American Jesuit Prisoners of War, 1942–1945
When the Japanese occupied the Philippines in the Second World War, they put enemy aliens, including American Jesuits, in prison camps in several places in the country. Published accounts provide only partial lists of American Jesuit internees. Here is provided complete lists of Jesuit internees in the prison camps at the University of Santo Tomas and in Los Baños. Also provided is the list of Jesuits who were never captured. The method used to compile the complete lists is given.
SECOND WORLD WAR, AMERICANS IN THE PHILIPPINES, JESUITS[End Page 567]
Once I brought a visiting American scientist to the American military cemetery in Fort Bonifacio. As we walked between the rows of parallel slabs of marble into which were cut the names of 36,265 dead or missing, our eyes scanned the lists. When my companion stopped, I saw tears creeping down his cheeks. He was gazing at the name of his brother. I do not know what emotion, if any, will be evoked when one looks at the lists of American Jesuits who became prisoners of war. I do know why I compiled the lists. To paraphrase George Mallory’s reply when asked why he was climbing Mount Everest, “Because the lists are not there.” In reality some lists do exist, but these are partial, as I discuss below, and do not do historical justice to the prisoners.
On 26 December 1941 Manila was declared an open city and American military forces left the city. On 2 January 1942 Japanese forces occupied Manila. They ordered enemy civilians to remain in their homes until they could be registered. Over several days, the Japanese rounded up all enemy aliens and confined them in the campus of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, a fenced compound 22 hectares in size. Clergy and religious were allowed house arrest as long as they did not engage in political activities.
On 7 December 1943 five Manila Jesuits were transferred from Fort Santiago to UST. Then in January 1944 eight Jesuits (priests and scholastics) were brought to the UST prison from various parts of Mindanao. On 8 July 1944 all Jesuits gathered in the Ateneo Padre Faura campus were brought to the prison camp in Los Baños, Laguna, 63 kilometers southeast of Manila.
The total number of prisoners in UST was about 4,000 and in Los Baños about 2,000. On 5 February 1945 the Japanese left UST. On 23 February 1945 the prisoners left Los Baños (fig. 1).
Lists of American Jesuits in the Philippines
The lists of the American Jesuits imprisoned in UST and Los Baños can be seen in tables 1 and 2. Table 3 shows the list of those who were never captured in Mindanao. Table 4 presents summary data on the 115 American Jesuits present at that time in the Philippines, while table 5 lists the casualties of war. Table 6 presents information on the last two of the survivors who lived until they reached their nineties. In the next section is an explanation of how the lists were determined. [End Page 568]
Not included in the tabular presentations is Bishop James Hayes, 53 years old in 1942, who had been assigned to Mindanao (fig. 2). He was initially sent to UST but was eventually held in house arrest at the Jesuit House in Santa Ana, Manila. Also not easy to categorize is Carl Hausmann, 44 years old in 1942, who was held in several prisons but not in UST and Los Baños (fig. 3). Hausmann is also not included in the tabulated lists. Finally the 25-year-old scholastic Edward McGinty, who was in Novaliches, was held as a prisoner in a small doctors’ hospital in Malate and not sent to Los Baños (Ferriols 2012).
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How Were These Lists Determined?
Some surviving prisoners published accounts of their ordeal. A. V. H. Hartendorp (1967), a journalist who was a prisoner in UST for thirty-seven months, kept a diary that he published eventually as a two-volume book, The Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. James Reuter and James McMahon (1945), who were both prisoners in Los Baños for eight months, shared their recollections in the article “Philippine Jesuits Under the Japanese” published in Woodstock Letters. For the chapter on “War Years in Mindanao and in UST,” Reuter and McMahon (1945) obtained the material from the Mindanao Jesuits Joseph Behr, Thomas Brady, and Ralph Gehring. Haggerty (1946), free in [End Page 575] Mindanao during the entire duration of the war, published his recollections in Guerilla Padre. Forbes Monaghan (1946) in Under the Red Sun wrote about resistance activities, but he provided useful data that helped in the compilation of these lists. Miguel Bernad (2006) wrote short biographies about Hausmann and Bishop Hayes in Unusual and Ordinary.
Who were in the UST prison? Who in the Los Baños prison? Who escaped capture? The published materials—particularly Reuter and McMahon (1945), Hartendorp (1967), and Haggerty (1946)—provided only partial lists. However, from these partial lists a pattern could be discerned. Those from Luzon and Culion ended up in Los Baños. Those in Mindanao escaped capture except for those sent to UST. Those in UST were from Manila and Mindanao. Thus, if one could determine who were sent to the UST prison camp, then one could complete the remaining two partial lists. [End Page 576]
Reuter and McMahon (1945) explicitly stated that that were fourteen Jesuits in UST, consisting of two Brothers, three scholastics, and nine priests. They did not state how many were Mindanao Jesuits. Hartendorp (1967), for his part, stated that there were five Manila Jesuits and eight Mindanao Jesuits, for a total of thirteen. How can these statements be reconciled? Of the fourteen mentioned by Reuter and McMahon, one was Hurley, a Manila Jesuit. This number can be reduced to thirteen, since Hurley was transferred to Los Baños. Also among the fourteen was Bishop Hayes, who was also mentioned by Hartendorp. Hayes was removed from UST and placed under house arrest. Bishop Hayes was allowed to stay in La Ignaciana, a Jesuit house in Santa Ana, Manila. Hayes and Hurley were short-term prisoners in UST.
Thus the number of Jesuits in UST in the two accounts is twelve. The question has become, “How many Jesuits were in UST when it was liberated in February 1945?” Who were these twelve Jesuits? This question can be answered by combining the names supplied by Hartendorp (1967) and Reuter and McMahon (1945). Hartendorp gave the names of five Manila Jesuits—Abrams, Bauerlein, Doucette, Keane, and Kennally—and one from Mindanao, namely, Ewing. Reuter and McMahon (1945) gave the names Behr, Brady, Daly, Gehring, and Thibault. All these together can be sorted into categories. The Brothers were Abrams and Bauerlein. The scholastics were Behr, Bradly, and Gehring. Daly, Doucette, Ewing, Keane, Kennally, and Thibault added to a total of six priests. Fr. José Arcilla (2014) supplied to me the seventh name. He reported that Andrew Cervini, a Mindanao Jesuit, had told him that he had lost his left leg after being hit by Japanese shell shrapnel when he was in UST.
To complete the partial list of those in Los Baños given by Reuter and McMahon (1945) and the partial list of Haggerty (1946), use was made of the 1942 Catalogus Missionae Philippinae (Anon. 1941). This catalogue provided information on the residences and works of American Jesuits in the Philippines on the eve of Pearl Harbor, after which no American Jesuits were able to reach the Philippines. The prisoners in Los Baños were thus all those based in Luzon and Culion minus the prisoners in UST. The Jesuits who escaped capture were all in Mindanao minus the prisoners in UST.
Bernad (2006) provided data on Bishop Hayes and Hausmann who were not in the three lists. They were his close friends. Hausmann, a military chaplain, was captured and imprisoned in Davao, Bilibid, Cabanatuan, and Taiwan. He died of starvation in a POW ship from the [End Page 577] prison in Taiwan en route to Japan. He used to give his meager ration to the other prisoners on the ship. His captivity of thirty-two months was the longest of the American Jesuits.
Those who escaped capture were parish priests in Mindanao, protected by their Filipino parishioners. They did their best to avoid capture to be able to minister to the spiritual needs of their parishioners.
Victor L. Badillo, SJ, was director of the Manila Observatory from 1972 to 1991, where for ten years he conducted solar radio research. He served as president of the Philippine Astronomical Society for twenty years from 1972 to 1991. The main belt asteroid 4866 Badillo (1988 VB3), discovered on 10 November 1988 by T. Kojima, is named after Father Badillo. Badillo was in first year high school in Taal, Batangas, when the Second World War ended. <email@example.com>