Weaver, Brig. Gen. James R. N.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on pinterest
Share on print
WeaverJ

Brig. Gen. James Roy Newman Weaver
Born: 20 May 1888 – Fremont, Ohio
Parents: James T. and Jennie E. Weaver
Name: Roy Newman Weaver
– Secretary of War changed his name – 21 Sept. 1909
Hometown: Freemont, Ohio
Married: Mary C. Pontius – 31 October 1912
Children: 1 daughter, 1 son
– His son graduated from West Point in 1936
Education:
– Freemont High School – Class of 1906
– Oberlin College – attended for one year
– appointed to U.S. Military Academy
– United States Military Academy – West Point, New York – Class of 1911
– Entered: 15 June 1907
– Graduated: 13 June 1911
Commissioned: Second Lieutenant – 13 June 1911 – 15th Infantry Division
– Transferred: 9th Infantry Division – 11 August 1911
– stationed in the Philippine Islands
– daughter born there
– Army Service School – Fort Leavenworth, Kansas – 17 August 1918
Promotions:
– Promoted: First Lieutenant – 6 April 1917
– Promoted: Captain – 15 May 1917
– Promoted: Major – 9 June 1918
– Promoted: Colonel – Not Known
– Promoted: Brigadier General – 1942
Career:
– World War I
– English Instructor – U.S. Military Academy – West Point, New York
– this position kept him from going to Europe
– 68th Armor Regiment – 2nd Armor Division
– West Point -returned to the military academy in 1920
– taught English and history
– Fort Sill, Oklahoma – 1926 – 1930
– Fort Benning, Georgia
– trained in tanks – 1937
Overseas Duty:
– 3 October 1941 – appointed commanding officer of Provisional Tank Group
– 9 October 1941 – assumed command
– appointed the commanding officer of 192nd Tank Battalion for the voyage
– rode a train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
– ferried on the U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe to Ft. MacDowell on Angel Island
– gave physicals to members of the battalion
– Boarded: U.S.A.T. Gen. Hugh L. Scott
– Sailed: Monday – 27 October 1941 – San Francisco, California
– Arrived: Sunday – 2 November 1941 – Honolulu, Hawaii
– Sailed: Wednesday – 5 November 1941
– took a southerly route away from main shipping lanes
– joined by the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and the transport, S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
– smoke was seen on the horizon
– Louisville revved its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it intercepted the ship which was from a neutral country, but 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.
– soldiers disembarked ship three hours after arrival
– boarded buses for Ft. Stotsenburg
– maintenance section remained behind to unload tanks from ship
Provisional Tank Group:
– 21 November 1941 – activated
Engagements:
– World War II
– Battle of Luzon – 8 December 1941 – 6 January 1942
– the information on situations came to him by motorcycle messengers
– Battle of Bataan – 7 January 1942 – 9 April 1942
– at more men became ill, it became harder for him to receive accurate information
– Battle of the Points -commanded battle on the front lines
– Capt. Alvin Poweleit, the chief medical officer of the 192nd Tank Battalion, stated that while he was a Prisoner of War on Formosa, a Japanese officer told him that Weaver’s strategy of moving the tanks around and having them engage the Japanese in those areas convinced the Japanese that the Americans had a larger number of tanks than they actually did. This resulted in throwing off the Japanese timetable of conquering the Philippines.
– 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.”
It was at this time he wrote this letter to his parents. In it, he said, “The aide and the captain of my ordnance company, (Capt. Richard Kadel) and I are about to have a treat. I bought six eggs and was so glad to get them I gave the native fifty pesos.
He gave me a meal, too, a can of bacon as a gift from above. It is 3 p.m., and we are having them prepared in the ordnance kitchen. And our mouths are watering.”
Later in the letter, he stated that he had just come from a swim on “A far-flung beach.”  He also said he was in excellent health but “much slenderer — much.”  He also stated that he was writing the letter in haste since because it was a “quick opportunity to get it out.” He also mentioned he has been in the Philippines two days shy of five months.
Of the paper the letter was written on, he said, “You will have to excuse the paper. It was packing for the eggs. They’re small but fresh — I hope. You never can tell about these Filippino eggs. You’ll have to pardon the dwelling on food. We put in much of our spare time talking about the delicious — back home —chocolate ice cream sodas, milk, candy, steaks, etc.
The radio from San Francisco never gets down to such detail, only about how they’re producing military supplies and no more civilian cars, ice boxes, radios, etc.”
He mentioned that he would like to in the United States at various family anniversaries and that he wanted to see his relatives. He stated, “and to see the spring come.”
Being that he was from Fremont, Ohio, he talked about the men from C Company, 192nd who were also from Ohio.  “I kid the lads in the tanks from Port Clinton about fishing through the ice. Three of my captains are from Port Clinton — Burholt, Collins, Sorenson, all are well.”
He also mentioned that the monkeys stole ripe fruit from the tankers and that they passed through a pineapple field that would not ripen for another five weeks. Of the condition of clothing, he said, “able to stand alone.”
He closed the letter by saying he would like to be home before winter sets in, “because all  my winter clothes have been lost in the war.”
– 8 April 1942
– sent out this message to commanding officers of the 192nd and 194th Tank Battalions:
“You will make plans, to be communicated to tank 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 possible thereafter.”
– At one point General Wainwright ordered that the tanks be buried and used as pillboxes. Viewing this as a ridiculous order, Weaver simply ignored it.
– 3 April 1942
– Japanese launch new offensive with troops brought in from Singapore
– tank sent in to attempt to stop the advance
– 8 April 1942
– Gen. Edward P. King decided that further resistance was futile since approximately 25% of his men were healthy enough to fight
– he estimated they would last one more day
– In addition, he had over 6,000 troops who sick or wounded and 40,000 civilians who he feared would be massacred
– His troops were on one-quarter rations, and even at that ration, he had two days of food left.
– 6:30 P.M. – order goes out to be prepared to destroy all equipment of use to the Japanese
– 10:30 P.M. – decision made to send white flag across the battle line
– 11:40 P.M. – ammunition dumps were blown up
– Midnight – A Company and B and D Companies, 192nd, received orders to stand down
– the companies had been ordered to make a suicide attack the morning of April 9 in an attempt to stop the Japanese advance
– At 2:oo A.M. April 9, Gen. King sent a jeep under a white flag carrying Colonel Everett C. Williams, Col. James V. Collier and Major Marshall Hurt to meet
   with the Japanese commander about terms of surrender.
 – The white flag was bedding from A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion
– Shortly after daylight Collier and Hunt returned with word of the appointment
– the tankers received this message over their radios at 6:45 A.M. “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.”
– Gen. King with his two aides, Maj. Cothran and Captain Achille C. Tisdelle Jr. got into a jeep carrying a large white flag
– They were followed by another jeep – also flying another large white flag – with Col. Collier and Maj. Hurt in it
– As the jeeps made their way north they were strafed and small bombs were dropped by a Japanese plane
– The drivers of both jeeps and the jeeps were provided by the tank group and both men managed to avoid the bullets
– The strafing ended when a Japanese reconnaissance plane ordered the fighter pilot to stop strafing
– About 10:00 A.M. the jeeps reached Lamao where they were received by a Japanese Major General who informed King that he reported his coming to
   negotiate a surrender and that an officer from the Japanese command would arrive to do the negotiations
– The Japanese officer also told him that his troops would no attack for thirty minutes while King decided what he would do
– After a half-hour, no Japanese officer had arrived from their headquarters and the Japanese attack had resumed. King sent Col. Collier and Maj. Hunt back
   to his command with instructions that any unit inline with the Japanese advance should fly white flags
– Shortly after this was done a Japanese colonel and interpreter arrived. King was told the officer was Homma’s Chief of Staff and he had come to discuss
   King’s surrender
– King attempted to get insurances from the Japanese that his men would be treated as prisoners of war, but the Japanese officer – through his interpreter
– he was accused of declining to surrender unconditionally
– At one point King stated he had enough trucks and gasoline to carry his troops out of Bataan
– He was told that the Japanese would handle the movement of the prisoners
– The two men talked back and forth until the colonel said through the interpreter, “The Imperial Japanese Army are not barbarians.” 
– 6:45 A.M. – the order “CRASH” was sent for equipment to be destroyed
– King found no choice but to accept him at his word
Prisoner of War:
– 9 April 1942
– 10 April 1942
– Weaver and his staff driven in a car to Balanga
– Japanese headquarters located there
– searched and counted
– razors, flashlights, scissors, and cameras taken from the Prisoners of War
– 11 April 1942 – arrived at Camp O’Donnell
– driven there
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
– 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 was their names and numbers when they died
– refused to allow a truckload of medicine sent by the Archbishop of Manila into the camp
– 95% of the medicine sent by Philippine Red Cross was taken by the Japanese for their own use
– POWs in the camp hospital lay on the floor elbow to elbow
– operations on POWs were performed with mess kit knives
– only one medic out of six assigned to care for 50 sick POWs, in the hospital, was well enough to work
– as many as 50 POWs died each day
– each morning dead were found everywhere in the camp and stacked up under the hospital
– the ground under hospital was scrapped and cover with lime to clean it
– the dead were moved to this area and the section where they had laid was scrapped and cover with lime
– 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
– Tarlac POW Camp
– camp held senior American officers
– nothing is known about the camp
Note: Weaver stated that his driver, a Sgt. Russell was sentenced for execution by the Japanese. According to Weaver, Russell proudly marched to his grave, that he dug himself, while he whistled “God Bless America.” At this time, who “Sgt. Russell” was, is not known.
POW Transfer: It was at this time that the Japanese decided that most high ranking officer would be transferred out of the Philippine Islands.
– 11 August 1942 – marched to Tarlac train station
– 8:00 A.M. – on train bound for Manila
– 1:00 P.M. – arrived Manila
– trucks took them to Pier 7
Hell Ships:
Otero Maru
– Sailed: Manila – 12 August 1942
– Weaver and the other officers placed in ships holds
– two wooden shelves were provided for sleeping
– each man had a 2½’ wide area to sleep in
– Arrived: Takao, Formosa – 14 August 1942
POW Camps:
– Formosa
Karenko Camp
– Arrived at camp at 3:00 P.M.
– camp was a 150-yard square
– about 12 buildings were in the camp
– there were barracks, toilets, bathhouse, and kitchens
– POWs searched and had to surrender their bags
– stripped down to underwear and Japanese went through their clothes
– clothes returned but shoes were not
– given wooden clogs
– Barracks:
– two big squad rooms on lower floor and smaller rooms that appeared to have been offices
– POWs moved from this camp because conditions were deplorable
– upper floor six squad rooms
– POWs divided into squads which was given a certain area
– bunks placed side by side
– too short for average American
– made of crisscrossed metal slats
– each man had a hard mattress made from rice straw
– also received two heavy blankets and two light ones
– pillows 12 inch by 6 inch rice sacks
– Meals: rice, vegetables, tea
– served in small Japanese bowls
– POWs expected to eat with chopsticks
– Red Cross was scheduled to visit
– Roll Call:
– 6:00 A.M.
– 8:00 P.M.
– Punishment:
– used any excuse to beat the POWs
– most POWs at one time or another were beaten
– enlisted men hit as many as three times a day
– POWS who went to the latrine at night were slapped in the face
– Work:
– POWs who did not work received less food
– the amount of food given for working was not enough
– 7 June 1943 – Shirakawa Camp
– while on Formosa, he was hit for not following orders fast enough
– POWs farmed and raised cattle
– Transferred:
– 2 April 1943
– 117 senior officers marched to train station
– 8:30 A.M. – train left station
– 4:00 P.M. – had traveled only 50 miles
– lunch – cup of rice
– POWs disembark train
Tamazato Camp
– had been a Japanese military base
– Barracks: 1 story building
– POWs unloaded tables, chairs, benches, and other furniture for the barracks
– carried it on their backs
– also brought goats from Karenko
– the POWs had been moved there because of the upcoming Red Cross visit
– Punishment:
– beatings stopped
– POWs made to stand at attention for as long as 2 hours
– punished for minor things such as: walking through the wrong door at the latrine, walking to close to the barb-wire perimeter fence, lying on bunks before
  bedtime, and failing to salute or bow to a Japanese soldier
– Meals: rice and hot water with a few vegetable tops in it
– 14 April 1943 – Red Cross Packages given out
– Japanese had misappropriated items from them
– POWs received food and shoes
– food gave the POWs diarrhea
– POWs put on weight
– Japanese wanted POWs in relatively good shape for Red Cross visit
– POWs told what they could say to Red Cross
– Japanese representative of Red Cross ignored the way the POWs looked
– Spring 1943 – Japanese had POWs practice an air raid drill
– for the POWs this was news that U.S. Forces were getting closer
– 23 June 1942
– 28 senior officers who were POWs marched to train station
– rode train to Karenko
– boarded a little dirty coastal ship
– jammed into its hold
– 35 feet long by 9 feet wide
– shelf for sleeping
– so small POWs slept with one man’s feet in the other man’s face
– the only food they had was what they brought with them from Red Cross packages
– 24 June 1943 – 9:00 A.M. – arrived Keelung, Formosa
– marched to train station
– rode train to Taihoku
– rode a truck 6 miles to camp
Shirakawa Camp:
– camp located on a hill
– Barracks:
– flimsy wooden structures
– Meals:
– amount of rice given to POWs increased and they received vegetables
– POWs grew food on farm but Japanese took most of it
– Work:
– senior officers told they did not have to work
– Japanese wanted the POWs to speak out against the war
– POWs cleared land for farm and built a dam
– what was grown on the farm was taken by the Japanese
– Punishment:
– POWs punished for demanding their Geneva Convention Rights
– could not sit or lie on beds before bedtime
– could not gather in groups larger than two men
– 1 October 1944
– certain American, British, and Dutch POWs ordered to pack up their possessions
– 5 October 1944
– 10:00 P.M. – rode truck to train station
– 11:00 P.M. – boarded and rode train all night to Heito
– 6 October 1944 – arrived at noon
– transferred to a narrow gauge train
– rode train for 10 miles
– disembarked at a POW camp
– POWs in camp were emaciated
– spent night in camp
– 7 October 1944
– marched back to train station
– returned to Heito
– put on trucks and taken to airport
– six Japanese transports waited for them
– boarded planes
– 8:00 A.M. – planes took off and flew POWs to Japan
– 2:00 P.M. – landed in Southern Kyushu, Japan
– boarded train and rode it to Beppu, Japan
– spent two nights in a cheap hotel
– 9 October 1944 – boarded train
– taken to port and boarded ship
Hell Ship:
Fukuji Maru
– Sailed: 11 November 1944 – Moji, Japan
– Arrived: 11 November 1944 – Pusan, Korea
Fusan, Korea
– taken to hotel and fed a decent meal
– taken office building and slept on floor in blankets
– returned to hotel the next morning and fed
– marched to train station
– took a 3 day train ride to Sheng Tai Tun, Manchuria
– POWs were cold because of inadequate clothing
POW Camps:
– Sheng Tai Tun, Manchuria
– 14 November 1944 – arrived
– high ranking officers were held there for a short time
– many POWs suffer from tooth abscesses
– walked all night to get them to burst and get some relief
– Japanese finally brought in a dentist to pull teeth
– 1 December 1944
– 16 senior officers ordered to pack up their belongings
– marched to train station in zero weather
– boarded train
– barren train car had 288 Red Cross Packages
– to make sure POWs did not save any items they punched holes in cans of meat and tore bags so POWs had to eat the food before it went bad
– Sian POW Compound, Manchuria
– 100 miles from Mukden
– temperatures dropped to 45 degrees below zero
– POWs pasted strips paper over windows to keep out cold
– Punishment:
– beatings not widespread
– enlisted beaten, now and again, for petty reasons
– Work:
– Japanese wanted officers to begin work on a farm in the Spring of 1945
– they refused and told of what had happened at Shirakawa Camp on Formosa
Note: Weaver was beaten over the head for refusing to allow the officers, American, British, and Dutch, to work. He was again beaten, this time in his shins with a bamboo pole for climbing a tree to get buds to add to the soup the POWs had been given.
– War News:
– an enlisted man bribed a Japanese guard, with the promise of his watch, to get three newspapers for the POWs to read
– the guard took the papers off the commandant’s desk and those POWs who could read Japanese read them
– the papers had to be returned to the desk before each morning
– those POWs who could read Japanese translated the papers
– if caught the POWs would have been punished and the guard executed
– bribes continued
– from the papers they learned the war in Europe was going well and B-29s were bombing Japan
– had no idea what a B-29 looked like, but the bombings made them happy
– learned of the invasion of the Philippines and Roosevelt’s death
Liberated:
– 19 August 1945 – OSS Recovery Team parachuted into camp
– informed POWs they were free
– 24 August 1945 – Russians arrived
– taken by truck to Mukden
– 27 August 1945 – flown to Sian, China
– his wife also received word he had been rescued
– 1:30 P.M. arrived at Chungking, China
– flew out of Chungking
– sent telegram to his parents which said:
 ” En-route home by air via Chungking. Arrive sometime first week in September. See you both shortly. Jim.”
– sent a telegram to his daughter that said, “I’m coming home .”
– after he returned home, he remained on medical leave until January 1, 1946
– this was done for all POWs released from camps in Manchuria
– 24 November 1945
– nominated for promotion to Major-General
Commanding Officer:
– Fort Benning, Georgia
– Fort Ord, California
– Fort Beale, California
– Presidio, San Francisco, California
– 1947-1948 – retired
Medals:
– Purple Heart
– Bronze Star
– Silver Star
– Prisoner of War Medal
– Distinguish Service Medal
– Distinguish Service Cross
– for operations of Provisional Tank Group – 2 February 1942
Note: Of the tank group’s performance he said: “The Provisional Tank Group, USAFFE, took to the field ten days after its organization lacking a headquarters company, one light tank battalion, and both medium battalions. It was unacclimated; unused to its weapons, armor, radios; a new arm unacquainted with and to the people with whom it was to be associated. The group learned the hard way, for tankers – in defensive battle, covering the withdrawal into Bataan for 18 days of unremitting strain and action with the enemy who did not attack in force but infiltrated at night and around flanks, snipped by day, and used his aviation immune from air counter attack or observation.”
Residence: Menlo Park, California
– served on board of the San Mateo County Red Cross
Died: 29 August 1967 – San Mateo, California
– heart attack
Buried:
– San Francisco National Cemetery – Presidio, California
– Section: OS Row: 77 Site: 8-A

Default Gravesite 1