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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a minister and just returned from Baguio in the Philippines from a two-week trip to check on a school we operate there.

I am not a veteran, but I think this post will appeal to veterans.

I had heard of Baguio since I was a child. My Father W. Clyde Prather was a combat veteran of WWII (Noemfoor, Hollandia, Sansapor, etc). As a mid-war replacement, he eventually saw combat in the Baguio area where his unit was reduced to combat inefficiency.

I am pleased to report that the Philippine people continue to honor our veterans who fought and died for them. All around Baguio I saw small monuments erected to this or that unit that had captured this ridge or that mountaintop. I was deeply moved to walk around to walk around upright in the same places where my father had ducked to avoid bullets.

As part of my WWII pilgrimage, I also paid my respects to Lawrence Gaither Carradine, my mom's first husband who was killed on February 11. 1945 when his LST was torpedoed and sunk between Hollandia (here my dad had fought) and Lingayan Gulf (where my dad was fighting). His body was never recovered but his memory is still encased in marble at Ft. Benefacio in Manila.

Hats off to Cpls. Prather and Carradine; hats off to all veterans.
 

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Brother, there is respect for America and Americans throughout the PI - I don't know why we don't treat the PI better, I truly don't.

Would you like me to post a photo of the engraving for Seaman Carradine from the American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio? I'm in Manila once or twice a week. . .attached is a photo of a monument to Americans murdered by Japanese in Puerto Princesa, Palawan - the Filipinos remember when no one else does.

20140311_172356.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, yes, Yes - I was prevented from seeing Lawrence Carradine's memorial due to an automobile breakdown.

Lawrence G. Carradine (died Feb. 11, 1944) was Corps of Engineers. A sub blew the LST on which he was riding out of the water.

Carradine was my mom's first husband and he died childless. He was also the best friend of my favorite uncle. I am not his heir, but about the only one who now knows and cares of him. I would be doubly indebted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brother, there is respect for America and Americans throughout the PI - I don't know why we don't treat the PI better, I truly don't.

Would you like me to post a photo of the engraving for Seaman Carradine from the American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio? I'm in Manila once or twice a week. . .attached is a photo of Americans murdered by Japanese in Puerto Princesa, Palawan - the Filipinos remember when no one else does.

View attachment 114181
Yes, yes, Yes - I was prevented from seeing Lawrence Carradine's memorial due to an automobile breakdown.

Lawrence G. Carradine (died Feb. 11, 1944) was Corps of Engineers. A sub blew the LST on which he was riding out of the water.

Carradine was my mom's first husband and he died childless. He was also the best friend of my favorite uncle. I am not his heir, but about the only one who now knows and cares of him. I would be doubly indebted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I sent you a PM about this. I am emotional and speechless at your kindness. If you will post the pic, I will post the story. This site will never have a more meaningful string.
 

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I lived and worked as a civilian on both Clark and Subic 1975 - 1985. While there I visited the big American cemetery in Manila (don't remember the name) to look for the grave of the son of one of my mother's friends who was killed there in WWII. She had heard that he was buried somewhere in the Philippines so I thought that would be a good place to start.

I was absolutely shocked at how well taken care of that cemetery was. Beautifully manicured, and they had excellent records of who was buried there. I found the name I was looking for and took several photos of his headstone, etc. to mail back to my mother's friend.
 

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For Corporal Lawrence G. Carradine, US Army, Corps of Engineers, Texas - forever rest in peace.

REQUIEM

by: Robert Louis Stevenson

UNDER the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

IMG-20140810-00007.jpg IMG-20140810-00008.jpg IMG-20140810-00021.jpg IMG-20140810-00018.jpg IMG-20140810-00015.jpg
 

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Nice work Biku.

The Philippines is an amazing place with wonderful people. It's been well over 20 years since I was there last. Enjoyed every trip, except.... On our last trips we evacuated 20,000 people from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. That was quite a deal.

Semper Fi, Guy
 

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Subic still hasn't recovered either from the eruption or our pullout. However, the S___ River still smells the same.
 

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I lived in the Philippines for 5 years, I was 4f for military service but enjoyed it
as a Civilian. My wife and I had our honeymoon in Baguio.
The military base up there was immaculate and had a huge golf course.
It's kept up much better than Clark which is in horrible disrepair, Subic
wasn't much better.
Filipinos have a lot of respect for the dead especially those who fought
in the war and McArthur is a true hero to Filipinos.
My Uncle fought over there and other islands as well. He was a real patriot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Biku has done me an incredible kindness. For all who respect this kindness, I'd like to share the story.

Above all, this is a story of duty. Duty calls some men to war and some men to die, but duty does not die with them. Duty remains for the living to recover and to remember.

Lawrence G. (Gaither) Carradine was a Deep East Texas boy who married my mom, a Deep East Texas girl from Delia. They were just kids when the Great Depression hit. Being the man that he was, Gaither outworked the Depression as a heavy equipment operator, following the work of road and runway building across the border regions of Texas. As he followed the work, my mom followed along.

Times were tough and the work was tough, but life was pretty good for the young Carradines. Among the best of the tough times was a friendship made with Robert Prather, my uncle, who was also outworking the Depression as a heavy equipment operator. Gaither and Ann and Robert and my aunt Joyce made the best of remote work camps and made the best of friends. As an added bonus, as WWII approached, the work of building runways in remote places earned both men draft deferments. As another bonus, the Texas Brush Country offered great hunting for Robert who, childless, passed along his love of hunting and fine firearms to me, a nephew twice loved.

At the same time another man was earning a living and a deferment at Lockheed Aircraft in California. My dad, Robert's older brother Clyde Prather, left the cotton farm in Texas Caprock country to find his way. But the war found him and his deferment vanished. From dry land in Texas to jungles of the Southwest Pacific, he became Cpl. Clyde Prather, US Army and he landed on beach after beach across northern New Guinea and the Philippines. Among the combat stops that didn't stop him was at Hollandia.

The war also found Gaither and Robert. With a decreasing need for Texas runways and a greater need for runways and roads in Europe and the Pacific, their deferments ran out. Robert went to war with Patton's 3rd Army. Unscathed and "unscathable," Robert came back ok (he never was any less than ok) and he came back with a Mauser sniper rifle that remains in my safe as a prized possession.

Clyde, my dad, was not quite as unscathable. He earned a Purple Heart and a broken heart. Landing last at Lingayan Gulf in the Philippines, his unit was ground into combat inefficiency near Ipo Dam where he was wounded. That wound would heal quickly, but others would not. Mowing down waves of the enemy during a night-time suicide "Banzai" attack, his barrel overheated and something inside him permanently melted down. Also while in the Philippines he received a "dear John" from his first wife. For all of his trouble his unit was pulled from the line and placed in line for the upcoming invasion of Japan.

For Gaither and for Ann the war went far, far worse. Coincidentally following in my father's wake, Gaither's unit joined a convoy leaving Hollandia for Lingayan. LST 577 and Lawrence G. Carradine, US Army Corps of Engineers, Texas never made it. Final information didn't make it to my mom until after the war was over.

On the morning of February 11, 1945 off the Palaus, the R0-50, a Japanese submarine, launched a spread of four torpedoes into the convoy. The only one that connected split the 577 in half. "Gone in less than a minute" was the report from the bridge of the accompanying DD Isherwood where the sinking was observed in horror. The War Department's correspondence assured my mom that Gaither and most of the other troops who went down with the stricken ship "suffered little, if any." Small comfort.

Gone in less than a minute, LST 577 took longer to avenge. Isherwood did its best, but the R0-50 returned to Japan and it's captain was transferred to another sub that was sunk off of Okinawa with the loss of all hands. That's the only part of the story my mom ever wanted to hear. Her reply was a sharp, terse, "Good," and she meant it.

But the duty of survivors is to survive and recover and remember. Robert and Clyde came home, Robert to his wife and to a sense of responsibility to Gaither's widow. With no better plan than to help, Robert introduced the widowed Ann Carradine to the wounded Clyde Prather. The war widow was good medicine for the war wounded. A good marriage was the result and I was the result.

Flash forward more than 50 years. As my oldest son says, "He never had any kids dad, so you're it." "He" was Gaither Carradine and "it" was the duty to honor his memory. Together my history-loving sons and I pieced together the war-time story of Gaither Carradine, LST 577, a ferocious counterattack by the Isherwood, and the destruction of the captain of the R0-50 in action off of Okinawa. We also traced Mr. Carradine's resting memorial to Ft. Bonifacio in the Philippines.

Providence stepped in and so did Marlinowners and Biku. On a recent mission trip to the Philippines, I was determined to visit Ft. Bonifacio and the memorial marker for Lawrence G. Carradine, but was prevented by an automobile break-down and a rigid flight schedule. Returning home in dismay, I posted a remark about the incident on here. Biku picked up the duty and the rest is visible in the pictures he took of my mom's first husband's memorial in Manila. I sincerely doubt that Marlinowners has ever performed a more meaningful service.

Thanks Biku.

Thanks also to Robert and Clyde and Ann and Gaither.
 

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As a young Navy man and newly married I was transferred to COMUSNAPHIL at Subic Bay. After finding approved housing off base for my new wife, the Navy sent her down to the PI and we were there another 18 months and lived in really nice on base housing at 23A Easy Street. While there we visited Manila to see our custom made furniture being hand built. We also visited Baguio for a weekend of R&R. January to April 1973 I was TAD to Clark Air Base as the records control yeoman for Operation Homecoming when our POW's from Hanoi, NVN were returned to United States loving care once again.

My wife and I loved the Philippines and it's people. A kinder more loving people would be hard to find anywhere, much less Southeast Asia. English is spoken every where and the people were always willing to help out two young Americans so obviously in love. The woman of the PI used to love to touch my wife's soft white skin. At first my wife did not like it but when she realized their touch was out of friendliness, she got used to it. The Philippine men revered my wife and treated her with the utmost respect and kindness. We both came to love the food there and my wife still makes some of the traditional foods even now. Our life's goal was to one day return to Hawaii where we got married and lived for nine months and then travel to Luzon and revisit our youthful exhuberance we shared there. However, life chose a different path for us and we will only visit the beloved places of our early days together in our nightly dreams. Those memories of 42 years ago still linger in my heart as some of the happiest times of my life.

Sorry for being so long winded.

Bob
 

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We may end up fighting on some of the many Philippine Islands very soon. Alqaeda has held several smaller ones for several years now, and is reportedly using them for training camps. There is something going on between them and the Philippine gov't, because they pretty much get left alone, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of small islands out there.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
While we were there last week, we ran into some Army guys on R&R in Baguio. They spoke of a US build up in the Philippines to off set Chinese expansionism in eh South China Sea.
 

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We may end up fighting on some of the many Philippine Islands very soon. Alqaeda has held several smaller ones for several years now, and is reportedly using them for training camps. There is something going on between them and the Philippine gov't, because they pretty much get left alone, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of small islands out there.
Seven thousand, one hundred five islands.
 

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We may end up fighting on some of the many Philippine Islands very soon. Alqaeda has held several smaller ones for several years now, and is reportedly using them for training camps. There is something going on between them and the Philippine gov't, because they pretty much get left alone, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of small islands out there.
I'm really not sure why the Philippine government would purposely leave them alone other than the government could not stop Muslim insurrection on the island of Mindanao, the largest island in the Philippine archipelago. The government led by Fernando Marcus, declared martial law in 1972 while I was there, in a failed attempt to stop the separatist movement by the Muslims on Mindanao. Mindanao is mostly Muslim while the other islands are predominately devout Catholics. Some of islands are sparsely populated and very rugged in their terrain. It seems to me the Muslims can't and will not get along with any people or religion which differs from there ideology.

Bob
 
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