Million, S/Sgt. Joe B.

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Million_J

S/Sgt. Joe Baxter Million
Born: 1 July 1918 – Mercer County, Kentucky
Parents: Charles Million and Filora Norton-Million
Siblings: 3 brothers, 3 sisters
Home: Central Road – Mercer County, Kentucky
Occupation: worked on the family farm
Enlisted: Kentucky National Guard
Inducted:
– U. S. Army
– 25 November 1940 – ordered to Fort Knox, Kentucky
– 28 November 1940 – men rode ten trucks to the fort
– the company’s tanks were sent by train to Ft. Knox
Training:
– Fort Knox, Kentucky
– Basic Training
– the training was done with 69th Tank Regiment, First Armored Division
– soldiers rushed through basic training
– Week 1: infantry drilling
– Week 2: manual arms and marching to music
– Week 3: machine gun
– Week 4: pistol
– Week 5: M1 rifle
– Week 6: field week 
– trained with gas masks and for gas attacks
– pitched tents
– took hikes
– Weeks 7: Time was spent learning the weapons
– fired each one
– learned the parts of the weapons and their functions
– field stripped weapons
– learned how to care for weapons
– learned how to clean the weapons
– December 1940 – moved into barracks
– shared their mess hall with A Company until its mess hall was finished
– men selected to be transferred to the newly created HQ Company
–  the new company was the largest company in the battalion
– men still lived in D Company barracks until Hq Company’s barracks were finished
– Typical Day
– 6:15 – reveille
– 7:00 – 8:00 A.M. – breakfast
– 8:00 – 8:30 A.M. – calisthenics
– 9:00 A.M. – attended various tank schools
– classes
–  30 and 50 caliber machine-guns
– pistols
– map reading
– care of personal equipment
– military courtesy
– training in tactics
– 11:30 – soldiers cleaned up for lunch
– Noon – 1:00 P.M. – lunch
– 1:00 P.M. – attended the various schools
– trained under the supervision of the 1st Armor Division
– 13 January 1942 – assigned to schools 
– mechanics’ school
– tank driving school
– radio operating
– electrician school
– 4:30 – the soldiers called it a day
– they returned to their barracks and put on dress uniforms
– 5:00 – retreat
– 5:30 – dinner
– After dinner, they were off duty
– 9:00 P.M. – lights were out
– soldiers but did not have to turn in
– 10:00 P.M. – Taps was played.
Tactical Maneuvers:
– February
– four composite tank detachments made of men from all the companies of the battalion left Ft. Knox
– left on different dates on problematic moves at 9:00 A.M.
– detachments:
– 3 motorcycles
– 2 scout cars
– 16 tanks
– 1 ambulance and supply, fuel, and kitchen trucks
– the route was difficult
– it was chosen so that the men became 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
– they received their rations from a food truck
Housing:
– in late March 1941, the entire battalion was moved to new larger barracks
– located 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
– men, form selective service, were permanently joining the battalion
– needed larger barracks 
Tactical Maneuvers:
– June 14 and 16
– the battalion was divided into four detachments composed of men from different companies
– C and D Companies, part of HQ Company, and part of the Medical Detachment left on June 14
– A and B Companies, and the other halves of Hq Company and the Medical Detachment left the fort on June 16
– These were tactical maneuvers – under the command of the commanders of each of the letter companies
– The three-day tactical road marches were to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and back
–  the maneuvers gave the men practice at loading, unloading, and setting up administrative camps
– prepared them for the Louisiana maneuvers.
– Each tank company 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 included the companies’ kitchens)
– 1 ambulance.
– The detachments traveled through Bardstown and Springfield 
– arrived 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
– there the men swam, boated, and fished.
– returned to Ft. Knox through Lebanon, New Haven, and Hodgenville, Kentucky
– at Hodgenville, the men were allowed to visit the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln
Louisiana Maneuvers:
– The entire battalion was loaded onto trucks and sent in a convoy to Louisiana while the tanks and wheeled vehicles were sent by train.
– during the maneuvers that tanks held defensive positions
– they were usually were held in reserve by the higher headquarters 
– for the first time, the tanks were used to counter-attack and in support of infantry – – many of the men felt that the tanks were finally being used like they
   should be used and not as “mobile pillboxes.” 
– the medical detachment treated injuries, snakebites, and other ailments. 
– one of the major problems was snake bites
– every other man was bitten at some point by a snake
– the platoon commanders and medics carried a snakebit kit
– used to create a vacuum to suck the poison out of the bite
– the bites were the result of the nights cooling down and snakes crawling under the soldiers’ bedrolls for warmth while the soldiers were sleeping on.
– a multicolored snake – about eight inches long was deadly
– the good thing was that these snakes would not just strike at the man
– only struck if the man forced himself on it
– when the soldiers woke up in the morning they would carefully pick up their bedrolls
– looked to see if there were any snakes under them. 
– to avoid being bitten, men slept on the two and a half-ton trucks or on or in the tanks.
– another trick the soldiers learned was to dig a small trench around their tents
– they laid rope in the trench.
– the burs on the rope kept the snakes from entering the tents
– the snakes were not a problem if the night was warm.
– wild hogs were a problem
– in the middle of the night while the men were sleeping they would suddenly hear hogs squealing.
– the hogs would run into the tents pushing on them until they took them down
– they then dragged them away.
– during the maneuvers that tanks held defensive positions
– usually were held in reserve by the higher headquarters.
– for the first time, the tanks were used to counter-attack
– used in support of infantry
– some men felt that the tanks were finally being used as they should
   be used and not as “mobile pillboxes.” 
– other men described the maneuvers as being awakened at 4:30 A.M. and sent to an area to engage an imaginary enemy.
– after engaging the enemy, the tanks withdrew to another area.
– the crews had no idea what they were doing most of the time
– crews stated they were never told anything by the higher-ups
– men felt that they just rode around in their tanks a lot 
– the sandy soil was a problem for the tanks
– tanks were parked and the crews walked away from them
– when they returned, the tanks had sunk into the sandy soil up to their hauls
– To get them out, other tanks were brought in and attempted to pull them out.
– If that didn’t work, a tank wrecker came from Camp Polk to pull the tank out.
– one good thing that came out of the maneuvers was that the tank crews learned how to move at night.
– this was never done at Ft. Knox
– the night movements were preparing them for what they would do in the Philippines
– The drivers learned how to drive at night and to take instructions from their tank commanders who had a better view from the turret.
– a number of motorcycle riders from other tank units were killed
– rode their motorcycles without headlights at night 
– this meant they could not see obstacles in front of their bikes
– When they hit something they fell to the ground
– the tanks following them went over them
– This happened several times before the motorcycle riders were ordered to turn on their headlights.
– the medics traveled with the companies in the half-tracks.
– at Ft. Knox, the tankers were taught that they should never attack an anti-tank gun head-on
– one day during the maneuvers, their commanding general threw away the entire battalion doing just that
– after sitting out a period of time, the battalion resumed the maneuvers
– at some point, the battalion also went from fighting for the Red Army to fighting for the Blue Army
– Meals: 
– food was also not very good
– it was always damp from the humidity which made it hard to get a fire started
– Many of their meals were C ration meals of beans or chili
– they choked the meals down
– Wash:
– washing clothes was done when the men had a chance
– found a creek and looked for alligators
– if there were none, took a bar of soap and scrubbed whatever they were washing
– clothes were usually washed once a week or once every two weeks
Overseas:
– after these maneuvers that the 192nd Tank Battalion was ordered to Camp Polk, Louisiana, instead of returning to Ft. Knox
– at Camp Polk, Louisiana, they learned they were going overseas
– many of the soldiers received furloughs home and get their affairs in order
– men 29 years old or older were allowed to resign from federal service
– replacements for these men came from 753rd Tank Battalion
– the 192nd also got the tanks of the 753rd and some came from the Third Armored Division
– this move was caused by an event that took place in the summer of 1941
– a squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf 
– one of the pilots noticed something odd
– he took his plane down and identified a buoy, with a flag, in the water
– he came upon more flagged buoys that lined up – in a straight line – for 30 miles to the northwest
– the buoys lined up with a Japanese occupied island hundreds of miles away
– the island had a large radio transmitter
– the squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field
– the planes landed, but it was too late to do anything that day
– The next day – planes were sent to the area
– the buoys had been picked up
– a fishing boat was seen making – with a tarp covering something on its deck – was seen making its way toward shore.
– communication between the planes and the Navy was poor, nothing was done to intercept the boat
– the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines
Deployment:
– the battalion’s new tanks and half-tracks were loaded on flatcars
– D Company took the southern route to San Francisco, California
– went along the Gulf Coast, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona
– came north along the west coast
– the soldiers rode one train followed by a second train
– the second train carried the company’s tanks
– at the end of the second train were a boxcar and passenger car with soldiers in it
– soldiers arrived by train in San Francisco, California
– ferried to Angel Island on the U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
– on Angel Island they received physicals
– some men held back for minor medical conditions
– scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date
– other men simply were replaced
Overseas Duty:
– U.S.A.T. Hugh L. Scott
– Sailed: San Francisco – Monday – 27 October 1941
– Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii – Sunday – 2 November 1941
– remained in Hawaii until other ships in convoy arrived
– Sailed: Wednesday – 5 November 1941
– took southern route away from main shipping lanes
– joined by the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and the transport,
   U.S.A.T. 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
– two other intercepted ships were Japanese freighters carrying scrap metal to Japan
– Sunday – 9 November 1941 – crossed International Dateline
– soldiers woke up on Tuesday – 11 November 1941
– Arrived: Guam – Sunday 16 November 1941
– the ship loaded with water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables
– Sailed: next day
– passed Japanese held island in total blackout
– Arrived: Thursday – 20 November 1941 – Manila Bay – 7:00 A.M.
– there was no band or welcoming committee waiting at the pier to tell them to enjoy their stay in the Philippines and see as much of the island as they
   could
– a party came aboard the ship – carrying guns 
– the soldiers were told, “Draw your firearms immediately; we’re under alert. We expect a war with Japan at any moment. Your destination is Fort Stotsenburg, Clark Field.” 
– soldiers disembarked the ship three hours after arrival
– a Marine checked off the names of the enlisted men
– greeted them with “Hello suckers”
– boarded buses for Ft. Stotsenburg
– maintenance section remained behind to unload tanks from the ship
Stationed:
– Ft. Stotsenburg 
– General Edward King greeted them and apologize about their living quarters
– made sure that the soldiers had dinner – a stew thrown into their mess kits before they he had his own.
– D Company moved into barracks that were almost finished
– the company was scheduled to be transferred to the 194th Tank Battalion
– the 194th had arrived in the Philippines in September
– In addition, the khaki uniforms they had been issued also turned out to be a heavy material which made them uncomfortable to wear in the tropical heat.
– D Company was attached to 194th Tank Battalion
– the transfer to the 194th was suspended indefinitely when the war started
– the company remained part of the 192nd Tank Battalion
– the company was listed on Unit Citations for the 192nd
– the 194th had arrived in the Philippines in September
Work Day:
– 5:15 A. M. – reveille
– washing – the lucky man washed by a faucet with running water
– 6:00 A.M. – breakfast
– 7:00 to 11:30 A.M. 
– Noon – lunch
– 1:30 to 2:30 P.M. – worked
– the shorter afternoon work period was based on the belief that the climate made it too hot to work
– the tankers worked until 4:30 P.M.
– the term “recreation in the motor pool” was used for this work time
– during this time, the tank crews learned about the M3A1 tanks
– tank commanders read manuals on tanks and taught crews about the tanks
– studied the 30-caliber and 50 caliber 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
– the base commander was waiting for General MacArthur to release the ammunition
– 5:10 – dinner
– after dinner, the soldiers were free to do what they wanted to do
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 numbers
Alert:
– ten days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese ships were spotted milling about in the South China Sea
– 1 December 1941
– tanks ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field
– 194th guarded the north end of the airfield and the 192nd guarded the south end
– two crew members of each tank crew remained with the tanks at all times
– meals served by food trucks
– those not assigned to a tank remained at the command post
Engagements:
– Battle of Luzon – 8 December 1941 – 6 January 1942
– 8 December 1941
– 192nd Tank Battalion had a radio communications tent
– Maj. Ernest Miller, commanding officer of the 194th read news of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor
– Maj. Ted Wickord, CO of the 192nd, and Gen. James R. N. Weaver, CO of Tank Group were with him
– Miller ordered his battalion be brought up to full strength at the airfield
– the half-tracks took positions next to the tanks
– Battle of Luzon – 8 December 1941 – 6 January 1942
– 8 December 1941
– news of the attack on Pearl Harbor reached the tankers
– half-tracks joined tanks at the perimeter of Clark Field
– lived Japanese attack on Clark Field
– planes did not go after tanks
– after the 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
– 12 December 1941
– moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
– arrived at 6:00 A.M.
– 15 December 1941
– received 15 Bren gun carriers
– turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
– 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
– 24/25 December 1941
– tank battalions make an end run to get south of Agno River
– ran into Japanese resistance but successfully crossed the river
– 25/26 December 1941
– held the south bank of Agno River from west of Carmen to Carmen-Akcaka-Bautista Road
– 192nd held from Carmen to Route 3 to Tayug to the northeast of San Quintin
– 26/27 December 1941
– ordered to withdraw
– 1 platoon forced its way through Carmen
– lost two tanks
– one tank belonged to company commander – Captain Edward Burke
– believed dead, but was actually captured
– one tank crew rescued
– new line Santa Ignacia-Gerona-Santo Tomas-San Jose
– rest of the battalion made a dash out
– lost one tank at Bayambang
– another tank went across front receiving fire and firing on Japanese
Lt. Weeden Petree’s platoon fought its way out and across the Agno River
– D Company, 192nd, lost all its tanks except one
– the tank commander found a crossing
– Japanese would use tanks later on Bataan
– 29/30 December 1941
– new line at Bamban River established
– tank battalions held the line until ordered to withdraw
– 30/31 December 1941
– tank battalions held Calumpit Bridge
– covering withdraw of Philippine Divisions south on Rt. 3, San Fernando
– 2 January 1942
– both tank battalions ordered to withdrawal to Lyac Junction
– 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 Lubao
– 1:50 A.M. – Japanese attempted to infiltrate
– bright moonlight made them easy to see
– tanks opened fire
– Japanese lay down smoke which blew back into them
– 3:00 A.M. – Japanese broke off the engagement
– suffered 50% casualties
– Remedios – established a new line along a dried creek bed
– 6/7 January 1942
– 194th, covered by 192nd, crosses Culis Creek into Bataan
– both battalions bivouacked south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
– rations cut in half
– Battle of Bataan – 7 January 1942 – 9 April 1942
– January 1942
– tank companies reduced to three tanks per platoon
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 the night south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
– tankers had been fighting for a month without a rest
– tanks also needed overdue maintenance from the 17th Ordnance Company
– 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 the 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 the 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 the 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
– February 1942
– malnutrition caused diseases to spread among the defenders
– the soldiers by this time had eaten all the available meat
– included mules and horses
– men killed monkeys
– could not eat them because they looked too human
– jobs that were easy to do now required effort to do
– the Japanese dropped surrender leaflets of naked women
– a picture of a hamburger and milkshake may have worked
–  the Japanese had been fought to a standstill
– they were suffering from the same diseases
– March 1942
– The amount of gasoline was reduced to 15 gallons a day for all vehicles except the tanks.
– The amount would later be dropped to ten gallons a day.
– At the same time, food rations were cut in half again.
– Gen. Weaver suggested to Gen. Wainwright that a platoon of tanks be sent to Corregidor
– the situation Bataan was relatively quiet and the Japanese had been fought to a standstill
– newspapers in the United States reported both sides were strengthening their lines in expectation of an all-out attack
– the papers stated that the Japanese did not have air support because their planes had been shifted south in the assault on Java 
– there was only one major alert in March when 73 Japanese planes came over 
 – at one point, two tanks were bogged down in mud
– the tankers were working to get them out
– Japanese Regiment entered the area
– Lt. Col. Ernest 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 launched a new offensive
– tanks sent into various sectors to stop the Japanese advance
– 6 April 1942
– four tanks sent to support the 45th Philippine Infantry and 75th Infantry, Philippine Scouts
– one tank knocked out by anti-tank fire at the junction of Trails 8 & 6
– other tanks covered withdraw
– 3rd Platoon sent up the west coast road
– near Mt. Samat ran into heavy Japanese force
– the tanks withdrew to Marivales
– 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
– Company B, 192nd, D Company, and A Company, 194th, were preparing for a suicide attack
– 10:30 P.M. – the decision made to send a white flag across the battle line
– 11:40 P.M. – ammunition dumps were blown up
– midnight – B Company, D Company, and A Company, 194th, received an order from Gen. Weaver to stand down.
– 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
– 6:45 A.M. – “crash”
– 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 went through the area held by B Company, 192nd, and spoke to the men
– he said to them, “Boys. I’m going to get us the best deal I can.”
– he also said, “When you get home, don’t ever let anyone say to you, you surrendered. I was the one who surrendered.”
– Gen. King with his two aides, Maj. Cothran and Captain Achille C. Tisdelle Jr. got into a jeep carrying a large white flag
– They were followed by another jeep – also flying another large white flag – with Col. Collier and Maj. Hurt in it
– As the jeeps made their way north, they were strafed and small bombs were dropped by a Japanese plane
– the drivers of both jeeps managed to avoid the bullets and bombs
– 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 no choice but to take him at his word
– King found no choice but to accept him at his word
– 9 April 1942
–  Joe and others made the decision to try to escape to Australia
– they repaired the motor of a boat
– an officer and two enlisted men arrived
– the officer at gunpoint ordered them to Corregidor
– Japanese planes dropped bombs and artillery fired at them
– they safely reached the island
– once there, they could not leave
– it was explained that Japanese ships blocked the entrance to the bay
– because of the constant bombing and shelling, he volunteered to go to Ft. Drum
– assigned to 59th Coast Artillery
Prisoner of War:
– 6 May 1942
– received the order to surrender from Corregidor
– the soldiers were lined up on the deck of the fort when the Japanese arrived in small boats
– the Japanese set up machine guns
– the men believed they were going to be executed
– ordered to form ranks
– the Japanese took what they wanted from the Prisoners of War
– they were searched several times
– boarded small boats and taken to a warehouse near Manila
– 4:00 P.M. – the POWs were ordered to form ranks
– went to a dock that had battle damage
– filled the bomb craters with rocks
– worked the rest of the day, all night, the next day, and all night again
– the Japanese drank water but did not give any to the POWs
– treatment of the POWs improved after a Japanese officer arrived
– 18 May 1942 – the detail was ended
– the POWs were sent to Bilibid Prison
– His parents received two letters from the War Department. The first arrived in May 1942.

“Dear Mrs. F. Million:

        “According to War Department records, you have been designated as the emergency addressee if Staff Sergeant Joe B. Million, 20,523,485, 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:
Philippines
Bilibid Prison
– Joe was there for a short time
– Cabanatuan #3
– 26 May 1942 – 28 May 1942
– the Japanese began to transfer the POWs to Cabanatuan #3
– this camp was opened for the POWs captured on Corregidor and at Ft. Drum
– 2,000 POWs sent to the camp each day
– the POWs were marched to the train station and rode a train to the barrio of Cabanatuan
– disembarked the train and formed detachments of 100 men
– warned that anyone who fell would be shot
– marched past Cabanatuan #1
– the POWs captured on Bataan held there
– marched past Cabanatuan #2
– the camp was closed since it did not have an adequate water supply
Cabanatuan #3
– 29 May 1942 – 6,000 POWs were in the camp
– the first meal they received was onion soup
– there were no onions or rice in the soup
– meals usually consisted of squash, mongo beans, rice, and the tops of a native sweet potato were used to make soup
– once a week they received carabao meat
– some sources state the meals were rice and whistle weed soup
–  the camp was unfinished
– there was no fence on the north side of the camp
– 4 POWs walked away from camp
– when they realized they had no place to go they returned to camp
– they were tied to posts and left to hang in the sun
– the Japnese beat them with boards
– the Japanese showed the men water but did not give them any
– at dinner time the next day, the Japanese marched the men to where the prisoners were eating
– the men dug their own graves
– each was given a cigarette and a drink of water
– the men were offered blindfolds
– all but one man took the blindfolds
– that man spat at the Japanese before they shot him
– they fell backward into the graves after being shot
– one survived and attempted to crawl out of the grave
– a Japanese officer shot him with his pistol
– he then shot all four men to make sure they were dead
– 21 June 1942 – Blood Brother rule introduced
– POWs were put into groups of ten men
– if one man escaped the other nine would be killed
– POWs sent out on work details and the camp population slowly shrinks
– some work details left the camp in the morning and returned in the evening
– 28 June 1942 – the first church services were held in the camp
– 29 June 1942 – POW activities organized
– it was believed they would help with morale
– teams formed for softball, basketball, volleyball, ping-pong
– also formed sing-a-long groups for entertainment
– 17 July 1942 – organized an effort to stop the spread of dysentery
– POWs caught flies
– a milk can of flies got a man two biscuits and some cigarettes
– 24 July 1942 – 360 officers and enlisted men sent to a work detail at Manila
– 30 July 1942 – 150 officers and men sent to work detail at Manila
– 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, Staff Sergeant Joe B. Million 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.”     

– 12 August 1942 – 50 officers and enlisted men returned to camp
– 1 September 1942 – 198 officers and men sent to work detail at Manila
– 15 September 1942 – 344 POWs given physicals and sent to Camp 1
– Japanese termed them “producers”
– selected to go to Japan
– 18 September 1942 – 300 officers and enlisted men sent to Manila work detail
– 23 September 1942 – sick get a limited number of fresh fried fish
– 24 September 1942 – 100 officers and enlisted men left camp on work detail
– 25 September 1942 – 100 officers and enlisted men left camp on work detail
– 28 September 1942 – 32 men sent to Manila work detail
– 29 September 1942 – 119 officers and men sent to Manila work detail
– 4 October 1942 – 374 men sent to Manila work detail
– 5 October 1942 – 676 men sent to Manila detail
– 11 October 1942 – POWs in the camp organized into two groups
– Group I – Army
– Group II – Navy
– 14 October 1942 – 20 men sent to Camp 1 hospital
– 18 October 1942 – 10 men sent to Camp 1 hospital
– 21 October 1942 – 322 officers and men from Group I sent to Camp 1
– 23 October 1942 – 15 men transferred to Camp 1 hospital
– 26 October 1942 – 1 officer and 296 men sent to the Manila detail
– 27 October 1942 – received orders for all POWs prepare to be transferred to Camp 1
– 28 October 1942 – 74 men transferred to Camp 1 hospital
– 29 October 1942 – 1,126 POWs sent to Camp 1 by truck
– 30 October 1942 – the remaining 775 POWs sent to Camp 1 by truck
– Camp 3 officially closed
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
– 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
– was in effect
– 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
Meals:
– 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
– 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 since they didn’t like the way the POWs lined up
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
– 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
– 4 November 1942 – 1300 POWs selected to be sent to Japan
– Japanese issued each man 1 pair of shoes, 1 undershirt, and 1 blue denim uniform
– told to put on their best clothing
– marched to a ball field
– told to remove clothing and issued Japanese clothing
– 11 November 1942 – deep latrines dug in camp
– at least 18 feet deep
– 12 November 1942 – Fr. Bruttenbruck – a German Catholic priest brought packages for POWs and medicine
– 15 November 1942 – 100 POWs worked in the hospital area of the camp
– cut grass, dug drainage ditches, dug latrines, dug sump holes
– 20 November 1942 – Pvt. Donald K. Russell – left camp at 9:30 P.M.
– got past guards
– at 12:30 A.M. – caught trying to reenter the camp
– had a large bag of canned goods
– 21 November 1942 -12:30 P.M. – he was shot
– 23 November 1942 – Japanese wanted 750 healthy POWs for farm work detail
– wanted to get the farm started
– there were only 603 healthy officers and enlisted men in the camp
– from this time on, they wanted 1000 men daily for the details
Farm Detail:
– 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 his treatment of POWs
– spoke little English
– to get POWs to work faster said, “speedo”
– Little Speedo
– also used “speedo” when he wanted POWs to work faster
– he punished the POWs by making them kneel on stones
– Smiley
– a Korean guard
– always smiling
– could not be trusted
– meanest of guards
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
– 26 November 1942 – Thanksgiving Day
– POWs did not work because the guards had been out all night chasing guerrillas
– meal – double meat ration and mongo beans
– 28 November 1942 – it was noted the POWs were receiving carabao meat every day
– 850 blankets were also issued, but a large number of men still did not have blankets
– 1 December 1942 – meals:
– breakfast – wet rice and rice coffee for breakfast
– lunch – pichi green soup and rice
– dinner – mongo bean soup with carabao meat and rice
– 12 December 1942 – Fr. Bruttenbruck – brought a truckload of medicine to camp
– turned away because he did not have the correct paperwork
– 16 November 1942 – Cpl. Peter Lanianuskas shot while attempting to escape
– POWs believed he was really executed
– 12 December 1942 to 19 December 1942 – only 20 POWs died in the camp that week
– 19 December 1942 – Red Cross packages arrived in the camp
– POWs were told it was for two months
– 21 December 1942 – 1000 POWs put to work on farm detail and other details
– 200 worked on the farm
– 24 December 1942 – Fr. Bruttenbruck arrived with two trucks of presents for the POWs individual men
– each POW received a gift bag
– Christmas
– each POW received the POWs received 2½ Red Cross boxes
– each box milk in some form, corn beef, fish, stew beef, sugar, meat and vegetable, tea, and chocolate
– the POWs also received bulk corn beef, sugar, meat and vegetables, stew, raisins, dried fruit, and cocoa which they believed would last them three months
– POWs also received packages from Fr. Bruttenbruck
– contained: fish, soap, cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco
Work Detail:
– Lipa, Batangas
– January 1943
– Work: POWs built to run with picks and shovels and worked on a farm
– apparently, Joe became ill
– sent to Bilibid for medical treatment
– Palawan Island
– POWs built runways and revetments
– Joe was sent to Palawan as a replacement
– sick POWs sent to Bilibid
– some of the POWs were employed as mechanics in the truck repair shop
– the Japanese mechanic in charge slapped the POWs around
– being slapped was a daily occurrence
– 30 June 1943 – his name appeared on a list – released by the War Department – of men known to be Japanese Prisoners of War
– his family had learned he was a POW weeks earlier

REPORT JUST RECEIVED THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS STATES THAT YOUR SON STAFF SERGEANT JOE B MILLION IS A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS LETTER OF INFORMATION FOLLOWS FROM THE PROVOST
ULIO THE ADJUTANT GENERAL.

Within days of receiving the first message, his wife received the following letter:

    “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:

        “S/Sgt. Joe B. Million, 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

– July 1943 – two POWs escaped and were recaptured
– they were beaten clubbed, hit with sabers, and had judo used on them
– the two POWs were loaded onto a truck with their hands tied behind them
– they were taken to a beach and the Filipino civilians reported four shots being heard
– it was reported that the two men were executed by Kempeitai
– 3 October 1943 – 7 POWs were beaten, clubbed, hit with sabers, and had judo used on them
– they were suspended off the floor with their hands tied behind their backs
– July 1944 – half of the POWs sent to Bilibid Prison
– 19 October 1944 – American B-24s bomb airfield
– Japanese squadron stationed at the airfield reassigned
– first American planes in over two years
– airfield bombed a second time
– Japanese failed to issue orders sending the remaining POWs on the island back to Manila
– POWs ordered to fill-in craters in the runway at the airfield
– 12 December 1944 – an American convoy was seen heading toward the island
– Japanese believed the island would be invaded in mid-December
– the convoy was heading to the Island of Mindoro just south of Luzon
– 13 December 1944
– These orders were issued: “At the time of the enemy landing, if the prisoners of war are harboring an enemy feeling, dispose of them at the
   appropriate time.”
– Japanese tell POWs they were going to work early the next day
– 14 December 1944
– two air raid warnings were given and the POWs went into shelters
– no planes were seen
– All clear given and POWs left shelters
– 2:00 P.M. – another air raid warning
– since there had been two false air raids, the POWs made no effort to go into trenches and were forced into them by Japanese
Died:
– Thursday – 14 December 1944 – burned to death
– Japanese believed Americans were going to invade the island
Buried:
– Japanese buried POWs in a mass grave
– exhumed after war
– 10 September 1945 – his name appeared on a list of POWs known to have been killed at Palawan Island
– his family had been notified weeks earlier
Reburied:
– Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery – Saint Louis, Missouri

Palawan 1

Palawan_4a

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