The First Japanese Camp for Prisoners of War (POW) in Mindanao was at Casisang, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. It was in operation as such from May 10 1942 to October 15 1942.
Camp Casisang was a Philippine Army training camp during the pre war years.
The buildings were made of wood and crudely constructed, some with corrugated steel roofs but most were made of either cogon grass or nipa fronds. The camp has medical facilities adequate for a handful of men, officer’s quarters, barracks for the trainees and enlisted personnel and one working hand pump that serves as the only source for whole camp’s water supply.
The Visayan-Mindanao Force under US Army Brigadier General William F. Sharp was composed of the 61st, 81st, and 101st Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Army. Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright, in nominal command of all the Allied Forces in the Philippines, ordered Sharp to surrender on May 9 1942.
Sharp complied and most of his men entered captivity at Camp Casisang, Malaybalay, on May 10 1942. About 1,000 Americans and 11,000 Filipinos were interred in Casisang for almost six months. Among the Filipino prisoners were my Grandfather, a USAFFE volunteer Pvt. Miguel Burgos Picardal and his best friend Edgardo Neri Marfori who later became his brother in law when he married Ed’s younger sister, Adelina after the war.
There had been a large number of full Colonels plus five Generals at the camp. One of them was Philippine General Manuel Roxas, who after the war became the President of the Philippines on May 28, 1946.
Maj. Gen. William F. Sharp and his staff as POWs. May 10 1942
Back row standing left to right: Major Paul D. Phillips (ADC) and Capt. W. F. O’Brien (ADC). Front row, sitting left to right: Lt. Col. W. L. Robinson (G-3), Lt. Col. Robert D. Johnston (G-4), Col. John W. Thompson (C of S), General Sharp (CG), Col. Archibald M. Mixson (D C of S), Lt. Col. Howard R. Perry, Jr. (G-1), Lt. Col. Charles I. Humber, Jr. (G-2), and Maj. Max Weil (Hq. Comdt. and P.M.)
Gen. Manuel Acuña Roxas (January 1, 1892 – April 15, 1948) during his release from the Prisoner of war Interment Camp in Casisang, Malaybalay
American prisoners of war celebrate the Fourth of July at risk of discovery and death at the hands of their captors.