Prepared by OFFICE OF THE
PROVOST MARSHALL GENERAL 19 November 1945
CABANATUAN, CAMP THREE
Original report in error- called this Camp One
[Corrections] per M. Christie, Historian, 4th Marines, POW and
Roger Mansell, Center For Research.
Rescue Roster: Rescue raid-
The 7,000 American prisoners of war from Corregidor fared
somewhat better than did those captured on Bataan. After being
interned for a week in a small, crowded area on Corregidor [92nd Garage area] they were placed aboard
transports and taken to Manila, where they were first paraded
through the streets and then thrown into old Bilibid Prison.
They had been there only a short time when they were packed into
freight cars and sent to Cabanatuan.
The first group, comprising about 2,000 officers and men, was
taken to Camp #3. [Error: The Corregidor men were encampted in a schoolyard
in Cabanatuan City the prior night. This group was marched past
camp #1 and #2, directly to Camp #3] They were forced
to march on foot the entire 12 miles between the town and the
camp. Anyone who fell by the wayside from heat prostration or
exhaustion was severely beaten by the guards. If, after having
been beaten, they still insisted that they were unable to continue
the march, they were thrown into trucks and were permitted to
ride the rest of the way.
Conditions at Camp #1 were fair, the camp being, on the whole,
well organized and administered.
The Headquarters Staff at this camp was comprised of the following
Vice Camp Commander:
Statistical & Personnel Officer:
Camp Supply Officer:
Work Detail Officer:
Chief, Medical Service:
Supply - Medical:
Other Staff Personnel:
Beecher, Curtis E., Lt Col, USMC O-65
Leinbach, Charles, Lt Col, USA (FA) O-11578
Shreve, Arthur, Lt Col, USA (GSC) O-11176
Pyzick, Frank, Major, USMC O-4087
Brettell, John, Lt Col, AUS (2 MG)
Reynolds, Gilbert, Major, AUS (FA)
Bradley, James Vincent, USMC [died as POW]
Craig, Rene William, Lt Col, USA (MC)
Kemp, Orin W., Lt Col, USA (MC)
Houghton, Carl, Major, USA (MC)
Johnson, Harold K., Lt Col, USA O-19187
Leighton, Harry, Major, USA (VC) O-16296
Brinkmeyer, John, Major note: probably alive & recaptured
Prisoners who were seriously sick were sent to Camp #3 to
There was a small hospital
across the road from the main camp. Deaths during the first three
month period were approximately 80 men. Camp doctor was Harry
Levitt] Consequently, the death rate at Camp #1 was
very low. Several of the prisoners there were executed for attempting
to escape, and one officer was killed when a group of Filipino
guerillas ambushed a truck in which he was riding with 2 Japanese
soldiers, and, not recognizing the American, opened fire and
killed all three occupants of the truck. Several details were
sent to Japan from the Camp between June and September 1942.
It was closed in September 1942 and the remaining American prisoners
removed to Camp #1. A short
time later the Japanese reopened Camp
#3 as a rehabilitation training camp for the Filipino
prisoners of war.
Diet: The daily ration...
was somewhat better. Here, about 16 oz of rice, per man per day,
4 oz of top greens (similar to spinach, somewhat) was issued.
Once per week, one (1) oz of carabao (water buffalo) meat was
issued. For about one month, while in season, each man received
one slice of cucumber (1/4" x 1-1/2" diameter) per
day. About once per week, two (2) oz of coconut was issued and
this was utilized with cornstarch and sugar, of which there was
almost always a fair amount available, to make a pudding. Also,
once per week for one month, one small banana was issued and
this was also used for pudding. For a period of one month, each
man received a total of 15 limes. All the vegetables, except
for the cucumbers, were boiled, with the further exceptions of
fried sweet potatoes on two occasions (from July-Nov). For the
soups, 50 lbs of Purico per week (coconut oil fat) for 500 men
or 1/10 pound per week was issued.
Analysis of these data readily demonstrates the reason for the
high death rate of these two camps and explains the reasons for
the tremendous number of cases of dietary deficiency diseases..
In no single respect was the diet adequate, not even in calories,
which in O'Donnell was approximately 1340, and at Cabanatuan,
At Cabanatuan, a commissary was available for those who had money.
However, these fortunate ones were far in the minority; perhaps
10% had some money and about 1 %, only, had enough to adequately
supplement the diet to the basic minimum requirements.
Organization: Camp #1 was
divided into three (3) groups of approximately 1500 men each.
Each group had its own kitchen, administrative group and dispensary.
A central camp administration and field medical; supply headquarters
were in charge of the whole camp. In addition there was a large
hospital separate from the camp, but next to it, of 2,000 patients
and 400 medical personnel. These prisoners of war who were very
ill were sent to the hospital, not so much for treatment (due
to lack of drugs) as for the isolation from the relatively healthy.
Medical supplies and equipment were very, very limited.
The dispensary in each group had a staff of four to six physicians
and dentists, and about five enlisted medical corpsmen. Here,
a daily sick-call was conducted for diagnosis and minor dressings.
Very few drugs were available unfortunately. The dispensary kept
careful records of diagnosis and treatments of every patient
in the group.
Home Camp List Rescue Roster (30 Jan 1945)
1. Starvation, "nutritional and actual" was present
among American Prisoners of War in the Philippines in 1942 and
was the direct cause of the great majority of the excessively
large number of deaths which occurred.
2. On changing from a balanced diets, at the beginning of the
war, to a nutritionally deficient one, Beri-beri was the first
nutritional disease observed, occurring after three months departure
from a balanced diet; Pellagra was observed after nine (9) months;
Ariboflavinosis [Deficiency of riboflavin
(vitamin B2) characterized by swollen, cracked, bright red lips
(cheilosis), an enlarged, tender, magenta-red tongue]
after nine (9) months and Scurvy was still questionable after
nine (9) months and began to definitely appear in ten months.
Xerophthalmia [Dry eyes. Also, called conjunctivitis
arida] and nyctalopia [Night blindness
or difficulty in seeing at night], although difficult
to diagnose microscopically, was definitely present in ten months
and very severe thereafter, increasing in intensity to complete
blindness in many cases, cleared up by massive doses of vitamin
A and thiamin.
3. Severe and sharp "shooting pains" in the feet and
legs developed during the winter months of 1942-1943 and resulted
in gangrene of the toes and many deaths. It was definitely cleared
up by great doses of thiamin in test cases, administered intra-spinally
4. The efficiency and fighting capacity of the Filipino-American
troops in Bataan was markedly lowered by a very poor diet, affecting
military capabilities, their morale, and fighting capacity.