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Chase, Colonel Theodore M.
Correspondence, Papers, and Ephemera, of Colonel Theodore M. Chase, Japanese Prisoner of War – Captured with American Forces at the Fall of Corregidor, Philippines, held at Camp Shirakawa, Formosa (Taiwan), during World War Two, 1942-1945

41 letters, 64 manuscript and typed pp., dated 24 November 1942 to 25 August 1945; with 100 manuscript pages, papers and notes written while in captivity, including a significant group of 66 manuscript pages of eyewitness notes on the bombardment and siege of Corregidor written by Chase at the time, dated circa 1942-1945; plus, over 30 pieces of ephemera, both printed, and manuscript, as well as artifacts.

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Col. Theodore “Mosher” Chase (1887-1963)

 

           Theodore M. Chase was born 29 October 1887, the son of LTC Constantine Chase (1845-1902) and his wife Mary May Mosher (1852-1918). He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, at West Point, New York, Class of 1909. His classmates included future WWII Generals George Patton, Jacob Devers, Robert Eichelberger, and William H. Sampson.

 

       Chase served stateside during WWI as a member of the Coast Heavy Artillery Corps. Between the wars he served in a number of assignments and rose in rank, becoming a full Colonel on 12 August 1938. He was stationed in Manilla, Philippine Islands by April 1941, and was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor. He was the Commanding Officer of the 60th Coast Artillery Corps and in charge of Anti-Aircraft protection.

 

             Col. Chase was held prisoner by the Japanese first at Karenko POW Camp #4, then later at Shirakawa POW Camp #4A, both in occupied Taiwan. In all he was a prisoner from 21 May 1942 until early 1945 at these camps, and was then transferred to POW Camp Hoten, Mukden, Manchuria, from which he was liberated in August 1945. He was listed as “Prisoner #33 in squad #3” while at Shirakawa, the camp he was at the longest.

 

           After returning home to the United States in the fall of 1945, he was awarded the Legion of Merit medal for service as a POW and the Purple Heart for injuries received during the Corregidor battle. Colonel Chase retired with a disability on 31 March 1947 with 42 years of service.

 

           Chase’s wife Page Wray was born in 1886 and died in Highland, New York, on 22 July 1942. She died while her husband was a POW. Chase was not notified of her death until almost two years later in 1944, while still a prisoner. Col. Chase died on 31 July 1963 and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

        Description of Collection

The archive offered here gives great insight into Col. Chase’s time as a Japanese prisoner of war. Included in this archive are correspondence, papers, and ephemera as follows:

        Correspondence:

41 letters, 64 manuscript and typed pp., dated 24 November 1942 to 25 August 1945, as follows:

-19 outgoing letters, 32 manuscript pp., of Col. Theodore M. Chase, dated 24 November 1942 to 25 August 1945; the letters were written by Col. Chase while he was a prisoner of war. The letters were written to his wife Mrs. Page Wray Chase (7), c/o The Washington Loan & Trust Co., Washington, D.C.; to his brother Constantine Chase, of Washington, D.C. (5); to his sister Mrs. Louise C. Ralston, of Washington, D.C. (6); and to his niece Ms. Betty Ralston, Washington, D.C. (1). Of these 19 letters, 6 of the letters (6 manuscript pp.) have letter drafts attached to them, thus the 19 letters are comprised of 26 manuscript pp., plus the additional 6 manuscript pp. of copies. Chase was held prisoner by the Japanese at Shirakawa POW Camp (Taiwan POW Camp #4) from 21 May 1942 until early 1945 and then transferred to POW Camp Hoten, Mukden, Manchuria from which he was liberated in August 1945

-11 incoming letters, 13 manuscript and typed pp., written to Col. Theodore M. Chase, while he was a prisoner of war, dated 1 February 1943 to 7 March 1945; of these 11 letters, 7 were written by his brother Constantine Chase, 3 were written by his sister Louise C. Ralston; and 1 was written by his sister H.W. Ellett, “via steamship Gripsholm.” Chase was held prisoner by the Japanese at Shirakawa POW Camp (Taiwan POW Camp #4) from 21 May 1942 until early 1945 and then transferred to POW Camp Hoten, Mukden, Manchuria from which he was liberated in August 1945.

-11 letters, 19 manuscript pp., dated 9-11 March 1943, addressed to Col. Chase’s wife Mrs. Page Chase. These letters were sent by various people throughout the country, telling her about the message they heard on the radio about her husband being captured by the Japanese. Col. Chase was allowed by the Japanese to recite a short message over short wave radio on a Tokyo radio program. He asked people listening to let his wife know of his whereabouts, health, and if she needed money to use her power of attorney. Many public-spirited people in the western United States forwarded the message to Mrs. Chase. There are also 12 postcards sent to her (see Ephemera section).

            Papers:

           100 manuscript pages of papers and notes, dated circa 1942-1945; papers include:

            - A significant group of approximately 66 manuscript pages comprising Col. Chase’s notes on the bombardment of Corregidor by the Japanese. Colonel Chase was in command of the anti-aircraft guns and coast artillery on Corregidor. Chase’s notes outline the events and operations which occurred during the siege of Corregidor. The events related by Chase took place during the time period of late December 1941 to early May 1942, during which time the Americans had been under attack at the southern tip of Bataan and at the island of Corregidor. The American resistance to the Japanese landing forces was savage and heroic. The American forces only surrendered when faced with overwhelming Japanese force and finding themselves outgunned. Corregidor was eventually captured by the Japanese resulting in the surrender of the American military forces on the island, on April 29, 1942. Col. Chase was among the men who found themselves prisoners of War.

            The papers and notes are in no particular order, but with reading could likely be put in better order to outline the operations and events of the battle.

 

           The collection also includes - 1 hand drawn map, ink on paper, measuring 15” x 10”, entitled “Corregidor Island. Fort Mills, Philippine Islands. Showing 3” Gun and 50 Cal. Machine Gun Batteries of the 60th Coast Art. (A.A.),” drawn on the reverse of a sheet of Japanese graph paper.  Also shows “Japanese Landing 11 P.M. May 5, 1942.” Drawn by Lt. Wm. A. Hamilton, Jr., “F” 60th C.A.”

 

            Also included in these papers are the following items:

           - Report on mistreatment of Col. Chase by a Japanese sentinel, dated 25 February 1943.

            -“Memo to Senior American Officer, PW Camp Surikawa, Taiwan, 10 July 1943,” lists complaints of being overworked in heat during the middle of day in the hot sun, which goes against Geneva Convention.

             - “Meeting of Squad Leaders,” 11/12/43.

            -“My opinion of 2 Articles Appearing in a Nipponese Newspaper – Submitted 11/13/43 by Order of Nipponese Authorities, Shirakawa” includes commentary about a newspaper article concerning not receiving mail since captured (18 months plus) and wartime propaganda about American mistreating interned Japanese;

            - “Result [Camp] Inspection [Report] of 12/21/43.”

            - “Individual Package from LCR Rec’d 17 July 1944,” list of contents of the packages.

            -  “Regulations Effective Immediately, 6/12/44.” List of POW camp regulations.

            - “Room Corporal Conference 11/30/43 (Visit of Chief Taiwan Prisoner Camps) group of US Generals & Col. Howard.”

             - Hand drawn chart showing weight loss during his captivity, dated April 1942 to September 1944.

             -“Compilation of Information Contained in H Station Duty Officers Notes,” 24 March to 1 April, no year.

             - List of work assignments, names of prisoners grouped together, notes on if “excused,” or given “water,” etc.

             - “Notes from Diary,” not dated.

                 Ephemera:

- 1 manuscript  recipe book, 27 manuscript pp., plus blanks, bound in wrappers, measures 10” x 7”; contains recipes, hand written, it is highly unlikely that these recipes were for food prepared in the camp, may have been done to occupy time. Front wrapper has Japanese printed lettering, with the hand-written name of “Col. T.M. Chase, U.S. Army, Prisoner of War No. 33, Taiwan Prisoner Camp No. 4.”

 

- 12 postcards from various people throughout the country, written to Col. Chase’s wife Page, telling her about the message they heard on the radio that her husband had been captured by the Japanese, dated 10-12 March 1943. Col. Chase was allowed by the Japanese to recite a short message over short wave radio on a Tokyo radio program. He asked people listening to let his wife know of his whereabouts, his health, and if she needed money to use her power of attorney. Many public-spirited people in the western United States forwarded the message to Mrs. Chase, including one person from South Africa.

 

- 3 sets of “dog-tags” worn by Col. Chase, one set Chase’s pre-war issue metal dog-tags that were worn during the Battle of Corregidor and kept by him while a prisoner; one a set of metal dog-tags post release ID tags worn after release; and one Japanese ID made of cloth and ink, worn by Chase as a POW, listing him as POW #33 written in Japanese.

 

-1 telegram, dated 19 April 1944, to Col. Chase, from his sister Louise Ralston, offering prayers on the death of his wife.

 

- 1 “loincloth” stated to have been worn by British and Australian POW’s in labor units who worked on the Burma-Siam Railway, which was fictionally portrayed in the film “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

 

- 1 cardboard box (approx. 9”x10”) marked “American Red Cross Prisoner of War Food Package No.10 for Distribution through International Red Cross Committee.” One of Chase’s letters refers to receiving this box. Col. Chase stored the materials offered here in this box.

 

- 1 pair of shorts crudely made from a burlap food bag.  Worn by Col. Chase in captivity. Shows much wear.

 

- 1 “Pocket Prayer Book” (John Murphy Co., Baltimore 1913), 12 mo., 178 pp., wrappers, marked “Col. T.M. Chase P.W. No.33,” contained in a cloth pouch with Japanese writing; with “The Shield of Faith: Reflections and Prayers for Wartime,” by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, 12mo., 96 pp., wrappers, includes a small piece of an envelope, tucked in, with instructions how to say the “Rosary.”

 

- 1 deck of bridge cards, 52 cards and instructions on how to play Bridge, with leather case to hold cards.

 

 - 1 complete box of 10 small cigars marked “Daiton/Monopoly Bureau Formosa Gov’t”

 

 - 1 “Clix” brand shaving razor in the original box.

 

- 1 small piece of silvered steel intended for use as a mirror for shaving, with a small hole for hanging.

 

             - 1 aluminum eye wash cup.

 

- 1 small metal can opener, in envelope.

 

- 1 copy of a Reader’s Digest, 168 pp., dated July 1942, Vol. 41, No. 243. Has penciled notation “Save for Col. T.M. Chase,” lead story is “Eyewitness Epic – The Heroic Defense of the Philippines by Lieut. Col. Warren J. Clear, U.S.A.”

 

- 2 newspaper clippings, one a small article about “Defend the Philippines?” the other 4 pages of a Japanese newspaper “The Mainichi,” published in English, dated Sunday 4 April 1943, with edges torn, damaged.

 

            Surrender (1942) and Recapture (1945) of Corregidor

    Corregidor Island is an island located at the entrance of Manila Bay in southwestern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Due to this location, Corregidor has historically been fortified with coastal artillery to defend the entrance of Manila Bay and Manila from attacks by enemy warships.

     During World War Two “The Japanese opened their attack on Corregidor with an aerial bombardment on 29 December 1941, several days after MacArthur moved his headquarters there, but the heaviest attacks throughout the siege were from artillery based on nearby Cavite and later, on Bataan. When the last American and Filipino troops on the peninsula surrendered on 9 April 1942, the Japanese were able to mass artillery for an all-out attack of the Rock and its antiquated batteries.

     The tunnel network that ran through the island's hills afforded protection to the defending garrison, but much of the defense activity had to be carried out in the open. By 4 May, many of the guns had been knocked out, the water supply was low, and casualties were mounting. Heavy shellfire preceded Japanese attempts to land the next night, the Japanese later admitted their amazement at the savage resistance, which accounted for the sinking of two thirds of their landing craft and losses amounting to 900 killed and 1,200 wounded, against US losses of 800 dead and 1,000 wounded.

     The Battle for the Recapture of Corregidor took place from 16–26 February 1945 and pitted American forces against the defending Japanese garrison on the island fortress. The retaking of the island, officially named Fort Mills, along with the bloody battle to liberate Manila and the earlier recapture of the Bataan Peninsula, by invading U.S. forces from the occupying Japanese, marked the redemption of the American and Filipino surrender on 6 May 1942 and the subsequent fall of the Philippines.

     The surrender of Corregidor in 1942 and the ensuing fate of its 11,000 American and Filipino defenders led to a particular sense of moral purpose in General Douglas MacArthur, and as shown in the subsequent campaigns for the liberation of the Philippine archipelago, he showed no hesitation in committing the bulk of US and Philippine forces under his command. To the American soldier, Corregidor was more than a military objective; long before the campaign to recapture it, the Rock had become an important symbol in United States history as the last Pacific outpost of any size to fall to the enemy in the early stages of the Pacific War.”1

             Brief History of Taiwan POW Camp #4 – Karenko (Camp Opened: 08/17/42 - Camp Closed: 06/6/43)

    After the Japanese conquered all of the Asian colonies in late 1941 and the spring of 1942, they got the idea that they should separate the senior officers and chain of command from the regular enlisted men, so that the latter would not be able to function and would be easier for the Japanese to control. So, in August and early September 1942 they began to move these highest-ranking officers to their island fortress of Taiwan which had been a Japanese possession since the end of the Sino - Japanese War in 1895. Since Chase was a colonel, he was separated out and put with other high-ranking officers. He at first was at imprisoned at Karenko Camp.

     The first group of highest-ranking officers to arrive in Taiwan were the Americans under Lieut. General Jonathan Wainwright and Major Generals King and Moore from the Philippines. 179 officers and men arrived at Takao (Kaohsiung) Harbor in mid-August 1942 on the Nagara Maru and were transferred to a local coastal steamer which the POWs called the Otaru Maru, but which was later correctly identified as the Suzuya Maru, for the remainder of the journey which took them to Karenko Camp mid-way up the east coast of the island and today is known as Hualien.

     Next, the top-ranking officers from Singapore and the Dutch East Indies - Lieut. Generals Percival and Heath and Major General Callaghan of the Australian Forces from Singapore, and Lieut. General H. ter Poorton from the Dutch East Indies, were transported to Taiwan on the England Maru along with many brigadiers and colonels and their batmen. This group also included the governors and civil officials from Singapore, the Federated Malay States, Straits Settlements and Sumatra. After spending about a week at Heito Camp, they were moved out to join their American counterparts at Karenko Camp.

     From the outset of their stay at Karenko the Japanese tried to humiliate the senior officers and treated them very badly. Many were beaten and forced to do work which was beyond their ability as older men. The Japanese made the POWs work a local farm project to supposedly grow food to supplement their diet and then it was taken by the Japanese guards for their own use. The senior officers and the governors were also made to herd goats which was a difficult task for them.

     Food was always a problem and the Japs enjoyed playing games with the POWs when it came to withholding food and supplies from them. As a result of the poor diet and withheld medical supplies, three of the POWs died in this camp. British Maj/Gen. Merton Beckwith-Smith was the first to die on November 11, 1942, followed on February 11, 1943 by M/Sgt. James Cavanagh and later by Co. Paul Bunker on March 16, both of the US Army.

    In April 1943 it was decided to send 117 of the higher-ranking POWs and governors to another camp inland south of Karenko called Tamazato as the Red Cross wished to pay a visit, and because conditions were so deplorable at Karenko this new camp provided a better opportunity to show how well the prisoners were supposedly being treated. At Tamazato the men had better food and did not have to do any work. They were allowed to rest and relax and consequently were in better health and more fit by the time the Red Cross visited in June.

    Following the Red Cross visit, all but 28 of the highest-ranking officers and governors were transferred back to Karenko once again and a couple of days later were moved to Shirakawa Camp in south-central Taiwan along with the remainder of the men who had been at Karenko. The 28 senior officers and governors were then sent to Taihoku Camp 5 and Karenko Camp was closed. Col. Chase was one of the officers sent to Shirakawa Camp.

Brief history of Taiwan POW Camp #4A – Shirakawa, Formosa (Camp Opened: 06/06/43 - Camp Closed: 08/26/45)

     “Shirakawa POW Camp was opened in June 1943 with the transfer of over 300 POWs from Karenko Camp. It was formerly a Japanese army training camp and barracks. The camp was near a wooded hillside occupying around 10,000 sq. meters and was surrounded by a bamboo fence. The buildings were one-story, made of wood with tile roofs and wooden floors. There were also stables for livestock (believed to have been used to house some of the POWs of lower rank); there was a cookhouse, infirmary, isolation hut, and bathhouse and latrines.

    It became known as the “officers’ camp”, as most of the men in the camp were senior officers, although there were quite a number of enlisted men there as well. The camp was in operation from June 1943 to August 1945, and there were from 300 - 500 POWs in the camp at various times.

    The POWs were forced to work at farming which was hard and back-breaking work for the older men on the starvation diet they were given. The POWs cultivated crops and raised livestock - mostly for consumption by the Japanese. They also had to do such demeaning tasks as hauling water for the camp and emptying the contents of the latrines on the farm fields.

    The men did have some respite from the harsh life at times. For some months during 1944 they were allowed to write stories, poems, articles and sketches and publish them in a camp magazine called “Raggle Taggle”. Material was contributed by the officers and men and it gave a great boost in morale. After the war in 1947 a compilation of articles that had appeared in the camp magazine were compiled into a hardcover book of which only 400 copies were ever produced.

   Also, a Scout Rover Crew was started at Shirakawa Camp by some of the officers and a great number of former Boy Scouts - as well as some who had never been in Scouting, eagerly joined up. This group of men provided much needed care for some of the sick and weaker men and in keeping with the true spirit of Scouting, many good deeds were performed in the camp.

    There was a wooded hilly area just outside the bamboo fence on one side of the camp that was used as a recreation area where the POWs could take walks and read, and where church services were conducted on Sundays. It was nick-named “Yasume Park”. Later during harder times in the camp these privileges were withdrawn.

     The population of the camp increased in number throughout 1944 as POWs from other camps and some of those men being transported on various hellships arrived. In October 1944 about 300 of the officers and some enlisted men were sent to the northern port of Keelung and put on a ship called the Oryoku Maru and moved via Japan to Mukden in North China and they remained there till the end of the war. Col. Chase was one of the officers that was moved to Mukden in Manchuria.

     After the officers left, Shirakawa became a sort of hospital camp - a place where sick and over-worked POWs from other camps could come to recover as the medical facilities were better there. That said, there were still quite a number of deaths in the camp. In March 1945, Dr. Wheeler took the last sick party from Kinkaseki to Shirakawa, and this move is credited by many of the current survivors as the only thing that saved their lives. Still several of those men died later.

    When the war ended in August 1945, the remaining men at Shirakawa were moved to Taihoku and temporarily housed in the Maruyama Hospital Camp until their evacuation by the American and British navies from the port of Keelung in early September.”3

Notes:

1.As viewed on “Battle of Corregidor (1945),” on 28 Feb 2018:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Corregidor_(1945)

2.As viewed on “Never Forgotten: The Story of the Taiwan POW Camps and the men who were interned in them,” on 28 Feb 2018:

http://www.powtaiwan.org/The%20Camps/camps_detail.php?Taiwan-POW-Camp-4---Karenko-3&name=Karenko

3.As viewed on “Never Forgotten: The Story of the Taiwan POW Camps and the men who were interned in them,” on 28 Feb 2018:

http://www.powtaiwan.org/The%20Camps/camps_detail.php?Taiwan-POW-Camp-4A---Shirakawa-8&name=Shirakawa

 

          Sample Quotations:

          From Colonel Chase’s Papers, POW Experiences and Notes on the Siege of Corregidor

 

“Feb 25/43

3:15 A.M.

 

At bout 3:15 A.M. on 25 February 1943 upon leaving the latrine building in rear of the barracks at the POW Camp at Korenko, Taiwan…I halted stood at attention and wearing a cap, executed the hand salute to a Japanese sentinel who stood in the so-called laundress. The sentinel, who was above average in size for a Japanese, yelled something at me in Japanese, approached me and slapped me hard on the left side of my face using his right hand. After yelling at me again in Japanese, he pointed at my left hand – which was at my side with fingers extended downward and joined and then slapped me hard on the right check with his left hand. He then hit me with his right fist on the left side of the face, put his hand between my left leg and left hand, withdrew it, struck my left hand with the [butt] of his rifle stock and then slapped the left side of my face again, sharply. During this physical mistreatment the sentinel continuously yelled at me in Japanese. When he had done I was permitted to salute him and return to the room in which I was quartered. While I suffered no lasting physical injury from the above-mentioned punishment, my left jaw was sore for two or three days.

 

The name of the sentinel is unknown to me. The CO of the camp was Captain Imamura, Imperial Japanese Army. Colonel Gilman Bell was present during the episode.”

 

“Period 24 March – 2 April (incl.)

23 a. After having received replacement for losses suffered in his operations over Bataan and the fortified island, mainly during January; but also, to a more limited extent subsequently, and having been reinforced by additional bomber units; the enemy air forces, on 24 March 1942, resumed their bombing attacks on the Harbor Defenses. These attacks were a part of renewal by the enemy of his general attack in Luzon and were daily occurrences from 24 March to 2 April, both dates inclusive. During that period of ten days there were a total of 64 air raid alarms of which 34 were during daylight hours and 30 at night. The periods under air raid alarm totaled 73 hours and 57 minutes (in quantum) of which 55 hours and 15 minutes were during daylight and the remainder at night…

24 a. Operations during the period of 24 March – 2 April were numerous. There were morning and afternoon bombing attacks, and defensive fire actions throughout the period excepting on 2 April when the attacks were continued to the morning hours. On 25, 26, 29, 31 March and 1 April attacks begun in the morning were continued into the early afternoon.  There were also one or more attacks, or attempted attacks, each night excepting the night 2/3 April.”

 

“Corregidor was the objective of all attacks on the harbor defenses. On a number of occasions there were also bombing operations against Mariveles, Alas-Asin, and Cabcaben, in Bataan, whence Globe and Cebu and in some cases gun batteries on Corregidor, were in action.

 

The enemy operations against Corregidor on 24 March were spoken of in the regular edition of the Japan Times. Advertises of that date as ‘The largest air raid so far carried out in the Philippines.’ On that date, according to the only recorded information available at this time, 53 bombers, one formation of 9, 27,17 bombers attacked during the period 9:24 A.M. to approximately 9:50 A.M. and a formation of 9 and another of 7 bombers attacked at 2:35 P.M. and 2:33 P.M. respectively. There was also an attack during the 3:52 – 4:20 P.M. air raid alarm period, but no information of enemy strength in that attack is available at present. Allowing for the latter attack and for other probable omissions from the (recorded) information available, a conservative estimate would place the total number of attacking planes in the daylight attacks of 24 March at least 80, of which some formations may have been ‘repeaters,” considering the intervals between bombings and between air raid periods, and the time distance to Clark Field…”

 

 

“31.a. The enemy’s first night operation against the fortified islands occurred on the night 24-25 March 1942, when a single bomber, or a formation of two or three bombers, succeeded eluding the search lights, or pushing home the attack in spite of illumination and on 9:15 o’clock P.M. dropping three light bombs in Cheney Ravine, Corregidor. In a second attack on the same night a similar force in a like manner succeeded at 9:50 P.M. in dropping a few light bombs on the Bottomside area.

b. No damage, nor casualties resulted from the above bombings. But early in the evening 25 March a similar attack resulted in the burning of an empty warehouse in the dock area, Bottomside, Corregidor, and a barge fire off the engineer wharf, which constituted the greatest damage from night air attacks during the entire period of operations...”

 

 

“There were bombing attacks during 19 of the 25-daylight air raid alarm periods of the eight days 26 March to 2 April, inclusive. Of those attacks three (1 each on 27, 28, and 31 March) were directed against Mariveles, and/or other areas in the southern extremity of Bataan. All others were directed against Corregidor. During the remaining six-day light alarm periods (1 each on 27 and 28 March, 2 on 30 March and 1 each on 31 March and 1 April) there was hostile activity in or near the areas covered by the defenses, but no bombings or other forms of actual attack. During one of the latter periods however, viz. one of the two on the afternoon of 30 March, a formation of two twin engine bombers approached Corregidor at an altitude of around 20,000 feet in what might have been an attempted attack. Both of those bombers were shot down in a brief fire action participated in by Denver, Chicago, Boston and perhaps one other of the Corregidor gun batteries.”

 

 

“44.a. On 8 April, it being apparent that the fall of Bataan was a matter of but a few hours’ time, orders were issued for withdrawal of the 2d Battalion 60th Coast Artillery (AA) (less Batteries F and H) with Cebu attached to Corregidor via Mariveles. There were but few motor trucks available, boat space was limited and it was anticipated the movement along the roads in Bataan would be difficult and slow. (Accordingly, and) in as much as an additional gun battery at Corregidor was deemed to be more important to the Defense after the fall of Bataan (than part or all of) Erie’s searchlights and RDF’s, first priority in the movement was ordered to be given to Globe. It was also ordered that all equipment and ammunition which could not be brought to Corregidor be destroyed, special attention to be given to the destruction of SCR 268 sets, 3-inch guns and fire control equipment, and search light units.

b. The withdrawal was accomplished 8-9 April, the water movement and disembarkation being made at night. Much difficulty was encountered in the movement in Bataan. There was much congestion and confusion along the roads and in the Mariveles area caused by disorganized troops of the Luzon Force and civilian refugees. Occasioned by these conditions forcible intervention by military police, Globe had to leave two guns behind. Erie and Cebu had to abandon practically all of their heavy and bulky artillery equipment including 2 RDF’s, searchlights and allied equipment, 3-inch guns fire control equipment, and ammunition. All guns and other artillery equipment which could not be withdrawn from Bataan was destroyed to prevent its use by the enemy.”

 

“48. Usually during the period 9 April – 1 May the bombing attacks started between the hours 8:15 A.M. and 10:00 A.M and the last one occurred sometime between 2:35 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. On 18 April, however, the attacks were confined to the morning hours and on 21, 22, 24, 27 and 28 April they were confined to the afternoon hours. There were enemy aerial activities during the morning of 26 April, but no attacks were made on that day. These were also hostile aerial activities, which may or may not have been attempted attacks, by very small forces, on the nights 9/10, 13/14 and 14/15 April. From 2 to 5 May (both dates included), there were one or more morning and one or more afternoon attacks each day.

49. In total daily volume, the enemy operations from 9 to 12 April and from 29 April to 1 May (all dates inclusive) were almost on par, day for day, with those of 24 March. On each of the remaining days of the period 9 April – 5 May (inclusive) the enemy operations were of smaller scale. On 18, 22, 24, 26 & 28 April, they were of very small volume.

50….”

 

“50.a. An extremely large majority of the attacks were directed solely at Corregidor. It was attacked one or more times daily, excepting 20, 22, 24, 26, and possibly 19 April. Fort Hughes was and objective on 10, 15, 16, 17,19, 20, 21, 25, 29 and 20 April and on 2, 3, 5 and perhaps also on 4 May. It was the sole objective on 22 April. Fort Drum was an added objective on 20, 23, 29 April and 1 May, as was Fort Frank on 10 and 20 April. Boats at anchor near Corregidor or Fort Hughes were attacked on 19, 23, 24, 25 and 28 April and 2 and 4 May.”

 

 

         Correspondence:

 “November 24, 1942

My Precious Page:

We have now been permitted to write a letter home and needless to say, I am thankful for the privilege. To me the most unhappy phase of this war is the prolonged separation from you and our family and the very long period during which we have had to go without a letter or other form of message to each other.

I wrote you four or five brief letters between December 8th and mid-April and hope that at least one of them reached you. My last message from you was your radiogram of April 15th, saying you were well and at the Chamberlin’s still – which reached me via official radio April 16th, signed “Ellis.” (the latter named is Assistant A.G., War Department) and you were smart in sending the message that way. That message was like food to a starving man. Thank you so much!

Of course, we are limited as to what we may write about now so I must be careful not to overstep bounds. The main thing is to let you and our families know that I am alright. The climate and weather at the place where we are now located has been very nice so far and our camp is comfortable. I am well, and in good spirits, considering the fact of my being a prisoner of war and the enforced separation from you.

My principal concern is as to your health and happiness. I could use some concentrated foods, such as “Klim” (powered milk) and sweet chocolate but doubt that anything other than a very small parcel would have any chance of reaching me.

The first letters received by any of us came a few days ago. Of course, those receiving them, they were few, were overjoyed. I understood the proper address was published in “Life” and the “Army-Navy Journal” and can be obtained from the Red Cross.

I lost practically all of my belongings at Corregidor, including check books and the receipts for a U.S. Savings Bond and my Prudential Insurance policy certificate, which the Washington Loan and Trust Co. hold for me. Will you please check up on these at the bank? It might be well to put them in my safe deposit box. Also, please have my address at the bank changed so as to be in care of you or the same as yours. Open any mail they send you then after take any needed action and keep the important papers for me, including the bank statements and deposit slips.

I hope you are receiving the $285 I asked the bank to transfer from my account to yours the first of each month. Also, the $50 allotment I made payable to your account each month. If not please consult the bank and the War Department respectively. If you need funds please use the authority given in the Power of Attorney against my account.

How are you Precious? I hope and pray that you are well and comfortably located. Are you at the Chamberlain’s still? I am “c/o The Washington Loan and Trust” as your address as it should take care of any change in your address or place of residence.

In case you are approached about Income Tax remember that your income comes from my pay and it has been decided that pay of officers serving on foreign service (Philippines) is earned outside the U.S. and is exempt from the tax.

Will you please save for me any newspapers you may have containing items about the Philippines Campaign (December 8/41- May 1942)? We have gotten little news of the war and I’d like to read of it when I get back...

We are limited to two pages in writing this letter so I must close now. I hope we are to be permitted to write home more frequently hereafter. I crave “talking” with my sweetheart often.

Please do not worry about me, there is no reason to do so for you know I am a “toughie.” And please take the very best of care of yourself for me. Happy days are bound to come along…Yours Ted

Theodore M. Chase”

“May 21, 1943

My Precious Page,

We now have permission to write our second letter home. My first was written last November. I have received no mail since the first days of December 1941.

I frequently hope and pray you are well, comfortable and cheerful. Please be your optimistic self and all will turn out nicely. Do not worry about me for I am well and reasonably comfortable. At present we are receiving and enjoying some Red Cross food supplies.

Please do not allow my deposit, loan and trust, to be too high. Suggest you use part to buy government bonds, or start savings account bearing interest for me.

I expect to me home within a year, but why not get some of our furniture out of storage and furnish a small apartment for yourself?

Limited to 150 words; May not tell where I am, etc. But all’s well. Please tell Louise, Con.

With deepest love, your Ted

Col. Theodore M. Chase, U.S. Army (P.W.  33)”

 

“To: Mr. Constantine Chase, 1809 20th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., USA

 

March 3, 1944

 

Dear Con:

Your letter of June 9 and Betty’s of August 22 received February 22. One from you before. Many thank to you both. News of Page’s death very great shock. Heartbroken, but will “carry-on” somehow. My thanks to Betty for handling funeral arrangements. Am worried about payment of illness and funeral expenses and any debts, such as rent and unpaid account with stores, owed by Page. Please do what you can to pay all of them for me. I do not know where she had been living, so have no idea as to names of possible creditors. “Sis,” who has, or had, a position with Public Health Service, in Old Bureau Engraving, may know of some or she may get some clues from Page’s trunk or luggage.

 

Page usually had account at local store like Woodward Lothrop’s, or Jellef’s, also drug store. Please ask bank to forward to you or Louise all mail for me. Open mail and do what you can about my investments, etc. Would like to invest some of bank balance if can be arranged. Hope you and all family are well. Don’t worry about me, am well. Please present this letter at Washington Loan and Trust Company as your authority for and draw from my account there such amounts as you deem necessary to pay Page’s debts and all expenses of her illness and funeral.

 

Love to all family,

Theo. M. Chase

Colonel Theodore M. Chase, U.S. Army”

 

 

“Mr. Constantine Chase, 1809 20th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., USA, March 11, 1945

 

Dear Con:

My last letter was in August. Am now in Manchukuo. Am in good h health. Will you or Louise please ask Prisoner War Information Bureau, War Department to have my allotment of pay to my account loan and trust stopped. I hope, pray you and all family are well.


Affectionally your brother…” [copy of letter]

 

“Former POW Camp, Mukden, Manchukuo, 18 August 1945

 

Dear Louise,

I am writing this hurried note to you with the hope of getting it off to you ahead of our departure from here – through the kindness of one of the officers or men who are now in the hospital and are to leave by plane within twenty-four hours’ time.

 

Yesterday was indeed a big day for us for we received official word of the armistice from the senior of a group of five American officers and men who arrived via plane and parachutes the day before yesterday to look after us. The Japanese guard has now left our camp and we expect to be out of here within a few days’ time. Don’t know whether we are to go by train, or plane, to a seaport, nor to what part we are to go. That is in the hands of our U.S. Army headquarters in China, but the big thing is our “sentence” is served and we should be back in the good old USA ere long. I will send you another message enroute if possible. There are about 1600 of us, officers and men, American, British & Dutch, here including a remnant [of] 7 officers and about 200 men of my old regiment.

 

Received a letter from you dated March 5 and one from Con dated March 4, 1945 yesterday. It was so very good to get them as I had received no mail for a year.

 

I am a little thin, but thank God for my good fortune in surviving when so many have perished. “Au voir” “I’ll be seeing you!”

 

Very best love to all, Mosher”

 

 

“Hoten Camp, Mukden, Manchukuo, August 25, 1945

 

Dear Louise:

 

I have already written hurried letters to you and Con which were supposed to go from here by plane. In as much as a plane with 32 of the sick left here yesterday, I hope those letters are now on the way.

 

It is still doubtful when and how we are to be moved from here and our routing and means of transportation to the states. We are in a peculiar situation – railroad transportation is not available for us, fact that the erstwhile Japanese employees reportedly quit their jobs in mass when Japan surrendered and also by damages to bridges, etc. incidental to the recent fighting; - and also the need of all available railroad transportation to move the Russian forces of occupation. Furthermore, it is said all seaports are mined and that it will take some time to sweep the mines.

 

Two U.S. Army bombers from China have landed at one of the local airfields since August 19tjh and the first brought a young major who is to take charge of getting us away from here. According to the major it is planned to fly us out, 15 or 20 at a time by bomber to a place in China about 1000 miles southeast of here and then to some Chinese port and there to the States by boat. Another rumor has us flying from Chunking all the way to Florida via India and North Africa; and yesterday there was talk of our being flown to Okinawa and thence to San Francisco. In any case it seems we are to leave here at the rat of above 20 per day, to start with, - the first lot (Generals) to leave in two or three days, probably. At that rate it will take some time to get everyone out of this camp. I am in no rush but I surely would like to get to some place where conditions are a bit better and cleaner than in this crowded camp. At any rate I expect to be back in the USA within from three to six weeks’ time.

 

I am feeling right well although I am down to about 112 pounds in weight and need new glasses and considerable dental treatment. Have been unable to get attention as to teeth and no satisfactory eyeglasses since capture in 1942!

 

The generals (except Wainwright, King and George Moore) and we colonels who were in the Philippines have been together practically ever since early in June 1942. It seems almost a miracle that but five of our number [have died] …

 

When I arrived at this camp on May 21st, I found [x] officers and about 190 men of my 60th CA (AA). They are the first and only ones of the 70 officers and approximately 1800 men of the regiment whom I have seen since leaving Manila on June 3, 1942! We are almost sure that at least 35 of the officers have died or been killed in bombings since becoming prisoners of war and probably a like proportion of the men have also passed on. It is very sad, but probably typical of Japanese treatment of war prisoners…

 

My love to you and all of the family…Affectionately Mosher”