Montgomery, PFC Jackson P.

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PFC Jackson Perry Montgomery
Born: 20 March 1916 – Fisher County, Texas
Parents: Lee Roy Montgomery and Luella D. Price-Montgomery
Siblings: 2 sisters, 6 brothers
Hometown: R. R. #1  Bishop, Texas
Occupation: Henry L. Lemons Company – Corpus Christi, Texas 
Selective Service Registration: 16 October 1940
– Father: Lee Roy Montgomery
Inducted:
– U.S. Army
– 10 February 1941 – Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Training:
– Fort Knox, Kentucky
Units:
– trained alongside the 192nd Tank Battalion at Ft. Knox
– taught how to maintain 57 vehicles in use by the Army
– first six weeks was the primary 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  – training with gas masks, gas attacks, pitching tents, and hikes
– Weeks 7, 8, 9: Time was 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
– Classroom: courses lasted 3 months
– Weapons: soldiers assigned to ordnance issued a pistol, and possibly a machine gun or submachine gun
– Vehicle Training: soldiers attended different schools
– tank maintenance, truck maintenance, scout car maintenance, motorcycle maintenance, and carpentry
– Company’s machine shop, welding shop, and kitchen were all on trucks
– tank mechanic
– August 1941 – Arkansas maneuvers
– A Company of the battalion was recalled to Ft. Knox
Overseas Duty:
– A Company inactivated
– 17 August 1941 – activated as 17th Ordnance Company
– received orders 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, 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, 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. When the planes landed, it was too late to do
   anything that day.
– The next day – when planes were sent to the area – the buoys had been picked up and a fishing boat – with a tarp covering something on its deck – was
    seen making its way toward shore.
– communication between the Air Corps and the Navy was poor, so the boat escaped
– the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines
Deployment:
– traveled by train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
– tanks assigned to the 194th Tank Battalion were on the train
– Arrived: Thursday, 5 September 1941
– spent three days removing the turrets and painting the tanks’ serial numbers on the turrets
– put cosmoline on the guns to prevent rust
– given physicals and inoculations
– men with medical conditions replaced
– removed turrets from tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
– Boarded: San Francisco, California – Monday – 8 September 1941
– Sailed: 9:00 P.M.
– Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii – Saturday 13 September 1941 – 7:00 A.M.
– soldiers were given shore leave for the day
– Sailed: 5:00 P.M.
– escorted by the heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Astoria, an unknown destroyer, and the U.S.S. Guadalupe a fleet replenishment oiler
– smoke was seen on the horizon several times
– cruiser intercepted ships
– 16 September 1941 – crossed International Dateline
– the date became Thursday – 18 September 1941
– Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands – Friday – 26 September 1941
– Disembarked:
– 17th Ordnance remained behind to unload tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
– reattached turrets to tanks
– worked in shifts
– slept on the ship that night
– finished attaching turrets at 9:00 A.M. the next day
– rode a bus to Ft. Stotsenburg
Stationed:
– Ft. Stotsenburg
– lived in tents in a low lying area
– tents flooded the first night in a heavy rain
– barracks completed – 15 November 1941
Work Day:
– followed the workday of the 194th Tank Battalion
– 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. – work
– 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, they learned about the M3A1 tanks
– read manuals on tanks
– studied the 30-caliber and 50 caliber machineguns, and its 37-millimeter main gun
– 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
– tank crews 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
– 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
– Battle of Luzon
– 8 December 1941 – 6 January 1942
– 8 December 1942
– that morning the soldiers were laying rocks for sidewalks by their barracks
– informed by their commanding officer, Major. Richard Kadel, about Pearl Harbor
– the company went to a bamboo thicket where they could disperse vehicles
– the company set up a bivouac
– set up machine shop trucks, half-tracks, and trucks
– received orders to return to Ft. Stotsenburg
– the alert had been canceled
– lunch had just been served so they remained at the thicket
– 12:45 P.M. – Japanese attacked
– sauerkraut and hot dogs flew everywhere
– took cover under their trucks
– the Zeros banked and turned around over the thicket after strafing
– ordered not to fire at them
– one reason was the trucks had the only machines in the Philippines that could make parts for the tanks
– Japanese wiped out Army Air Corps
– dead and wounded were everywhere at the airfield
– after the attack on Clark Field, 17th Ordnance ordered to leave by General James R. N. Weaver to Pulilan
– the company moved as the tanks moved
– the company set up fuel dumps for tanks as they withdrew toward Bataan
– it also converted WWI anti-personnel shells for use by tanks
– the company was never on the front lines but lived with the bombings
– individuals did do tank repairs on the frontlines
– repaired disabled tanks
– converted shells into anti-personnel shells 
– 17th Ordnance was always in the same area where the tanks were fighting
Battle of Bataan
– the company was headquartered in an abandoned ordnance warehouse
– the headquarters was surrounded by ammunition dumps
– the men manufactured and scavenged parts for the tanks
– continued to service the tanks on the front lines under combat conditions
– 3 April 1942
– Japanese launch 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
– 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 went out. “You will make plans, to be communicated to company commanders only, and be prepared to destroy within one hour after receipt by radio, or other means, of the word ‘CRASH’, all tanks and combat vehicles, arms, ammunition, gas, and radios: reserving sufficient trucks to close to rear echelons as soon as accomplished.”
– 10:30 P.M. – decision made to send white flag across the battle line
– 11:00 P.M. – the company was given a half-hour to leave the ordnance depot
– 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
– 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
– as King left to negotiate the surrender, he went through the tank group and spoke to them
– he told them he was going to get them the best deal he could get
– he also said to them that when they got 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 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.”
– King found no choice but to accept him at his word
– 6:45 A.M. – the order “CRASH” was sent for equipment to be destroyed
Prisoner of War
– 9 April 1942
– Death March
– started the march at Mariveles on the southern tip of Bataan
– POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor
– American Artillery returned fire
– knocked out three Japanese guns
– San Fernando – POWs put into small wooden boxcars
– each car could hold eight horses or forty men
– Japanese packed 100 POWs into each boxcar
– POWs who died remained standing since they could not fall to the floors
– Capas – POWs leave boxcars – dead fall-out of cars
– walked last ten miles to Camp O’Donnell
POW Camps:
– Philippines:
– 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
– the Japanese always had a sufficient supply of water
Meals:
– Breakfast – ½ cup of soupy rice and occasionally they got some sort of coffee
– Lunch – ½ mess kit of steamed rice and a ½ cup of sweet potato soup
– Dinner – the same as lunch
– mess kits could not be cleaned
– POWs had to carry water 3 miles from a river to cook their meals
– second water spigot installed a week after POWs arrived
– slit trenches overflowed since many of the POWs had dysentery
– flies were everywhere including in camp kitchens and food
– the camp hospital had no water, soap, or disinfectant
– the senior POW doctor wrote a list of medicines he wanted to treat the sick and was told by the camp commandant, Capt. Yoshio Tsuneyoshi, never
  to write another letter
– Tsuneyoshi said that all he wanted to know about the American POWs were their names and numbers when they died
– refused to allow a truckload of medicine sent by the Archbishop of Manila into the camp
– 95% of the medicine sent by the Philippine Red Cross was taken by the Japanese for their own use
– the second truck of medicine sent by the Red Cross was turned away
– the Japanese took what they wanted from the cookies and fruit brought by the Philippine Red Cross for the POWs and gave what was left to the POWs
– POWs in the camp hospital lay on the floor elbow to elbow
– the floor was covered in human waste
– there were only primitive supplies improvised by the POWs to clean the floor
– 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
– the floor was covered with human excrement 
– the POWs made improvised cleaners to clean it
– each morning dead were found everywhere in the camp and stacked up under the hospital
– in an attempt to stop the spread of disease, the dead were moved to one area
– the ground under the 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
– Barracks:
– inadequate number of barracks
– POWs slept under buildings and on the ground
– those who did sleep in a building slept as many as 80 POWs in buildings designed to house 40 men
– Work Details:
– if a POW could walk, he was sent out on a work detail
– the less sick from the hospital had to dig latrines
– given one canteen of water that was expected to last for three days
– on the details, they did road construction, loading, and unloading trucks, and carrying goods on their backs
– men returned to camp and died
Burial Detail:
– POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and/or malaria
– dead often were sitting up in the graves the next day
– POWs volunteer to go out on work details to get out of camp
– the Japanese finally acknowledged they needed to do something
– they opened a new POW camp
– in May, his family received a letter from the War Department

“Dear Mrs. L. Montgomery:

        “According to War Department records, you have been designated as the emergency addressee if Private First Class Jackson P. Montgomery, 38,027,204, who, according to the latest information available, was serving in the  Philippine Islands at the time of the final surrender. 

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                    “Very Truly yours

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

– 1 June 1942 – POWs formed detachments of 100 men
– POWs marched out the gate and marched toward Capas
– Filipino people gave POWs small bundles of food
– the guards did not stop them
– At Capas, the POWs were put into steel boxcars and rode them to Calumpit
– the train was 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
– 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 sent there
– Camps 1 and 3 later consolidated
– Camp Administration:
– the Japanese left POWs to run the camp on their own
– Japanese entered camp when they had a reason
– in early June, four POWs were caught who tried to escape
– they were made to dig their own graves and stand in them facing a firing squad
– after they were shot, a Japanese officer took his pistol and shot into each grave
– Barracks:
– assigned to Barracks 2, Group 2
– 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
– 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
– Morning Roll Call:
– stood at attention
– frequently beaten over their heads for no reason
– 26 May 1942 until November 1942
– when POWs lined up for roll call, it was a common practice for Japanese guards to kick the POWs in their shins with their hobnailed boots
– did this if they didn’t like how the line looked
– they also were frequently hit with a pick handle, for no reason, as they counted off
– 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
– POWs worked on a farm
– most of the food grown there went to the Japanese
– Meals:
– daily POW meal – 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato, or corn
– given rotten fish once in a while
– the fish was covered with maggots, lice, and other pests
– June 1942 – first cases of diphtheria appeared in camp
– 26 June 1942 – six POWs were executed by the Japanese
– they had left the camp to buy food
– caught returning to camp
– tied to posts in a manner that they could not stand up or sit down
– no one was allowed to give them food or water
– not permitted hats to protect them from the sun
– left tied to posts for 48 hours
– four of the POWs were executed on the duty side of the camp
– two were executed on the hospital side of the camp
– 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
– the bodies floated in the graves because of the high water table
– the POWs held the body down with a pole while it was covered with dirt
– July 1942 – diphtheria spread throughout the camp
– 130 POWs died before the Japanese released any anti-toxin for treatment
– 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, Private First Class George R. Hadley 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 September 1942 – three POWs escaped
– 21 September 1942 – recaptured and brought back to the camp
–  their feet were tied together
– their hands were crossed behind their backs and tied with ropes
– a long rope was tied around their wrists and they were suspended from a rafter
–  their toes barely touched the ground
– their arms bore all the weight of their bodies
– they were subjected to severe beatings by the Japanese guards
– the punishment lasted three days
– tied hand and foot and placed in the cooler for 30 days
– the diet was rice and water
– one of the three POWs was severely beaten by a Japanese lieutenant
 “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
– 29 September 1942 – three POWs executed by the Japanese
– stopped by American security guards
– the guards were to stop escapes so other POWs would no be executed
– the Japanese heard the commotion
– during questioning, the POWs were severely beaten for two and a half hours
– one man’s jaw was broken
– taken to the main gate and tied to posts
– their clothing was torn off them
– beaten for the next 48 hours
– at the end of three days, they were cut down and thrown into a truck
– POWs were shot in a clearing in sight of the camp
– 21 November 1942 – Cpl. Donald K. Russell was shot and beheaded 
– he had been caught trying to escape
– December 1942 – a German Catholic priest, Fr. Bruttenbruck, came to the camp with a truckload of medicine and food
– he was turned away since Manila had no authorized the visit
– 24 December 1942 – returned to camp with two truckloads of presents for POWs
– also had a gift bag for each POW
– this time he was allowed into the camp
– Christmas – Red Cross boxes were distributed in the camp
– In each box, which was British, were canned pudding, syrup, tomatoes, tea, curry mutton, meat and vegetables, sugar, cheese, milk, jam, oleomargarine,
   chocolate, biscuits, soap, and gelatine
– the POWs also were given four days off from work.
– 10 July 1943 – his name was released by the War Department as being a Japanese Prisoner of War
– his family had previously been informed he as a POW

REPORT JUST RECEIVED THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS STATES THAT YOUR SON PRIVATE FIRST CLASS JACKSON P MONTGOMERY  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:

        “PFC Jackson P. Montgomery, 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

– February 1943 – death rate among POWs had dropped
– March 1943 – POWs received fresh tomatoes, onions, and native greens
– at this time there was an incident between the Japanese and the camp band that in the camp
– the band always tried to learn new songs to play for the POWs
– played “Paper Moon” 
– the song had not become popular in 1943 
– the Japanese realized this and knew the POWs had a radio hidden in the camp
– they  searched the camp vigorously to find the radio
– tortured many men, but they never did find the radio
– 11 July 1943  – another POW, Conley, escaped from the garden detail 
– he was captured in a barrio
– 11:00 PM – a lot of noise in the camp
– the next morning, at the camp morgue, POWs described what they saw
– Conley’s jaw had been crushed as was the top of his skull, his teeth had all been knocked out with a rifle butt
– his left leg had been crushed
– he had been bayoneted in the eyes and scrotum.
– July 1943 – the names of 500 POWs were posted
– 22 July 1943 – POWs were issued new shoes, a suit of “Philippine Blues” and were 2 cans of corn beef and 3 cans of milk
– informed they would be taking a 21-day trip
– the detachment left the camp that night
– when they arrived in Manila, they were used in The Dawn of Freedom
– 
Japanese propaganda film
– showed how cruel the Americans were to the Filipinos
– after this, they were sent to Japan
– August 1943 – POW diet worsened and amount of food ration cut
– all the extra food was long gone
– POWs ordered not to cook individual meals
– organized group meals
– a group ordered its food for the next day 24 hours in advance
– food debited from the group’s supplies
– 3 October 1943 – all POWs ordered to turn over all good khaki garments, hats, rifle belts, and field bags 
– the Japanese used them in the movie
– 1300 POWs taken to Bongabong in captured U.S.6 by 6 trucks
– one truck had on its front bumper Hq 192nd
– 8:00 P.M – the POWs returned to the camp
– to the other POWs surprise, they got their possessions back
– POWs noticed most of the food from the farm went to Manila
– 18 October 1943 – 103 telegrams were brought to camp
– only 21 were given out
– 22 October 1943 – 175 telegrams arrived in camp
– 65 telegrams were given out
– the POWs noticed some were from earlier in the month
– 7 December 1943 – POWs received ½ a pound of sugar, 2 cans of soluble coffee, 2 chocolate emergency rations, 1 pound of prunes, and a ½ pound
   cheese.
– these were perishables from the Red Cross Christmas boxes sent to the camp
– that night they received a Japanese “news sheet” that told of the terrible American losses in the southwest pacific.
– the U.S. had lost most of its navy
– the U.S. lost 5 carriers, 2 cruisers, and a battleship in the Gilberts
– U.S. had lost 37 ships were lost at Bougainville
– 11 December 1943 – they received more coffee, two cans of cheese, two chocolate bars, and two boxes of raisins
– Christmas Eve
– the Japanese gave each man an unopened Red Cross box
– boxes had cigarettes (usually were missing from the boxes)
– 9:00 P.M. until midnight on Christmas eve, carolers were all over the camp
– midnight mass for the Catholics
– Protestant services at 5:30 A.M.
– 7:00 A.M. – Bango 
– the Japanese also handed out to each man an unopened Red Cross box
– January 1944 – the POWs on the work details were no longer beaten
– the farm detail was considered the best detail to be on
–  19 January – Red Cross box 
– contents: 3 cans of beef, 4 cans of butter, 1 spam, 1 purity loaf, 1 salmon, 1 Pate, 1 canned milk, and jam
– the POWs also received packs of cigarettes
– those who received ¼ of sugar on December 7 received ½ a pound of cocoa
– February 1944 – rumor spread among the POWs that the Marshall Islands and Gibert Islands had been retaken
– they also heard that the Marianas Islands had been bombed and that there had been a sea Battle in the Java Sea
– they also heard that the Filipino food ration had been cut to 120 grams of rice a day and that no one was allowed to leave Manila
– August 1944 – POWs worked to move the hospital to healthy POW area
– Japanese wanted to reduce the size of the camp 
– a smaller camp required fewer guards
– POWs were keeping their own gardens and growing their own food
– the Japanese ordered the POWs to stop cooking individual meals
– group meals instituted
– a group ordered its food 24 hours in advance for the next day
– the food was deducted from the group’s supplies
– POWs also could purchase coffee
– the POWs also became more involved in running the camp
– 21 September 1944 – the POWs saw the first American planes in nearly 3 years
– flew over camp on way to bomb Manila
– October 1944 – 150 guards transferred from camp
– 14 October 1944 – lost posted of POWs being sent to Bilibid
– Jackson’s name was on the list
– 15 to 18 October – six trucks arrived at the camp each night
– spent the night at the camp
– the next morning, the POWs leaving the camp that day were fed corn cakes and rice for breakfast 
– inspected at 7:30 A.M.
– the POWs were loaded onto the six trucks with 50 men put on each one
– 11:00 A.M. – on their way to the prison
– the POWs saw two large formations of American planes
– this was the fifth or sixth straight day they had seen American planes
– the trucks stopped and the POWs were fed
– not allowed off the trucks
– POWs made their way to the side of the truck to urinate 
– 4:00 P.M. – arrived at Bilibid Prison
– Bilibid Prison
–  12 December 1944 – heard rumors that the POWs who had been selected to be transported from the Philippines
– POWs went through what was a farce of an inspection
– they were told cigarettes, soap, and salt would be issued
– the POWs received a meal to eat and one to take with them
– told they would leave by 7:00 in the morning
– the lights were left on all night
– 4:00 AM. – 13 December 1944 –  POWs were awakened.
– 7:00 – 9:00 A.M. – lined up roll call
– prisoners were allowed to roam the compound until they were told to “fall-in” 
– fed a meal and then marched to Pier 7 in Manila.
– saw that the American bombers were doing a job on the Japanese transports
– forty wrecked ships in the bay
– POWs reached the pier, there were three ships docked
– one was an old run-down ship
– the other two were large and in good shape
– discovered one of the two nicer ships was their ship
– POWs were allowed to sit down.
– many of the POWs slept until 3:45 in the afternoon
Hell Ship:
– Oryoku Maru
– Boarded: 13 December 1944 – 5:00 P.M.
– approximately 700 POWs put in the aft hold
– approximately 600 POWs put in the forward hold
– approximately 300 POWs put in amidships hold
– high ranking officers were the first put into the ship’s aft hold
– being the first one into the hold meant that they would suffer many deaths
– around the perimeter of the hold were two tiers of bunks for the POWs
– the heat was so bad that men soon began to pass out
– one survivor said, “The fist fights began when men began to pass out. We knew that only the front men in bay would be able to get enough air.”
– the POWs who were closer to the hold’s hatch used anything they could find to fan air toward those further away from it
– 700 POWs were put in the forward hold
– 800 in its middle hold
– 100 in its aft hold
– the ship moved to a point in Manila Bay and dropped anchor
– remained there for two days
– The Japanese hoped that a storm would provide cover for the ships
– sailed and became a part of a convoy that moved without lights
– the weather to improved
– cries for air began as the men lost discipline
– the Japanese threatened to cover the holds and cut off all air
– the Japanese sent down fried rice, cabbage, and fried seaweed
– those further back from the opening got nothing
– 10:00 P.M. – the Japanese interpreter threatened to have the guards fire into the holds unless the POWs stopped screaming
– Some of the POWs fell silent because they were exhausted
– others because they had died
– One major of the 26th Cavalry stated the man next to him had lost his mind. Recalling the conversation he had with the man he said, “Worst was the man who had gone mad but would not sit still. One kept pestering me, pushing a mess kit against my chest, saying, ‘Have some of this chow? It’s good.’ I smelled of it, it was not chow. ‘All right’ he said, ‘If you don’t want it. I’m going to eat it.’ And a little later I heard him eating it, right beside me.”
– the Japanese covered the holds
– did not allow the slop buckets to be taken out of the holds
– those POWs who were left holding the buckets asked for someone else to hold it for a while
– when that did not work, they dumped the buckets on the men around them
– daylight began to enter the hold as morning came
– the POWs could see men who were in stupors, men out of their minds, and men who had died
– the POWs in the aft hold which also had a sub-hold put the POWs who out of their minds into it
– water had condensed on the walls so the POWs tried to scrape it off to drink
– Japanese allowed men who had passed out to be put on the deck
– as soon as they revived they went back into the holds
– the dead were not allowed to be removed from the holds
– their first meal at dawn
– consisted of a little rice, fish, some water, and three-fourths of a cup of water
– the cup of water was shared by 20 POWs
– 8:00 A.M., off the coast of Luzon
– the POWs had just finished eating breakfast
– they heard the sound of guns
– at first, they thought the gun crews were just drilling
– they had not heard any planes
– the first bomb hit in the water and exploded
– the ship shook and they knew it was not a drill
– most of the planes were attacking the other ships in the convoy
– Commander Frank Bridgit had made his way to the top of the ladder into the hold and sat down. He gave the POWs a play by play of the planes attacking,
   “I can see two planes going for a freighter off our starboard side. No two more are detached from the formation. I think they may be coming for us.”
– POWs heard the change in the sound of the planes’ engines as they began their dives toward the ships in the convoy
– Several more bombs hit the water near the ship 
– ship rocked
– explosions were taking place all around the ship
– POWs piled baggage in front of them
– attempt to protect themselves
– bullets from the planes ricocheted in the hold causing many casualties
– Lt. Col. Elvin Barr of the 60th Coast Artillery came up to Maj, John Fowler of the 26th Cavalry on the cargo deck and said, “There’s a hole knocked in the
 bulkheads down there. Between 30 and 40 men have already died down there.”
 
– Barr never reached Japan
– attack lasted for about 20 to 30 minutes
– by 30 to 50 planes were involved
– when the planes ran out of bombs they strafed
– afterward, the planes flew off
– returned to their carrier
– there was a lull of about 20 to 30 minutes before the next squadron of planes appeared
– resumed the attack
– this pattern repeated itself over and over during the day
– the POWs concluded that the attacking planes were concentrating on the bridge of the ship
– the planes had taken out all the anti-aircraft guns
– the ship’s 30 caliber machine guns were its only guns
– 4:30 P.M. – the ship went through the worse attack on it
– it was hit at least three times by bombs on its bridge and stern
– many POWs were wounded by ricocheting bullets and shrapnel from exploding bombs
– Chaplain William Cummings, a Catholic priest led the POWs in the Our Father
– bombs that exploded near the ship
– torrents of water went over the ship
– bullets from the planes hit the metal plates of the hull
– the angle that prevented most of them from penetrating
– somewhere on the ship a fire started
– it was put out after several hours
– the POWs lived through seven or eight attacks before sunset
– six bombs hit the ship
– one hit the stern of the ship killing many POWs
– the POWs believed the other ships in the convoy had been sunk
– at dusk, the ship raised anchor and headed east
– went south and turned again  heading west
– the next turn it made was north
– headed in this direction for a good amount of time
– 8:00 P.M. – dropped anchor
– they had just sailed in a circle
– it turned out that the ship could not be steered
– after midnight, the POWs heard a noise on deck
– the Japanese civilians were being evacuated.
– the POW medics were ordered onto the deck
– treated the Japanese wounded
– the dead, dying, and wounded were everywhere
– 2:30 A.M. – the ship entered Subic Bay
– steamed closer to the beach
– dropped anchor
 – 4:00 A.M. – POWs were told that they would disembark at daybreak at a pier
– There was moaning and muttering among the POWs
– some were losing their minds
– this kept the POWs up all night
– that night 25 POWs died in the hold
– 15 December 1944 – POWs sat in the ship’s holds for hours after dawn
– the first 35 POWs were taken out of the hold and went into the water
– 8:00 A.M. – POWs waited
– a Japanese guard yelled into the hold at the POWs, “All go home; speedo!”
– he shouted that the wounded would be the first to be evacuated
– Suddenly, he looked up and shouted, “Planes, many planes!” 
– the planes continued yesterday’s attack
– the ship bounced in the water from the explosions
– Chief Boatswain Clarence M. Taylor who was in the water said, “I saw the whole thing. A bomb fell, hit near the stern hatch, and debris goes flying up
 in the air.”
– the POWs crowded together inhold
– chips of rust fell on them from the ceiling
– after the raid, they took care of the wounded before the next attack started
– a Catholic chaplain, Major John Duffy, began to pray, “Father forgive them. They know not what they do.”
– guards and interpreter had abandoned ship
– the ship’s captain remained on board
– told the POWs in his limited English that they needed to get off the ship to safety
– POWs made their way over the side and into the water
– As they swam to shore, the Japanese fired at them, with machine guns, to prevent them from escaping
– four of the planes flew low over the water above the POWs
– POWs waved frantically at the planes so they would not be strafed
– the planes banked and flew lower over the POWs
– this time the pilots dipped their wings 
– they knew the men in the water were Americans
– a half-hour later, the ship began to really burn
– the bodies of the dead could be seen on the decks
– a motorboat with a machine gun and snipers hunted down and shot POWs
– as many as 30 men died in the water
– there was no real beach
– the POWs climbed up on a seawall
– a Japanese Naval Landing Party had set up a machine gun
– POWs had just laid flat to rest when the gun opened fire on them
– POWs warned others to stay in the water
– one man climbed up on the seawall and was wounded
– Japanese snipers also waited to shoot anyone who attempted to escape
– Japanese gathered POWs
– marched them to the tennis court at Olongapo Naval Station
– it was about 500 yards from the beach.
– POWs herded onto a tennis court
– roll call was taken
– it was determined that 329 POWs had died in the attack
–  a Japanese officer, Lt. Junsaburo Toshio said badly wounded would be taken to Bilibid
– Lt. Col. E. Carl Engelhart – ranking American officer
– asked to pick men
– fifteen men were selected and loaded on a truck
– they were taken into the mountains and never seen again
– taken to Campo Santo de San Fernando Cemetery and beheaded
– POWs remained on the tennis courts for nine days
– they were given water but not fed
– the POWs sat and watched American planes attacking Japanese positions
– one plane dropped a bomb over the POWs
– the bomb sailed over them
– hit a target away from them
– 22 December 1945
– 8:00 A.M. – trucks arrived at the tennis court
– Rumors flew on where they were going to be taken
– 4:00 PM, a Taiwanese guard told the POWs, in broken English, “No go Cabanatuan. Go Manila; maybe Bilibid.” 
– he knew as little as the POWs
– taken by truck to San Fernando, Pampanga,
– 4:00 or 5:00 P.M. arrived
– they were put in a dark movie theater
– the POWs saw as a dungeon
– the POWs lived through several air raids
– the barrio was the military headquarters for the area
– most of the civilians had been moved out of the barrio
– Americans began to believe they had been taken there to be killed by their own countrymen
– 23 December 1945 – 10:00 P.M. – Japanese interpreter came and spoke to the ranking American officer about moving the POWs
– the Japanese loaded the seriously ill POWs into a truck
– believed they were taken to Bilibid
– taken to Campo Santo de San Fernando cemetery and killed
– remaining POWs were moved to a trade school building in the barrio
– 24 December 1944 – 10:00 A.M. – taken to the train station
– the station had been hit by bombings
– freight the cars they boarded had bullet holes from strafing
– 180 to 200 men were packed into steel boxcars with four guards
– the doors of the boxcars were kept closed
– the heat in the cars was terrible
– 10 to 15 POWs rode on the roofs of the cars with two guards
– the guards told these POWs that it was okay to wave to the American planes
– 25 December 1944 – 2:00 A.M. – POWs disembarked at San Fernando, La Union
– walked two kilometers to a schoolyard on the southern outskirts of the barrio
– spent the night there
– 26 December 1944 – POWs were marched to a beach
– they were allowed one handful of rice and a canteen of water
– the sun was so bad that men drank seawater
– many of those men died
– boarded – Brazil Maru
– POWs were held in three different holds
– the ship had hauled cattle
– held in the same stalls cattle had been in
– lower hold, the POWs were lined up in companies 108 men
– each man had four feet of space
– 27 December 1944 – sailed
– men attempted to get fresh air by climbing the ladders
– shot by the guards
– daily routine for the POWs
– six men climb out of the hold
– on deck, they dropped ropes into holds
– pulled up the dead
– pulled up the buckets of human feces
– they also lowered ten buckets containing rice, soup, and tea
– 30 December 1944 – POWs heard the sound of depth charges exploding
– 31 December 1944 – ship arrived at Takao, Formosa
– 11:30 A.M. – dropped anchor in the harbor
Died:
– Sunday – 31 December 1944 – from wounds
– his body was buried at Fukuteiken Cemetery
– it is known 33 POWs were buried in the cemetery
– 14 August 1945 – Montogemery was officially listed as being dead by the War Department
– his family had learned of his death earlier
– it is known that his family received several letters from the War Department about his death
– this was done because the information about the POWs who died was slowly made available 
– there is conflicting information on his death
– 3 June 1946
– Remains Recovery Team #9 – disinterred the first grave Fukuteiken Cemetery
– six sets of remains were in wooden boxes
– the other 17 bodies were under the boxes
– 4 June 1946
– recovery team exhumed 10 sets of remains from the second grave
– the bodies had been buried on straw mats
– no shoes were found and there was very little clothing
– PFC Jackson P. Montgomery’s remains were disinterred from a grave at Fukuteiken Cemetery
– remains stored Kiirun, Formosa, until an attempt was made to identify the remains
Memorial:
– American Military Cemetery – Manila, Philippine Islands
– Tablets of the Missing
– records from the time show 1,620 POWs boarded the Oryoku Maru
– only 618 survived the trip to Japan
– 1,002 POWs died 
Note:

The Japanese also sent this message to the International Red Cross.

“NLT. International Red Cross GENEVA JU/81,  ST/9. For your reference, we report that 918 American prisoners of war were killed by enemy airplanes while en route from a POW internment camp in the PHILLIPINES to JAPAN by ship.”

This was followed by a document with the names and serial numbers of the dead. JU/81 in the statement was the Japanese death report.

 

Montgomeryjtm 

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