Defenders of the Philippine

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92nd Garage Area


After the surrender of Corregidor, on May 7th and  8th in 1942 the Japanese began moving men on Corregidor to the 92nd  Garage area.  The space was a flat ten-acre area on the south shore just east of Malinta Hill.  It got its name because it was a motor pool for the 92nd Coast Artillery.  The Japanese told the men to assemble outside, and some brought little with them. As the Americans marched to the area, they saw the bodies of Americans and Filipinos along the way, but no Japanese as they had been cremated.  Twelve thousand men arrived in the area and the majority of them started to suffer the helpless and depressed feelings brought on by captivity. 

 The area was hot, and flies thickened the air, and only a few spots offered shade, two hangars and some old sheds.  It smelled from the lack of latrine facilities.  Some relief was given when the Japanese offered the men rice.  The men got some reprieve from the boredom when they went out on work details.  They had to help load their former food supply into the barges to be sent to Japan,  Sgt. Provoo, who knew Japanese acted as a communicator to the Americans about what the Japanese required of the men.

 On May 23rd the Japanese began moving the men from the 92nd Garage Area to Manila to be marched down Dewey Boulevard to accent the Japanese  victory.  They continued the march to Bililbid prison.

 Personal Accounts

 Joe Keever offers a staccato recount in his biography   with a steady beat of woes. 

 92nd garage-civilians lighting cigarettes with $20 bills—live and stay anywhere or place you can—no food except scavenged chow—one water faucet—walk to Malinta for water—carry it coolie fashion—two cans on a pole—boiling sun—feces everywhere—5 hours at a time sweat out line for one canteen of water-scavenged for chow—jap shot at us; whether to hit or not, don’t know—no more that way—Jim Matthews and I took some type of “C” and cigarettes off dead bloated Marines—they won’t need them—japs laid out for funeral pyre—layer of wood, layer of japs, layer of wood, layer of japs-gas-light.  First deaths of dysentery in camp—Ben and three others lined up and marched as if on work detail to James.  Plenty of grub.  Massey and others from Hughes here-glad to see him-stench, filth, hunger, thirst and thievery-Ben got bayoneted for not moving fast enough-jap kudahed a prisoner for trying to go somewhere—hit him with butt of rifle—PW broke his jaw-jap killed PW. Bathe and wash clothes in the ocean—no soap-prisoners selling Lucky Strikes for $20 a carton for a pint of rice—who has any rice?
Orders now—“no more food will be brought in from work parties”-smuggled can of salmon in after eating all I could hold.  Our few, Johnson, Yeager, me doing pretty well on our eating now by our system of swiping part of that being loaded on docks—accidentally on purpose dropping cases of food and letting them break open-gorging.  Rain like hell-everything soaked.  Load on boats for Manila—spent all night on boat—Manila-wading through water to shore—paraded up Dewey Boulevard and around to Bilibid Prison—the proud arrogant looks of our “superior captors” jap parade with the white boxes of ashes of dead-“the sorrowful and uneasy smile one would get from some civilians when no one was looking—no jeering from them-our loss was their loss-one brought us some water, one tried to give us cigarettes-no luck-Col. Bunker passes out—others also—through the streets to let the Pinos look at their former friends in arms-