only 20 POWs died in the camp that week
– 14 December 1942 – Fr. Bruttenbruck – a German Catholic priest brought a truckload of medicine to camp
– turned away because he did not have the correct paperwork
– 19 December 1942 – Red Cross packages arrived in the camp
– POWs were told it was for two months
– 21 December 1942 – 1000 POWs put to work on farm detail and other details
– 200 worked on the farm
– 24 December 1942 – Fr. Bruttenbruck arrived with two trucks of presents for the POWs individual men
– each POW received a gift bag
– Christmas
– each POW received the POWs received 2½ Red Cross boxes
– each box milk in some form, corn beef, fish, stew beef, sugar, meat and vegetable, tea, and chocolate
– the POWs also received bulk corn beef, sugar, meat and vegetables, stew, raisins, dried fruit, and cocoa which they believed would last them three months
– POWs also received packages from Fr. Bruttenbruck
– contained: fish, soap, cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco
– they were given four days off of work
– 11 January 1943 – POWs watched Japanese dive bombers attack a barrio
– it was located 30 kilometers from the camp
– some of the explosions were loud
– heard scuttlebutt that 102 Filipino men, women, and children had been killed during the attack
– also heard a rumor that half of an area on Cabanatuan that had warehouses had been burned down by guerrillas
– in retaliation for the attack
– His brother learned he was a Prisoner of War in December 1942.
– His name was officially released on a list of men known to be POWs by the War Department on January 27, 1943.


Within days of receiving the first message, they received a second message:

“The Provost Marshal General directs me to inform you that you may communicate with your brother, postage free, by following the inclosed instructions:

“It is suggested that you address him as follows:

“2nd Lt. John H. Allen, U.S. Army
Interned in the Philippine Islands
C/O Japanese Red Cross, Tokyo, Japan
Via New York, New York

“Packages cannot be sent to the Orient at this time. When transportation facilities are available a package permit will be issued you.

“Further information will be forwarded you as soon as it is received.


                                                                                                                                               Howard F. Bresee
                                                                                                                                               Colonel, CMP
                                                                                                                                               Chief Information Bureau”

– February 1943 – multiple details left camp
– some details were small while others had 1255 to 1450 POWs on them
– 7 February 1943 – POWs received Christmas telegrams
– 11 February 1943 – POWs watched movies
– Japanese propaganda newsreels and the Marx Brothers movie “Room Service”
– 12 February 1943 – noted that no POW had died in 8 days
– three POWs died the next day
– also ordered all POWs to turn in illegal radios
– 22 February 1943 – Japanese issued blankets to POWs who did not have one
– 3 March 1943 – a program started to stop the spread of dysentery
– POWs received two biscuits and some cigarettes for catching flies and rodents
– POWs had caught 320 rats and 12 million flies
– 6 April 1943- two POWs escaped
– had an hour headstart on guards
– other POWs punished by having movies night taken away that night
– the two men were recaptured
– both men were shot outside the POWs’ barracks
– 11 April 1943
– work schedule changed
– 5:30 A.M. – reveille
– 6:00 A.M. – 7:00 A.M. – breakfast
– 10:30 A.M. – returned to camp
– Noon – lunch
– 1:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. – work
– 6:30 P.M. – dinner
– 7:00 P.M. – roll call
– 9:00 P.M. – lol call again – lights out
– 14 April 1943 – another POW attempted to escape
– he was on the guard detail to prevent escapes
– caught by Japanese 
– 11 July 1943 – a POW named Conley escaped
– 11:00 PM, POWs heard a lot of noise
– the next morning the POWs saw his body in the camp morgue
– Conley’s jaw had been crushed as was the top of his skull, his teeth had all been knocked out
– his left leg had been crushed
– he had been bayoneted in the eyes and scrotum
– July 1943 – 500 names posted
– 22 July 1943 – the POWs were issued new shoes, a suit of “Philippine Blues”
– also received – 2 cans of corn beef and 3 cans of milk
– informed they would be taking a 21-day trip
– the detachment left the camp that night
– when they arrived in Manila, they were used in the Japanese propaganda film The Dawn of Freedom
– film supposedly showed how Americans mistreated the Filipinos
– afterward, the POWs were taken to the Port Area of Manila
Hell Ship:
Clyde Maru
– Sailed: Manila – 23 July 1943
– Arrived: Santa Cruz, Zambales, Philippines – same day
– loaded manganese ore
– remained in port for three days
– Sailed: 26 July 1943
– 100 POWs permitted on deck at a time from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM
– Water: POWs issued one canteen cup of water every two days
– 3 POWs had to share the cup
– they were so thirsty that some men drank urine
– other men resorted to slashing veins and drinking blood
– killed each other for water
– Arrived: Takao, Formosa – 28 July 1943
– Sailed: 5 August 1942 – at 8:00 AM
– part of a nine-ship convoy
– Arrived: Moji, Japan – 7 August 1943
– POWs lined up on the dock – 8 August 1943
– marched to the rail station and boarded a train
– 9:30 AM – train departed
– two-day train trip
– 7:30 PM – 10 August 1943 – arrived at Omuta, Kyushu
– POWs marched 18 miles
– eighteen rode truck because they could not walk
– Japan
Fukuoka #17
– POWs arrived – 10 August 1943
– the camp had a ten-foot-high wooden fence around it
– three electrified wires topped the fence
– Barracks:
– the POWs lived in 33 one-story barracks
– 120 feet long and 16 feet wide
– divided into ten rooms
– officers slept four men to a room
– enlisted men slept from four to six men in a room
– each room was lit by a 15-watt bulb
– at the end of each building was a latrine with three stools and a urinal
– the POWs slept on beds that were 5 feet 8 inches long by 2 feet wide
– made of tissue paper and cotton batting covered with a cotton pad
– three heavy cotton blankets were issued to each POW plus a comfortable made of tissue paper, scrap rags, and scrap cotton
– Washroom:
– bathing rooms with two bathing tanks that were 30 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 4 feet deep
– the tubs were heated with very hot water
– the POWs working in the mine bathed during the winter after cleaning themselves before entering the tubs
– they did not bathe during the summer months to prevent skin diseases.
– Kitchen:
– The kitchen had 11 cauldrons, 2 electric baking ovens, 2 kitchen ranges, 4 storerooms, and an icebox.
– to supplement their diets, the prisoners also ate dog meat, radishes, potato greens, and seaweed
– Meals:
– as they entered the mess hall, they would say their POW number to a POW standing by a wooden board.
– he took a nail and placed it in the hole in front of the man’s number
– after all the POWs had been fed, the board was cleared for the next meal
– meals consisted of rice and vegetable soup three times a day
– seven spoonfuls of water and one fourth a cup of very poor quality watery rice a day
– those POWs working in the mine received 700 grams a day
– camp workers received 450 grams a day
– officers, since they were not required to work, received 300 grams a day
– those working in the mine received three buns every second day since they did not return to camp for lunch
– The meals were cooked in the camp kitchen which was manned by 15 POWs
– Seven of the POWs were professional cooks.
– Air Raid Shelters:
– 120 feet long
– 6 feet deep
– Work: 
– Mitsui Coal Mining Company
– POWs worked in a condemned coal mine
– each team of POWs was expected to load three cars of coal a day
– worked 12-hour workdays with the constant threat of rocks falling on them.
– worked bent over since they were taller than the average Japanese miner
– the mine had cracks in the ceiling indicating a cave-in might take place
– POWs that the Japanese believed were not working hard enough were beaten
– worked in three shifts with a 30-minute lunch and one day off every ten days
– one seam was known as the “hotbox” because of its temperatures
– to get out of working, the POWs would intentionally have their arms broken by other POWs
– 18 August 18, 1944 – a short wave message from Japan listed him as a POW
– this was the first news his family had received about him since they had first received word that he was a prisoner of war
– Punishment:
– corporal punishment was an everyday occurrence
– the guards beat the POWs for the slightest reason and continued until the POW was unconscious
– The man was then taken to the guardhouse and put in solitary confinement
– not given food or water for a long period of time
– during the winter, the POWs were made to stand at attention in the cold and had water thrown on them
– they were forced to kneel on bamboo poles
– the POWs were made to stand in water and shocked with electrical current
– At some point, two POWs were tied to a post and left to die
– they had violated a camp rule.
– brutally beaten and kicked while working in a mine
– hit with miner’s lamps and pick handles
– POWs were known to have been hit with clubs
– on one occasion POWs were made to beat each other for four hours
– the POWs were made to crouch with a broom handle behind their knees
– food and medical care were withheld from the POWs as punishment
– in November 1944, shirts had been stolen from a bundle sent by the British Red Cross
– the Japanese ordered all the POWs to assemble
– told them that they would not be fed until the shirts were returned
– the men who stole the shirts returned the shirts anonymously, and the POWs received their meal at 10:00 P.M.
– Allen in charge of POW show troupe
– imprisoned for ten days after a theater curtain was lost – the curtain was never found
– John witnessed the execution of Pvt. Noah C. Heard, C Company, 194th Tank Battalion
– Camp Commandant, Lt. Kel Yuri, ordered the execution
– Heard had been caught stealing food
– Allen’s Account of execution:
“Yuri stood in front of Heard drawing his thumb along the blade of his sword. Then he put the sword in its scabbard but pushed Heard’s   head back with the scabbard.”
– Allen stated it was at that point Heard staggered as he was taken behind the commandant’s office.
“At the command of the Yuri, a Jap guard bayoneted Heard in the middle of his back. Heard grunted and as he rolled over, he screeched. A second Jap bayoneted Heard in the abdomen. Yuri and others examined the body. It was still twitching so another guard slashed Heard vertically across the throat. Other guards came out and slashed his abdomen to ribbons.”
Hell Ship:
– Selected for transfer to Mukden, Manchuria
– Unknown Interisland Steamer
– April 1945 – POWs informed they are to be transferred
– taken by train from Omuta to Fukuoka
– boarded ship
POW Camp:
Fusan, Korea
– POWs disembarked the ship and took a three-day train trip to
– Hoten Camp
– 29 April 1945 – POWs arrived
– POWs lived in two-story brick barracks
– divided into ten sections
– five sections on the first floor, and another five sections on the second floor
– each section divided into four double-decked sleeping bays
– each bay slept, 8 men
– 48 men slept in each section
– barracks infested with lice, bedbugs, and fleas
– barracks had electricity and cold running water
– all buildings had electric lights
– Meals:
– Breakfast: cornmeal mush, beans, and a bun
– Lunch: maize and beans
– Dinner: beans and a bun
– most POWs who died in the camp died from malnutrition or related illnesses
– Hospital:
– many of the POWs who died in the camp died due to illnesses caused by malnutrition
– many of those who died; died from illnesses that could be treated
– over 200 POWs died the first winter in the camp
– POWs who died during winter were stored in a building until the ground thawed and they could be buried
– Japanese doctor, Jiechi Kumashima, denied Red Cross medicine to the POWs
– overruled American doctors on who was ill
– sick forced to work
– later found guilty of war crimes and hanged
– Juro Oki, a Japanese civilian doctor who smuggled medicine into the camp for POWs
– would have been shot if he had been caught
– Punishment:
– POWs were beaten for no reason or for violating a rule
– kicked, slapped, punched, hit with clubs, bamboo poles, and shoe heals
– Eiichi Nada
– born, raised, and educated in Berkley, California
– considered the worse abuser of the POWs
– frequently beat POWs at morning assembly
– when they fell to the ground he screamed at them
“Get up, you yellow, white, son of a bitch!”
– Work:
– MKK Factory – manufactured air plane parts
– TKK Factory – manufacture structural steel for bridges
– POWs also worked at a lumber mill
– machine shop never anything of use for the Japanese war effort
Note: Japanese doctor, Jiechi Kuwashima, asked the POWs, wounded from bombings, to write letters asking the Allies to stop the bombing of Mukden. The POWs did write the letters but told the Allies that they wouldn’t mind more bombings.
Extermination Order:
– The camp commander received orders to march the POWs into the forest and execute them
– 16 August 1945 – Four American OSS officers parachuted into camp and told the commander the war
   was over
– the team was held as POWs for one night and sent to Sian Camp
– this was the camp where high ranking officers were imprisoned
Liberated: 20 August 1945 – Russian Army
– B-29s appeared over the area where the POWs lit oil drums to signal planes with smoke
– the lead plane came down and saw the POWs
– circle and dropped medical supplies, food, and clothing to POWs
– American planes dropped walkie-talkies to POWs
– allowed POWs to talk to aircrews
– POWs told the crews what they wanted
– planes dropped them ice cream to now fiddle strings
– POWs were taken by train to Darien, China
– taken by ship to Okinawa
– flown to Philippine Islands
– flown to Hickman Field, California
– Letterman General Hospital
– treated at Schick General Hospital – Clinton, Iowa
– suffering from amoebic dysentery
Promoted: Captain
Note: Allen testified against Lt. Kel Yuroi, former Fukuoka #17 commandant
– Yuri defense was that Heard had signed a document that he should be executed if he committed another
– Yuri was sentenced to death
Discharged: 9 March 1948
Died: 30 January 1955
– 7 February 1955
– Fort Snelling National Cemetery – Saint Paul, Minnesota
– Plot: E Row: 0 Site: 186