Ed was born in Reedsburg, and graduated from Reedsburg High School in 1938. He entered the Marine Corps in 1940. These recollections were written down in 1992. They consist of his experiences during WWII and subsequent capture by the Japanese.
Edward L. Stone
When I completed "boot camp" in San Diego in Dec. of1940. I was assigned to “D” Company of the 1st Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment. We formed a part of the "Pogey Bait" 6thMarines!! At that time we became part of the FMF (Fleet Marine Force) called the 2nd Marine Brigade, which in turn became the 2nd Marine Division. Our "D" or Dog company was a heavy weapons (machine guns both 30 and 50 calibers and both air and water cooled types) unit. We were training at Camp Elliot located just north of San Diego. In about March of 1941. The corps asked for men to volunteer for duty at the "Asiatic Station". There I went!!Many of my shipmates also left the west coast aboard the old U.S.S. Henderson, a real "bucket of bolts" and a “hellayshus” tub of a transport vessel! We arrived in Honolulu (for a one day stop) and then proceeded on to Wake Island, Guam and finally to the Philipines! I think we arrived in Cavite in late April of 1941. The balance of the Marines aboard the transport were sent on to Shanghai, China. After spending only a few weeks at a jungle camp, near Glongapoo, I and 19 others were assigned to the Navy Section Base, which was just starting construction. Submarine pens, a floating dry-dock and many other facilities were under construction. We lived in tents and wore little or nothing in the way of uniforms except boots and underwear shorts plus a "sun helmet”!! We provided security for the base as well as the Filipino Gov. Quarantine Station.Had some interesting experiences when the submarine sailors came ashore for "Liberty"!! It was here that the "Big One" got started!! [WWII] We were detached immediately and sent to Cavite to operate several 3" 50's. These were old anti-aircraft guns that came off the USS Houston. This was the flag ship of the Asiatic fleet. We set these guns up on steel spider legs across the bay from Cavote. We were trying to shoot down Jap aircraft as they made their approaches to Sangly Point and Cavite. We also did patrol work and provided security for our immediate area. I believe it was around Christmas day that Gen. MacArthur declared Manila to be an "Open City" and we then were re-assigned back to Mariveles (on the tip of the Bataan Peninsula and just across the channel from Corregidor). We reassembled the anti-aircraft guns and started banging away at the Japs as they made their attacks on Corregidor as well as on Bataan. We were credited with downing several bombers and damaged many others. We finally got bombed ourselves, but lost no men nor was our equipment damaged. We fought in this manner until April1, 1942 which was when Bataan was surrendered. Our Battery did get over to Corregidor and we were emplaced in positions to repel any landing that the Jap was undertaking. This they did after pounding Corregidor unmercifully and finally did assault and take the island on May 6, 1942. As the attached shows:
PARTICIPATED IN ACTION AGAINST THEENEMY AT MANILA BAY 8 DEC '41-28 DEC '41,"AT BATAAN 28 DEC.-9 APR.'42; AT CORREGIDOR9 APR.-6 MAY '42. That sums up "War Action" until capitulation. I was removed from Corregidor around 20 May '42 and was sent thru Bilibid prison in Manila (overnight) and then went by train (boxcars) out to Nueva Eceja Province to the city of Cabanatuan. We hiked to Camp #3 about 20 kilometers and were imprisoned at that location. It was a former Filipino Army camp and I stayed there until early Nov. 1942. We boarded a "Hell Ship" in Manila about the 7th of November and left for Japan. The vessel had around 1500 POWs and about the same amount of regular Japanese troops. There were also families returning to Japan as well. My first stop was in a camp at Tanagawa. It was near Osaka and Kobe and our job was to dig a dry-dock area for the Jap navy. We POWs were in the bottom hole, Korean forced laborers in the middle hole and Japanese civil criminals worked the top layer. You can imagine how we fared when dynamite blasting took place!! The first winter was horrible; we lost many from disease and from little or no food. In April of 1943, all of us Naval prisoners (Navy/Marines) were sent to the city of Osaka and the U.S. Army POWs from that Osaka Camp were returned to Tanagawa in our places. The camp in Osaka was called Umeda Bunsho. Our tasks here were to unload ships and/or rail cars around the city of Osaka. This Bunsho was a three story factory building which was formerly used to produce dentifrice products. I believe it had the name of Lion Dentifrice on it. We had all Naval personnel in the camp. There were a few U.S. officers present but they did no work and had no control over the enlisted people in the camp. We did have an Army doctor who was pressured by the Japs to make sure all of the men went to work!! If you did not have a temperature of at least 103F , you were not permitted to stay in!! Dr. Nell was a good doctor but could not cope with the Jap authorities. He was beaten often hence it was difficult for him to really help anyone who was sick. Our camp commander was a Navy chief petty officer by the name of Zemo Tarnowski. This man was liked by all of us and did all he could to make our lives a little less onerous for the POW’s who were sent to work daily. He later became a Navy Officer and the last time I saw him he was a LTCMDR [Lieutenant Commander]. He has since retired but still stays active in the ADBC organization. I stayed at this same camp all of the remaining part of 1943; all of 1944 and up to about May of 1945. We were bombed out and I was first sent to prison camp in Osaka near the coast. Got bombed out again and was sent to the Japan Sea side to a place called Nomachi. Some of the men went to Tsuraga which was also on the west coast of Japan. At Nomachi I worked unloading ships that came from China. Main products to unload were bauxite (aluminum sulfate), and soybeans. We were in Osaka we were able to steal almost anything to eat but at Nomachi we got no opportunity to steal anything edible .I lost weight rapidly until the end of the war or about August 15th. We disarmed the Jap military and took over our own security. I even stood watches using a Jap rifle and bayonet! We had no trouble and all the camp left the area via train for Nagoya. A U.S. Navy hospital ship was anchored offshore and we all stripped of all clothes and chucked the lot over the side!! Received the de-louse treatment, the de-worming procedure and other sundry attentions! Stayed on board hospital ship only one night and left early the next morning aboard a new Australian destroyer. We tore up Tokyo Bay around 45 knots! Damn near blew us off the fantail!!! We saw hundreds of U.S. ships including the Missouri and the British battleship King George! We disembarked near a place called Atsugi. The U.S. Navy flew us out of there to Guam via Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Stayed on Guam about a week also getting the "treatment" for everything imaginable! From Guam we also were provided Navy air transport to Honolulu via the island of Kwajalein and stopped at Johnson Island as well. The hospital in Honolulu took good care of us for about a week and then we left via a Navy craft called a Mars Flying Boat It landed at the Navy base in Alameda, Ca, just across the bay from where we now live! The Naval hospital was in Oak Knoll which is just east of the city of Oakland. I stayed about two weeks and was then flown to Naval Air Station at Glenview, Ill.I was granted several weeks leave and left almost immediately for Baraboo!! That completes my "write up" of events covering the period 21Oct.1941 to 31Dec.1945. This doesn't tell you much but is about all that I can truthfully recall!!!