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Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II (Read 6107 times)
ord510
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Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II
Jun 12th, 2006, 5:30pm
 
Hi,

Mike Houlahan suggested I ask this question here.  With DNA now, why not exhume bodies at the Chinese Cemetery.  There are "Lost Heros" waiting to be found.

Or was there an excavation of this cemetery after WW II already.  Mike mentioned civilian bodies were identified and reburied.  Cost and expense are tobe considered, also.  Whether it would be feasable at this late date.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Tom McGeeney
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« Last Edit: Jun 18th, 2006, 8:21pm by Editor-at-Large »  

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Re: Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II
Reply #1 - Aug 28th, 2006, 9:46am
 
Hmmmm. . .   I can tell you that there is a whole plot there on the right side of the entrance road, about two hundred yards inside the gate, which contains about 40 graves of UST internees.  The plot itself is not marked, but the graves are with flush to the ground concrete plates, giving names and dates only.  The plates are over grown, so I only stumbled upon it by accident.  They were almost all Anglo-Saxon names, and at first I was clueless as to who they were.  They were men and women, and all the dates of death were after the surrender, which perplexed me for some days, until it hit me who they might be.  I then checked out a book (a memoir) at the U.S. Embassy Library on the UST Interment Camp, took it back to the cemetary, and matched the names.  Sure enough!  

   The plot looks to be intact, with the graves all laid out checker board fashion, so I don't suppose any of the occupants were ever removed to the States after the war.

    Finding some of the Japanese POWs from Fort Santiago, who were executed there would be difficult, without some leads as to where exactly to look.  

                 Ron Mandell  Ronmandell@hotmail.com
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ord510
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Re: Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II
Reply #2 - Aug 29th, 2006, 12:09am
 
Ron,

Thanks for the update.   Am I correct in surmising that these graves include those executed by the Japanese?   Having read in books on the war years in Manila, that those executed were taken to the Chinese cemetery and they dug their own grave and were shot.  

Your saying that after the war some order was put in by naming markers for those interred.  You mentioned a list that you obtained and the names matched.  Fantastic.

I guess that list doesn't include those that are missing.  The ones "who were picked up and seen no more".  With air travel so much of a problem and boat transporation a last resort I guess my trip to Corregidor in Feb 2005 was a first and last visit.  So I won't  have a chance to delve into this first hand.

Thanks for the update.

Regards,

Tom McGeeney    ord510@cox.net
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Re: Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II
Reply #3 - Aug 29th, 2006, 1:23am
 
Hi, Tom!

   Gee!  I didn't think to examine wheither those internees executed by Japanese were among those buried there.  I think that only one or two Santo Tomas internees were executed.

   I also do not know if this plot came into existance after the war, or if that's the way they were originally buried under Japanese supervision.  I do remember that some of the marker death dates were after the liberation of Santo Tomas, which perplexed me at first, until I found out that the Japanese shelled UST from the south side of the Pasig River, for a couple of weeks, after the camp was liberated, which resulted in a number of additional deaths.  If I had thought to take note of the location of these later graves within the plot, that certainly would have provided a clue as to when the plot was organized.  If it were set up during the war by the Japanese, then the only place availble for the U.S. to bury those later dead, would have been in an outside row.  They could not have been place in the middle of the plot.

I know that there were some missing civilians, presumed or rumored to have been executed by the Japanese.  Attempting to match up the names of these with some of those in that plot could also have been informative.  

Within a circle 50 meters of there are the graves of some of the original "Thomasites", the early school teachers, who came to the Philippines after 1902, or so.  With no vaccines, or antibiodics, their dead rate, and those of their families were quite high.  Viewing some of these gravesites is very emotional, because of the very loving tributes inscribed upon their headstones by their now long gone, loving students.  

 Within this same 50 meters are numerous, stacked concrete vaults containing the remains of many other Americans from those early years, a good porportion of them, former U.S. Volunteer Soldiers, who elected to be discharged in Manila, and stay on to make their fortune there.          Thanks,  Ron Mandell   Ronmandell@hotmail.com
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Re: Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II
Reply #4 - Aug 30th, 2006, 5:44pm
 
Ron,

Thanks for the update.  Seems like you "really know" that Chinese Cemetery.  I think only 1 or 2 of the Civilians from UST were "taken for a ride" (slang for being taken out and executed).  But having Americans who died from deases, etc in the early 1900s is a source to be considered.

Basically, that plot you uncovered has those that are marked with plates, giving names and dates, verified by a list from the American Embassy.  These are the UST internees that died during occupation.

And also, there maybe other unnamed bodies in there, too.  Is that what you are saying?   If so than the only way to identify them is DNA which at this point would be too costly for the results obtained.

Are the other Americans who died in the early 1900s marked with tombstones?  I would think this would be the normal procedure in handling a burial.  

You have done some real great work here, Ron and are to be commended.  If I get anymore info I will pass it on.

Regards,

Tom    ord510@cox.net
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Re: Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II
Reply #5 - Aug 30th, 2006, 10:50pm
 
If you will check the many messages under the "Santo Tomas Internment Center" subject heading, also in the "General" category, I believe there are the names of at least 17 internees executed by the Japanese, plus up to perhaps 40 unnamed military men identified by an informer and taken from the camp, probably to be executed.  Editor
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Re: Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II
Reply #6 - Aug 31st, 2006, 10:54am
 
I just read about the UST killings and will have to change my original death count.  I was familiar with the B-17 Navigator and the inmate who "rented" his quarters from books I read.

I was saddened by what that Museum did to the artifacts that a nurse gave them.  Unfortunately, I have run into that situation and you must not let one bad instance influence your outlook on life.

Regards,

Tom  ord510@cox.net
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Re: Manila's Chinese Cemetery after WW II
Reply #7 - Feb 2nd, 2008, 1:16am
 
2008
I am still on the hunt to find out what the Seattle Asian Art Museum did with Mom's scroll containing all those the unit insignia pins.
The last pin Mom traded for never made  it onto that scroll. It  was traded as she arrived back in the States. If I look in her papers I can find that  pin and her note with the name of the man who gave it to her, his home town, and his unit.
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