Hummel, 2nd Lt. John J.

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2nd Lt. John Jacob Hummel
Born: 11 December 1917 – Mayfield, Washington
Parents: Jasper Hummel & Sada Mayfield-Hummel
Inducted: Unknown
Education:
– dropped out of school
– joined the Civilian Conservation Corps
– worked as the second dook
– since he was 17, he was let go
– returned to school
– graduated high school in 1936
– went to Alaska – worked goldfields, worked in a roadhouse, built a school to earn enough money for college
Education: University of Washington
– joined ROTC
– 21 March 1941 – commissioned a second lieutenant
– 5 August 1941 – called to active duty and assigned to 194th Tank Battalion
Training:
– Fort Lewis, Washington
– assigned to 194th Tank Battalion
– went on maneuvers
– the battalion received orders to go overseas
– 21 August 1941 – married Evelyn Nell Geisler

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, with a large radio transmitter, hundreds of miles away. The squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field. By the time the planes landed, 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.

Ironically, the battalion learned it was going overseas from a phone call from the wife of one of the officers from St. Joseph, Missouri. She asked her husband, Is it true that your unit is going to the Philippines?”

Overseas Duty:
– 4 September 1941
– the battalion traveled by train to Ft. Mason in San Francisco, California
– Arrived: 7:30 A.M. – 5 September 1941
– ferried to Ft. McDowell, Angel Island on the U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
– given physicals and inoculations
– 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
– joined by the U.S.S. Astoria, an unknown destroyer, and the U.S.S. Guadalupe a replenishment oiler
– at some point, the ship hit rough weather
– soldiers ate holding their dishes so they would not slide off tables
– the destroyer bounced in the water
– 16 September 1941 – crossed International Dateline
– date jumped to Thursday, 18 September 1941
– Arrived: Manila – Friday – 26 September 1941
– disembarked ship – 3:00 P.M.
– taken by bus to Fort Stotsenburg
Stationed: Ft. Stotsenburg
– lived in tents upon arriving
– received their meals from food trucks
– 15 November 1941 – moved into barracks
– the barracks were open three feet from the bottom of the exterior walls
– above that, the walls were woven bamboo that allowed the air to pass through
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
Tank Crews:
– during this time, the tank crews learned about the M3A1 tanks
– tank commanders read manuals on tanks and taught crews about the tanks
– learned about the 30-caliber and 50 caliber machineguns
– 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
– 5:10 – dinner
– after dinner, the soldiers were free to do what they wanted to do
Recreation:
– 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
– they also went to Mt. Aarayat National Park and swam in the swimming pool there that was filled with mountain water
– men were 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
Uniforms:
– the battalion wore fatigues to do the work on the tanks
– the soldiers were reprimanded for not wearing dress uniforms 
– they continued to wear fatigues in their barracks area to do their work
– if the soldiers left the battalion’s area, they were expected to wear dress uniforms
Unit:
– assigned to D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion
– the process to transfer the company to the 194th was begun but never finished
– the company fought with the 194th but kept its 192nd designation
– half-track commander
– the battalion made a reconnaissance trip to Lingayen Gulf at the end of November
Alert:
– 1 December 1941
– tanks ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field
– two tank crew members had to stay with the tanks at all time
– 194th guarded the north end of the airfield and the 192nd Tank Battalion guarded the south end
– meals served to men at the tanks by food trucks
– those not assigned to a tank or half-track remained at the command post
Engagements:
– Battle of Luzon – 8 December 1941 – 6 January 1942
– On the morning of December 8th, December 7th in the United States, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field.
– 12:45 P.M. – the airfield was bombed destroying the Army Air Corps
– tankers were receiving lunch from food trucks when the attack came
– Hq Company members remained in 194th command area
– could do little more than take cover during attack
– As the soldiers watched the wounded and dying carried to hospital on anything that would carry them
– most had missing arms or legs
– when the hospital ran out of the room, wounded put under the hospital
– Next day, members of the company walked around the airfield and saw the dead lying everywhere
– 10 December 1941
– the battalion sent to Mabalcat
– left their sleeping bags and bulky clothes behind never to see them again
– C Company was sent to Southern Luzon to support troops
– 12 December 1941
– moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
– arrived 6:00 A.M.
– 14 December 1941
– A Co. & D Co., 192nd moved to just north of Muntinlupa
– 15 December 1941
– received 15 Bren gun carriers
– turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
– Bren gun carriers used to test ground to see if it could support tanks
– 22 December 1941
– sent to Rosario
– west and north of the barrio
– ordered out of the 71st Division Commander
– said they would hinder the cavalry’s operation
– 22/23 December 1941
– operating north of Agno River
– main bridge at Carmen bombed
– 24 December 1941
– operating in Hacienda Road area
– 25 December 1941 – the battalion was sent to Agno River
– defended a bridge and delayed the Japanese who had landed at Lingayen Gulf
– A Company defended upsteam of the railroad bridge while D Company defended downstream of the bridge
– 26 December 1941
– D Company defended an automobile bridge and railroad bridge
– Filipino troops crossed one bridge and set up their defensive behind the tanks
– Bautista – a small barrio – was just across the bridge
– after dark, the engineers destroyed the automobile bridge
– failed to warn the tank crews
– one member of a tank crew – Pvt. Kenneth Booher – was wounded in the leg by a piece of steel bracing
– bandage his leg the best they could and sent him to headquarters
– the man was sent out of the Philippines on the S.S. Macton
– this was the last ship out of the Philippines
– tank crews waited as the train bridge was destroyed
– the noise was unbelievable
– steel rail flew everywhere and one wrapped itself around a tree
– another landed between two tanks
– after midnight, Hummel heard a truck crossing the river
– he fired a 37-millimeter shell at it
– missed and hit a hut across the river
– a patrol from Hq came and told them to withdraw
– rejoined Hq Company
– 27 December 1941
– at this time they learned A Company had been under fire all night
– Hummel was sent out in his half-track to find the company
– near a nipa hut, a sniper fired on the half-track which was hit in its radiator 
– wounded in his neck outside of Carmen when half-track came under fire
– the bullet fragment also hit Sgt. Isaac Causey
– held his fingers to the wounds on both sides of his neck until he received first aid
– he and Sgt. Causey were put on stretchers
– the battalion’s doctors treated him
– Causey was sent to Manila
– half-track knocked out and towed out
– 7 January 1942 – returned to his platoon
– Battle of Bataan – 7 January 1942 – 9 April 1942
– all the tanks of the 192nd were attached to the 194th
– Hq Company serviced tanks and supplied crews with ammunition, gas, and food
– January 1942
– tank companies reduced to three tanks per platoon
– D Company had the job of supplying chow to the tank companies
– since they did not have enough food, they slaughtered carabao
It was at this time the tank battalions received these orders which came from Gen. Weaver: “Tanks will execute maximum delay, staying in position and firing at visible enemy until further delay will jeopardize withdrawal. If a tank is immobilized, it will be fought until the close approach of the enemy, then destroyed; the crew previously taking positions outside and continuing to fight with the salvaged and personal weapons. Considerations of personal safety and expediency will not interfere with accomplishing the greatest possible delay.”
– 8 January 1942
– composite tank company made up of tanks from the 192nd and 194th sent to protect East Coast Road north of Hermosa
– their job was to keep the East Road open north of Hermosa and prevent the Japanese from driving into Bataan before the main battle line had been
  formed
– the remainder of tanks ordered to bivouac for night south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
– tankers had been fighting for a month without a rest
– tanks also needed overdue maintenance
– 17th Ordnance
– all tank companies reduced to ten tanks
– three per tank platoon
– sent to reopen Moron Road so General Segunda’s forces could withdraw
– tanks knock out an anti-tank gun
– two tanks disabled by landmines but recovered
– mission abandoned
– Gen. Segunda’s troops escaped using beach but lost their heavy equipment
– 12 January 1942
– C Company, with D Company, 192nd, sent to Cadre Road
– a forward position with little alert time
– 13 January 1942
– mines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching Cadre Road
– returned to battalion
– 16 January 1942
– C Company sent to Bagac to reopen Moron Highway
– the highway had been cut by Japanese
– Moron Highway, and Junction of Trail 162
– tank platoon fired on by antitank gun
– tanks knock out the gun
– cleared roadblock with support of infantry
– 20 January 1942
– Bani Bani Road -tanks sent in to save 31st Infantry command post
– 24 January 1942
– tanks order to Hacienda Road in support of troops
– landmines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching road
– 26 January 1942
– the battalion held a position a kilometer north of the Pilar-Bagac Road
– four self-propelled mounts with the battalion
– 9:45 A.M. – warned by Filipino a large Japanese force was coming
– when the enemy appeared they opened up with all the battalion had
– 10:30 A.M. – Japanese withdrew after losing 500 of 1200 men
– prevented new defensive line being formed from being breached
– 28 January 1942
– 194th tanks given beach duty protecting southern beaches
– guarded coast from Limay to Cabcaben
– half-tracks patrolled roads
– maintained radio contact with on-shore and off-shore patrols
1 February 1942 – with 1st Lt. Harold Hickman, he hunted for bananas, palm cabbages, and whatever else they could find to eat
– 25 March 1942 – rations were down to one-quarter of a day’s ration per man
– had already run out of quinine
– men smoked since it helped with the hunger pains
– February 1942
– tank battalions on their own guarded airfields
– battalions also guarded beaches to prevent Japanese from landing troops
– March 1942
– two tanks were bogged down in mud
– the tankers were working to get them out
– Japanese Regiment entered the area
– Lt. Col. Miller ordered tanks and artillery to fire at point-blank range
– Miller ran from tank to tank directing fire
– wiped out Japanese regiment
– 3 April 1942
– Japanese launch new offensive
– tank sent in to attempt to stop the advance
– 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
– Midnight – A Company and B and D Companies, 192nd, received orders to stand down
– the companies had been ordered to make a suicide attack the morning of April 9 in an attempt to stop the Japanese advance
– 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
– 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’s surrender
– 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.” 
– 6:45 A.M. – the order “CRASH” was sent for equipment to be destroyed
– King found no choice but to accept him at his word
Escaped to Corregidor
– swam to the island with Sgt. Aaron C. Hopper
– tied empty five-gallon gas cans together and onto a hospital stretcher
– entered water two miles south of Cabcaban
– assigned to 59th Military Police to defend the island
– duties: make sure that a platoon of men was available to man machineguns at the north and south ends of Malinta Tunnel
Prisoner of War:
– 6 May 1942
– managed to grab a couple of unmarked cans of food
– turned out the cans had pears in them
– 7 May 1942 – Filipinos taken from tunnel and Japanse took watches, rings, and whatever else they wanted from the Americans
– the cooks gave cans of food to the men so that the Japanese did not get everything
– 9 May 1942 – POWs were ordered to move out
– Hummel put toilet items, razors, a small bar od soap, toothbrush, small towel, pencil, mess kit, a canteen of water, blankets, sheets into his bag
– at the South Tunnel exit, a guard grunted at him
– he hit Hummel with his rifle butt
– when Hummel came through, the cans of food were gone
– Hummel spent 21 days at the 92nd Garage (a seaplane base with a big 200 foot by 300 foot steel hanger)
– there was no water or bathroom facilities
– by the time he left, he had dysentery and swollen legs and feet
– Barges
– the POWs were loaded onto barges and taken to a point off Luzon
– jumped into the water and swam to shore
– formed detachments and marched six miles to Bilibid Prison
– In May his parents received a letter from the War Department

“Dear Mrs. Sada Hummel:

        “According to War Department records, you have been designated as the emergency addressee of  Second Lieutenant John J. Hummel, O,495,991, 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”
 

POW Camps:
– Bilibid Prison
– Port Area Detail
– Lt. Alfred Herbodt got him put on the Port Area detail 
– the POWs loaded and unloaded ships
– while he was on the detail, he came down with Dengue fever and malaria
– 26 June 1942
– taken to “Tootabo” train station
– 75 POWs were put into each metal boxcar
– the POWs stood for seven hours until they reached Cabanatuan
– Cabanatuan
– 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
– September 1942 – Camps 1 & 3 consolidated
– it appears that by the time he got there the camps had been combined
“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
– Barracks:
– each barracks held 50 men
– often held between 60 and 120 men
– slept on bamboo slats without mattresses, covers, and mosquito netting
– diseases spread easily
– no showers
– Morning Roll Call:
– stood at attention
– frequently beaten over their heads for no reason
– when POWs lined up for roll call, it was a common practice for Japanese guards, after the POWs lined up, to kick the POWs in their shins with their
  hobnailed boots
– 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
– His family received a second message from the War Department in July 1942. 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 J. Hummel 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.”

– it is not known when his family learned he was a Prisoner of War

– Hummel stated that why he was a POW in the camp he buried American POWs who were still alive: “They made us route out the sick. Then we had to take 20 or 30 of these poor guys and load them on doors or anything we could find and march them to the graves we had dug already. We’d throw the men in the pits and start shoveling, trying not to think. Sometimes their hands or legs stick out and hang limply and twist a little, or we’d hear a desperate, smothered cry.”

– he worked the burial detail for three weeks
– the water table was high so the dead were held in the graves with poles until covered with dirt
– the next day when they returned to the cemetery, the dead were sitting up in the graves or had been dug up by wild dogs
Transfer:
– 1 November 1942
– 1500 POW names drawn by Japanese
– POWs selected were sent to Japan
– POWs never were told this, they figured it out on their own
– 5 November 1942
– 3:00 A.M. – POWs left camp and marched to the Barrio of Cabanatuan
– before they left camp, they were given their breakfast to take with them
– rice and what the Japanese called a “large piece of meat”
– the piece of meat was two inches square and a quarter-inch thick
– it was large compared to a piece of meat they usually received
– also issued Filipino troop training denims which ran about two sizes too small
– Barrio of Cabanatuan
– boarded train
– 98 POWs were put into each steel boxcar
– the POWs could move if they worked together
– rode the train to Manila
– arrived at 5:00 P.M.
– marched to Pier 7
– food and water finally issued in the evening
– rotten fish that had flies on it
– many of the POWs came down with dysentery
– slept on a concrete floor inside a building
Hell Ship:
Nagato Maru
– Boarded: Manila – 6 November 1942 – 5:00 P.M.
– Japanese attempted to put 600 POWs into one hold
– settled for somewhere between 550 and 560
– 9 POWs had to share a 4 foot, 9 inches, by 6 foot, 2 inches, space
– to sit, POWs had to draw their knees under their chins
– Sailed: 7 November 1942
– two latrines were supposed to service 1500 POWs
– the POWs had to stand in line to use them
– extremely sick could not reach latrines
– tubs put in holds for the sick
– to reach them, they had to walk on other POWs
– floor quickly became covered in human waste
– hold infested with lice, fleas, and roaches
– Meals: no system in place for distribution of food
– the sickest POWs did not eat
– water was almost non-existent
– holds were extremely hot
– POWs were rotated on deck
– during the trip there was one submarine alert and the two boards left off the hatch opening for ventilation were put in place and  tarp put over the boards
  and tied down
– two POWs died in the hold
– Arrived: Takao, Formosa – 11 November 1942
– stayed three days in the harbor
– POWs were not allowed on deck for short periods of time
– Sailed: 15 November 1942
– Arrived: Mako, Pescadores Islands
– same day
– Sailed: 18 November 1942
– Arrived: Keelung, Formosa – same day
– Sailed: 20 November 1942
– ships attacked by a submarine
– POWs heard and felt the depth charges exploding
– they also heard a thud as a torpedo hit the ship but failed to explode
– Arrived: Moji – 24 November 1942
– POWs left the ship but remained on deck all night
– it was cold and they were wearing tropical clothing
– as they left the ship, they received a piece of colored wood
– the color determined what camp the POW was sent to
– inoculated
– given new clothing
– POWs ferried to Shimonoseki, Honshu
– boarded train and rode along the northern side of the Inland Sea to Osaka-Kobe Area
– divided into detachments, according to colored wood chips, and sent to camps
– the only two signs the POWs could read were Kobe and Osaka
– those signs were in English
— got off train and rode a small trolly to the camp
POW Camp:
– Japan:
Tanagawa Camp
– also known as Osaka #4-B
– Arrived: November 1942
– barracks were unheated
– the first morning in the camp the POWs were allowed outside and allowed to wash in a bucket of hot water
– Work: regardless of rank, the POWs were required to work at removing the side of a mountain for a Japanese Navy dry dock
– in violation of the Geneva Convention.
– Hummel was assigned to a rock quarry
– loaded rocks into wooden mine cars
– the mine cars were pushed to the dry dock were they were used to complete the dry dock
– dropped a rock on his foot and could not walk for a week
– Punishment:
– subjected to daily beatings in the morning and evening muster.
– during many of the beatings, they were forced to stand at attention from 2 to 2½ hours
– sometimes resulting in them not receiving their next meal
– shoes, rifle butts, belts, sticks, shovels, clubs, fists, and even furniture were used in the beatings
– no real reason was needed for the beatings, but a violation of some camp rule usually was the given reason
– POWs were beaten if their detail did not remove their quota of material from the work site
– they failed to meet the quota because they were too hungry and weak to meet the quota
– while being beaten, the POWs were forced to hold a heavy log or rock above their heads.
– on one occasion 30 officers were made to stand at attention so that the Japanese found out who had misplaced a Japanese book
– 15 or 16 January 1943 -selected to be sent to Zentsuji Camp
Zentsuji Camp
– also known as Hiroshima #1
– Arrived: 16 January 1943
– the POWs were not allowed in the barracks until they were shaved, had haircuts, and a bath
– saved the hair and burned it to get rid of lice
– POWs worked as stevedores at railroad yard and the Port of Takamatsu
– when American planes bombed rail yard, the POWs were locked inside boxcars
– poor diet resulted in deaths of POWs
– medicine and medical supplies were available to POWs
– POWs took baths by rank, colonels were first and lieutenants last
– by the time the lieutenants took a bath the water was full of soap scum, dirt, lice, and dead skin floated on the water
– the tub was 25 feet wide by 35 feet long by 4 feet deep
– Punishment:
– two civilian guards, Leather wrist and Clubfist hit POWs
– both had bad hands
– Leather wrist hit the POWs with his leather brace
– Clubfist also hit the POWs
– they would also kick the POWs
– both guards hit the POWs for no reason
– often used a kendo stick, bayonet, or rifle butts
– the POWs  raised chickens, rabbits, and vegetables but got none of these things to eat
– they managed to start an underground breeding program for rabbits for food
– one Red Cross package was shared by four POWs after Japanese raided them
– 25 June 1945 – a large group of POWs transferred from camp
– during the trip, American planes were everywhere
– the Japanese believing the train was going to be strafed, uncouple the engine and left the baggage cars and boxcars the POWs were in as targets
– did this several times
Rokuroshi Camp
– also known as Osaka #10
– the camp contained mostly officers
– Arrived: 25 June 1945
Liberated: 7 September 1945
– POWs evacuated – 8 September 1945
– rode the train to Yokohama
– when the former POWs arrived, a U.S. Army band was playing, “California, Here I Come.”
– hearing the song choked many of the former POWs up
– taken down to the docks and had a meal of hotcakes, jam, butter, and coffee
– returned to the Philippine Islands
Transport:
U.S.S. Storm King
– Sailed: Manila – not known
– Arrived: San Francisco – 15 October 1945
– hospitalized at Letterman General Hospital
Discharged: 22 October 1946
Reenlisted:
Education:
– returned to University of Washington and graduated ten years after he started
Reenlisted: Army Reserve
– Rank: Major
– Retired: Lieutenant Colonel
Married: Evelyn Nell Geisler – 21 August 1941
Children: 1 daughter, 2 sons
– one son died at three years old
Divorced:
Occupation: Customer Service Supervisor – Johns-Manville Company
Second Marriage: Caroline Holger-Ricter – 21 November 1975
Died: 9 May 1997 – Mayfield, Washington
Buried:
– Claquato Cemetery Association – Chehalis, Washington

Default Gravesite 1

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