Terhune, 1st Sgt. Yandell

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Terhune_Y

1st Sgt. Yandell Terhune
Born: 23 July 1919 – Mercer County, Kentucky
Parents: Verna Cunningham-Terhune and Alonzo Terhune
Siblings: 2 brothers, 2 sisters
Home: 611 East Street – Harrodsburg, Kentucky
Occupation: restaurant worker
Enlisted: Kentucky National Guard
– 18 August 1939 – while at Ft. Knox with his tank company, he lost both front teeth when the tank hit a large tree stump 
Inducted:
– U. S. Army
– 25 November 1940 – Harrodsburg, Kentucky – ordered to Fort Knox, Kentucky
– 28 November 1940 – left Harrodsburg for Fort Knox, Kentucky, on ten trucks
– tanks sent to the fort on train
Training:
– Fort Knox, Kentucky
– 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 
– 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
Typical Day
– 6:15 with reveille
– most of the soldiers were up before this since they wanted to wash and dress.
– 7:00 to 8:00 – breakfast
– 8:00 to 8:30 – calisthenics
– Afterward, the tankers went to various schools within the company.
– training in using and maintaining 30 and 50 caliber machine guns and pistols
– training in map reading, care of personal equipment, military courtesy, and training in tactics.
– 11:30 the soldiers stopped what they were doing and cleaned up for mess –
– Noon to 1:00 P.M. – lunch
– Afterward, they attended the various schools which they had been assigned to on January 13, such as mechanics, tank driving, radio operating.
– 4:30 – the soldiers called it a day and 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.
– January 1941- attended a specific tank school for training
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 permanently joined 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
– they were sent in a convoy to Louisiana
– the tanks and wheeled vehicles were sent by train.
– 1 September 1941 to 30 September 1941
– 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
– 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
– the snakes crawled 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 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.
– they learned to dig a small trench around their tents and lay 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.
– during the maneuvers that tanks held defensive positions and 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. – 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 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.
– wild hogs were a problem
– In the middle of the night while the men were sleeping in their tents they would suddenly hear hogs squealing.
– The hogs would run into the tents pushing on them until they took them down and dragged them away. 
– 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.
– 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
– 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 battalion was ordered to Camp Polk instead of returning to Ft. Knox
– lived in tents
Overseas Orders:
– the battalion received orders to go 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 when one of the pilots noticed something odd
– the pilot 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
– lined up with Japanese occupied island, with a large radio transmitter, hundreds of miles away.
– the squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and returned to Clark Field
– the planes landed but 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 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:
– Fort McDowell, Angel Island, California
– ferried to island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
– received physicals from medical detachment – 25 October 1941 – 26 October 1941
– men with minor health issues held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date
– other men simply replaced
– Boarded: U.S.A.T. Gen. 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 a 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
– boarded buses for Ft. Stotsenburg
– maintenance section remained behind to unload tanks from the ship
Stationed:
Ft. Stotsenburg
– Colonel Edward P. King met the soldiers when they arrived
– apologized to soldiers about living conditions
– made sure they all had dinner before he had his dinner
– the dinner was a stew thrown into their mess kits
– 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 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
– 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
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
– 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 made 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
– the 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 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 dry 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
– 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
– 17th Ordnance did repairs
– 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’s 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
– this applied to all vehicles except the tanks.
– the amount would later be dropped to ten gallons a day
– food rations were cut in half again
– Gen. Weaver suggested to Gen. Wainwright that a platoon of tanks be sent to Corregidor
– Wainwright declined the offer
– the situation on Bataan was relatively quiet 
– newspapers in the United States reported both sides were strengthening their lines – defenders expected an all-out attack
– the papers stated that the Japanese did not have the air support 
– their planes had been shifted south in the assault on Java 
– there was only one major alert in March 
– 73 Japanese planes flew over on their way to Java
 – 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
April 1942
– 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
– 10:30 P.M. – the decision was made to send a white flag across the battle line
– 11:40 P.M. – ammunition dumps were blown up
– At 2:oo A.M. April 9, Gen. King sent a jeep under a white flag carrying Colonel Everett C. Williams, Col. James V. Collier, and Major Marshall Hurt to meet
   with the Japanese commander about terms of surrender.
 – The white flag was bedding from A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion
– Shortly after daylight Collier and Hunt returned with word of the appointment
– the tankers received this message over their radios at 6:45 A.M.
– 9 April 1942
– circled tanks and fired an armor-piercing shell into each tank’s engine
– opened gasoline cocks and dropped grenades into the crew compartment
– Gen King 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
– 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
Prisoner of War:
– 9 April 1942
– received the order to destroy equipment and report to kilometer marker 168.2.
– Provisional Tank Group Headquarters
– Japanese officers told Col. Ernest Miller to keep them there until ordered to move
– 10 April 1942
– 7:00 P.M. – started the march from Provisional Tank Group headquarters
– 3:00 A.M. – halted and rested for an hour
– 4:00 A.M. – resume march
– at times slipped on remains of the dead who had been killed by Japanese shelling
– 11 April 1942
– 8:00 A.M. -reached Lamao
– allowed to forage for food
– 9:00 A.M. – resumed march
– reached Limay and the main road
– officers, majors and up, separated from lower-ranking officers and enlisted men
– put on trucks
– Death March
– Limay – joined the main march
– first brutal treatment
– POWs arrive at Orani
– ordered to form 100 men detachments
– POWs marched at a faster pace
– fewer breaks
– when given break, the POWs sat on the road
– North of Hermosa the POWs reached pavement
– made the march easier
– POWs were given an hour rest on the road
– those who attempt to lay down are jabbed with bayonets
– POWs march through Layac and Lubao
– rains – POWs drank as much as they could
– POWs reached San Fernando
– POWs put in groups of 200 to be fed
– one POW sent to get a box of rice for each group
– pottery jars of water given out the same way
– formed detachments of 100 men and marched to train station
– POWs put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane
– each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
– 100 POWs packed into each car
– POWs who died remained standing since they could not fall to the floors
– Capas – dead fell to the floors as living left boxcars
– as POWs formed ranks, Filipinos threw sugarcane to POWs
– also gave them water
– POWs walked the last 8 kilometers to Camp O’Donnell
POW Camps:
– Philippine Islands:
– Camp O’Donnell
– 1 April 1942 – unfinished Filipino training base Japanese put into use as a POW camp
– Japanese believed the camp could hold 15,000 to 20,000 POWs
– POWs searched upon arrival at camp
– those found with Japanese money were accused of looting
– sent to the 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 washing clothing, the POWs threw soiled clothing away
– clothing was taken from dead
– few of the POWs in the camp hospital had clothing
– POWs were not allowed to bathe
– only one water spigot for the entire camp
– POWs waited 2½ hours to 8 hours to get a drink
– water frequently turned off by Japanese guards and the next man in line waited as long as 4 hours for the water to be turned on again
– mess kits could not be cleaned
– POWs had to carry water 3 miles from a river to cook their meals
– second water spigot installed a week after POWs arrived
– slit trenches overflowed since many of the POWs had dysentery
– flies were everywhere including in camp kitchens and food
Food
– three meals a day
– breakfast – a half cup of soupy rice and occasionally some type of coffee
– lunch – a half of a mess kit of steamed rice and a half cup of sweet potato soup
– dinner – the same as lunch
– all meals were served outside regardless of the weather
– food had improved a little with the issuing of a little wheat flour, some native beans, and a small issue of coconut oil by May 1
– about once every ten days, 3 or 4 small calves were brought into the camp
Barracks
– not enough housing for the POWs
– most slept under buildings or on the ground
– the barracks were designed for 40 men
– those who did sleep in one slept in one with as many 80 to 120 men
– there was no netting to protect the men from malaria-carrying mosquitos 
– many men soon became ill with malaria. 
Hospital
– 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
– POWs in the camp hospital lay on the floor elbow to elbow
– operations on POWs were performed with mess kit knives
– only one medic – out of six medics assigned to care for 50 sick POWs in the hospital – was well enough to work
– as many as 50 POWs died each day
– each morning dead were found everywhere in the camp and stacked up under the hospital
– to stop the spread of disease, the bodies were moved to one area and 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
– the dead were usually not buried for two or three days
– work details: if a POW could walk, he was sent out on a work detail
– POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and malaria
– Japanese opened a new POW camp to lower the death rate
– His parents received two letters from the War Department. The first arrived in May 1942.

“Dear Mrs. V. Terhune:

        “According to War Department records, you have been designated as the emergency addressee if First Sergeant Yandell Terhune, 20,523,435, 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 to Calumpit
– the train stopped at Calumpit and switched onto the line to Cabanatuan
– POWs disembarked the train at 6:00 P.M. and put into a schoolyard
– fed rice and onion soup
– 4 June 1942 – transfer of POWs completed
– only sick POWs remained at Camp O’Donnell
– Cabanatuan
– original name – Camp Pangatian
– Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
– put into use by the Japanese as a POW camp
– actually three camps
– Camp 1: POWs from Camp O’Donnell sent there in an attempt to lower the death rate
– Camp 2: two miles away
– all POWs moved from there because of a lack of water
– later used for Naval POWs
– Camp 3: six miles from Camp 2
– POWs from Corregidor and from hospitals sent there
– camp created to keep Corregidor POWs separated from Bataan POWs
– Corregidor POWs were in better shape
– 30 October 1942 – POWs from Camp 3 consolidated into Camp 1
– only sick POWs left in camp
– Cabanatuan #1 – Administration:
– POWs ran the camp
– Japanese only entered the camp if there was a problem
– June 1942
– four POWs escaped and recaptured
– tied to posts at the main gate and beaten
– other POWs were not allowed to give them water
– after three days their ropes were cut
– they dug their own graves
– shot by a firing squad
– a Japanese officer went to each grave and shot each man
– Blood Brother Rule
– POWs put into groups of ten
– if one escaped the others would be executed
– housed in same barracks
– worked on details together
– Barracks:
– each barracks held 50 men
– often held between 60 and 120 men
– slept on bamboo slats without mattresses, covers, and mosquito netting
– diseases spread easily
– no showers
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 to kick them in their shins with their hobnailed boots 
– excuse was that they didn’t like the way the POWs lined up
– Work 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
– 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
– Work Day: 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
– worked 6 days a week
– had Sunday off
– 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
Died:
– Sunday – 12 July 1942 – malaria
– approximate time of death – 8:00 AM
– he was the 789 POW to die in the camp
Burial Detail:
– POWs worked in teams of four men to bury dead
– carried as many as six dead POWs in slings to the cemetery
– buried in graves that contained 16 to 20 bodies
– bodies were held down with poles until covered with dirt because the water table was high
Buried:
– Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery
– buried in Grave 1105 at the camp
– 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, First Sergeant Yandell Terhune had not been reported as a casualty. The War Department will consider the persons serving in the Philippine Islands as “missing in action” from the date of the surrender of Corregidor, May 7, until definite information to the contrary is received.

“Efforts to secure prisoner of war lists from the Philippines have not been successful to this date due to the lack of communication and the fact that the Japanese Government has not yet given permission for the Swiss representative and the International Red Cross delegates to make visits to prisoner of war camps in the islands. When the lists of prisoners are received, we will clear the name of your son and send you any additional information that we may have.”          

– it is not known if and when his parents learned he was a Prisoner of War and had died
– After the war, his remains could not be positively identified, and he was buried as an “Unknown” at the new American Military Cemetery in an individual grave
Memorial:
– Tablets of the Missing – American Military Cemetery – Manila, Philippine Islands
– it shows that Yandell was a member of the 194th Tank Battalion
– D Company was attached to the 194th, it was never transferred to the battalion
– remained a part of the 192nd Tank Battalion throughout the Battle of Bataan.

Note: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency considers 1st Sgt. Yandell Terhune‘s case active and is attempting to locate his family to collect a DNA sample.

 

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