Battalion / Company B
Biography by Andy C. Campbell, son
Recently I went on
quite a journey. I accompanied my 76 year old mother
(Hazel Campbell) on a tour to Corregidor. Dad passed away
August 16, 1997 in Oregon. He had always wanted to return to Corregidor but his
health was too poor and he couldn't make the trip. We saw
a notice in the Quan a while back about the dedication of
the General Wainwright Memorial that was to occur on May
6th, 1999. Mom wanted to go so I encouraged her to make
the trip. We will never forget the experience and will
always cherish the memories.
Many survivors from Bataan and Corregidor attended as did several
who helped liberate the island and Bataan from the Japanese. I was
quite honored to help these veterans, climbing hills and walking
the length of the Malinta tunnel. One question kept coming up -
"Which part of the 4th Marines was dad with?" Well, we didn't have
the answer, so we decided to do some digging. When we came back
home (Yuma Arizona) Mom started digging through every old box of
papers she could find. At the bottom of the Cedar Chest she found a
letter from my Father, it is dated September 14th, 1945 and was
addressed to his mother and step father. It answered many of the
questions and has given us a much better idea of what he went
through and where he was during his captivity. I have re-written
the letter nearly verbatim below.
"Dear Mother and Dad. The dates and dope below please don't put
out before I get home, because there might be a order not to tell
anyone as yet.
Served in Shanghai China until May 28th, 1941 when the 4th
Marines left for Subic (Olongopo)
Dec 3rd, 1941 arrived at Subic
Dec 8th, 1941 - received news of bombing of Pearl Harbor,
transferred the same day to Marivelles by boat.
Dec 12th, 1941 - First casualties suffered by the 4th Marines.
Dec 29th, 1941 - Landed on Corregidor at 0300, First bombing at
10:20 in the morning 'till 4:54 in the afternoon with 126 planes.
Jan 2nd, 1942 - Manila fell
Apr 9th, 1942 - Bataan fell
Apr 29th, 1942 - Artillery Battle between Corrigedor and Japs on
May 5th, 1942 - 10 PM, Japs made invasion of Corregidor.
May 6th, 1942 - Corregidor fell.
May 23rd, 1942 - Left Corregidor for Manila.
May 24th, 1942 - Bilibid Prison May 25th, 1942 - Left Bilibid for
May 26th, 1942 - Cabanatuan
May 27th, 1942 - Arrived at Camp #3, (1) one died on the way.
Oct 5th, 1942 - Detail of 2000 prisoners "healthy" was taken out to
a unknown destination "Japan we hoped"
Oct 6th, 1942 - Arrived Manila at Pier Seven
Oct 7th, 1942 - Loaded on prisoner boat Totori Maru.
Oct 9th, 1942 - Torpedoe'd by Americans, we thought.
Oct 15th, - At Formosa off and on.
Nov 8th, 1942 - Arrived at Choesen, boarded train same day.
Nov 11th, 1942 - Arrived Mukden, Manchuria(Spelling?) at 11:00.
Many men had died on way and many were to sick to walk.
June 21st, 1943 - Corporal Victo Paliotti USMC, Frederick
Merringola USN and Sgt Joe B. Chastain all escaped.
July 12th, 1943 - Re-captured and brought back.
July 28th, 1943 - Moved to new barracks Hoten, Mukden.
July 31st, 1943 - The ones who escaped were shot, for what I'll
Dec 7th, 1944 - Main Camp was bombed by B-29. 19 killed, one later
died making 20. 27 were wounded.
Dec 21st, 1944 - Bombed again, no damage done to camp.
Aug 16th, 1945 - 6 Americans parachuted into the camp area.
Aug 17th, 1945 - General Parker told us war was over.
Aug 20th, 1945 - Russian Army returned our freedom after 3 years
and 10 months (So it reads, actually was 3 years and 3 months)
Sep 11th, 1945 - Left Mukden for Port Arthur
"God bless you, I love you all.
Hope to see you soon.
I know a few other details about dad's experiences with the Old
China Marines in Shanghai. He fed "Sooch" Soochow a few times and
really liked the dog. He lovingly referred to him as "a Heinz 47
variety mutt". Dad also played Oboe in the Marine Band in Shanghai,
after the war he couldn't play anymore, he had a large scar through
his lip from a beating at the hands of the Japanese guards at one
of the camps, he carried that scar until his death. Dad seldom
spoke about the war, even when he was debriefed by the military he
said he wouldn't say much. He had lived through the years in Prison
and he didn't feel like talking about it would change anything.
He had 3 sons, I am the youngest and I spent more time with him
listening and trying to understand when he would speak a little
about what had happened to him. I do know that he was a Platoon
Sergeant when he was Honorably Discharged at Treasure Island on
July 31st, 1946 and that he enlisted at Portland Oregon, 01 Sept.,
I am really interested in trying to find out more about what he
went through and more history on the old China Marines. Maybe a few
of his Marine friends will have information to answer our
Thank You, Andy C. Campbell
(USMC too! 1975-1980)