Kubly, PFC Robert C.

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Kublyr

PFC Robert C. Kubly
Born: 31 March 1913 – Monticello, Wisconsin
Parents: Conrad and Emma Kubly
– father died during the 1920s
– moved to Center, Wisconsin
– living in Portage, Wisconsin – when he was inducted
Siblings: 4 sisters
Hometown: Evansville, Wisconsin
Occupation: farm hand
Enlisted: Wisconsin National Guard
Inducted:
– U. S. Army
– 25 November 1940 – Janesville, Wisconsin
A three-man advance detachment was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky. This was followed by another detachment of 23 soldiers that left the armory at 7:00 A.M. on November 27th in nine trucks. It is known that the roads were ice-covered so the trip was slow which resulted in one truck hitting a civilian’s car. No other information is available about the incident. The roads improved the further south the convoy traveled. The soldiers spent the night at an armory in Danville, Illinois, before heading south to Ft. Knox arriving there sometime in the next afternoon.

The next day, November 28th, between 4:00 and 5:00 P.M., the main detachment of soldiers that marched from the armory to the Milwaukee Road train station in Janesville where they boarded special cars that had been added to the Marquette to Chicago train. One was a flatcar with the company’s two tanks on it. At some point, the train cars were uncoupled from the train and switched onto the Chicago & Northwestern line that went into Maywood, Illinois. There, the members of B Company boarded the train and their equipment – including their two tanks – was loaded onto the train. In Chicago, the train cars were switched onto the Illinois Central Railroad and taken to Ft. Knox arriving around 8:00 A.M. When they arrived, trucks were waiting at the station to take them to the fort. Their first housing were six men tents since their barracks were not finished. The battalion had a total of eight tanks.

After arriving, they spent the first six weeks in primary training. During week 1, the soldiers did infantry drilling; week 2, manual arms and marching to music; week 3, machine gun training; week 4, was pistol usage; week 5, M1 rifle firing; week 6, was training with gas masks, gas attacks, pitching tents, and hikes; weeks 7, 8, and 9 were spent learning the weapons, firing each one, learning the parts of the weapons and their functions, field stripping and caring for weapons, and the cleaning of weapons.

It is known that he was one of the soldiers from Janesville who went home for Christmas. The soldiers left Ft. Knox at about 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 21st – by chartered bus – and arrived in Janesville at about 3:00 A.M. on Sunday, December 22nd. They remained in Janesville until the afternoon of Christmas Day when they boarded the chartered bus for the return trip to Ft. Knox at 1:00 P.M.

1st Sgt. Dale Lawton – on December 26th – was given the job of picking men to be transferred from the company to the soon to be formed HQ Company. Men were picked for the company because they had special training. Many of these men received promotions and because of their rating received higher pay. 

A Company moved into its barracks in December 1941. The men assigned to the HQ Company still lived with the A Company since their barracks were unfinished. 25 men lived on each floor of the barracks. The bunks were set up along the walls and alternated so that the head of one bunk was next to the foot of another bunk allowing for more bunks to be placed in the least amount of space allowing for 50 men to sleep on each floor. The first sergeant, staff sergeant, and master sergeant had their own rooms. There was also a supply room, an orderly room – where the cooks could sleep during the day – and a clubroom.

The one problem they had was that the barracks had four, two-way speakers in it. One speaker was in the main room of each floor of the barracks, one was in the first sergeant’s office, and one was in the Capt. Walter Write’s office. Since by flipping a switch the speaker became a microphone, the men watched what they said. The men assigned to HQ Company moved into their own barracks by February. The guardsmen were housed away from the regular army troops in the newly built barracks. Newspapers from the time state that the barracks were air-conditioned. Although the barracks were finished, A Company shared D Company’s mess hall until the company’s mess hall opened.

The area outside the barracks was described as muddy and dusty most of the time. An attempt was made to improve the situation with the building of walkways and roads around the barracks.

A typical day for the soldiers started at 6:15 with reveille, but most of the soldiers were up before this since they wanted to wash and dress. Breakfast was from 7:00 to 8:00 A.M., followed by calisthenics from 8:00 to 8:30. Afterward, the tankers went to various schools within the company. The classes consisted of .30 and .50 caliber machine guns, pistol, map reading, care of personal equipment, military courtesy, and training in tactics. At 11:30 the soldiers stopped what they were doing and cleaned up for mess which was from noon to 1:00 P.M. Afterwards, they attended the various schools which they had been assigned to on January 13, such as mechanics, tank driving, radio operating. The classes lasted for 13 weeks. Robert attended cook’s school and became A Company’s mess sergeant

At 4:30, the soldiers called it a day and returned to their barracks and put on dress uniforms and at five held retreat and followed by dinner at 5:30. After they ate they stood in line to wash their mess kits since they had no mess hall. At first, A Company’s meals were served in D Company’s mess hall until heir mess hall was finished in December. After dinner, they were off duty, and lights were out at 9:00 P.M., but they did not have to turn in until 10:00 when Taps was played. 

It was also at this time that all the battalion had 16 operational tanks and the first men from selective service were assigned to the company. On January 10th, these men took their first tank ride and all of them had the chance to drive the tanks. They would permanently join the company in March 1941.

During their free time during the week, the men could go to one of the three movie theaters on the outpost. They also sat around and talked. As the weather got warmer, the men tried to play baseball as often as possible in the evenings. At 9:00 P.M., when lights went out, most went to sleep. On weekends, men with passes frequently went to Louisville which was 35 miles north of the fort, while others went to Elizabethtown sixteen miles south of the fort. Those men still on the base used the dayroom to read since it was open until 11:00 P.M.

Capt Walter Write, during February, commanded a composite tank company made of men from all the companies of the battalion. The company left Ft. Knox on a problematic move at  9:00 A.M. The company consisted of three motorcycles, two scout cars, sixteen tanks, one ambulance, and supply, fuel, and kitchen trucks. The route was difficult and chosen so that the men could become acquainted with their equipment. They also had to watch out for simulated enemy planes. Bridges were avoided whenever it was possible to ford the water.

At noon, the column stopped for a short rest and a lunch that did not materialize. A guide had failed to stay at one of the crossings until the kitchen truck arrived there, so instead of turning into the woods, the truck went straight. After the break, Capt. Write ordered the men back to Ft. Knox without having been fed.

In late March 1941, the entire battalion was moved to new barracks at Wilson Road and Seventh Avenue at Ft. Knox. The barracks had bathing and washing facilities in them and a day room. The new kitchens had larger gas ranges, automatic gas heaters, large pantries, and mess halls. One reason for this move was the men from selective service were permanently joining the battalion.

At 7:00 A.M. on Monday, June 16th, the battalion was broken into four detachments for a three-day tactical road march. The most important part of this march was to train the soldiers in loading, unloading, and setting up the battalion’s administrative camps. It also prepared them for the Louisiana maneuvers which they were scheduled to take part in during September.

The battalion traveled with 20 tanks, 20 motorcycles, 7 armored scout cars, 5 jeeps, 12 peeps (later called jeeps), 20 large 2½ ton trucks (these carried the battalion’s garages for vehicle repair), 5, 1½ ton trucks (which were the battalion’s kitchens), and 1 ambulance. The battalion traveled through Bardstown and Springfield before arriving at Harrodsburg at 2:30 P.M. where they set up their bivouac at the fairgrounds. The next morning, they moved to Herrington Lake east of Danville, where the men swam, boated, and fished. The battalion returned to Ft. Knox on Wednesday, June 18th through Lebanon, New Haven, and Hodgenville, Kentucky.

– Camp Polk, Louisiana
Overseas Duty:
– battalion travels by train, over four different train routes to San Francisco, California
– taken to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay by the ferry the U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
– October 25 & 26 – physicals were given by battalion’s medical detachment
– some men released and replaced
– others held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date
– Boarded: U.S.S. General H. L. Scott – Monday – 27 October 1941
– Sailed: same day
– Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii – Sunday – Sunday – 2 November 1941
– arrived in the morning
– soldiers receive shore leave
– Sailed: Wednesday – 5 November 1941
– took a southern route away from main shipping lanes
– joined by the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and the transport, S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
– smoke was seen on the horizon
– Louisville revved its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it intercepted the ship
– the ship was from a neutral country
– Sunday – 9 November 1941 – crossed International Dateline
– soldiers woke up on Tuesday – 11 November 1941
– Arrived: Guam
– shiploads vegetables, bananas, water, coconuts put on the ship
– Sailed: next day
– Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands – Thursday – 20 November 1941
– entered bay – 8:00 A.M.
– disembarked in the afternoon
– tanks unloaded by 17th Ordnance
– battalion rode buses to Fort Stotsenburg
Stationed:
– Ft. Stotsenburg
– Gen. Edward King greeted them
– Their Thanksgiving Dinner was a stew thrown into their mess kits
– lived in tents between the fort and Clark Field
– the tents were ragged WWI tents
– bivouac was at the end of a runway used by B-17s
– when the planes flew over the noise and flying dirt was unbelievable
– at night they heard Japanese reconnaissance planes flying over
– the lucky man was the one who washed near a faucet with running water
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
– 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 
– men were allowed to go to Manila in small groups
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
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 1942 – 6 January 1942
– 12 December 1941 – Barrio of Dau
– guarded a road and railway
– 23/24 December 1941
– Urdaneta. Panagatian Province
– while outside barrio the company’s commander Captain Walter Write was killed
– because the tanks were not allowed to withdraw, they almost were captured
– tanks made an end run to a bridge in the Bayambang Province over the Agno River
– 25 December 1941 – tanks held south bank of Agno River from Carmen to Tayong
– asked to hold the position for six hours
– held the position until 5:30 A.M. until December 27
– prevented Japanese from crossing river
– A Company attached to 194th – east of Pampanga
– 30 December 1941
– bivouacked on the road east of Zaragoza
– Japanese bicycle battalion rode into bivouac
– when the last bicycle goes past tanks, the tankers fired
– tankers wiped out the Japanese
– 2nd Lt. William Read killed in action during withdraw from the area
– 1 January 1942
– tanks held the bridge which allowed troops from southern Luzon to escape toward Bataan
– Battle of Bataan – 7 January 1942 – 9 April 1942
– 23 January 1942 – 17 February 1942
– Battle of the Pockets
– wiped out Japanese troops cut off behind the main line of defense after a failed Japanese offensive
– Two methods used to do this:
– one method had three Filipinos riding on the back of the tanks
– each had a sack of hand grenades
– as tank went over each foxhole, they drop three grenades into it
– since the grenades were from WWI, one out three usually exploded
– the second method was for the tank to park with one track over the foxhole
– the driver gave power to the opposite track which caused the tank to go in a circle and dug lower into the ground
– the tankers slept upwind from their tanks because of rotting flesh in the tracks
– the Japanese attempted to knock out the tanks with gasoline
– a soldier attempted to board the tank and dump the gasoline in its vents to light on fire
– tank crews machine-gunned them before they reached the tank
– those who made it to a tank were shot by the crew of another tank
– the tank crews did not like to do this because it caused the rivets in the hauls to pop wounding the crew members
– 27 January 1942
– tanks held the position for six hours to allow a new line of defense to form
– tanks and self-propelled mounts inflict 50% casualties on three Japanese units
– 28 January 1942 – beach duty
– March 1942
– gasoline ration cut
Hospitalized:
– at some point, Robert was hospitalized at Hospital #2, Cabcaben
– it is not known if he had been wounded or suffering from malaria or dysentery
– when he was released from the hospital is not known but he returned to his company before the surrender
– 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’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.”
– Gen. King had to take him at his word
Prisoner of War:
– 9 April 1942
– approximately 6:45 A.M. – received “crash” order
– Prisoner of War
– Death March
POW Camps:
– 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 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 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 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 dead were moved to one area, 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 dead 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 a new POW camp to lower death rate
– 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 them to Manila
– the 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
Scrap Metal Detail – San Fernando
– POWs tied disabled vehicles together with ropes and tied a rope to an operating vehicle
– POWs steered each vehicle as they were pulled to San Fernando
– from San Fernando, the vehicles were taken to Manila to be sent to Japan as scrap metal
– became ill and sent to the hospital
– Pampanga Provincial Hospital suffering from dysentery & malaria
– discharged – 10 October 1942
– admitted to Ward 8 – Bilibid Prison
– malaria
– sent to Cabanatuan
In May 1942, his family received this letter from the War Department.

“Dear Mrs. E. Kubly:

        “According to War Department records, you have been designated as the emergency addressee of Private First Class Robert C. Kubly, 20,645,206, 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”
 

In July 1942, the family received a second letter. 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, PFC Robert C. Kubly 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.”

– Cabanatuan #1
– original name – Camp Pangatian
– Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
– 1 June 1941 – 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
– camp created to keep Corregidor POWs separated from Bataan POWs
– Corregidor POWs were in better shape
– January 1943 – POWs from Camp 3 consolidated into Camp 1
– Camp Administration:
– the Japanese left POWs to run the camp on their own
– Japanese entered camp when they had a reason
– POWs patrolled fence to prevent escapes
– Note: men who attempted to escape were recaptured
– Japanese beat them for days
– executed them
– Blood Brother Rule
– POWs put into groups of ten
– if one escaped the others would be executed
– housed in same barracks
– worked on details together
– Barracks:
– each barracks held 50 men
– often held between 60 and 120 men
– slept on bamboo slats without mattresses, covers, and mosquito netting
– diseases spread easily
– no showers
– Morning Roll Call:
– stood at attention
– frequently beaten over their heads for no reason
– when POWs lined up for roll call, it was a common practice for Japanese guards, after the POWs lined up, to kick the POWs in their shins with their
  hobnailed boots because they didn’t like the way the POWs lined up
– Work Details:
– Two main details
– the farm and airfield
– farm detail
– POWs cleared land and grew camotes, cassava, taro, sesame, and various greens
– Japanese took what was grown
– Guards:
– Big Speedo – spoke little English
– in charge of the detail
– fair in the treatment of POWs
– spoke little English
– to get POWs to work faster said, “speedo”
– Little Speedo
– fair in the treatment of POWs
– also used the word to get the POWs to work faster
– Smiley
– always smiling
– could not be trusted
– meanest of guards
– Airfield Detail:
– Japanese built an airfield for fighters
– POWs cut grass, removed dirt, and leveled ground
– at first moved dirt in wheelbarrows
– later pushed mining cars
– Guards:
– Air Raid
– in charge
– usually fair but unpredictable
– had to watch him
– Donald Duck
– always talking
– sounded like the cartoon character
– unpredictable – beat POWs
– POWs told him that Donald Duck was a big American movie star
– at some point, he saw a Donald Duck cartoon
– POWs stayed away from him when he came back to camp
– Work Day: 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
– worked 6 days a week
– had Sunday off
– Other Details:
– work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens and plant rice
– 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
– Burial Detail
– POWs worked in teams of four
– carried 4 to 6 dead to the cemetery at a time in litters
– a grave contained from 15 to 20 bodies
– daily POW meal
– 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
– rice was the main staple, few vegetables or fruits
– 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
– went out on work detail
– Bilibid Prison
– Admitted: not known
– malaria
– Discharged: 17 May 1943
– Cabanatuan
– sent back to camp after he was discharged from the hospital
– 30 Jue 1943
– the War Department officially listed him as a Prisoner of War
– his mother had received this news several weeks earlier

REPORT JUST RECEIVED THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS STATES THAT YOUR SON PRIVATE FIRST CLASS ROBERT C KUBLY 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=

A week or so after this notification, they received a letter from the War Department.

Mrs. E. Kubly
417 Thompson Street
Portage

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

It is suggested that you address him as follows:

PFC Robert C. Kubly, 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.

                                                                                                                                                Sincerely

                                                                                                                                               Howard F. Bresee
                                                                                                                                               Colonel, CMP
                                                                                                                                               Chief Information Bureau

Hell Ship:
Taga Maru – ship was also known as Coral Maru
– Sailed: Manila – 20 September 1943
– Arrived: Takao, Formosa – 23 September 1943
– Sailed: Takao – 26 September 1943
– Arrived: Moji, Japan – 5 October 1943
POW Camp:
– Japan:
Sakurajima
– Work: Osaka Iron Works
– the camp was destroyed in the air raid
Nagoya #9
– 29 May 1945 – 5 September 1945
– Work: Stevedores Iwase docks
– Camp had a ten-foot fence around it
– Work:
– POWs worked as stevedores on docks loading and unloading ships
– the workday went from 7:00 A.M.to 6:30 P.M.
– 1 hour for lunch and two half-hour breaks
– when docks were busy, 100 POWs returned at 8:00 P.M. and worked to midnight or 4:00 A.M.
– 100 POWs worked in the camp garden
– Barracks:
– 100 feet long by 24 feet wide
– two tiers of platforms around the perimeter for sleeping
– POWs slept on straw mats
– an eight-foot-wide aisle down the middle of barracks
– floors were dirt
– Meals:
– six POWs assigned to the kitchen
– primarily rice, wheat, and soybeans
– sometimes vegetables like onions or daikons a Japanese beet
– fish that was fried or in a soup
– Clothing:
– provided by the Japanese Army
– many POWs wore Japanese Army uniforms and the traditional Japanese shoe, the geta
– those who still had GI shoes were given leather to repair them
– Work Clothes: straw shoes, hats, raincoats that were used at work
– Work:
– most of the POWs walked three-quarters of a mile and worked on the docks loading and unloading coal, rice, and beans
– worked from 7:30 A.M. until 6:30 P.M.
– received an hour lunch and two half-hour breaks
– when the port was extremely busy, 100 POWs worked from 8:00 P.M. until midnight or 4:00 A.M.
– Punishment:
– collective punishment practiced toward the POWs
– usually involved stealing rice or beans at docks
– on occasion, the POWs were denied coal, during the winter, for 7 days because one POW broke a rule
– on another occasion, 15 POWs were accused of stealing rice from sacks they were unloading from a ship
– when they returned to camp, they were forced to kneel for 1½ to 5 hours to get them to confess
– six of the fifteen men confessed and the remainder were fed and sent to the barracks
– when the camp commandant left at 8:00 P.M. the men sent to their barracks were called outside
– they were ordered to stand at attention and were beaten with pickax handles, rope, that was about 3 inches round and 5 feet long, clubs, and farrison
  belts across their buttocks, faces, and legs
– one POW said he was hit 150 times on his face and 20 times on his buttocks
– POWs often were kicked with hobnailed boots
– POWs who passed out were thrown into a large tub of water – with their hands and feet
   bound – or they had water poured on them to revive them
– when they were revived, they were beaten again
– Red Cross Boxes:
– the Japanese misappropriated the canned meats, canned fruits, cigarettes, medicine, and medical supplies
– also used Red Cross clothing and shoes
– Hospital:
– 42-foot long by 24-foot wide area at the end of barracks was walled off to create one
– had beds for 20 patients
– on average 100 POWs were sick each day
– American doctor, four American medics, and a Japanese medical technician
– the American doctor was a dentist
– pneumonia killed many POWs
– men suffering from dysentery and diarrhea not considered ill and had to work
– beaten with shovels to get them to work
– meal rations cut
– 16 August 1945 – all medical records destroyed
– Burials:
– bodies put in a 4 foot square by two-foot-tall wooden box with handles
– carried to crematorium behind a Buddhist priest, wearing white and gold robes, from the
   local village
– ashes returned to camp in 4-inch square by 12-inch high wooden box
– man’s name and serial number on the box
– given to camp commandant who kept it in his office
– POWs were working when they heard the word that the war was over
– they knew it was true from the looks on the faces of the Japanese
– 5 September 1945 – Swiss Red Cross enter the camp
– 9 September 1945 – liberated
– made contact with American troops
– taken by train to Tokyo docks for processing and medical exams on U.S.S. Rescue
– returned to the Philippines
– His parents received a telegram from the War Department:

“Mr. & Mrs. Kubly: The secretary of war has asked me to inform you that your son, PFC Robert C. Kubly was returned to military control Sept. 4 and is being returned to the United States within the near future. He will be given the opportunity to communicate with you upon his arrival if he has not already done so.

“E. F. Witsell

“Acting Adjutant General of the Army”

Promoted: Sergeant
Sailed: Manila – U.S.S. Yarmouth
Arrived: San Francisco – 8 October 1945
Discharged: 14 May 1946
Married: Josephine Soderstrom
– 27 November 1945 – Rockford, Illinois
Children:1 daughter
– died as infant
– 1 son
Residence:
– moved to California in 1948
Died:
– 7 December 2004 – Ontario, California

Default Gravesite 1

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