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" I have in my possession a dog tag of Donald Odenga, a member of my battery ("H" 60th) who was one of three men that left the Island in an escape attempt before the surrender!  Having his dog tag has sort of made me custodian of the following tale.  It is part of the official record and I make no damn apology for it..."

Al McGrew    


The original affidavit,  is reproduced as acquired, including errors.  The affiant is unknown. - Ed



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The Army Services Club, 1924

Sanford L. Locke, Private First Clss of my battery came into Cabanatuan Camp #1 March 3, 1943. He entered camp, listing himself as a Staff Sargent. He said that this was the grade he was with the guerrillas. I had to straighten it out with camp headquartors about his rank. He was in poor physical shape , partial paralysis in arms and legs,  anemic, feet infected, speech incoherent, and it appeared to me that he may be slightly mentally deranged. On my roles of the battey he had been missing in action, considered a deserter since May 2, 1942 when he did not show up for the morning muster of men.

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The Corregidor Club, 1924

On March 10, 1943, Private First Class Sanford L. Locke of my battery, who came in from Bilibid prison to this Cabanatuan camp # 1, on March 3,1943, tonight gave me a story concerning himself, Sargent William D. Dennis, and Private Donald C Odenga of the battery. His story told to me freely, unasked, was as follows:

Himself, Sargent Dennis, and Private Odenga left Battery Hartford during the night of May 2, 1942 (four days before Corregidor surrendered to the japanese) They went down to the south dock area of Corregidor, obtained a row boat, and rowed out into Caballo bay to a 35 foot, 3 masted sail boat anchored there. They lay quiet the remainder of the night and all day of May 3,1942. The night of May 3, they at II PM started out the south channel seaward, by means of a black jib sail. Sargent Dennis was handling the tiller. He was having trouble and very unwisely began profaning and shouting. They were noticed by Fort Hughes, who fired on them with 50 calibre machine gunsand Fort Drum fired on them with 3" guns. Sargent Dennis was shot through the head and died instantly. Private Odenga got frightened and jumped overboard. PFC Locke saw him (Odenga) go down two or three times and was certain that he drowned in Manila Bay. The cabins and sails and superstructure of the boat were all shot away. PFC Locke lay in the bottom of the boat and drifted with the outgoing channel current. Next morning, May 4, at the mouth of Manila Bay in the China Sea, the boat was strafed by two Japanese planes for about 20 minutes. Locke lay in the bottom of the boat and was not injured. He drifted all day and came ashore south of Zambales somewhere that night. From there he operated with the guerrillas in the Zambales mountains until September, 1942 when he was picked up by the Japanese and kept imprisoned at San Fernando and Iba (three months in the county jail dungeon at Iba) before being brought to Bilibid and Cabanatuan Camp #1. He was brought in with Sargent Tolliver, 31st Infantry, and one other fellow by the name of Mann, I believe.

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Eleven thousand prisoners were gathered by the Japanese in the 92nd Garage Area.  They were given no water.  (Paul Whitman photo)

2nd Lt. Clifton H. Chamberlain, 0-389545 , 59th C.A. Fort Hughes, can tell of Locke's boat moving out of the channel the night of May 3, and of the firing upon it from Fort Hughes. T

These three men were missing from the battery, the morning of May 2, l942 at the Battery Hartford Position, 60th CA (AA) , Fort Mills Corregidor, P.I.. They were carried that morning as missing in action and from that time on the same until Locke's appearance at Prison Camp on 3/3/43.

On September 4, 1943 before I left on a detail to Japan, Lt Col. Barr contacted me and ordered me to file charges of des rting against these men. He wanted affadavits of their absence etc, to the Adjutant General Office. On September 5, 1943 I contacted Major Koster, Adjutant General’s Department, and Trial Judge Advocate at this prison, camp. He advised me that he would inquirre of the medical officerat the hospital, if PFC Locke was mentally capableof making a sworn statement. If Locke were , we would get this affidavit and get 1st Sargent Fooshee' s statement along with mine, as information to turn over to the Adjutant General’s Department concerning the case (Refer to entries of March 3,l943 and March 10, 1943.

On September 10,1943 , I swore an affidavit to Major Kester, AGD, concerning facts I had to the best of my knowledge and belief concerning Dennis, Locke, and Odenga. A copy went to AGD, Colonel Barr, Graves registration, and to Captain Conn.


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Fort Bonifacio



[Photo Ft. Bonifacio 2000 Paul Whitman]
Original Source Material via Al McGrew