Defenders of the Philippines

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Wayne I. Miller

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Wayne I. Miller

Picture of Wayne Miller
Wayne Miller was born  July 2, 1921, Fleetwood Rd, PA.  He joined the US Army Feb. 11, 1941.  He was in Signal Corps and trained at Ft. Monmouth, NJ on Aircraft Warning Units.  His company name was 1st Aircraft Warning Company and he arrived in the Philippines on August 1.

He was stationed outside of South Gate at Fort Mckinley.  He was at Neilson Field.  He evacuated to Bataan and was brought from there to Corregidor to operate Air Warning Units.  On May 6, he was taken prisoner.

He was in the 92 Garage Area, Bilibid, Cabanatuan Camp 3 and Mukden, Manchuria.  Wayne had harsh memories of the bitter cold in Mukden and the small rations of coal they had to save for their stove.  He was also forced to watch escapees being recaptured and shot in front of the men. He was rescued there by a six man parachute rescue team.  He was discharged April 3, 1946.

Miller was awarded seven various service medals as well as being a recipient of two Bronze Stars and the Silver Star.  He was given the Purple Heart for combat wounds he received in Corregidor.

He was married to Doris, and they had a daughter Dawne.

Wayne Miller passed away on August 19, 2010.

Memo book kept by Wayne

 

Christmas Note  from MKK Company

Christmas note from Manshu Kosaku Mikai (MKK) in Mukden

Wayne Miller's Notes in Claims for Disability Tell of The Effects Being a POW had on him

While on wood detail in Cabanatuan Camp #3 in the Philippine Islands I was forced to carry trees or logs to beyond capacity of the condition my body was in.  This was a daily happening.

Arrived in Mukden Manchuria Nov. 11, 1942 (Hoten P.O.W. Camp).  Feet and legs were swollen so bad I couldn't get shoes on and I stood in the snow for several hours until trucks came to take us to our mud and straw roofed barracks.   From that time until May sometime I was too sick to move about.  My first detail was in camp and I was too sick to move about.  My first detail was in camp and it was to move heavy boxes of fish (packed in ice) and roughly 100 lb. bags of brown sugar to different areas.  All of this food was for the benefit of the Geneva Red Cross Officials to see.  We never received any of it.  The other fellows were sent back to their barracks but I was detained either because I didn't do enough work or because the Japs knew it was my first detail.  At this time I weighed about 100 lbs.  I had been down to 72 lbs. during this illness.  The Japs took a bag of sugar and put it on my shoulders and  tried to make me carry it.  All that happened was me doubling up and going down with the sugar on top of me.  They took boards off of the fish boxes and roped them to the back of my knees (mockingly) so I could support the load.  I couldn't do it.  All this as a big joke to them.  Then I was caught poking  a hole in a bag of sugar and licking my finger.  I took a rifle butt beating for that.  When I was well enough to work at the factory I was on a detail to carry telephone or electric poles.  When the Japs said do it, you did it.  I couldn't do it so what happens then is you go through more beatings; mainly across your backside or your knees that was their way of intentionally making you go down because you went down while trying to lift or carry the poles.  The Chinese just picked them up and walked away.  I don't know how they did it. 

When returning from overseas a group of (P.O.W.) were given a speech by an Officer.  The only thing I remember about it that he told us we could expect our life to be shortened by 20 years. I believe him now.

Being in the Reserves I was told to report to Langley Air Force Base at the start of the Korean War.  After being there about two weeks and going through all the various physical examinations, the last doctor said, "We can't use you, you might as well go home.  I never did find out what the physical handicaps were or why...I enlisted  Feb. 11, 1941.  Discharged April 23, 1946.   P.O.W. 3 years and 6 months.  Captured on Corregidor May 6, 1942.  Went to Cabanatuan by train which is 100 miles from Manila.  Men smothered to death.  Had 10 mile walk to Camp No. 3.  Men were shot when getting out of rank trying to obtain water from green slimey water buffalo holes.

In Oct. of 1942 one hundred eighty men left Camp #3 for Mukden, Manchuria.  Often arriving in Manila the Japanese had a barrel of dried fish for us to use as our food for the trip.  I got about 3 inch diameter of fish wrapped in a rag.  At that time I had pellagra, beriberi and dysentery.  Testicles had turned purple and lips were cracked and bleeding.  Eyes were watering.  I had a rag around my head to protect me from the light which after a while I could alternate from one eye to the other and eventually removed  the rag.

Arrived Mukden Manchuria Nov.  11, 1942.  Upon arriving there (by train (from Seoul Korea) I could no longer get shoes on.  My feet were all puffed up due to malnutrition.  Stood barefooted in the snow until transportation arrived.  I was too weak and unable to do anything until May.  My weight was down to 72 lbs.  Gained weight on rotten potato soup.  All food was in the form of soup.  Always dipped out of a wooden bucket. 

Got frostbitten hands and feet by remaining in one position too long (reveille standing attention) and working in extremely cold weather.

The buildings we worked in and the building we slept in were usually below freezing. There was a huge buildup of ice on the walls inside the first barracks we lived in.  The roofs were made of stone and mud.

Had a partially collapsed lung in 1947, also an enlarged heart, according to my past family doctor.  I tried to obtain information for V.A. purposes but was told my records were no longer on file...

I startle and jump or scare very easily.  Am very forgetful in daily living and cannot forget or get my  P.O.W. years out of mind.  I keep remembering the American planes that bombed our prison camp and all the fellows that were killed laying on the ground in 15 degree weather I have had nightmares, pertaining to prison life for the past 40 years.  I have a rough time sleeping at night.  I fall asleep while I'm doing something or every time I sit down.  Am always falling asleep when driving.  Feet were and still are in bad condition.  Pellagra also was very bad.  (Cracked lips, purple testicles and fingers.  I also had a frostbitten hands and feet and have suffered with this ever since being a POW. 

Note:  Wayne talked about getting his meds from Allentown Outpatient Clinic which were Valium, Motrin, Darvocet, Centrum, Maalox, Valisone Ointment and Serax.  He also said he was receiving therapy treatment.

He goes on:  I have had stomach trouble for 40 years.  Difficulty in breathing after slight exertion.  Get Charlie horse at night.  Coldness in finger and feet.  Bright lights bother me.  Pains in legs, also fall asleep or get numb.  Fluttering in chest.  Feel nauseated very much of the time.  Cannot eat much at a time, but eat often.  Nerves are very bad.