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The Mini-Museum of Sea Lions and Carabaos

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70 years ago, on February 13, 1942, my grand-uncle, Placido Conejos, 14th Engineers, Philippine Scouts, accidentally passed away on the Bataan Peninsula.

 

His sacrifice and my grandfather's service drove me to learn more about the Filipino & American defenders of the Philippines—and to collect related patches, uniforms, and other militaria.

 

I'd like to share parts of my collection with all of you.

 

It is dedicated to preserving the memory of these gallant men and women so that their stories will never be lost. Please enjoy!


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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Here's the "mini-museum" in my room so far.

 

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NOTE: I made some of the flags and guidons, especially the Philippine Department flag, by hand. I figure, if I can't buy or find one, then make one!

 

Same with some of the patches on the patch boards. I just printed out the different variations that I didn't have on photo paper.


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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Above are some of the Philippine-related uniforms I've collected.

 

Each one has a story.

 

Someone on USMF once wrote to me "If [uniforms] could only talk."

 

They do through their insignia. Through their ribbons. Through a note in a pocket. Through every stitch hole or marking. Through lots of patience, persistence, and research.

 

These uniforms have spoken:


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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J. J. CHERNITSKI (PA, 1918-2008)

 

- 1936: Learned telephone operating in high school, but dropped out.

- 04/29/1941: Enlisted. Assigned to Philippine Air Warning Service Company.

- 12/03: Sent to the northern tip of the P.I. to warn of Japanese planes.

- 12/10: Position overran by Japanese. Filipinos took him and S/Sgt. William Snyder and hid them.

 

- 1942: Joined US Army Forces in the Philippines-Northern Luzon. (Guerrilla forces)

* Promoted to guerrilla rank of Technical Sergeant.

* Served as a radioman for Governor Ablan of Ilocos Norte.

 

- 06/1943: Captured by the Japanese. Sent to Cabanatuan then Bilibid POW Camps.

 

- 07/17/1944: Boarded hellship Nissyo Maru. Taken to Fukuoka POW Camp #3, Yawata Japan.

- 09/13/1945: Liberated. Sent to the US and hospitalized.

 

- 07/03/1946: Honorably discharged


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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F. J. BROHM (KY, 1914-1982)

 

- Pre-1940: Farmer earning $21 a week.

- 09/19/1940: Enlisted. Sent to Hawaii. Assigned to C Co., 3rd Engineers

 

- Early 1941: Re-assigned to 809th Engineer Aviation Bn.

- 06/10: Sent to the P.I. 809th became C Co., 803rd Eng. Avn. Bn.

- 12/25: Withdrew to Bataan. 803rd Engineers maintained roads, airfields, etc.

 

- 04/04/1942: 803rd ordered to the front lines

- 04/08: 803rd fought to delay Japanese. Brohm shot in right arm. Awarded Purple Heart. Surrendered 04/09.

- ~04/15: Survived Bataan Death March. Only then do the Japanese treat the wound at Camp O'Donnell.

 

- 06/1943: Brohm & other POWs selected to build the Las Piñas Airfield.

 

- 10/01/1944: Boarded hellship Hokusen Maru. Taken to Inrin Temporary POW Camp, Yuanlin, Taiwan.

 

- 01/29/1945: Boarded hellship Melbourne Maru. Taken to Sendai #8B POW Camp in Kosaka, Japan.

- August: The Japanese transferred all Sendai POWs to a ship in Sendai Harbor.

- 09/11: Americans liberate the ship.

- 10/19: Off-boarded the transport ship Storm King. Arrived in San Francisco. Hospitalized at Ashford General Hospital.

 

- 05/03/1946: Honorably discharged. Returned to Kentucky. Worked as an operator at a manufacturing company in Louisville.


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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L. J. GILLESPIE (IA, 1914-1997)

 

Read more about him here...


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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R. O. RATHJEN (CA, 1921-2001)

 

- Pre-1940: Married and was a fruit picker in Palo Alto.

- 12/18/1940: Enlisted. Sent to P.I.

- 02/20/1941: Assigned to E Co., 59th Coast Artillery on Ft. Drum (Concrete Battleship)

 

- 05/07/1942: Ft. Drum surrenders. Rathjen becomes a POW. Taken to Manila, then to Clark Field to repair the runway.

 

- 06/1944: Sent to Bilibid Prison.

- 08/25: Boarded hellship Noto Maru. Americans bomb ship 2 days later.

- 09/08: Taken to "Camp Nomachi" in Takaoka, Japan.

- 12/16: Wished his family well in a Christmas broadcast over Tokyo radio.

 

- 09/14/1945: Liberated. Sent to Hawaii then to San Francisco.

- 1946: Honorably discharged


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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R. J. ROBINSON (GA, 1916-2001)

 

- Pre-1940: Completed 1 year of study at Emery University for a BS.

- 10/29/1940: Enlisted.

* Trained as an airplane engine mechanic.

* Received a private pilot's license

* Assigned to 91st Bombardment Squadron, 27th Bombardment Group.

 

- 11/20/1941: Arrived in the P.I.

- 12/08: Japanese destroy the Far East Air Force's planes or forces them away to Australia.

- 12/24: The plane-less 27th Bomb Group becomes 2nd Regiment, Provisional Air Corps Regiment. Airmen convert into infantrymen.

 

- 04/07/1942: Amidst the confusion, the 91st disintegrated.

* Robinson made it across the channel to Corregidor.

* Assigned to Field Artillery, HQ Co., Harbor Defenses of Manila & Subic Bays

- 05/07: Corregidor officially surrenders. Sent to Bilibid Prison.

- 10/08: Boarded hellship Tottori Maru. Later arrived at Pusan, Korea

- 11/11: Arrived at Mukden POW Camp, Manchuria. He was POW #460.

 

- 08/20/1945: Russians liberate camp.

- 10/08: Boarded USS Klipfontaine bound for the US.

 

- 06/08/1946: Honorably discharged.

 

** Special thanks to Geoff at Golden Arrow for help on the research


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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R. C. ANDERSON (CA)

 

- Pre-1941: Married, attended one year of college, member of the California National Guard.

- 01/15/1941: Enlisted. Took an Administrative NCO course.

* Promoted to S/Sgt.

* Sent to the Philippines. Assigned to North Luzon Force Headquarters.

 

- 01/06/1942: North Luzon Force becomes I Philippine Corps.

- 04/09: Bataan surrenders.

 

- 06/1943: Anderson & other POWs selected to build the Las Piñas Airfield.

 

- 09/1944: American planes suddenly appeared. All Las Piñas POWs sent to Bilibid. Anderson later taken to Cabanatuan POW Camp.

 

- 02/04/1945: Sixth Rangers liberate Cabanatuan. Sent to a hospital on Leyte. Sailed back to the US and treated at Madigan General Hospital at Ft. Lewis, WA. Befriends PFC Angus Cripps.

- 10/05: Honorably discharged.

 

- 03/14/1946: Reenlisted with the USAAF and prepared to serve in Hawaii.

* Before he left for Hawaii, he gave his WWII Ike Jacket to PFC Cripps.

 

- 03/13/1951: Retired as a Master Sergeant.


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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Ok. That's it for now. I have more uniforms, but I have not been able to photograph them yet. I'll post more in the future. Thanks for visiting!


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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Sean

 

amazing and very focused collection.Thanks for posting.

 

RD


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Great job Sean! Nice display and well told histories! Any items from the 192nd Tank Bn?


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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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Great job Sean! Nice display and well told histories! Any items from the 192nd Tank Bn?

@BEAST: Hi E,

Thanks! I haven't found a 192nd or 194th item yet. When I do find one, I'll post it here!

 

I do have a Chicago newspaper though that shows pictures of the 192nd men when Bataan surrendered. (I posted it here) Company B was from Maywood (Chicago suburb) and many of them were Chicagoans... so they are an integral part of my city's history.

 

 

 

@doyler Thanks, RD!


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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I sure did enjoy going through and reading your tribute to your Grand-uncle, Grandfather and the Filipino & American defenders of the Philippines. The summarized history behind the uniforms you have collected is, simply stated as, “Brilliant”. Thank you for sharing your collection with us. Gregg

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One word...... Amazing! Philippine POW related uniforms from WWII are super tough to find.

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Sean,

 

WOW! I am absolutely blown away. Fantastic collection!


I research military records including official military personnel files and much more. If you have an individual veteran you need researched please visit my site:

 

WWII Military Service Records WWII Morning Reports  Army O.MP.F. WWII Navy service records WWII U.S.M.C. Service Records 

WWII After Action Reports  Civil War Pensions  XC Files IDPF WWII records  

 

 

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These are fantastic! I loved reading the histories and research behind the uniforms, and I look forward to more!

 

Dave


Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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@BEAST: Hi E,

Thanks! I haven't found a 192nd or 194th item yet. When I do find one, I'll post it here!

 

I do have a Chicago newspaper though that shows pictures of the 192nd men when Bataan surrendered. (I posted it here) Company B was from Maywood (Chicago suburb) and many of them were Chicagoans... so they are an integral part of my city's history.

@doyler Thanks, RD!

 

The 192nd is an interesting unit as it was made up of Guard units from different states. IIRC Co. A was from Wisconsin and Co. D was KY Guard. Does Maywood still hold the remembrance ceremony?


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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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@BEAST: Hi E,

Thanks! I haven't found a 192nd or 194th item yet. When I do find one, I'll post it here!

 

I do have a Chicago newspaper though that shows pictures of the 192nd men when Bataan surrendered. (I posted it here) Company B was from Maywood (Chicago suburb) and many of them were Chicagoans... so they are an integral part of my city's history.

 

 

 

Sean

I only have one Philippine group and its a 192nd group (however no uniform)

Robert

 

PS NICE collection!


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Thanks everyone for the comments! I had tons of fun collecting and researching these items. I would rather figure out their histories rather than lose them to , well, history.

 

I will definitely post more in the future!

 

@Beast Yep, Maywood still holds Bataan Day in September. The 70th Anniversary will be this year and I will make sure I don't miss it this time.

 

@67Rally Thanks! I would love to read about his history if you have it. And, despite going through similar experiences, each Philippine Defender has a unique story.

 

@pathfinder505 Cool! Would love to see it! Is it posted somewhere in the forum?


~Sean

WANTED: Philippine Department & Division patch variations, uniforms, & other items.
~In honor of Private Placido Conejos, 14th Engineer Regt. (Philippine Scouts). KIA on Bataan, 02/13/1942

My links: My P.I. "Mini-Museum" | Lolo's WWII Service | ASMIC Newsletter Editor (4653) | PSHS Nat. PRO & Webmaster




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Sean

I havent taken any pics of it as it is a box of paperwork, pics etc. I do have a few of the letters he received in Prison camp. When I get time will take some pics. There is a book about the 192nd and its pretty rare. I picked it up about a year ago. One thing that stood out was this guy telling about how his stuart tank turned over and they played dead while the Japs were trying to open the hatch. They eventually left and they got out after it got dark.

 

Just found the name of the book "Kentucky's Fighting 192nd GHQ Light Tank Battalion*


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