WWII Veterans Bob Rosendahl and Wayne Barnhart[Part_2]
Listen to profiles of World War II veterans Bob Rosendahl and Wayne Barnhart. Both men fought in the Pacific theatre.
When he was a young man, Robert Rosendahl joined the military.
He got his feet wet alright...He was in the Philippines when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
Rosendahl says he helped ready planes.
Rosendahl also helped the U.S. planes when they returned.
Rosendahl was there when Japan attacked the Philippines.
It was during this attack that Rosendahl was wounded.
Following the attacks on that first day of the war, there were many wounded soldiers. Rosendahl recalls helping transport some of the men to a local hospital.
The battle in the Philippines that began in December, ended in April when Rosendahl found himself among the soldiers who surrendered to the Japanese. They were on the Bataan peninsula.
After the surrender, Rosendahl and his fellow soldiers made what came to be known as the Bataan Death March.
Rosendahl survived the march. He arrived at a camp where conditions were quite poor.
Because the conditions were so bad at the camp, Rosendahl volunteered for work detail. That got him out of the camp for a bridge-building project. Then, he was transported by train to Manila. From there, he got on a Japanese ship bound for Korea.
Rosendahl ended up in a prisoner of war camp in Manchuria, China. He was forced to work in a factory.
He says the POW camp was quite rough...His descriptions of what happened there are disturbing.
Rosendahl says one of the doctors was tried and executed but he says others were set free.
Rosendahl spent a total of three and a half years in the prison camp. He remembers following news of the war during his imprisonment.
And then one day, things changed. It was 1945.
And for some of the Japanese who had been the prison guards, the roles were then reversed.
Rosendahl came back to the states and re-enlisted in the Army. He went on to serve during the Korean War as first sergeant of an infantry company. He spent nine months in combat in Korea. He came back to the states and went to work for the family business building houses. He spent the last twenty years of his career working as a masonry foreman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Bob Rosendahl has been married for 61 years and has six grown children. He lives in the Springfield area. The US Flag and the POW/MIA flag fly above his home. He and his wife recently went to a reunion for the soldiers who were prisoners of war together in the prison camp at Manchuria.