PFC Eugene Richard Barnes
Born: 28 April 1922 – Monterey County, California
Parents: Edmund L. Barnes & Mary J. Thorn-Barnes
Siblings: 1 sister, 4 brothers
Home: 124 1/2 Pine Street – Salinas, California
– U.S. Army
– 10 February 1941
– C Company, 194th Tank Battalion
– Fort Lewis, Washington
– described as constantly raining during the winter
– many men ended up in the camp hospital with colds
– Typical Day – after they arrived at Ft. Lewis
– 6:00 A.M. – first call
– 6:30 A.M. – Breakfast
– During this time the soldiers made their cots, policed the grounds around the barracks, swept the floors of their barracks, and performed other duties.
– 7:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. – drill
– 11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. – mess
– 1:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M. – drill
– 5:00 P.M. – retreat
– 5:30 P.M. – mess
– men were free after this
– a canteen was located near their barracks and was visited often
– the movie theater on the base that they visited.
– The theater where the tanks were kept was not finished, but when it was, the tankers only had to cross the road to their tanks.
– Saturdays the men had off, and many rode a bus 15 miles northeast to Tacoma which was the largest town nearest to the base
– Sundays, many of the men went to church and services were held at different times for the different denominations
– the battalion went on long reconnaissance with trucks and tanks
– drove all over reservation following maps and learned from observation what the land surrounding the fort looked like
– the purpose was to collect tank data which they would use later
– often had to live off the land
– 30 April 1941 – battalion went on an all-day march
– ate dinner in woods brought to them by the cooks in trucks
– march was two hours one way and covered about 10 miles total
– stopped in an abandoned apple orchard in bloom
– first motorcycles arrived in May 1941
– all battalion members had to learn to ride them
– in early May 1941, the battalion, except men who had been drafted, went on its first overnight bivouac
– the new men did not have shelter halves
– left around noon and returned around noon the next day
– some members of the battalion received specific training
– many went to Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for training in tank maintenance, radio operation, and other specific jobs
– those men who remained at Ft. Lewis often found themselves policing the base collecting garbage and distributing coal for the base during the week
– the battalion did most of its tank training on weekends
Note: On August 15, 1941, the 194th received orders, from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for duty in the Philippines because of an event that happened during the summer. A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots noticed something odd. He took his plane down and identified a buoy in the water. He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of a Japanese occupied island, hundreds of miles away, with a large radio transmitter on it. The squadron continued its flight plan and flew south to Mariveles before returning to Clark Field. By the time the planes landed that evening, it was too late to do anything that day.
The next morning, another squadron was sent to the area and found that the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat which was seen making its way toward shore. Since communication between and Air Corps and Navy was poor, the boat was not intercepted. It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
– rode train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
– Arrived: 7:30 A.M. – 6 September 1941
– ferried on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe to Angel Island
– given physicals and inoculated by battalion’s medical detachment
– men with medical conditions replaced
– Ship: S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
– Boarded: Monday – 8 September 1941 – 3:00 P.M.
– Sailed: 9:00 P.M. – same day
– Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii – Saturday – 13 September 1941 – 7:00 A.M.
– Sailed: 5:00 P.M. – same day
– escorted by the heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Astoria, and the U.S.S. Guadalupe a replenishment oiler
– smoke was seen on the horizon several times
– cruiser intercepted ships
– Arrived: Manila – Friday – 26 September 1941
– disembarked ship – 3:00 P.M.
– taken by bus to Fort Stotsenburg
– maintenance section with 17th ordnance remained behind to unload the tanks and attached turrets
-27 September 1941 – job completed at 9:00 A.M.
– Fort Stotsenburg
– Ft. Stotsenburg
– lived in tents upon arriving
– 15 November 1941 – moved into barracks
– the barracks walls were open and screened three feet from the bottom of the wall to the floor
– above that, the walls were woven bamboo that allowed the air to pass through
– washing facilities seemed to be limited with the lucky man being able to wash by a faucet with running water
– 5:15 A. M. – reveille
– soldiers washed
– 6:00 A.M. – breakfast
– 7:00 to 11:30 A.M.
– Noon – lunch
– 1:30 to 2:30 P.M. – worked
– the belief on the base was that it was too hot in the afternoon to work
– the tankers worked until 4:30 P.M.
– this was referred to as “recreation in the motor pool”
– 5:10 – dinner
– the soldiers spent their free time bowling and going to the movies,
– they also played horseshoes, softball, badminton, or threw a football around
– on Wednesday afternoons, they went swimming
– they also went to Mt. Aarayat National Park and swam in the swimming pool there that was filled with mountain water
– men put their names in to be allowed to go to Manila in small groups
– they also went to canoeing at Pagsanjan Falls in their swimsuits
– the country was described as being beautiful
– the battalion wore coveralls to do the work on the tanks
– the soldiers were reprimanded for not wearing dress uniforms while working
– they continued to wear coveralls in their barracks area to do their work
– if the soldiers left the battalion’s area, they were expected to wear dress uniforms; including going to the PX
– 1 December 1941 – tanks ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field
– their job was to protect the airfield from enemy paratroopers
– two tank crew members remained with each tank at all times
– 194th guard north end of the airfield and the 192nd Tank Battalion guarded the south end of the airfield
– meals served by food trucks to men with the tanks
– those not assigned to a tank or half-track remained at the command post
– Battle of Luzon
– 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 Malolos Road
– The 194th was sent to Mabalcat on December 10
– C Company was sent to southern Luzon and put under the command of Brigadier General Albert M. Jones
– To avoid Japanese planes, the company tried to cover the distance at night.
– They were successful and going 40 miles during the night but had to make a run for it during the day.
– They successfully reached Muntinlupa and made it to Tagatay Ridge on December 14th.
– The tanks remained at Tagatay until December 24th
– During this time, they did reconnaissance and hunted for fifth columnists who would signal planes with mirrors during the day near ammunition dumps
resulting in the dumps being bombed and shelled.
– At night, the fifth columnists shot off flares near the ammunition dumps.
– The activity ended, when the company shot up native huts suspected as being used by the fifth columnists.
– At 2:00 A.M. on December 24th, the Japanese landed 7,000 troops at Lamon Bay. – – The Japanese began advancing in the direction of Lucban.
– The company took a position to aid the 1st Infantry Regiment, Philippine Army, that was fighting the Japanese.
– One platoon of five tanks – on December 26 – was ordered to advance down a trail in an area where the Japanese were known to be.
– A major ordered the tanks to advance even though no reconnaissance had been done.
– The trail made a sharp turn, and when the tanks made the turn, the first was knocked out by a Japanese anti-tank gun killing the platoon commander and
the driver of the tank.
– The other two crewmen escaped into the jungle. The remaining four tanks were also knocked out by enemy fire resulting in two more men being killed.
– From this point on the tanks fell back toward Bataan and were serving as the rear guard for Gen. Jones’ troops when they withdrew past Manila.
– C Company at one point saw 100 to 150 trucks belonging to the Philippine Army pass warehouses full of food and other supplies.
– It was at this time that the 192nd Tank Battalion and A Company, 194th Tank Battalion were fighting to keep the roads open so that the troops
withdrawing from southern Luzon would not be cut off.
– The southern Luzon force with C Company serving as its rearguard crossed the Calumpit Bridge on January 1.
– After the company crossed the bridge was destroyed. the tanks went through San Fernando and formed roadblocks to keep the junction of Routes 3 and
– Also on January 1, conflicting orders were received by the defenders of the northern force who were attempting to stop the Japanese advance down
– The orders came from Gen. MacArthur’s chief of staff and told the units holding open the bridges to withdraw.
– General Wainwright – who was in command – was unaware of the orders.
– Because of the orders, there was confusion among the Filipinos and American forces defending the bridges over the Pampanga River and half of the
defenders had withdrawn.
– When Gen Wainwright became aware of what was going on, he countermanded the orders.
– Due to the efforts of the Self-Propelled Mounts, the 71st Field Artillery, and a frenzied attack by the 192nd Tank Battalion the Japanese were halted
allowing the southern forces – including C Company – to escape
– 2 January 1942
– both tank battalions ordered to withdraw to Lyac Junction
– the 194th withdrew there on Highway 7.
– 5 January 1942 – C Company and A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, withdrew from Guagua-Porac Line and moved into position between Sexmoan and
– At 1:50 A.M., the Japanese attempted to infiltrate their line in bright moonlight which made them easy to see.
– It also helped that the Japanese wore white shirts which reflected the moonlight.
– The tanks opened fire and in an attempt to cover their advance, the Japanese lay down smoke which blew back into them.
– It was 3:00 A.M. when the Japanese broke off the engagement having suffered 50% casualties.
– When the company withdrew, the barrio of Lubao was in flames.
– 6 January 1942
– A new defensive line was formed at Remedios along a dried creek bed.
– They fell back from this position and the tank battalions flanked the Layac Bridge over the Culo River
– The night of January 6, the 194th crossed a bridge covered by the 192nd.
– The 192nd crossed the bridge becoming the last unit to enter Bataan.
– After it crossed, the bridge was destroyed
– Battle of Bataan
– 7 January 1942
– tank companies reduced to three tanks per platoon
– One reason this was done was to give D Company, 192nd, tanks
– it had lost all its tanks but one when a bridge had been destroyed before they had been scheduled to cross
– 2nd Lt. Weeden Petree and Pvt Walter Martella wounded
– Martella shielded Capt Fred Moffit from enemy shrapnel
– Petree was also hit by shrapnel
– For the first time in a month, both battalions bivouacked south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road giving long overdue maintenance work to be done on the
tanks by the battalions’ maintenance crews and 17th Ordnance.
– 8 January 1942
– A 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 to prevent the Japanese from driving into Bataan before the main battle line had been
– The remainder of tanks ordered to bivouac for night south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road.
– The tankers had been fighting for a month without rest and tanks also needed long overdue maintenance by 17th Ordnance.
– It was at this time that all tank companies reduced to ten tanks or three per tank platoon
– 9 January 1942
– Pvt. Walter Martella died from gangrene
– 12 January 1942
– A platoon of tanks from C Company was sent to reopen Moron Road so General Segunda’s forces could withdraw.
– The tanks ran into an anti-tank gun that fired at the lead tank, but the shell went over the turret of the tank
– The tank returned fire and destroyed the gun before it got off its next round.
– Two tanks hit landmines disabling them and were abandoned but later recovered.
– the mission was abandoned
– Gen. Segunda’s troops escaped using the beach but lost their heavy equipment.
– C Company, with D Company, 192nd, sent to Cadre Road on January 12 which was a forward position with little alert time.
– 2nd Lt. Weeden Petree died from his wounds
– 13 January 1942
– mines planted by ordnance prevented tanks from reaching Cadre Road
– mission was abandoned
– 20 January 1942
– west of Bani Bani Road – tanks were sent to save the 31st Infantry command post
– 24 January 1942
– tanks order to Hacienda Road in support of troops
– landmines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching the road
– 26 January 1942 – The tanks held a position a kilometer north of the Pilar-Bagac Road with four self-propelled mounts with the battalion.
– At 9:45 A.M., they were warned by Filipino that a large Japanese force was coming down the road.
– When the enemy appeared, the battalion opened up with all it had on the
– At 10:30 A.M., the Japanese broke off the engagement and withdrew after losing 500 of 1200 men. This action prevented the new defensive line that was
being formed from being breached.
– The tanks from both battalions were given beach duty on January 28, 1942, with the tanks of the 194th given beach duty protecting southern beaches
from Limay to Cabcaben with the half-tracks patrolling the roads.
– The tanks maintained radio contact with on-shore and off-shore patrols.
– Sometime in March 1942, two tanks were bogged down in the mud and the tankers were working to get them out when a Japanese Regiment entered the
– Lt. Col. Ernest Miller ordered tanks and artillery to fire at point-blank range to fire on the enemy troops.
– Miller ran from tank to tank directing fire and wiped out the Japanese regiment.
– The soldiers were hungry and began to eat everything they could get their hands on to eat.
– The Carabao were tough but if they were cooked long enough they could be eaten.
– They also began to eat horse meat provided by the 26th U.S. Cavalry.
– To make things worse, the soldiers’ rations were cut in half again on March 1, 1942. – This meant that they only ate two meals a day.
– The Japanese also were dropping surrender leaflets with a scantily clad blond on them.
– The Japanese would have been more successful at getting the
Americans to surrender if the picture had been hamburger and a milkshake since the men were so hungry that they most likely would have surrendered
for a good meal.
– Also in March, the amount of gasoline was reduced to 15 gallons a day for all vehicles except the tanks.
– This would later be dropped to ten gallons a day.
– Also at this time, Gen. Weaver suggested to Gen. Wainwright that a platoon of tanks be sent to Corregidor which Wainwright denied.
– the exact date is not known, but Raymond was assigned to General Hospital #2, Little Baguio, Bataan
– 3 April 1942
– Japanese launch new offensive
– tank sent in to attempt to stop the advance
– 7 April 1942 – Raymond sent to Medical Casual Hospital
– 8 April 1942
– 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
– 10:30 P.M. – decision made to send white flag across the battle line
– 11:40 P.M. – ammunition dumps were blown up
– At 2:oo A.M. April 9, Gen. King sent a jeep under a white flag carrying Colonel Everett C. Williams, Col. James V. Collier and Major Marshall Hurt to meet
with the Japanese commander about terms of surrender.
– The white flag was bedding from A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion
– the driver was also 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 and the jeeps were provided by the tank group and both men 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 who informed King that he reported his coming to
negotiate a surrender and that an officer from the Japanese command would arrive to do the negotiations
– The Japanese officer also told him that his troops would no attack for thirty minutes while King decided what he would do
– After a half-hour, no Japanese officer had arrived from their headquarters and the Japanese attack had resumed. King sent Col. Collier and Maj. Hunt back
to his command with instructions that 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 attempted to get insurances from the Japanese that his men would be treated as prisoners of war, but the Japanese officer – through his interpreter
– he was accused of declining to surrender unconditionally
– At one point 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.”
– Gen. King had to take him at his word
Prisoner of War:
– 9 April 1942
– received order to destroy equipment and report to kilometer marker 168.2.
– Provisional Tank Group Headquarters
– Japanese officers told Col. Ernest Miller to keep them there until ordered to move
– 10 April 1942
– 7:00 P.M. – started march from Provisional Tank Group headquarters
– 3:00 A.M. – halted and rested for an hour
– 4:00 A.M. – resume march
– at times slipped on remains of dead who had been killed by Japanese shelling
– 11 April 1942
– 8:00 A.M. -reached Lamao
– allowed to forage for food
– 9:00 A.M. – resumed march
– Noon – reached Limay and main road
– officers, majors and up, separated from lower-ranking officers and enlisted men
– lower-ranking officers and enlisted men joined main march
– Death March
– marched through Abucay and Samal
– reached Orani
– herded into a fenced in area and ordered to lie down
– in morning found they had been lying in human waste
– latrine in one corner was crawling with maggots
– form 100 men detachments
– POWs marched at faster pace
– fewer breaks
– when given break, the POWs sat on road
– North of Hermosa the POWs reached pavement
– made march easier
– POWs given an hour rest on road
– those who attempt to lay down are jabbed with bayonets
– POWs march through Layac and Lubao
– rains – POWs drank as much as they could
– San Fernando
– POWs put in groups of 200 to be fed
– one POW sent to get a box of rice for each group
– pottery jars of water given out the same way
– POWs formed detachments of 100 men and marched to train station
– POWs put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane
– 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
– as POWs formed ranks, Filipinos threw sugarcane to POWs
– also gave them water
– POWs walked last 8 kilometers 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 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 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
– 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 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 medics 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
– the ground under hospital 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
– usually the deaf were 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 disembarked the train at 6:00 P.M. and put into a schoolyard
– fed rice and onion soup
– In May or early June 1942, his parents received a message from the War Department:
“Dear Mrs. M. Barnes:
“According to War Department records, you have been designated as the emergency addressee of Private First Class Eygene R. Barnes, 20, 900, 691, 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)
The Adjutant General”
– Cabanatuan #1
– original name – Camp Pangatian
– Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
– put into use by the Japanese as a POW camp
– actually three camps
– Camp 1: POWs from Camp O’Donnell sent there in an attempt to lower the 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
– POWs later moved to Camp 1
– Camp 1:
– “Blood Brother” rule implemented
– if one POW in the group of 10 escaped, the other nine would be killed
– POWs patrolled fence to prevent escapes
– 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
– Work Details:
– Work Day: 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
– work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens, plant rice, and farm
– 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
– 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
– most of the food the POWs grew went to the Japanese
– 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
– medical staff had little to no medicine to treat sick
– many deaths from disease caused by malnutrition
– in July his family received a second message from the War Department. The following are excerpts 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, Private First Class Eugene R. Barnes 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.”
– Las Pinas Detail – 12 December 1942
– July 1942
– 150 POWs arrive to cut down cogon grass, bushes, and small trees with bolos (long, straight-bladed steel knives)
– 31 August 1942
– 500 POWs arrive
– heads were shaven
– POWs were in fairly good shape when they arrived at Las Pinas
– 6 December 1942
– 800 POWs on detail
– Pasay School:
– 3 miles from Nichols Field
– POW housed in school rooms
– each room was 20 feet by 30 feet and accommodated 28 to 30 men
– men slept so close together, on thin mattresses, and could hardly turn over
– each POW had two small blankets
– room infested with bedbugs, ants, and mosquitoes
– Cherry Blossom
– got name from floral insignia he wore on his shoulder pieces
– Japanese civilian in command of barracks
– temperamental and described as terribly, terribly stupid
– roll calls took forever since he could not count over 100
– American officers had to correct roll call
– two toilets for 500 men
– cans also were put in rooms
– 300 POWs shared seven showers
– 500 POWs shared four showers
– waited in line for up to an hour to take a shower
– main diet was boiled rice which was from sweepings of a warehouse floor
– nails, worms, dust, glass, bottle caps, were often in it
– POWs picked the rice to eat it
– each POW received 240 grams of rice
– later cut to 120 grams
– POWs grew squash, gourds, green beans, eggplant, and sweet potatoes
– did not meet their nutritional needs since they got scraps from Japanese mess
– meat was in a form of a fish used as fertilizer
– fish usually rotten
– POWs also received 250 pounds of potatoes each day for 500 POWs
– Japanese would let potatoes rot before giving them to POWs
– 80 pounds of flour given to POWs each week
– 20 pounds of meat a week for 800 POWs
– although they worked where fruit grew, the POWs were not allowed to eat any
– when Red Cross packages were given to POWs the Japanese cut the food rations by one fourth for 15 days
– beriberi spread among POWs because of diet
– Philippine Red Cross gave clothing for POWs
– Japanese did not give it to them
– also kept Red Cross packages containing clothing
– every 3 months, the Japanese gave 18 shirts and 18 trousers for 500 POWs
– there was enough clothing in a warehouse to furnish each POW with two sets of clothes including shoes
– Camp Commander:
– Capt. Kenji Iwataka
– called the “White Angel”
– wore a spotless naval uniform
– commanded camp for 13 months
– a daily event
– POWs were beaten on their way to the airfield, at the airfield, at lunch, and on their way from the airfield at the end of the day
– one POW collapsed while working and the White Angel ordered him to get up
– four other POWs took the man back to the school
– Japanese guards gave the man a shower and straightened his clothes
– the rest of the Americans were ordered to Pasay School
– the White Angel took an American officer behind the school with him where the man was
– the other POWs heard two shots
– the White Angel told the remaining POWs this was what was going to happen to anyone who would not work for the Japanese Empire
– later the American officer told the POWs what the White Angel had done to the man
– Yakota – second in command and looked like a wolf
– “The Wolf”
– civilian that wore a naval uniform
– each morning The Wolf selected POWs who looked the sickest and lines them up
– the POWs had to put one leg on each side of a slit trench and next do 50 push-ups
– if the man collapsed and touched the ground, he was beaten with pick handles
– A POW collapsed while working
– The Wolf had him taken to the school
– that evening the Wolf came to the barracks and the man was still unconscious
– he took the man and banged his head into the concrete floor and kicked him in the head
– the man was taken to the showers where The Wolf drowned him in the basin
– a third POW tried to walk away from the detail
– told the Japanese guards to shoot him
– he was taken back to the school by the guards
– he was strung up by his thumbs outside the doorway of the school
– a bottle of beer and sandwich were placed in front of him
– he was dead by that evening
– second in command behind the Wolf
– compared to The Wolf, he was good to the men
– he let them smoke, gave the sick breaks but told them to work if The Wolf or the captain showed up
– bought cigarettes, rice cakes and sugar for POWs with their money
– he also would give a POW his shoes and exchange their shoes for another pair that he gave to another POW for his shoes
– did this repeatedly
– 1 September 1942 – work started on runway
– Reveille: 6:00 A.M.
– 6:15 A.M. – roll call taken
– breakfast: fish soup and rice
– roll call taken again
– both healthy and sick POWs were counted
– POWs marched a mile and half to airfield
– arrived at 8:30 A.M.
– Roll Call – after arriving at airfield
– tools handed out at tool shed
– Initially the POWs worked until 11:30 A.M. and did not work again until 1:30 P.M.
– the workday ended at 4:15
– Japanese took roll call
– POWs arrived at school at about 5:50 P.M.
– roll call taken again
– rush to showers
– roll call again
– lights out at 9:00 P.M.
– workday got longer as the detail went on
– Japanese wanted a runway 500 yards wide and approximately a mile long
– runway would go through swamp ground southeastward and straight through the hills
– plans for runway came from Americans who had planned to build it with construction equipment
– Japanese had no plans to use construction equipment
– POWs built runway with picks, shovels, and wheelbarrows
– most had dysentery, malaria, beriberi, diarrhea, and were malnourished
– POWs worked under the 103rd Construction Unit by order of the Southern Third Fleet
– work was easy at first because the ground was almost level
– about 400 yards from start, the runway hit the foothills as tall as 80 feet had to be leveled with picks and shovels
– work got harder
– literally removed the side of a mountain by hand
– called “The Cut”
– POWs worked barefooted on gravel, rocks, and sun-baked mud and left bloody footprints
– many only had g-strings for clothing
– others worked nude
– dirt carried to swamp in wheelbarrows and dumped as landfill to fill-in swampland
– Japanese bring in old mine cars and rail
– laid four sets of tracks
– four POWs assigned to each mine car to keep them moving
– POWs loaded mine cars with earth and two POWs pushed cars to dumping area
– car returned to loading area where two of the POWs had another load waiting
– all four of the POWs loaded mine car
– as tracks got longer, loading pushing, dumping, unloading took longer to do
– each track had a quota which had to be met before POWs before the POWs could stop working
– Medical Supplies:
– Japanese issued little of the Red Cross medical supplies that came into the camp
– POW doctors said there was not enough medicine to cure an ailment but just enough to prolong the ailment
– there was a lack of quinine and carborane
– there was no emetine to cure amoebic dysentery
– request for medicines were repeatedly turned down
– operations performed without anesthetics or proper medical equipment
– only 80 POWs were allowed to be on sick call each day
– Japanese determined which men were sick enough not to work
– POWs who brought the dead to Bilibid for burial
– most died of exhaustion or beatings
– POW medical staff told to write “malaria” or other disease, as cause of death on death certificates
– POWs on detail would not talk about the detail
– attempts were made to open boxes containing dead to take fingerprints
– Japanese would not allow the boxes to be opened
– became ill and was sent to Cabanatuan
– 5 March 1943 – family learned he was a POW
REPORT JUST RECEIVED THROUGH INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS STATES THAT YOUR SON PRIVATE FIRST CLASS EUGENE R BARNES IS A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT IN PHILIPPINE ISLANDS LETTER OF INFORMATION FOLLOWS FROM THE PROVOST MARSHALL GENERAL=
ULIO THE ADJUTANT GENERAL=
Within days of receiving the first message, they received a second message:
“Mrs. M. Barnes
124 1/2 Pine
“The Provost Marshal General directs me to inform you that you may communicate with your husband, postage free, by following the inclosed instructions:
“It is suggested that you address him as follows:
PFC Eugene R. Barnes, 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
Chief Information Bureau
– March 1943 – allowed to make a shortwave propaganda broadcast. During it, he said:
“Dearest Sis: I have received your letters and box. Also letters from Andy and Jack. It is good to hear from home again. Looking forward to meeting your husband. I envy Bernard for cooking. Tell Estelle and Jack that Frankie sends his love. Give my love to dad and family. I am well but miss you. I hope you receive this so you won’t worry too much. Love to you and the family.”
– “Frankie” in the broadcast may refer to Frank Burns, who was the only “Frank” from the company being held at Cabanatuan
– July 1944 – selected for transport to Japan
– 15 July 1944
– 25 to 30 trucks arrived at camp to transport POWs to Manila
– POWs left at 8:00 P.M.
– POWs were taken to Bilibid Prison
– arrived at 2:00 A.M.
– the only food they received was rotten sweet potatoes
– Nissyo Maru
– Friday – 17 July 1944 – POWs left prison at 7:00 A.M.
– Boarded ship: Friday – same day
– Japanese attempted to put all the POWs in one hold
– when they couldn’t, they put 900 the POWs in the forward hold
– 600 POWs held in the rear hold
– Sailed: Manila – same day
– dropped anchor at breakwater until 23 July 1944
– POWs were not fed or given water for over a day and a half after being put in the ship’s hold
– POWs fed rice and vegetables twice a day and received two canteen cups of water each day
– 23 July 1944 – 8:00 A.M. – ship moved to an area off Corregidor and dropped anchor
– Sailed: Monday – 24 July 1944 – as part of a convoy
– some POWs cut the throats of other POWs and drank their blood
– convoy attacked by American submarines
– four of the thirteen ships in the convoy were sunk
– a torpedo hit the ship but did not explode
– Arrived: Takao, Formosa – Friday – 28 July 1944 – 9:00 A.M.
– Sailed: same-day – 7:00 P.M.
– 30 July 1944 – 2 August 1944 – sailed through the storm
– Arrived: Moji, Japan – Thursday – 3 August 1944 – midnight
– POWs issued new clothing
– Disembarked: Friday – 4 August 1944 – 8:00 A.M.
– POWs put into a movie theater
– later divided into 200 men detachments and sent to different POW camps
– taken by train to POW camps along train lines
– POWs arrived at Fukuoka #23 – Saturday – 5 August 1944
– Fukuoka #4-B
– POWs housed in YMCA building
– POWs worked as stevedores on docks loading and unloading ships, and in the warehouse district near the train station in Moji
– Cpl. Nagakura Seiso refused to issue or repair POW clothing
– if he considered a POWs clothing did not need to be replaced, he beat the POW with his fists and kicked him
– after the war, a large quantity of American and South African clothing was found in a warehouse
– Japanese told ranking American officer there were no shoes available for the POWs
– POWs worked barefooted in cold weather resulting in many developing coughs, lung conditions, and pneumonia
– Japanese guards wore American shoes
– remained in their beds
– given light work to do
– food rations reduced
– Red Cross medicines and supplies were misappropriated
– sick POWs received very little medicine
– POWs knew it was there since they unloaded it from the ships
– beaten, kicked, and forced to stand at attention for long periods of time
– stood at attention for long periods of time
– forced POWs to assume painful positions
– put in the camp brig
– mainly rice
– POWs worked on docks as stevedores
– worked on Moji docks, warehouses, train station
– POWs who were sick, weak, and suffering from diseases were forced to work
– Red Cross Packages:
– Japanese soldiers were seen wearing Red Cross boots meant for POWs
– when Red Cross packages arrived, the camp commandant forced the POWs to eat large quantities of food resulting in many
becoming ill and some dying
– POWs who died were cremated in the city crematory and their ashes were put in an urn and held in a Buddhist temple
– when the temple burnt down, the ashes were buried in a grave on the side of a hill
– War News:
– POWs knew how the war was going by asking the Japanese civilians
– some of the British POWs could read Japanese and read the newspapers
– in Barnes’ words, “The best sign we had that the war was going our way was when the B-29s began flying over the camp .”
– 15 August 1945
– POWs broke into a camp warehouse and found 500 pairs of Japanese shoes and 250 pounds of leather that were intended to be used to repair the
– 1300 uniforms for the POWs were also found
– large quantities of Red Cross medicines were found in a warehouse
– former POWs were taken to Nagasaki
Promoted: Staff Sergeant
– 15 September 1945 – taken to Dejima Docks, Nagasaki
– this date became his date of liberation
– give a medical examination and diagnosed as being in “good” health
– his family received notification of his liberation
“THE SECRETARY OF WAR HAS ASKED ME TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR SON PFC EUGENE R BARNES WAS RETURNED TO MILITARY CONTROL ON AUGUST 15 AND IS BEING RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE NEAR FUTURE HE WILL BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU UPON ARRIVAL IF HE HAS NOT ALREADY DONE SO REPORT FURTHER STATES HAS PHYSICAL CONDITION GOOD FOLLOWING MESSAGE WAS RECEIVED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT FROM YOUR SON QUOTE IN MANILA FEEL FINE. HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON UNQUOTE.
– General R. L. Howze
– Sailed: Manila – 23 September 1945
– Arrived: San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Philippine Islands
– Sailed: Not known
– on the ship with him, where Cpl. Thomas Hicks, Cpl. Lawrence Rotharmel, and Sgt. Joseph McKusick
– Arrived: San Francisco – 16 October 1945
– taken to Letterman General Hospital
Selective Service Registration:
– 6 May 1946
Married: Johnnie Lou Reynolds
Children: 1 son
– 10 November 1954 – polio
– Garden of Memories Memorial Park – Salinas, California