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LT. Colonel Biggs, 92nd Coast Artillery (PS) (Read 15274 times)
BRBiggs
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LT. Colonel Biggs, 92nd Coast Artillery (PS)
Sep 22nd, 2007, 9:32pm
 
Can anyone give me information on a Lt Colonel Biggs
he was beheaded at Cabanatuan Camp#3
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« Last Edit: Oct 11th, 2007, 3:53pm by Editor-at-Large »  
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs
Reply #1 - Sep 24th, 2007, 3:38pm
 
BRBiggs,

Lt Colonels Lloyd W. Biggs and Howard E. Breitung and a Navy Lieutenant, Roydel Gilbert, attempted escape from Cabanatuan and were caught by an American enlisted man on guard.  He challenged them as they crawled down a drainage ditch they expected to lead them under the fence.  

This struggle and argument alerted the nearby barracks and the POWs tried to quiet the argument between the officers and the guard.  Soon the Japanese overheard the still noisy argument and came and marched the three officers away to their headquarters.

This attempt at escape came 24 hours after Col John P. Horan's (at Commandant Lt Col Mori's insistance)talk to the POWs of the futility and problems of attempting to survive in Japanese territory.  Col Horan was a guerrilla leader in Northern Luzon until Gen Wainwright ordered him to surrender when Corregidor fell.

I have 3 books that mention this escape attempt, which was just after they set up Shooting Squads.  A shooting squad was where all POWs were organized in groups of 10, one escaped the other 9 died.  This caused the American officers of the POWs to tell them that if anyone caused the death of other as a result of his escape, justice would be meted  out when the war was over.  HIs name would be turned over to the proper American authorities.

In "Survivng Bataan & Beyond", by Col Irvin Alexander, this incident  is mentioned but no names are assigned to the 3 officers.  "Crisi In The Pacific" by Gerald Astor mentions comments by Maj Al Svihra, 1922 USMA graduate, on the capture. "Can't understand actions of B & B trying to excape.  B & B tied to guard house at Main Gate to Camp since about midnight".  "Surrender & Survival" by E. Bartlett Kerr has the most complete account of this incident.

This escape attempt happened early in Cabanatuan's roll as a POW camp and POWs had wandered off and come back for lack of a way to get out of the Philippines.  Same thing happened at Santo Tomas Internment Camp.  Early in it's existance, three civilians wanted to get a boat and sail to Australia.  The climbed  over the wall and went looking for ones's boat to sail away in.  Got caught and were the first executed for attempting escape from, Santo Tomas.

Hope this helps you out.  As it was a sad experience I didn't want to go into detail, but if you read "Surrender & Survival" it would explain this incident better.

Regards,

Tom McGeeney    ord510@cox.net


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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs
Reply #2 - Sep 25th, 2007, 11:26am
 
Thank You, Mr. McGeeney.I have tried to find information on my Great Uncle for years.He was also on the front cover of a Life Magazine and a corresponding article about this obvious violation of the Geneva Convention.
Would you know what month and year this was run?
Lloyd came from a family of seven brothers and two sisters of whom I never got to meet other than my Grandpa they have all since passed long ago and any information is greatly appreciated Thank You
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs
Reply #3 - Sep 25th, 2007, 2:55pm
 
BA Biggs,

I found some more references to that incident that involved your great uncle.  I want to send the pages as attachments, less work in typing them up.  One account has a football player and Master Sergeant urinating in the ditch as the officers are crawling by.  On being asked what are theyt doing one of the officers identifies themselves as officers and orders the others to shut up.
Then one of the colonels gets out of the ditch and as he runs away the football player tackles him.  A crowd gathers and holds all 3 from leaving.  Japs hear the commotion and come up.  When it is discovered it was an escape attempt, neither side can denie it and one of the colonels has a club he fashioned out of a stick with a heavy chain at the end.  He swings it and a Jap soldier is struck and hurt.  Which is bad, to injure a Guard during an escape attempt you are shafted.  The officer with the club probably figured it was better  to be killed now than to take all the torture they were going to get.  This is all in "Prisoner Of The Rising Sun", by William Berry.  The other book is "Conduct Under Fire", by John A Glusman.  I am going to try to send those pages as attachments to this message.

Regards,

Tom [email][/email]
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs
Reply #4 - Sep 25th, 2007, 3:25pm
 
BR Biggs,

Am having trouble sending those pages.  I am still working on it, though.

Tom
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Rainbow Trout  aka Sue
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Re: Lt Col Biggs, Bulletin, State Dept
Reply #5 - Sep 27th, 2007, 8:23am
 
Tom, Sorry I took so long to reply to your email.

...while researching Cordell Hull ... For BRBiggs

Rules of Land Warfare (paragraph 73, FM 27–10) declare that “prisoners of war are in the power of the enemy power, but not of the individuals or bodies of troops who capture them. They must at all times be treated with humanity and protected, particularly against acts of violence, insults, and public curiosity. Measures of reprisal against them are prohibited.”

According to the representations of Secretary of State Cordell Hull to the Japanese government, as published in the Bulletin of the Department of State, February 12, 1944, the Japanese have savagely disregarded these rights of American and Filipino soldiers. “Prisoners of war who were marched from Bataan to San Fernando in April 1942 were brutally treated by Japanese guards. The guards clubbed prisoners who tried to get water, and one prisoner was hit on the head with a club for helping a fellow prisoner who had been knocked down by a Japanese army truck. A colonel who pointed to a can of salmon by the side of the road and asked for food for the prisoners was struck on the side of his head with the can by a Japanese officer. The colonel’s face was cut open. Another colonel who had found a sympathetic Filipino with a cart was horsewhipped in the face for trying to give transportation to persons unable to walk. ... An American Lieutenant Colonel was killed by a Japanese as he broke ranks to get a drink at a stream  ... Americans were ... tortured and shot without trial at Cabanatuan in June or July 1942 because they endeavored to bring food into the camp. After being tied to a fence post inside the camp for two days they were shot.”  

Rules of Land Warfare (paragraph 86, FM 27–10) provide that “Belligerents shall be bound to take all sanitary measures necessary to assure the cleanliness and healthfulness of camps and to prevent epidemics. Prisoners of war shall have at their disposal, day and night, installations conforming to sanitary rules and constantly maintained in a state of cleanliness.”

Conditions maintained by the Japanese in the prison camps were a far cry from this humane provision. “At Camp O’Donnell conditions were so bad that 2,200 Americans and more than 20,000 Filipinos are reliably reported to have died in the first few months of their detention. There is no doubt that a large number of these deaths could have been prevented had the Japanese authorities provided minimum medical care for the prisoners. The so-called hospital there was absolutely inadequate to meet the situation. Prisoners of war lay sick and naked on the floor, receiving no attention and too sick to move from their own excrement. The hospital was so overcrowded that Americans were laid on the ground outside in the heat of the blazing sun. The American doctors in the camp were given no medicine, and even had no water to wash the human waste from the bodies of the patients. Eventually, when quinine was issued, there was only enough properly to take care of ten cases of malaria, while thousands of prisoners were suffering from the disease. ... It is reported that in the autumn of 1943 fifty percent of the American prisoners of war at Davao had a poor chance to live and that the detaining authorities had again cut the prisoners’ food ration and had withdrawn all medical attention.”

The code of warfare among civilized nations prohibits the imposition of “punishments other than those provided for the same acts for soldiers of the national armies ... upon prisoners of war by the military authorities and courts of the detaining power.” (Paragraph 119, FM 27–10.)

Yet, to quote Secretary Hull again, “American personnel have suffered death and imprisonment for participation in military operations. Death and long-term imprisonment have been imposed for attempts to escape for which the maximum penalty under the Geneva Convention is thirty days arrest.”

From www.historians.org

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs
Reply #6 - Sep 27th, 2007, 10:50am
 
BR Biggs & Sue,

Interestling on how the Japanese violated the humane treatment of POWs.  I have an account of Lt Col Biggs on Corregidor fighting the Japanese landing.

In "Corregidor, The Saga Of A Fortress" by James H. and Willliam M. Belote, Lt Col. Lloyd W. Giggs, of the 92nd Coast Artillelry had been organizing a line of defense with  the stragglers from Denver Battery, some stray marines, and his own Philippine Scouts of Batteries E and F, who had been manning batteries and beach defense 75's on the south shore.  This was on the Cavite side, opposite from where the marines under Capt Pickup, CO of Company A, and Col Beecher's Adjutant, Captain Golland L. Clark, Jr, were sending every spare man they could find towards Water Tank Hill.  Within a few minutes they had a line of sorts, about two platoons in number, scattered across the road on the north or Bataan side of the hilll.

At 12:30 AM Lt Col Biggs had dispatched a runner to Gen Morre reporting that he had formed a line across the top of the ridge below Water Taknk Hill, tied in with the marines.  Nevertheless, the line was dangeroulsly thin and the situation critical.  The GIs, Scouts and marines holding before Water Tank Hill urgently needed help if the Japs were to be kept from the obvious objective, Malinta Tunnel, and Wainwrights's headquarters.

Lt Col Breitung had several US Awards, including the Distinguished Service Cross (second highest award, after the Medal of Honor) Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.  Maybe Lt Col Biggs also had some military awards.  I don't know if you have written the  Department of The Army in St Louis, where the records are kept, but maybe Lt Col Biggs also has some awards.
I will mention, though, that there was a large fire at that facility and records were lost.  Hopefully Lt Col Biggs still has his.  You need a form 180 which you can download at the Army web site.

Regards,

Thomas McGeeney
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs
Reply #7 - Sep 27th, 2007, 12:30pm
 
B R Biggs,

Earlier you mentioned that Lt Col Biggs was on the front cover of an issue of Life, and would I know the date.  I forgot to answer, while I don't know the particular date finding it should present no problem.  I am not familiar with whether or not there is a web site for Life, but you need to contact the magazine and give the name of Lt Col  Biggs, that you are a relative and would appreciate getting the date of the issue that had him on  the front cover.  Maybe they have a web site and this can be gotten from it.

A note in passing.  One of the Americans who tried to stop the three officers from escaping was a Notre Dame Football player.  I read  an account of a Notre Dame Football player being assisted by a Japanese Prison camp officer because the Japanese officer had graduated from USC and well remembered the USC-Notre Dame rivelry in football.   Having seen the POW play several times against USC.  I forget the name of the Notre Dame player, but there couldn't have been  a lot of Notre Dame footbal players that were on the Death March and I am thinking there was only this one.
I do hope you are able to get records from the Army Personel center at St Louise, as Lt Col Biggs probably had an exemplary career.  Only one bad situation, he tried to escape.  Coming from Corregidor the trio was well feed and we can get their mind set as they made the attempt.  Nothing was going to stop them from getting out.  Rank was asserted at the very start to get Americans from hindeing their escape.  And those Americans were only interested in saving the trios lives(to lessen trouble for the whole Camp) as they weren't on their 10 man Shooting Squads.  Outside of this poor judgment call on the escape, they probably had good duty assignments.

Regards,

Thomas McGeeney
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs
Reply #8 - Oct 2nd, 2007, 10:20am
 
BIGGS, LLOYD (LIEUT. COL) (FEB 1944)
This morning’s Kansas City Times carries a front-page story of the torture and death of Lieut. Col. Lloyd Biggs by the Japs as told to The Star by his daughter, Mrs. H. H. Hauck, now q freshman at the University of Kansas City. Mrs. Hauck’s husband was with Col. Biggs in the Philippines and is now a prisoner of the Japs.
The account of the torture was carried in The Star Tuesday in a series of articles by Lieut. Col. W. E. Dyess, one of the Americans who escaped from the Japanese. The slaying was one of the brutalities cited by Secretary Hull in his note to the Japanese protesting the treatment given U. S. Prisoners of war. Secretary Hull’s protest gave this account of the brutalities:
“At Cabanatuan Lieut. Col. Lloyd Biggs, Lieut. Col. Howard Beritung, and Lieut. R. D. Gilbert, attempting to escape during Sept., 1942 were severely beaten about the legs and feet and then taken out of the camp and tied to posts, were stripped and kept tied for two days. Their hands were tied behind their backs to posts so they could not sit down. Passing Filipinos were forced to beat them in the face with clubs. No food or water was given them. After two days of torture they were taken away, and according to statements of Japanese guards, they were killed, one of them by decapitation."
Col. Biggs went to the Philippines in 1939. His family accompanied him. His wife and three sons, Lloyd 9 years old, Walter 8 and Edmond 5, returned to the United States in Feb. 1941 on an evacuation ship, and are now living at Holton. Mrs. Biggs is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Fairbanks of Onaga.

Thank you to Rae Brimer Gutierrez for permission to cross post.  
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/%7Eonagakansas/
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs
Reply #9 - Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:05am
 
Thank you, Sue
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs, 92nd Coast Artillery (PS)
Reply #10 - Mar 5th, 2008, 9:14am
 
BR Biggs - My name is Lloyd J. Biggs.  Lloyd W. Biggs was my grandfather.  Could you post your email address so that we can introduce ourselves to each other.  If he was your great uncle that makes us cousins!
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs, 92nd Coast Artillery (PS)
Reply #11 - Mar 8th, 2008, 2:53pm
 
On The Oct 2, 2007 entry Mrs. H. H. Hauck and her husbanc are mentioned.  Also, that Captain Hauck was with Lt Col Biggs.  In further reseach I discovered that unfortunately Capt Hauck was killed in the sinking of the Arisan Maru on Oct 24, 1944.  Captain Hauck is listed as missing and his name placed of the monument at Ft Wm McKinley on Oct 24, 1966, I believe.

He has a Purple Heart and a Silver Star and his organization, while listed as 59th Cavalry Regiment, should be "59th Coast Artillery Regiment, (PS), and he is from Kansas.  There is a possibility of Capt Hauch being buried at Arlington National Cemetery even though no body was available.  I haven't checked this out but Glen Miller and Lt Col Lewis Kirkpatrick I know both of them are are Arlington and no body was available for burial.

Regards,

Tom McGeeney
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Re: LT. Colonel Biggs, 92nd Coast Artillery (PS)
Reply #12 - Dec 21st, 2010, 11:36am
 
>He has a Purple Heart and a Silver Star and his organization, while listed as 59th Cavalry Regiment, should be "59th Coast Artillery Regiment, (PS)", and he is from Kansas.

According to statements in this thread, personnel served as infantrymen fighting the enemy.

Such action entitles all ( Colonel and below) Army personnel the Bronze Star Medal [with] the Combat Infantryman badge regardless of MOS, and unit assignment.

The procedure the U.S. Army Reserves had at one time:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v191/Robersabel/?action=view&current=CIBAuthor...

Robert
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