Corregidor 1941-42

Torvalds life from 1941-42 in the Army Transportation Corps

Torvald and other Norwegians among them Bjarne Asheim was offered a job onboard Jewell On New Years Eve (after D. MacArthur had decided to withdraw) Kibsgaard was again sent to Corregidor, and from then he and 2 other Norwegians transported supplies back and forth between Corregidor and Bataan.

Torvald signed later on as a AB on the SS Henry Keswick and transported supplies to Corregidor.

Henry Keswick was later shelled and partly sunk at Corregidor, the captain was killed on the beach while the rest of the crew saved their lifes.

After the fall of Bataan in Apr.-1942, and the time onboard the USAT Yu Sang, Kibsgaard took part in the ammunition transport to the gun positions on Corregidor using trucks. The day after the invasion, on May 5, he was given a gun and ordered to the trenches with the other soldiers, but when he started to display symptoms of severe shock he was picked up and taken to a hospital at Malinta Tunnel, where he was diagnosed with shock as well as malaria.

After Corregidor had fallen (May 6-1942) he was ordered by the Japanese to clean up after the battles, remove the bodies etc. From then on he was a prisoner of the Japanese, first sent to Cabanatuan, then in 1943 to Batangas (both on Luzon) to help build the airport there. When the Americans bombed the airport they were working on early in 1944 he was transferred to Camp Murphy where he stayed until Oct.-1944. His next stop was the Bilibid prison, Manila where he met several other Norwegians.

South dock Corregidor after surrender
South dock Corregidor after surrender

The Battle of Corregidor (Filipino: Labanan sa Corregidor), fought May 5-6, 1942, was the culmination of the Japanese campaign for the conquest of the Commonwealth of the Philippines during World War II.

The fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942, ended all organized opposition by the U.S. Army Forces Far East to the invading Japanese forces on Luzon, in the northern Philippines. The island bastion of Corregidor, with its network of tunnels and formidable array of defensive armament, along with the fortifications across the entrance to Manila Bay, was the remaining obstacle to the 14th Japanese Imperial Army of Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma. Homma had to take Corregidor, since as long as the island remained in American hands, the Japanese would be denied the use of Manila Bay, the finest natural harbor in the Far East.

After MacArthur had retaken the Philippines, the Japanese wanted to avoid letting the prisoners fall into the hands of the Americans so thousands were moved to Japan. Kibsgaard and 2 other Norwegians were sent from the prison Billibid and placed on the "Hell ship" Hokusen Maru, initially bound for Japan, but after 41 days of terror they were landed in Formosa (now Taiwan). Several ships in the convoy had been sunk by American submarines, and a lot of prisoners had died on the ship due to the horrendous conditions on board. After about 4 weeks of "resting up" on Formosa they were put on another Japanese transport and moved to Omuta, where they worked in the coal mines for about 6 months until the atomic bom was dropped over Nagasaki and the war was over.

Standing at attention before their Japanese captors near a ruined railroad siding, American and Filipino prisoners on Corregidor wait their turn for counting and interrogation. @J.C. Hanna

Back on Corrigedor 1985

Torvald back on Corrigedor in 1985.

12 inch mortar Fort Desoto, below the entrance to Malinta tunel.

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