Post by Karl Welteke on Jul 20, 2008 10:34:54 GMT 8
The above images of the old but refurbished Death March Marker # 112 is the last one before one reaches the present Capas Memorial Shrine, dedicated to unimaginable suffering of the US and American Soldiers in the Japanese POW Camp O’Donnell. It is reported that approximately 30,000 Soldiers died here while in the hands of the Imperial Japanese Forces. At this memorial marker is this boundary marker, the 2nd image. I find it incredible that this memorabilia from the US Military Colonial presence is still around.
I wonder was this the original location of the marker? Was it for the former Camp O’Donnell? Is it pre WWII since it got a Spanish Language line on it; when the US took procession of the Philippine Islands, Spanish was the lingua franca. What else was this larger O’Donnell area used for Militarily?
Than the question came up what was the 2nd Spanish word which is hard to read, hence the question”Who knows a little Spanish”? The English ‘NO TRESPASSING’ is readable. The bottom line in Philippine, I was able to gather with a help of a friend to be ‘BAWAL MAGDAAN’ which means about the same. But it is only a word of a friend, so this is open for comments also!
From the Spanish line one can decipher this much ‘SE ……. EL PASO’. So who knows a little Spanish, what is that word will it the same meaning?
Post by Karl Welteke on Jul 20, 2008 13:38:21 GMT 8
Tom, a close Philippine friend answered your question this way:
It is in Spanish, because Spanish was one of the official languages in the Philippines at that time. The old folks from Northern Luzon to Southern Mindanao spoke Spanish to each other, because that is what they learned in school. Spanish was the common language in the Philippines until the Thomasites began slowly spreading the use of English. But at that time, an Ilocano could not communicate with a Cebuano or a Kapampangan -- because they were not familiar with Tagalog -- unless they used Spanish. President Macapagal and Congress were the ones responsible for labeling Tagalog as "Filipino" and making Filipino required learning in school.
In my youth, I spoke Spanish with our elderly Ilongga maid/governess/yaya because she could not speak good Tagalog or English -- but she was fluent in Spanish.
As soon as the American soldiers established their military camps at the turn of the century, they placed those "Do not Enter" signs in English, Spanish and the prevalent local dialect(s). Some of those relics still exist today.
I remember in the early 50's we used to read a local Spanish newspaper in Manila called "El Debate" -- I think it went out of business when most of the subscribers died of old age.
A good part of it still exists, amigo. It is now the headquarters of the Philippine Army Light Armor Brigade (or PALAB, consisting of Scorpion Tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers and Reconnaissance vehicles). When I was the Commanding General of the 54th Engineer Brigade, my soldiers did some extensive repair and construction work in Camp O'Donnell for the PALAB troops.
You will not easily see or locate this Camp because it is out of the way, but if you travel along the Capas, Tarlac portion of the MacArthur Highway, you will notice some road signs (directional arrows pointing east) saying "PALAB" or "O"Donnell" You can easily reach the gate of Camp O'Donnell, but I doubt that the guards will let you inside.
The original Camp O'Donnell was a huge place. The POW Camp (a National Shrine today) near the MacArthur Highway was only a small part of it. You can read a short history of Camp O'Donnell here:
Post by Karl Welteke on Jul 21, 2008 8:35:34 GMT 8
Friends My Army friend left out the Navy in this story. The PALAB complex, I'm sure, was the former US Navy Communication Complex with a huge antenna fields and had modern facilities for communication personnel and the US Marine security. It was the link between Viet Nam and the Pentagon. A cable run from Viet Nam to Subic and the Santa Rita Mountain was a link between those two points. The transmissions and receipt of messages were from the US Navy Communication Facility Camp O'Donnell.
(2014-07-29 NOTE FROM KARL, I GOT THAT WRONG, IT WAS THE AIR FORCE CAMP O’DONNEL, NOW I KNOW THAT THE NAVY TOOK OVER THE POW CAMP O’DONNELL AND THAT IS WHERE THE HUGE ANTENNA FIELD WAS)
During the Base negotiation (1991/1992), the NPA ambushed a car with US civilian communication employees and killed 3 or 4 of them. This was in this Capas area.
A Wikipedia pic of that area is attached and I know the area very well, been there about 10 times. I explored this area in the mid 90s when one was free to do so. Then came Dick Gordon as the Tourist Secretary, told the last village there (Santa Juliana) don’t let anyone thru without hiring a guide and asked the existing RP Air Force outpost there ( guarding and closing the bombing range when in use) to enforce it.
Notes to the numbers on the pic.
1) Was the hill where the Bombing Range Control was and is, now run by the RP Air Force. Been there, it is only manned when in use. I was denied access to this O'Donnell river once because they were using it. That guard post ( at Santa Juliana, where one enters the river bed and bombing range is manned all the time to make sure the tourists have guides). That irks me of course because I can show the guides where to go and I explored this area freely before Dick Gordon came along.
2) Is the crossing to Zambales, that is where the road from Capas (in Tarlac) runs to Botolon (in Zambales) portions of that dirt road still exist. Explored this area 3 times and found the road and been across to Zambales 3 times. One time 2 armored vehicles gave us a ride to this point and we made the Tarlac to Zambales crossing in record time-9 hours. One time we came to the Air Force check point and they stopped us because of an 'encounter' between the RP Army and the NPA on the Zambales side.
3)Is the O'Donnell river and is now the easiest route to Mount Pinatubo. When one travels it now it doesn't look that forbidding. Been there 3 or 4 times. One parks in the river bed about even where the number 5 is and it takes me nearly 3 hours to reach the crater from there. It is a relative easy to a moderate hike. Fitter people can reach it in less than 2 hours.
4)This is my believe only but I heard, thru Korean money and effort, a new route has been developed to Mt. Pinatubo this way. Into that smaller valley and then continue on top of that lahar flat area to the right. That saves more walking time and from the end of the new Korean route one walks only an hour to the crater. On Google Earth one can see a road track now.
(2014-07-29 NOTE FROM KARL: YES THAT ORGANIZATIN EXISTED, I USED IT AND IT IS DISCONTINUED, PERHAPS THE DEATH OF SOME VISITORS CAUSED IT TO BE CLOSED)
5) Been on top there and looked in the next valley; where I made my arrow to, one can see, a lot of the area, up to that point is used by people for agriculture purposes. Below the 5, on the O'Donnell River side is a village, been there two times. All the Air Force bombing target facilities are buried under the lahar of Mt. Pinatubo except the control facilities at '1'
Don't know, but I think, where I found the US Military boundary marker, near the entrance to the former POW camp and now the shrine, everything west of there was considered once, one huge Military Training area, since from before WWII. Karl
Post by Karl Welteke on Jul 21, 2008 10:56:38 GMT 8
Y433- I want to back up my claim that the Navy was here with a few images. This 1st one I don't remember where I got it from. But the owner’s inscription speaks for itself:
Y434- This pic came from the US Subic Bay Marine Barracks 1971 web pages and it seems to be the original Memorial the American Prisoners built. The masts in back seem to belong to an antenna field:
Y435- This image is from the 1989 US Subic Bay Marine Barracks web pages. Sorry, they don't have a better quality image available. The word Naval or Navy is not there anymore, maybe at this point it became a Department of Defense Facility:
Victor, gave me ‘prohibe’ and sent me on the right track. Tony, gave me ‘probide’ and I jumbed right on it but it didn’t check out. So, it has the same meaning as the other two lines, English and Filipino. Karl
California - Bob: Dear Mr. Welteke: Since you have trekked all around Botolan, Zambales "and more", it is time to mention that my (asawa) wife is from Botolan. I was there in the early 2000's, and I "do" plan to return once the virus calms down more. Salamut. Bob/Kano
Mar 29, 2022 5:50:43 GMT 8
fortman: I hope that this is the right thread. Does any one know how the 155m GPFs were moved on to the panama mounts? Were special ramps used or were they lifted on using a crane?
Jun 7, 2022 2:14:03 GMT 8
fortman: I hope that this is the appropriate thread! Does anyone know how the 155mm GPFs were moved on to the panama mounts? Were ramps used or were they lifted by crane? Thanks. Fortman
Jun 7, 2022 2:16:21 GMT 8
EXO: OK GUYS - I HAVE REDUCED OUR MEMBERSHIP DOWN TO 82, ON A "LESS IS MORE" BASIS. THERE WAS TOO MUCH DEADWEIGHT. ANYONE WHO HASN'T MADE THEIR FIRST POST WITHIN A FEW MONTHS MAY HAVE THEIR MEMBERSHIP DELETED.
Jun 16, 2022 16:38:46 GMT 8
batteryboy: GPFs were mounted via ramps to the Panama Mounts. No need for cranes
Jun 16, 2022 16:38:46 GMT 8
fortman: Hi Batteryboy. Thanks for the feedback on the panama mounts. It is as I thought, but have never seen a photo of the ramps being used. Regards.
Jul 9, 2022 22:57:31 GMT 8
one50: Good to see everyone..it's been a while.
Nov 16, 2022 13:45:10 GMT 8
Peter J johnson: I am looking for the personell photo of my father STAFF SEARGENT CHRIS W. JOHNSON 2ND BTLN FCOMPANY 3RD SQUAD
Nov 18, 2022 5:48:29 GMT 8
one50: Peter, please register as a user for this forum and we can share info with you. I may have a photo with Chris in it. This "shoutbox" is not the place. Thanks
Nov 18, 2022 11:34:41 GMT 8
BusterS: Did anyone know my father, Harold Stanley, he was in D Bty, 462d, Headquarters Det I think? He passed many years ago and I have very few stories from him.
Jan 7, 2023 7:19:43 GMT 8
Alejandro Rimando: Does anyone have any information on Alejandro Rimando?
Apr 2, 2023 21:59:17 GMT 8
Gordy: Does anyone know a survivor of the Oryoko Maru, who might have known my uncle, USN Ensign Peronneau Wingo? He was a POW at Cabantuan and was on the bombed Oryoko Maru.
May 25, 2023 18:37:45 GMT 8
chadhill: Gordy, try contacting Mark Kelso or James Erickson on the Battle of Bataan Facebook site.
May 30, 2023 23:34:35 GMT 8
Whitney Galbraith: POW historians: I would like to invite your attention to this volume of my father’s World War II memoir which I self-published in 2018 and edited in 2020. Col. Nicoll F Galbraith, GSC, US Army was General Jonathan M. Wainwright’s G-4, Logistics, staff off
Jun 2, 2023 19:13:04 GMT 8