Post by Karl Welteke on Nov 1, 2017 19:34:50 GMT 8
Four WWII Veterans at the Hell Ships Memorial 22nd Jan. 2006
The Steve and Marcia Kwiecinski Family shared a photo from the inauguration of the Hellships Memorial, (Hell Ships, alternate spelling). The description below the picture is from Steve. I received the email with the photo and description on the 25th Oct. 2017, Phil date.
Za338. Four WWII Veterans at the Hell Ships Memorial 22nd Jan. 2006 in Subic Bay.
Photo and description credit Steve Kwiecinski: The four U.S. POWs who attended the January 22, 2006 ceremony are all passed now. In the attached photo are from left to right Richard Francies, Everett Reamer, Harold Malcolm Amos, and Charles Towne. Towne was a corpsman on Corregidor and passed away a week after this tour, led by Duane Heisinger for Valor Tours. Francies was a Death March survivor who suffered from severe dementia later on and passed on October 13, 2011. Amos was a Death March survivor and returned often with Valor Tours. He was liberated at Cabanatuan and never on a hellship to Japan. He passed away on October 8, 2011. Reamer was captured on Corregidor and went on one of the first Hellships to Japan in late '42. He passed away last Friday. His funeral is today.
Post by Karl Welteke on Nov 12, 2017 14:35:56 GMT 8
What is happening to the Hellships Memorial?
Za366. Hell Ships Memorial, 4 Marble slaps are removed 2017-10-31.
On the 31st of Oct. 2017 I noticed about 4 marble slabs were removed from the Hellships (Hell Ships) Memorial in Subic Bay. 2 more were a little lose. I contacted FAME and asked is there a project in the works. They answered in the negative and said they would try to find out.
Za367. Hell Ships Memorial, 4 Marble slaps are put back 2017-11-11.
On Veterans Day, when returning from the Clark Freeport Zone, the former Clark Air Base, I noticed that the Marble slabs are moved back or are replaced. I asked the workers, one said they are doing it for the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the other said they were contract workers from Olongapo. If that is the case, that means that SBMA, the new managers of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ), the former Subic Bay Naval Base, is maintaining or repairing the Hell Ships Memorial in Subic Bay. To me that is great news, that they are caring for this important memorial, thank you very much, SBMA! At least they seem to do it now.
These two workers were re-caulking where ever necessary.
Za368. Hell Ships Memorial, a worker is re-caulking 2017-11-11.
Two workers were carefully re-caulking all the seams between the marble slabs on the Hellships (Hell Ships) Memorial in Subic Bay. That is good maintenance work, thank you!
Ze797. Commemoration Ceremony of the 75th Anniversary of the sinking of the Oryoku Maru picture by the SubicNewsLink; both Nation’s Flags are displayed.
Ze798. Commemoration Ceremony of the 75th Anniversary of the sinking of the Oryoku Maru picture by the SubicNewsLink; the Two Bell Ceremony.
Ze799. Commemoration Ceremony of the 75th Anniversary of the sinking of the Oryoku Maru picture by the SubicNewsLink. Tracey Betts, a representative from the United States Embassy in Manila, lays a wreath at the wreck site of the MV Oryoku Maru during a remembrance ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 15, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the hellship. Oryoku Maru, carrying nearly 300 American prisoners of war, was accidentally sunk by American fighter planes on Subic Bay, Philippines on December 15, 1944.
Here is a more accurate story of the tragic event and the staggering numbers of death and inhumanity from Wikipedia:
Oryoku Maru, named after Yalu River) was a Japanese passenger cargo ship which was commissioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II as a troop transport and prisoner of war (POW) transport ship. Japanese POW transport ships are often referred to as hell ships, due to their notoriously unpleasant conditions and the many deaths that occurred on board. In December 1944, the ship was bombed by American aircraft, killing 200 Allied POWs. Hundreds more died in the months that followed.
The Oryoku Maru left Manila on December 13, 1944, with 1,620 prisoners of war (including 1,556 American, 50 British and Dutch, 7 Czech, 4 Norwegians and several other nationalities) packed in the holds, and 1,900 Japanese civilians and military personnel in the cabins. As she neared the naval base at Olongapo in Subic Bay, US Navy planes from the USS Hornet attacked the unmarked ship, causing it to sink on December 15. About 270 died aboard ship. Some died from suffocation or dehydration. Others were killed in the attack, drowned or were shot while escaping the ship as it sunk in Subic Bay where the 'Hell Ship Memorial' is located. A colonel, in his official report, wrote:
Many men lost their minds and crawled about in the absolute darkness armed with knives, attempting to kill people in order to drink their blood or armed with canteens filled with urine and swinging them in the dark. The hold was so crowded and everyone so interlocked with one another that the only movement possible was over the heads and bodies of others.
The survivors of the sinking were held for several days in an open tennis court at Olongapo Naval Base. While there, the prisoners were afforded no sanitary conditions whatsoever. Prisoners experienced severe mistreatment, and several deaths occurred. The group of prisoners was then moved to San Fernando, Pampanga. While in San Fernando, 15 weak or wounded prisoners were loaded on a truck, believing they would be taken to Bilibid Prison for treatment. In the 1946 war crimes trial,[which?] they were reported to have been taken to a nearby cemetery, beheaded, and dumped into a mass grave. The remaining prisoners were then transported by train to San Fernando, La Union. There, about 1,000 of the survivors were loaded on another Japanese ship, the Enoura Maru, while the rest boarded the smaller Brazil Maru. Both ships reached Takao (Kaohsiung) harbor in Taiwan on New Year's Day.
On January 6, the smaller group of prisoners was transferred from Brazil Maru to Enoura Maru, and 37 British and Dutch were taken ashore. However, on January 9, the Enoura Maru was bombed and disabled while in harbor, killing about 350 men. The survivors were put aboard the Brazil Maru which arrived in Moji, Japan, on January 29, 1945. Only 550 of the over 900 who sailed from Taiwan were still alive; 150 more men died in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea in the following months, leaving only 403 survivors of the original 1,620 to be liberated from camps in Kyushu, Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan in August and September 1945.
Junsaburo Toshino, former Lieutenant and Guard Commandant aboard the ship, was found guilty of murdering and supervising the murder of at least 16 men, and sentenced to death as a Class B war criminal at Yokohama. Shuske Wada, whose charges paralleled those of Toshino, was the official interpreter for the guard group. (Both Toshino and Wada had supervised the San Fernando murders.) Wada was found guilty of causing the deaths of numerous American and Allied prisoners of war by neglecting to transmit to his superiors requests for adequate quarters, food, drinking water, and medical attention. Wada was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor. All the other guards received long prison sentences. The captain of the ship, Shin Kajiyama, was acquitted, "as he had no chance to prevent any atrocities
Post by Karl Welteke on Mar 31, 2020 12:41:02 GMT 8
Three Allied POWs escaped from the Oryoku Maru in Dec. 1944.
This is one story I never heard before and it is pleasant surprise, especially that the three escapees were rescued, assisted by the Olongapo area guerillas as reported by Capt. Ramon Magsaysay (the future President) of the Zambales Military District.
A03. Zo138 Three POWs escaped from the sinking Oryoku Maru as reported by Capt. Ramon Magsaysay (later the President of the Philippines). This document was found and was provided by Bub Hudson. Amazing, I never knew that. Thank you Olongapo and area Guerillas.
A04. Zo139 Three POWs escaped from the sinking Oryoku Maru as reported by Capt. Ramon Magsaysay (later the President of the Philippines). This document was found and was provided by Bub Hudson. Amazing, I never knew that. Thank you Olongapo and area Guerillas.
A05. Zo140 Three POWs escaped from the sinking Oryoku Maru as reported by Capt. Ramon Magsaysay (later the President of the Philippines). This document was found and was provided by Bub Hudson. Amazing, I never knew that. Thank you Olongapo and area Guerillas.
Artem: I use to work in that shipyard. Heard of D. Cleland through my uncles who were previous generations that worked there. Saw a photo or two of D.Cleland in the shipyard library. If my memory is correct I saw his grave out in the city's protestant cemetery.
May 11, 2020 8:24:25 GMT 8
faulkvi2: Hi! My name is Vickie. I am here to learn more about the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and to honor the life of my Uncle, Pvt Eugene Mott, who has not been returned to us after his death on the Oryoku Maru.
Jun 20, 2020 10:59:59 GMT 8
Gen. Gaudencio V. Vera : Brief Biography of Gen. Gaudencio V. Vera
Jul 31, 2020 10:26:06 GMT 8
Whitney Galbraith: In 2018 I self-published my father's WWII memoir (https://www.valleyoftheshadowpow.com) Col. Nicoll F. Galbraith, GSC, US Army, was a senior staff officer of Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright during the Fall of the Philippines. I would enjoy conversation.
Aug 17, 2020 5:42:01 GMT 8
chadhill: Whitney: I was not aware of your book and just ordered it from Amazon. Can't wait to read it. Chad Hill.
Aug 17, 2020 12:42:24 GMT 8
RobH: Hello, I am looking for clarification on the how my Uncle John A. Holmes died at Corregidor. He was with the 3rd Battalion, G Company.
Sept 1, 2020 2:36:14 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH: Try messaging EXO or tmayer on this website. They have much info on individuals of the 503rd.
Sept 2, 2020 11:22:50 GMT 8
RobH: chadhill: My approval status is still pending, so it won't let me message them yet. Any idea how long that takes? Thanks.
Sept 3, 2020 5:33:10 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH, I think you're set now. You may have to make a brief intro of yourself on the guest board to prove to a monitoring system that you're not a spam robot, but try messaging them first.
Sept 3, 2020 6:49:56 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH: Be sure to login with a password, too (you probably already know that).
Sept 3, 2020 6:55:00 GMT 8
rob: chadhill: Thank you! I'm set up and have messaged EXO. Thank you again!
Sept 3, 2020 11:27:51 GMT 8
alalba: Hello.I'm looking for any information about where and how the US recruited Filipinos just after WWII, 1945-46 (Subic or Sangley).I'm writing a memoir for my Dad who was a guerrilla during WWII, joined the US Navy in Apr '46, and retired in 1971. Thanks
Sept 23, 2020 11:30:51 GMT 8
SteveG: My father, Alex Georgakas, was in the 503rd and is listed on the 2nd BT HQ list of participants in the Corregidor action. His service records make no mention of that action, nor did he receive the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to his group. Thoughts?
Nov 13, 2020 0:46:52 GMT 8
Eduardo P. Sayajon : Hello to all, my uncle Crescencio B. Sayajon served & was a member of the 26th Cavalry Regiment Philippine Scout during WW2 a letter of Appreciation was given but unfortunately it was destroyed. I would like to know where I could get a copy??
Nov 16, 2020 23:04:02 GMT 8
tmayer: Steve G, Did you ever talk to your Dad about his time in the service? Does his discharge list a Philippine Liberation Medal? Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with any bronze stars or an arrowhead?
Nov 19, 2020 8:26:25 GMT 8