Defenders of the Philippines

picture of captivity and picture of release form captivity

Frederick Pendleton

When Duane Heisinger did research about his father, he talked to POWs who might be in the same areas as his father.

In correspondence to Frederick Pendleton, he was looking for experiences on Corregidor.


Frederick Pendleton responded with a review of his expereriences which follow:


Letter to Duane Heisinger    (actual letter)



I received your e-mail on the first of the month and was interested in what you had to tell me.


I am sorry to say that I have never met your Father.  There was so many on Corregidor at the time of our surrender that it would have practically impossible.


I was in Headquarter Battery of 59th Coast Artillery.  I was a clerk for the XO Officer, Colonel Dwight Edson.  I was clerk for plans and training and also Court Reporter for Special and General Court Marshalls (Martials.)


During the War I was the Com(?) for the Range  ? ? the firing of Battery Crockett W Disappearnu (?) rifle and for Battery Geary , a twin pit Battery  consisting of 4 twelve inch mortars in each pit. 


At the surrender we were taken to the 92nd Garage on Kindley Field.  The place was packed and hardly a place to lie down.  It is possible that your father was there too.  After about three weeks we were taken by boat to Manila and marched down Dewey Blvd. in front of the Filipinos to Bilibid Prison.


From Bilibid we were shipped to Cabanatuan Camp No. 3.  There I stayed until the 25th of October when we were shipped to Japan arriving there on Thanksgiving Day, 1941.  We were sent to a little town called Tanagawa about 30 miles below Osaka.  We were put to work by the Navy removing a mountain by pick and shovel, so they could build a dry dock under it.  We were there until I believe it was the spring of Forty Four.


The B-29s had bombed and burnt Osaka to the ground.  So they closed our camp and took us across the country to the Japan Seaside.  There we were put into a 3 story wooden old School Building.  As this town was on the Bay it was a point of entry for their Cargo Ships coming from China and Korea.


We were put to (work) unloading these ships and loading freight cars.  It was hard work carrying 100 Kilo Bag of rice and other freight.  Like Tanagawa we worked 12 to 14 hours a day and got a teacup of rice and tea cup of warm water with a little soy sauce in it.


One night the B29s came in and burnt the town to the ground including our school house.  Of all the canisters lying around in the morning we were lucky none of us were injured. 

The next day we had to go to work again and several days later a flight of Navy planes came in and bombed the docks and a freighter that we were unloading.


They put us in an old abandoned brickyard.  The ovens were our home.


At the end of the war before we were liberated 3 B29s came in and dropped supplies to us.  There was enough stuff to supply a battalion. So everybody got there (their) bellies full and had clean clothes and toilet articles.  So we could shave and spruce up.


We were shipped back to Manila by Boat to a rest camp where we spent about two weeks and we shipped back to the States by troop transport.


We arrived in San Francisco on October 14, 1945.  We glided under the Golden Gate and were home again.


I forgot to tell you that the name of the ship that took me to Japan was the Nagata Maru.  We were the first bunch shipped out on the Hell Ships.  I am sorry about your father, but there were a lot like him.  I know quite a few of them.  I hope this gives you a little information about what it was like.


Sincerely yours Frederick K. Pendleton


Please excuse my penmanship it is a little shakey (shaky).







He married "Susie" Wilma Roope and they had a daughter.

Arthur Beale helped in preparation of the Oryoku Maru online story.

Arthur Beale passed away on  September 7, 2011.