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"TO THE TRUE HEROES OF WORLD WAR II
THEY WENT THROUGTH HELL
AT THE HANDS OF JAPANESE SOLDIERS
DECEMBER 01,1941 UNTIL THEIR DEATH"
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

To Mr. Bill Bowen, who was also instrumental in erecting the only monument to the victims of the Arisan Maru tragedy. It is located in Tawas City, Michigan, the birthplace of his father, William E. Bowen, who perished 24 October 1944. There is also a plaque to the men of the Arisan Maru at the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas which Mr. Bowen helped create. Mr. William Bowen's e-mail address is William Bowen The e-mail address of the webmaster of the URL Arisan Maru to webpage of the Arisan Maru.

To Major Richard Gordon, USA, (Ret.) Adjutant/BBB who was a defender of Bataan, a survivor of the Death March, Camps O'Donnell, and Cabanatuan. He allowed me the use of some of the material from his web site./font

I would like to thank Michael Brock, who sent me the photos and information about Father O'Brien and his relatives.

Also to Scecina Memorial High School www.scecina.org for the use of photo and biography of Father Thomas Scecina.

Thanks to Arlington Nation Cemetery for the online text about the Catholic Chaplains Monument.

This web page would never have been created without their help.




Remember Pearl Harbor"
7 December 1941
"A Day of Infamy"



This 70th anniversary memorial is dedicated to
"The Defenders of The Philippine Islands"
7 December 1941 to 6 May 1942



April 09, 2002 will be the 70th Anniversary of the
"Fall of Bataan and of the "Death March."





I would like to thank these heroes, living and deceased, for their service to our country ...


particularly, the nurses who served in the Philippines during this conflict. To all the hero defenders, living and deceased, of the Philippines Islands during World War II. There is no way that our country can ever thank you for the sacrifice that you made for our freedom.




THE MOUMEMT TO THE PACIFIC WAR DEAD


SLEEP MY SONS, YOUR DUTY DONE
FOR FREEDOMíS LIGHT HAS COME.

SLEEP IN THE SILENT DEPTHS OF THE SEA
OR IN YOUR BED OF HALLOW SOD.

UNTIL YOU HEAR AT DAWN
THE LOW CLEAR REVEILLE OF GOD.






The poet is unknown. It is inscribed on ...the monument to the Pacific War Dead, in Corregidor, position that its rays fall into the center of the monument, exactly at noon.




Unknown to most: POWs held by the Germans died at a rate of 1.1%. POWs held by the Japanese died at a rate of 37%. The death rate amongst the Defenders of Bataan was much higher because of their weakened condition prior to their capture.




A Tribute To True Heroes"



Reverend Father James Walter O'Brien, Reverend Father Thomas Scecina, and all of the prisoners of war that perished with them in the sinking of the Arisan Maru. It remains the worst maritime disaster in American history.







junoak.jpg




On October 24, 1944, three torpedoes were fired at the Arisan from
an Allied submarine, possibly by the USS Snook or USS Shark II.
The first two torpedoes missed, one crossing the bow, and the other
to the stern of the ship. The third torpedo fired was a direct hit,
striking the starboard side amidships and sunk a Japanese "hell
ship" carrying 1,800 prisoners of war.



http://harrisonheritage.com/adbc/arisan.htm
To view the roster of the 1,800 prisoners of war.




"Hell Ships"


Japanese prisoner of war transports

`
"You are in hell!!"


You are on board a Japanese prisoner of war ship during World War II. Imagine yourself sitting in a dark, rocking hole. The tropical sun beats down mercilessly. There is no wind. You get nothing but a bit of rice to eat and a single canteen of water to drink, if you are lucky. You are closely surrounded by others as miserable as you. Madness is common among your companions. There is barely room to sit, let alone lie down. You may be suffering from dysentery or malaria, but there is no medicine to treat you. Bathroom facilities consist of a pail.




They were known as Hell Ships, Japanese WW II prisoner of war transport ships. The Japanese refused to mark these ships, making it impossible for Allied forces to distinguish them from combat ships. As a result, Hell Ships were frequently targeted and torpedoed.




The Survivors


Nine men survived the sinking of the Arisan Maru:


Warrant Officer Martin Binder
Sgt Philip Brodsky
Pvt Tony Cichy
M/Sgt Calvin Graef
Pfc Charles Hughes
Cpl Don Meyer
Cpl Glenn Oliver
Engineer Robert Overbeck
Sgt Avery Wilbur

= Died later after sinking






This Web Page was created by
Paul D. Henriott
Web page reworked 29 September 2012