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COL Roscoe Bonham, CE (Read 5455 times)
Paul Bonham Woodard
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COL Roscoe Bonham, CE
Jun 11th, 2005, 3:31pm
 
I am looking for any information, or first hand recollections, of my grandfather, COL Roscoe Bonham.  Grandfather died in 1973, when I was too young to talk to him about his experiences as an officer with the  Philippine Scouts, or his experiences in the camps.  

Most Sincerely,
SFC Paul Bonham Woodard, USAR (ret.)
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Fred Baldassarre
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Re: COL Roscoe Bonham, CE
Reply #1 - Jun 14th, 2005, 4:24pm
 
Your grandfather was with the USFIP or United States
Forces In the Philippines.  I don;t believe he was a Scout, at least when the war started, but I could be wrong.  He was an engineering officer.

I believe, but don't know for sure, that he as captured on Corregidor, and not on Bataan, so he was not a Death March Survivor.

I do know that around May 23, 1942, he was interned in Cadre Barracks, along with the other officers above field grade.  In August, 1942, he along with those other officers, above field grade, were sent to Formosa (Taiwan).  He stayed in the various camps there, until April, 1945.

From Formosa, he was sent to Camp Hoten, in Mukden, Manchuria, where in the middle of August, 1945, he was liberated by the Russian Army.  

Two separate OSS teams also parachuted into Mukden, in this time frame, and the OSS made the arrangements to get them back home.

If you need more detail or if I may answer any other questions, feel free to contact me.

Take Care,

Fred



Quote:
I am looking for any information, or first hand recollections, of my grandfather, COL Roscoe Bonham. †Grandfather died in 1973, when I was too young to talk to him about his experiences as an officer with the †Philippine Scouts, or his experiences in the camps. †

Most Sincerely,
SFC Paul Bonham Woodard, USAR (ret.)

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Paul Bonham Woodard
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Re: COL Roscoe Bonham, CE
Reply #2 - Jun 16th, 2005, 3:50pm
 
Fred,

Thank you very much for that information.  Did you know Grandfather during or after the War?  I do know that he was commissioned a 2LT in the Scouts sometime in the 1920s and spent a majority of his career in the PI.  My mother and one of her older sisters were born in Manila.  He had previously served as an enlisted cavalryman and participated in the excursion into Mexico under General Pershing.

I am trying to piece as much together about Grandfather as I can.  As I mentioned in my first post, he died when I was pretty young (4th Grade), and all of my memories are those of an adoring, and adored, grandfather who was my hero.  Any additional information that you can provide would be most appreciated.

Sincerely,
Paul
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Ching-ching
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Re: COL Roscoe Bonham, CE
Reply #3 - Sep 10th, 2010, 1:19am
 
My name is Ching-ching, from Taiwan. I accidentally found your inquiry of your Granddad, COL Roscoe Bonham.

I think I have some information to share.

Your Granddad was in Karenko and Shirakawa Prison Camps in Taiwan. For this information, you can check Taiwan POW Site.

Karenko Camp opened in August 1942 and Shirakawa Camp opened in July 1943.

Some of higher ranked officers were transferred to Mukden in September 1944.

I believed he was one of them.


Also, in Brig. Gen. Lewis Beebe's "Prisoner of the Rising Sun", it mentions your Granddad twice:

On page 193,
"A bamboo pipeline has been built by Bonham..."

On page 209,
" One officer (Bonham) did not raise his hand on either question."

I am doing this research for my granddad, who was actually a former guard in both camps. He is 88 years old now. Recently Iíve acquired his friendships with some POWs and I wish to do my best for him. After reading enormous historical documents and diaries, Iíve learned brutal behaviors of Japanese in the POW camps. I know my request may bring back some bad memories to the person of a kin of his. However, after so many years my granddad mentions his friendships with them, I believe they must be something valuable.

My granddad was a junior guard in Karenko Camp and was responsible for deliver duties in Shirakawa Camps. He therefore had more chances to talk to POWs, who were also lower-ranks officers. There were 3 Americans to be his friends and they were all together from Karenko to Shirakawa. I think there is a chance they knew each other. In this case, could I ask a photo of his so that I can show my granddad?

Kind Regards,
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