G-4 and Surgeon of

Luzon Force Report

 

The contents of this page were submitted by Paul Reuter, a Bataan Defender.

(On 29 January 1946, Gen. Edward P. King Jr. submitted his Luzon Force Operations Report, to Washington. Submitted along with his report were the two reports shown below: the G-4 report, explaining the food, supply and equipment conditions, on Bataan, and the Surgeon of the Luzon Force Report which describes the physical and medical conditions on Bataan, during the time frame of 6 January 1942 until 9 April 1942. The purpose of displaying these reports is to clear up any confusion or fallacies as to the actual conditions on Bataan during that period.)

G-4 Report

1.a. General Supply Situation: - Upon my arrival on Bataan and for the period covered by this report, the Administrative order covering administrative details was in operation for use of the Luzon Force, which was then occupying the Reserve Battle Position (Pilar-Bagac Road). Prior to 20 March 1942, certain supplies had been found to be critically inadequate. All troops on Bataan were operating on one-half ration since about 6 January 1942 and further reductions were to follow.

b. Foraging for animals was about exhausted.

c. Gasoline and lubricants for motor vehicles were inadequate in appropriate grades and gasoline had been placed on a command control basis. Daily issues of gasoline for motor vehicles were to be further reduced.

d. The operation of G-4 Section on Bataan for the period covered by this report, therefore, was more in the nature of rationing inadequate supplies than that of it's normal function of securing, storing, issuing, etc., of supplies.

2. Class I Supplies: - As stated above, troops on Bataan were operating on half rations and had been reduced in combat efficiency on this account. As subsistence supplies decreased and notice was received from Corregidor that no additional subsistence supplies were available to us from other sources, further reductions were made periodically in order to prolong the period of defense. In order to increase our inadequate subsistence supplies, efforts were made with some success to bring in shiploads of rice and other foodstuffs from the southern islands of the Philippine Group through the ever tightening Japanese blockade. The "Legaspi" made several such trips before it was reported as captured about 15 March 1942. Also, several rice mills were put up and operated on Bataan to utilize the palay (unprocessed Rice, still in the husk.) on hand. This palay was exhausted prior to 20 March. To add to the meat components, there were 2,500-3,000 caraboa (water buffalo) slaughtered on Bataan, between 6 January and 8 April. Toward the latter part of this period and after forage for animals was exhausted, the horses of the 26th Cavalry (PS) (about 250) and about 48 pack mules were slaughtered for food on a priority basis. About 500-600 of the slaughtered carabao were sent to Corregidor for storage in the cold storage plant, and later returned to Bataan for issue to troops. Rice being the chief component of food, all other supplies, which were inadequate, were rationed to last for the period that rice could be made to last. About 20 March, it was seen that supplies could be made to hold out, until 12 April and reports to Headquarters, United States Forces in the Philippines, were made to this effect. In addition, to the means mentioned above to increase the rations on hand, efforts were being made for several days prior to surrender to salvage a large amount of flour reported sunk on a ship at Mariveles. The Regular Army units brought, with them into Bataan, extra quantities of foodstuff from Fort McKinley and Fort Stotsenburg. These were taken up and redistributed.

3. Class II supplies: -

a.Organization and individual equipment: Many units of the Philippine Army had reached Bataan with an inadequate supply of organization and individual equipment. These troops had not received proper training in property responsibility and the importance of supplies. Much of their property was abandoned during their withdrawal to Bataan. Many of these troops in combat positions had only the scanty clothing worn by them during withdrawal. A large percentage of them had, neither, raincoats, blankets, nor shelter halves for ordinary comfort. Small arms, including, automatic weapons, were abandoned, by them, and now supplies were called for to make up deficiencies. Salvage detachments were organized and some clothing and equipment were made available for reissue by this means. No additional stocks in any appreciable amounts were available. For status of other items of organization equipment, see appropriate heading below. Regular Army units were very well equipped with Class II supplies.

4. Class III Supplies: - Gasoline and Lubricating Oils.

a. As stated above, supplies which were inadequate were issued on a control basis and in such a way as to last as long as subsistence supplies could be made to last. Gasoline issues were accordingly reduced from daily issues of about 8,000 gallons per day to about 3,000 gallons per day, during this period. This reduced fuel greatly restricted necessary operation of motor vehicles and heavy construction (road) machinery. Gasoline was not available for use in ambulances to evacuate sick personnel from combat areas, during this period. To better this condition, use was made of surplus aviation high-octane gasoline to mix with kerosene and low octane gasoline, for use in combat tanks and in motor vehicles.

b. Lubricating oils, both in quantity and appropriate grades, were inadequate. It was not practical to change motor oil in vehicles after long use, on account of this scarcity.

c. On date of surrender, there remained about 11,000 gallons of motor fuels and very little lubricating oil of usable grades.

5. Class IV Supplies: - Special Equipment.

a. Engineer Supplies: The Engineers were very well equipped and functioned well in road construction, trail construction, construction of air-fields, docks, operation of a sawmill, etc. The most serious shortage in this service was equipment needed by combat troops for field fortifications. Barbed wire, sandbags, and entrenching tools were inadequate. Shortage in heavy machinery and in motor fuels, and oils, greatly handicapped operations of the Engineers. Building materials for protection from rainy weather (shelter materials) were quite inadequate.

b. Ordnance Supplies: Loss of firearms, including automatic weapons, was high. This caused a shortage of automatic weapons in some organizations. Adequate supply of mortars and 50-caliber machine guns had never been available.

6. Class V Supplies: - Ammunition. At date of surrender, small arms and artillery ammunition for an additional thirty days was available at prior rate of consumption.

7. Transportation:

a. The Motor Transport Service, as such, was organized about 21 March 1942, at the time of designation and organization of the Luzon Force. Prior to this time, Regular Army units, in general, were well equipped with transportation, while Philippine Army units had only improvised and inadequate means of transportation composed of commandeered commercial vehicles. After about 21 March, a limited number of vehicles were assigned to all units which were entitled to them by basic allowances and the remaining vehicles were organized into four regiment Motor Transport Service. Companies A and B, 12th QM Regiment (PS), formed the nucleus of the 1st Regiment, MTS. The 2ns Regiment was formed from the Air Corps QM units as a nucleus. One QM Company of Air Corps was used in the 4th Regiment. All other motor transports units were made up of commercial vehicles operated by civilian drivers. These civilian drivers gave satisfactory service. The Motor Transport Service had a total of about 1,200 vehicles of which about 200 were military vehicles and the remainder commercial. b. Spare parts for motor vehicles were adequate for the number of vehicles, which were able to operate on the reduced gasoline allowances.

c. Motor greases were about exhausted during this period.

d. Distilled water for use in motor batteries having been exhausted prior to 21 March, the Chemical Warfare Service came to our aid and supplied this water by aid of some of it's chemicals.

e. In general, although motor transportation was rapidly deterioration for lack of lubrication of proper kind, this service was ahead of the motor fuel supply in meeting transportation requirements.

f. Many motor vehicles, including, commercial motor busses, were destroyed, immediately prior to surrender.

8. Destruction of supplies: - In compliance with orders, supplies, except subsistence and certain motor vehicles, were destroyed, just prior to surrender. Roy C. Hilton Colonel, GSC (Inf) Asst. Ch. Of Staff, G-4

Surgeon of Luzon Force Report II.

MEDICAL, SUPPLY AND PERSONNEL

A.(1) The report of the Surgeon, Luzon Force, indicates that the defensive combat efficiency of the Luzon Force had been reduced more that 75% during the final weeks. This was due to malnutrition, avitaminosis, malaria and intestinal infections and infestations. Those men on a duty status were incapable of any long sustained physical effort. Malnutrition had made troops particularly vulnerable to disease. By 2 March 1942, individuals had used up their reserve and they were deteriorating rapidly in the physical sense and by 1 April, the combat efficiency was rapidly approaching the zero point.

The half ration was inaugurated 6 January. In terms of energy units the ration averaged 2000 calories during January, 1500 calories during February, and 1000 calories during March. The nature of the terrain in which the defense of Bataan was conducted required, conservatively estimated, an energy output of from 3500 to 4000 calories per man per day. By 1 March, serious muscle wasting was evident. The ration was deficient in vitamins A, B, and C and beriberii became universal. This, in combination with malnutrition, was the cause of thousands of hospitalizations.

Bataan is a malarial infested region. The supply of quinine was inadequate for prophylaxis and by 1 March, there were 500 daily malarial admissions to hospitals and by 1 April, this had reached the rate of 1,000 cases daily.

A serious shortage of drugs for treatment of all types of dysentery and hookworm was existent during the Bataan campaign. Convalescence from all disease was slow, due to the inadequate diet and blood building drugs. At the time of surrender, there were over 12000 patients in rear area hospitals.

(2) The ailment of nerve fatigue became prevalent due to constant enemy bombing, shelling, and the absence of any counter activity, particularly in the air, on the part of our forces. During the early stages of the defense, it was noted that Philippine Army stragglers, in rear areas, kept their arms and equipment and could be rallied and returned to the front. However, during the latter stages of the defense, stragglers carried neither arms nor equipment, and it was impossible to return them to the front except by force. They were surly and physically exhausted, as well as mentally unequal to further combat duty. It had been impossible to relieve front line troops and send them to quiet areas in the rear for rest periods, There was no quiet area in Bataan, due to incessant enemy bombing and strafing.

Requiem for the

Battling Bastards of Bataan

 

 

Return to the Table of Contents