Tayabas Road Detail 22 May 1942 - 28 July 1942 The Tayabas Road Detail originated at Camp O'Donnell on 22 May 1942 when the Japanese took 300 POW's to go to Tabayas Province (now Quezon Province) to work on a jungle road project. Bilibid Prison Record 5-23-42: Four (4) U.S. Army officers and two hundred ninety-six (296) enlisted men, U. S, Army, Navy and Marine Corps, arrived at this camp from Camp O t Donell, Tarlac, P. I. , this date. The general health of this group is poor. Eighty (80) per cent of these men are suffering from malaria. Beriberi and forms of diarrhea are the other prominent complaints. Sick call and medicine dispensed for these men....The Japanese notified the Commanding Officer that the draft which arrived today would leave tomorrow morning, Severe cases sorted for retention and treatment. Eighteen (18) men are unable to be transferred. Substitutes were made for these men from well prisoners in this camp. Bilibid Prison Record 5-24-42: The above mentioned group departed for an unknown destination at 0630 this date, (It was later learned that this draft was sent to Tayabas, P.I. , as a work detail (road gang). Source: Kentner’s Journal Bilibid Prison, Manila, P.I. from 12-8-41 to 2-5-45 by Pharmacist Mate, Robert W. Kentner, page 23. Three officers and 297 enlisted men traveled by truck to Pasay Elementary School, on the southern side of Manila. Some members of the Canacao Naval Hospital from Cavite were quartered there with patients injured during the bombing of the Cavite Naval Station early in December 1941. Medical personnel at Pasay Elementary School provided care to the most seriously sick of the traveling group and arranged for replacements for the five most seriously ill persons on the detail. The POW's left Pasay School at 0630 24 May 1942 by trucks to Tabayas, stopping overnight at an abandoned sugar mill somewhere in Batangas Province. The men arrived at the work location following a long hike from the main road in the early morning hours of 28 May 1942, leaving one person dead along the trail." They started out on trucks and then they boarded railroad flatcars. They traveled three days altogether and then they were told to start walking. Many of the men were ill with fevers and dysentery, but they walked fifteen miles up and down the hills of jungle until they stopped after passing a bridge. The guards showed them a flat point bar of rocks. In back of the rocks, the dark jungle loomed. The area provided no cover for the men, and their beds were the rocks themselves with no protection from the monsoons that threatened the area. The men dug out the rocks and slept in the mud, and the mosquitoes soon attacked them. The next day they started their job of cutting the jungle down and building a road with the wheelbarrows, picks and shovels the Japanese gave them. The men ate what they carried in with them, rice and corned beef hash. They used a rusty old wheelbarrow covered with concrete to cook their food. The work of cutting the huge roots and trying to move the wheelbarrows through the muck proved harsh, and as the men became sicker and sicker, less of them went out each day. The men started dying.....Source: Tears in the Darkness, by Michael Norman and Elizabeth Norman. Those that were too sick to work were taken to Bilibid Prison in Manila. Bilibid Prison Record 6-19-42: Thirty-five (35) patients admitted to the hospital from a Japanese work detail (road gang) in Tayabas, P.I., at 1700 this date. All of these men were acutely ill. Source: Kentner’s Journal Bilibid Prison, Manila, P.I. from 12-8-41 to 2-5-45 by Pharmacist Mate, Robert W. Kentner, page 28. Bilibid Prison Record 7-1-42: Thirty-two (32) patients admitted from a Japanese work detail (road gang) in Tayahas, P.I., this date. Source: Kentner’s Journal Bilibid Prison, Manila, P.I. from 12-8-41 to 2-5-45 by Pharmacist Mate, Robert W. Kentner, page 30. At one point, only 20 of the 165 Americans were in any condition to work. Bilibid Prison Record 7-16-42: Thirty-two (32) patients were admitted from a Japanese prisoner work detail (road gang) in Tayabas, P. I., at 1530 this date. HASHAGEN, Wayne Dennis, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, S.N, 301734, was dead upon arrival with this group. Cause of death: Malaria, Death is stated to have occurred at about 1130 this date while enroute from Tayabas, P.I, Remains inspected upon arrival. Buried in hospital plot, row two, grave six. Source: Kentner’s Journal Bilibid Prison, Manila, P.I. from 12-8-41 to 2-5-45 by Pharmacist Mate, Robert W. Kentner, page 33. On 28 July 1942 the Japanese ended the work detail - after just eight weeks. The surviving 108 POW’s were brought to Bilibid Prison in Manila. Bilibid Prison Record 7-28-42: At 1745 this date, a draft of one hundred and eight (108) patients arrived from an American prisoner work detail (road gang) in Tayabas, P.I. All of these patients were extremely emaciated, and suffering from dysentery and or malaria. OLIFHANT, James L., Sergeant, U.S. Army, ASN; 38012574, was dead upon arrival. He died at approximately 1400 this date, while enroute from Tayabas, P.I. to this hospital. Cause of death: Malaria, Malignant tertian. Buried in hospital plot, row two, grave sixteen. Patient census 862. Source: Kentner’s Journal Bilibid Prison, Manila, P.I. from 12-8-41 to 2-5-45 by Pharmacist Mate, Robert W. Kentner, page 35.According to an affidavit executed by Capt. Robert E. Conn, Jr., formerly a Prisoner of War of the Japanese, between June and July 1942 at least sixty-eight (68) men were reported to have died because of working and living conditions in the jungle, lack of medicine or medical treatment and other circumstances. These men were buried near the camp site on the boundary between the Provinces of Tayabas (now Quezon) and Camarines Norte, P.I. The burial spot is 15 kilometers east of the town of Calauag, off the Tayabas new Road, kilometer post 273.1, approximately 400 yards northwest of the Japanese bridge and approximately 150 yards from the Basaid River bank. On 18 July 1945, a party from Graves Registration Service Base R., disinterred the remains of forty (40) American Prisoners of War. Of these only one (Pfc. Robert J. Kirk) was identified at the time of recovery and all of the other remains were recovered as Unknowns. In October 1945, further investigation recovered fifteen (15) more bodies.