Defenders of the Philippines

picture of captivity and picture of release form captivity

28th Bombardment Squadron Account and Roster




By Edward Jackfert

            The 28th Bombardment Squadron was first organized at Kelley Field, Texas, May 17, 1917 under the name 28th Aero Squadron.  Captain James R. Alfonte was the first commanding officer of the squadron.  Among the first group of men who formed the enlisted personnel of the squadron was a private named Lester J. Maitland, who later became commanding officer of the squadron at Clark Field. 

            The squadron was soon moved to Canada for basic training with the Royal Air Force, then back to Fort Worth, Texas for  intensive training.  On February 25, 1918, the squadron embarked on the “S.S. Olympic” for Europe.  The squadron arrived in France on March 17, 1918 and were then assigned to the R.A.F.   for  bombardment training.

            On August 15, 1918, the 28th entrained for the American front and active duty.  They were equipped with 25 Spad XIII's.  These were the first American planes equipped with light bombing racks.  They were used to bomb and strafe troops from low altitudes.  During World War I, the 28th was highly publicized for the many battles engaged in, the daring feats of bravery, and the many enemy planes shot down.  The casualty rate of the squadron was very high.  For this meritorious service, the 28th received commendations from the War Department.

            On June 16, 1918, the squadron was demobilized at Mitchell Field, New York.  The 28th Bomb Squadron was again ordered mobilized at Mather Field, California for duty in the Philippine Islands on September 20, 1921.  The squadron became active in the Philippine Islands on September 20, 1921.  The squadron became active in the Philippine Islands at Clark Field on October 21, 1922.

            The squadron was initially equipped with B-2 and B-3 bombers.  Later, the squadron received B-10 and B-18 medium bombers.  Upon my arrival at Clark Field on June 24, 1941, there were approximately fifteen B-18 and six B-10 medium bombers in operation.

            A serviceman's life at Clark Field at that time was beyond one's fullest expectations.  Duty hours were brief, leaving much time for the pursuit of personal pleasures.  There was golf, tennis, and frequent jaunts to Fort Stotsenburg for horseback riding.  The 26th Cavalry Unit at Fort Stotsenburg made their horses available for our enjoyment for a small token of appreciation.  On weekends the barracks would empty, some going to the local barrios, some trotting off to Manila, and the remainder pursuing their pleasure in “Angeles”.   After imbibing at several bars and checking out the local taxi-dance halls until the early morning hours, they would generally hire a calesa to take them back to Clark Field.  These ponies knew the route to Clark Field so well, they could have made the trip blindfolded.

            During the month of September 1941, things began to change at Clark Field.  The 19th Bombardment Group was formed and thirty four B-17s were flown from other U.S.  bases to Clark Field,  Anti-aircraft guns, searchlights, and tanks began to arrive and were dispersed near the perimeter of the air field. Fox holes were dug around the field and duty hours were extended.  Armed guards were stationed around all aircraft.  There was the sudden realization that we were getting prepared for something serious.  With the sudden influx of servicemen at Clark Field, fulfillment of one's personal pleasures began to diminish.  The 28th Bomb Squadron became a part of the 19th Bomb Group, with the anticipation of becoming a heavy bombardment squadron.  However, because of conditions beyond the control of those who made the plans the 28th became a heavy bombardment squadron in name only.

            On December 8 , 1941, the Japanese Air Force attacked Clark Field and practically destroyed the U.S. Army Air Corps capability of conducting an offensive action against the enemy.  Damage to the physical structures at Clark Field was immense.  This included the barracks which housed the personnel of the 28th.  As a result, the entire squadron was ordered to bivouac in a nearby rifle pit.  Confusion was the order of the day.  A limited few were assigned to help repair and salvage parts of the remaining planes.  There was very little for the remaining squadron personnel to do.  The most important event most of us can recall prior to leaving Clark Field, was watching Captain Colin Kelley's  B-17 being shot down by Japanese fighter planes.  We were shocked when we discovered that the enemy planes were attempting to machine gun those who had parachuted to safety from the burning B-17.

            On Christmas eve of 1941, the 28th evacuated Clark Field and went by train to Bataan.  The squadron was bivouacked approximately two miles east of Corregidor.  The road to Bataan was crowded with trucks carrying food and equipment in the area.  Little did we know at that time, that the last stand in the Philippines would be in this area.

            On th 29th of December 1941, the 28th received orders to travel to the port of Mariveles.  During our journey to the port, we witnessed the Japanese air force attempting to bomb Corregidor.  Anti-aircraft batteries from Corregidor was intense against the enemy, however, we saw no planes shot down.  Arriving at the port of Mariveles, we were instructed to board the inter-island steamer, the S.S. Mayon.  Our destination was unknown at that time.  That evening, near the hour of nine, the ship sailed from the port.  It travelled all night, and at daylight, anchored off the Island of Mindoro in an attempt to keep away from the enemy naval forces.

            However, much to our dismay, we found that this area was not a secret sanctuary, inasmuch as a Japanese patrol bomber spotted the S.S. Mayon and attempted to bomb it.  The plane dropped six bombs without making a serious hit on the ship.  At nightfall, the ship once again initiated its journey southward.  The next morning, we anchored in a small cove for protection once again.  There was an enormous amount of life preservers and debris on the water on this cove.  We learned that the Japanese had sunk the sister ship of the S.S. Mayon, named the S.S. Panay, where we recently anchored.  That night, the ship sailed once more and arrived at the port of Bugo, Mindinao the next morning.

            At Bugo, we were issued an “Enfield” rifle fully coated with cosmoline.  It suddenly dawned on all of us that we would no longer be air force personnel, and that we would be infantrymen henceforth.  After cleaning our rifles, we embarked on buses at Malaybaly and stayed overnight.  The next day, the enlisted men of the 28th, along with a few officers, were transported further southward by bus to Carmen Ferry on the Pulangi River.  We were approximately forty miles from the city of Davao, where the Japanese armed forces were entrenched.  Our orders were to guard the ferry and patrol the Pulangi River.

             On April 16, 1941, the personnel of the 28th Bomb Squadron was ordered north to Maramag, Mindinao.  Maramag was the site of a secret air field which was hopefully to be used by the U.S. Army Air Corps.  However, this part of the Philippine Islands defense plans were never fully developed due to enemy action.

            On May 7, 1942, most of the personnel of the 28th, along with servicemen from other air corps units of the 19th Bomb Group, were ordered to embark for an area in central Mindinao known as Alanib.  Everyone turned in their rifles and were issued shovels and dry food rations.  At Alanib, the entire group started on a twenty three kilometer hike to another area in the center of Mindanao named Bosok.  This area was not accessible by truck.  The group's assignment was to prepare entrenchments for Filipino troops to guard a back trail which could have permitted the Japanese Armed Forces on Mindinao.  The American force, having reached approximately one kilometer from its destination of Bosok, was ambushed by a Japanese patrol.  The infiltration had already began.  Fortunately, there were few casualties during the encounter.  However, having only shovels and no weapons, the entire force proceeded to backtrack toward Alanib, the embarkation point.  The Japanese patrol was in hot pursuit.  Having no weapons, we envisioned that we would be massacred by the Japanese troops.  However, much to our astonishment and delight, there were U.S. Army trucks at Alanib when we arrived there.  This was May 10, 1942.  The drivers of the trucks informed us that all of the Armed Forces in the Philippine Islands had been ordered to surrender as of that day.  The trucks were there to transport us to Maramag and then to a prisoner of war camp at Malaybaly, Mindinao.  Such is the story of the 28th Bomb Squadron.

            In a way, the 28th did distinguish itself during World War II, by being a part of the defense establishment in the Philippine Islands that disrupted the timetable of the Japanese Armed Forces in conquering Southeast Asia.  This gave the United States government and its Allies sufficient time to arm Australia, halt the Japanese advance in Southeast Asia, and then proceed with the task of winning the war.

            A number of the 28th personnel died in Japanese prisoner of war camps and on the Japanese hell ships enroute to Japan.  Also, a large number have died since their liberation, which may be attributed to the direct result of residual affects of torture, starvation, and inhumane treatment accorded them in Japanese prisoner of war camps.


Included within this document is a roster of the 28th Bombardment Squadron, which reads as follows:

At the time of the surrender on May 10, 1942, the squadron roster disclosed the following information:

Killed in Action

Corp. Joseph Hriczo
Pvt. Robert Jennings
Pvt. Van Dyke
Pvt. Darrell I. Edwards
Pvt. Dhester Pokrzywa

Prisoners of War

Second Lieutenants

H. Bryant
Robert D. Downes
Victor J. Howard
Robert D. Lanier
Donald L. Larson
Basil H. Lewis
William F. Lovegreen
Charles L. Mathis
Joseph C. Milligan
Roy D. Russell

Master Sergeants

Stanley A. Bowes
John W. Britton
Wilbur F. Disosway
Albert G. Kovel
Artie V. Lambert
Isadore Oricht
Westley H. Owens

First Sergeant

J. Kristapoviz, Jr.

Tech Sergeants

Harold F. Beasley
Willie L. Gress
Harold J. Glass
Mike Sidas
Lloyd T. leicester
Francis G. Lovelady
Andrew J. Oltz

Staff Sergeants

Reid Brock
Charles Daley
Auorey Freemen
Julle A. Hanson
Eugene L. Hartson
Watson J. Henley
William F. Hoy
Carl R. Jones
Paul E. Riddle
John Seres
William Tires
R. D. Sollenberger
Alfred R. Young


L. Bellus
M. Birmingham
William A. DeRosa
Wiley L. Forrell
Frank R. Blaydes
Charles Callahan
Henry C. Lilly
Robert I. McCord
Henry J. Cornellisson
Clarence E. Ryley
Lee D. Stephens
John J. Furtado
Roy A. Hall
William A. Howard, Jr.
Roy L. Jobe
Edward A. Kozer
Donald J. McPherson
Donald A. Munn
Donald L. Naumann
Robert L. Renfro
Mike Tereletsky
John W. Weir
Ralph L. Westervelt
George S. Williamson
Dwight O. Woodall


M. O. Algoe
George Wood
Ray Barger
Harold A. Bergbower
William P. Biggs
Marvin C. Bucken
Joseph C. Burke
Gordon Carnes
LeRoy Casey
Ben L. Creagle
William R. Diskauski
Jack C. English
William T. Frederick
Ralph E. Gottovi
Robert A. Jammer
Edwin E. Klan
Lawrence R. McGuire
Emory H. Pannell
Thomas B. Pierce
Oscar M. Powell
Bernard E. Prost
Keith W. Robertson
Curtis W. Schmeisser
Wayne M. Thompson
Elbert L. Van Cleave
Owen E. Wallisa
William H. Weaver

Privates First Class

Victor P. Adams
Robert D. Andalora
Robert T. Anderson
Charlie A. Antee
Max J. Arnold
Russell Arnold
Harold C. Bailey
Charles E. Bancroft
Thomas M. Bandy, Jr.
Edward A. Barber
Merlin N. Becker
Donald A. Bergum
Juillo E. Bodtker
James C. Bossinas
Clarence H. Brandt
Harold R. Brown
M. Browning
Robert P. Caudell
Aranda R. Callen
John O. Clayton
Kenneth M. Cobb
James Conroy
Charles H. Corneliuson
Robert E. Daken
Walter L. Daken
Harold D. Dalton
Frank H. Driver, Jr.
Paul E. Emerson
John W. Fox
John J. Gordon
Charles H. Graham
George E. Gresh
Robert C. Howren
Roy J. Hughes
Ernest J. Irving
Eddie Jackfert
Earl A. Kessler
Gillner Kittinger
Ralph M. Know
Michael Kosakovitch
Marshall C. Leib
Oscar L.Leonard
Harold J. London
Richard Marlowe
James F. Hertens
Jack L. McKenzie
Michael L. Motich
Patrick D. O'Brien
Dalton D. Philips
Robert W. Phillips
Ernest Poulin
Otis E. Radcliffe
Clyde F. Rasnake
Raymond R. Schauer
Lloyd R. Seifert
William J. Sheehan, Jr.
Edward B. Stapleton
Rober L. Stokes
James L. Sweeney
Willard W. Teibel
Frank W. Treida
Frank S. Watts
Norman E. Whitehead
Harold W. Wiley
Leonard W. Williams


Harry Baxter
B. Buckner
Harold L. Copeland
Robert J. Endres
Thomas E. Garity
Jack W. Grady
Eugene L. Hull
Edward C. Jensen
Sumner L. Kaplan
Joseph S. Loncz
Donald W. Mark
Irvin R. Reber
Robert H. Romy
Joseph R. Stanford
Chester S. Tomczuk
Charles E. Ward

Information relative to 28th personnel who did not surrender at Malaybaly

Evacuated to Australia

Major William P. Fisher
1st Lt. Thomas J. Christian
1st Lt. James T. Bruce
1st Lt. Thomas B. Hubbard
1st Lt. Dorwood C. Stephens
1st Lt. Ted B. Fisch
2nd Lt. Hugh T. Halbert
2nd Lt. William T. Chesser
2nd Lt. Kenneth L. Culp
2nd Lt. Everett Davis
2nd Lt. Charles E. Rogers
2nd Lt. James A. Hilton
2nd Lt. Willie J. Gary
2nd Lt. David M. Conley
2nd Lt. Herbert F. Glover
2nd Lt. Theodore Arter, III
2nd Lt. Edward D. Benham
2nd Lt. John W. Cox, Jr.
2nd Lt. Peade R. Pickler
2nd Lt. Lyle P. Thompson
2nd Lt. Richard P. Haney
2nd Lt. Lee C. Lester
M/Sgt Jesse Gilbert
M/Sgt Louis W. Novak
M/Sgt Troy Stump
M/Sgt Thomas F. Toohey
Sgt. Joseph G. McElroy
Sgt. Adolph E. Sternberg, Jr.
Corp. James H. Holcomb
Pvt. Jay C. Bailey
Pvt. Frederick E. Freese
Pvt. Wilbur W. Berry
Pvt. First Class Edward Lisiowski

Information on other personnel

M/Sgt James P. McIntyr--missing May 10, 1942
M/Sgt Peterson--stayed on Bataan
M/Sgt Raymond Whitehead--left on Bataan
T/Sgt Joseph Johnston--missing on flight 12/12/41
T/Sgt Carl H. Flodman--missing May 10, 1942
T/Sgt Oliver R. Kamstra--in hospital at outbreak of war
T/Sgt William T. Mason--left on Bataan
T/Sgt John P. Wilson--left on Bataan
S/Sgt Paul J. Drumley--left Philippines by air 12/15/41
S/Sgt Robert E. Faust--missing May 10, 1942
S/Sgt John Nagley--Officers candicates school in U.S.
S/Sgt Joseph D. Rose--left in hospital on Luzon
S/Sgt Armande J. Viselli--missing on flight 12/12/41
Sgt Frank R. Briggs--left on Bataan
Sgt Durward L. Brooks--missing May 10, 1942
Sgt Joseph Halat--left on Bataan
Sgt Nellis C. Heath--DS Camp John Hay
Sgt Joseph G. McElroy--left for Australia
Sgt Alfred Pitaro--left Philippines prior to war
Sgt John J. Sheehan--left on Luzon
Sgt Russell Smith--missing May 10, 1942
Corp. George W. Boss--left Philippines by air
Corp. Hubert E. Peacock--missing May 10, 1942
Pvt First Class Harlen A. Barrett--missing in action
Pvt First Class Everett R. Brooks--left on Bataan
Pvt Toxie L. Coker--left on Bataan
Pvt Robert E. Johnston--missing after S.S. Mayon bombing
Pvt James A. Mathieson--left on Bataan
Pvt Edison L. Powell--left on Bataan
S/Sgt Frederick N. Murillo--accidentally drowned in Pulangi River

This document was given to the ADBC Museum from the files of the ADBC. The document as given to us is available as 28th Bombardment Squadron in pdf form. This roster may not be complete. There may be other rosters available online.  The ADBC Museum strives to provide as much information as possible, but due to time limitations the rosters may not be entirely inclusive. Roger Mansell's website has a more comprehensive index.