( HOME ) ( ABOUT US ) ( USS CANOPUS ) (ELEVENTH MICH) ( MINIDOKA ) (CCC CO. 4701 )

USS CANOPUS, AS-9, NEW BOOK AVAILABLE- "GHOSTS OF CANOPUS"
Written by Everett M. Perry, nephew of S1c Paul Edward Perry, a WW II sailor on the USS Canopus (AS 9). Based on the ship's War Diary, it is presented in 8.5 X 11 format with 196 pages of text, 184 photo-quality images and maps covering the Canopus and her war at Bataan in the Philippines. Follows Capt. Earl LeRoy Sackett and his 548 sailors through bombings, life on the "Hulk", "Mickey Mouse Battleships", Naval Battalion, the sinking in Bataan's Mariveles Bay and their escape to Corregidor and the final battle, surrender and capture.

The Canopus' prisoner of war story includes the Philippines, hellships and new prison camps in Asia. Many are sent to Osaka Camp, including Yodogawa POW Sub-camp and the Ichioka Stadium POW Hospital. Surrender of Japan opens the way for repatriation of the living and recovery of the dead leading to ashes at Osaka's Buddhist Juganji Temple and 1,091 Allied POW war dead including 19 Canopus shipmates. Final chapters include an "Honor Roll of the Crew", Admiral Earl LeRoy Sackett and a new USS Canopus, the AS-34.

Written from prompts by the spirits of the living and dead, each book is hand-crafted with love for families and friends of the USS Canopus and life-long learners about WW-II, the Philippines, Bataan, Corregidor, the POWs and U.S. Naval History.


To see sample pages up close and personal click on the cover page.


For more information email the author at:
everett@evperry.com



Website author Everett Perry, left, in sailor hat during WW-II.  Brother Tracy is on the right.

Additional information about the USS Canopus (AS 9)

USS CANOPUS, AS-9, Manila Bay, 1941-1942
A famous warship she was not. Old CANOPUS was only a submarine tender, known to "waddle like a duck", Canopus, six S-boats and Uncle Paul called the "old lady", the "garbage scow", and of course the "tub". CANOPUS was 20 years old when WW-II began. Her job was to be "Mama-san", a floating service station and machine shop for the brood of submarines she serviced; up to 12 at a time prior to WW-II. Cox'n Paul Edward Perry came aboard CANOPUS in August of 1940, the same year that Cdr. Earl LeRoy Sackett assumed command.

Cdr. Earl LeRoy Sackett, commanding USS CANOPUS during the first battle of Manila Bay.  For directing the heroics of his ship, Sackett was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism. The Skipper, Cdr. Earl LeRoy Sackett
Cdr. Sackett was evacuated from Corregidor on the last submarine out before the fall of the island fortress. The Navy needed him for other duties in a war that was only just beginning. For what the CANOPUS did under Sackett's command prior to the fall of Bataan, he was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism. Had Cox'n Paul Edward Perry lived he would have said how proud he was to have served under Cdr. Sackett. Cdr. Sackett eventually retired as an Admiral.


Background
After Pearl Harbor was attacked the Navy pulled every major naval vessel out of Manila Bay except one, the USS CANOPUS. The Skipper, CANOPUS with brood of 12 submarines just prior to WW-II. Cdr. Earl LeRoy Sackett and his crew of 516 men could only speculate on why CANOPUS was left behind as a sitting-duck in the bombsites of the Japanese warplanes now constantly flying over the Philippines. CANOPUS' presence in Manila Bay turned out to be one of the most heroic episodes of WW-II. The "Old Lady" only won one battle star, but that battle lasted five months and ended only at the hands of her own crew. A brief summary of the ship and her captured crew follows:

CANOPUS' home during the first battle for Manila Bay. December 7, 1941
CANOPUS was anchored 1000 yards off-shore from the Cavite Naval Yard in Manila Bay. Only hours after Pearl Harbor was bombed her crew watched in astonishment and horror as Nichol's Field just across the bay south of Manila was bombed relentlessly by Japanese aircraft. CANOPUS' crew wondered not if but when their turn would come. That night CANOPUS steamed around Manila Bay and in the morning tied up to the docks at Manila.

24 Dec 41-Christmas Eve
Moored to the docks, CANOPUS was showered by bomb fragments as Japanese planes bombed the dock area of Manila. The Navy ordered CANOPUS to Mariveles Bay on the tip of Bataan Penninsula where General MacArthur's troops were withdrawing in the face of 300,000 Japanese invasion troops landing further north on Luzon.

25 Dec 41-Christmas Day
CANOPUS ties up to the shoreline in Lilimbon Cove in Mariveles Bay at the tip of Bataan.

27 Dec 41
CANOPUS takes her first direct hit from high altitude Japanese bombers. An armor-piercing bomb penetrates all decks and explodes in the shaft alley, killing 6 sailors and igniting the powder magazines. Only a series of miracles and a gallant effort by the crew kept her from sinking. An emotional burial at sea for six dead sailors followed under cover of darkness that same evening.

6 Jan 1942
Canopus is hit again by high altitude Japanese bombers. This time a fragmentation bomb hits the towering smokestack, explodes, and showers the gun crews topside with shrapnel, wounding 15.

Over the five month battle for Manila Bay, CANOPUS is attacked at least seven times; her crew is part of the first ever Naval Battalion and her "Mickey Mouse Battleships" help turn the Japanese troop landings on Luzon into one of WW-II Japan's worst nightmares.

8 Apr 1942-The scuttling of CANOPUS
Virtually abandoned by the United States in favor of the war in Europe, starving and out of ammunition and supplies, Bataan was overrun by the invading Japanese Army. CANOPUS was scuttled in Mariveles Bay by her own crew before they escape in CANOPUS' small boats to the fortress island of Corregidor in the mouth of Manila Bay. 70,000 Allied American and Filipino troops on Bataan were left behind setting the stage for the infamous Bataan Death March. CANOPUS' crew was not in the Bataan Death March as they were captured by the Japanese a full month later at the fall of Corregidor.

9 April 42
On Corregidor, CANOPUS' crew served in beach defense with the Fourth Marines. After another month when at times up to 10,000 shells fell on Corregidor in one 24 hour period, the fortress island surrendered to the Japanese and 10,000 more Allied American and Filipino troops were captured and became POWs of the Japanese for the duration of WW-II. Over 400 CANOPUS sailors, including Cox. Paul Edward Perry, were among the captured. Cdr. Sackett, was previously evacuated via the last submarine out of Corregidor.

The fall of Corregidor and the capture of CANOPUS' crew marked the end of Capt. Sackett's History of CANOPUS that was sent to the families of all of CANOPUS' crew. The skipper knew little regarding the fate of his crew till the war ended. Our family knew almost nothing of the fate of Uncle Paul till the Red Cross in Tokyo said he had died in Osaka Camp 18 mos. after his capture on Corregidor.


CANOPUS' Crew: The POWs and Their War Behind the Wire

6 May 42-Corregidor, 10,000 Allied American and Filipino troops captured
Several of CANOPUS' crew were killed at Mariveles Bay and during the exodus from Bataan, and in the beach defenses of Corregidor while most were captured by the Japanese when Corregidor fell on 6 May 42. Lt. Butch Otter was killed on Corregidor while charging a Japanese machinegun nest armed only with a .45. The crew's first POW experience was on Corregidor where they were held for three weeks facing the enemy's 50 cal. machine guns with little water or food. Starvation, diseae and brutality marked the beginning of the coming three years as POWs.

Bilibid Prison
After three weeks, the Corregidor POWs were loaded on freighters and taken to Manila. Then, with bayonet hazing, forced to march through the streets in a Japanese victory parade to Bilibid Prison. Bilibid was an old, abandoned military prison in Manila. Many CANOPUS sailors were kept at Bilibid for the entire wartime period.

6 November 42, The November Hell Ship Nagato Maru to Japan
When Japan's hell ship program started, the Japanese called for "volunteers" to go to prisons in Japan. The Bilibid POWs rationalized that prison conditions closer to the Japanese homeland would be better than in the Philippines. Many of CANOPUS' sailors were among 3,000 POWs marched from Bilibid to the Manila docks where two freighters were waiting. The Nagato Maru and the Umeda Maru. Paul and several other CANOPUS sailors were loaded on the Nagato Maru with 1700 other POWs from Bilibid. Conditions were 300-400 men crammed into a hold with room enough only to stand. With one toilet bucket, "the air hurt to breathe", said one sailor. Only 27 POWs actually died during the 21 day journey to Japan but another 150 sick and dying were left on the docks at Moji and never seen again. The November '42 Hell Ships docked at Moji, Kyushu, Japan on 26 November 1942 and the POWs were taken by train to Osaka.

27 Nov 42-Osaka POW Camp
Osaka POW Camp was made up of about 13 camps commanded by Col. Sotaro Murata. Col. Murata was tried after the war for war crimes committed in his Osaka Regional POW camps. Uncle Paul and about 400 other prisoners including a handfull of CANOPUS sailors were sent to Osaka's Yodogawa Steel Mill as slave laborers.

Yodogawa POW Camp, November 27, 1942-Thanksgiving Day
The POWs were greeted at Yodogawa by being stripped and made to kneel in the cold November weather on the cinder compound for much of the day until their knees bled. Cruelty was the order of the day. Many died during the period from arrival until mid 1943 when cruelty was at its highest. It was also when Japan was winning the war. It was at Yodogawa where Paul Edward Perry was beaten mercilessly for trading with Japanese civilians, probably for food or clothing.

Ichioka Stadium, Osaka's POW "Hospital" AKA "The Stadium
The Osaka POW Camp "Hospital" was under the concrete bleachers of the abandoned Ichioka Sports Stadium. Repatriated POWs after wars end described the Osaka POW Hospital as resembling an unkempt barn, not fit for a pig pen. Most POWs who were sick and dying in the Osaka POW Camp system were sent to the stadium to die. The Stadium was described as a stopping off place on the way to the incinerator. It was also where Cox. Paul Edward Perry died February 19, 1943. British Doctor Jackson was the true hero of Ichioka Stadium Hospital for his efforts to secure adequate medical care for his patients. Rifle butts and clubbings were his fate frequently for his efforts but he never gave up.

The Juganji Temple storage of 1,091 cremains of Osaka Camp Prisoners Of War.
The last segment of Paul's WW-II journey before home was as ashes stored in the Juganji Temple in Osaka.

THE JUGANJI TEMPLE PHOTOGRAPH
The Juganji Temple photograph, taken on October 5, 1945 by the Osaka Asahi Press, commerates 1,091 Allied POWs who died in Osaka Camp and were stored as ashes in this Buddhist Temple until the war ended. In the large white boxes are 485 Americans, 381 British, 163 Dutch, 30 Australians, 23 Canadians, 7 Indians, 1 Italian and 1 Norwegian. The remains were picked up by the US Army on October 19, 1945.

This photo was loaned to my father on November 10, 1945 when he visited the temple looking for the grave of his brother, Coxswain Paul Edward Perry, from the USS Canopus scuttled in Mariveles Bay when Bataan fell. Paul was captured at Corregidor on May 6, 1942. He died in Osaka Camp at the hospital under the bleachers of Ichioka Stadium while imprisoned at the Yodogawa Sub-Camp on February 19, 1943. Like most, the cause was listed as dysentery. On July 3, 2006, I returned the photo to the new Temple head-master, Reverend Yukio Konishi.

At war's end, US Army recovery teams discovered the cremated remains of Osaka Camp POWs; neatly stored in this Temple. The headmaster, Rev Shinkai Yamagucci had been entreated by Col. Sotaro Murata to watch over the remains till the war was over. Because these remains were kept intact, families like ours were able to have closure when at least something of a son was returned. Then and only then could healing and forgiveness begin.



THE WILLARD CARROLL JOHNSON IMAGES
Willard Carroll Johnson's images below depict parts of the Philippine Prisoner of War story and much of the story of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-9, a submarine tender at the battle for Bataan. The first seven, excluding the charcoal drawings are courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association. The originals were sepia tone drawings. All of the charcoal drawings are from a memoir cover that Johnson did for fellow crewman, Canopus electrician Charles Clayborne after the war. Every image is presented chronologically as events unfolded, not as Johnson drew them. He was commissioned by the Navy during his rehabilitation in a Naval hospital after repatriation from a Japanese POW Camp. The original sepia series was to depict the Canopus story which the U.S. media in 1943 had turned into one of the most heroic ship stories at that time.

The images through the 92nd Garage Area span the period of time from pre-war to the capture of the Canopus crew along with the Corregidor garrison and their confinment at the 92nd Garage Area. The last images are so noted as to their origin with many thanks to those for permission and sharing. Each is a treasure forever.

SUBMARINE TENDER, U.S.S. CANOPUS, AS-9, AT TSINGTAO, CHINA, PRIOR TO WW-II
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
The submarine tender, U.S.S. Canopus was launched in 1919 at Camden, New Jersey, but spent most of her life with the Asiatic Fleet. Winters were spent in Manila Bay and summers were spent showing the flag in Asiatic ports of Macau, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tsingtao. Johnson's original sepia drawing shows the Old Lady at Tsingtao, China.



CAVITE NAVY YARD, DECEMBER, 1941
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of Everett Perry
On December 7/8, 1941, Lt. Johnson was aboard the U.S.S. Canopus anchored 1,000 yards off the entrance buoy to the Navy Yard. On the second day of the war Canopus was moved to the Manila Dock area.


THE BOMBING OF CAVITE NAVY YARD, DECEMBER 10, 1941
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
The December 10, 1941, attack on the Cavite Navy Yard destroyed nearly everything. Lt. Johnson was there with several Canopus 40 foot motor launches cleaning out sub spares at the end of Guadalupe Warf when the attack began. "There was no place to be as bombs were falling everywhere. We finally pulled offshore and the Cavite harbor became a conflagration of burning and sinking ships. When the attack ended we wondered how the Old Lady had fared. On our return to the Manila docks, we were pleasantly surprised... there she was. "


U.S.S. CANOPUS AT SOUTH SIDE OF PIER 3, MANILA DOCKS, DECEMBER 11, 1941
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
On December 9, 1941, the second day of war, Canopus was ordered alongside the piers at the port area of Manila. On December 11, she shifted berths to the south side of Pier 3, and tied up just before noon, port side to. The ship was camouflaged topside with red and black paint to blend in with dock buildings. Note twin .50s mounted on top of the warehouse building to the left. The old lady was the only major Naval vessel left in Manila Bay soon after December 7th. Known as "Mamasan", she was to continue duty servicing submarines of the Asiatic Fleet, even in the center of a bulleseye. The ship was docked in shallow water so when the expected sinking occurred, she would still be able to continue servicing submarines.


A PEACEFUL LOOKING MARIVELES BAY AT 0600, CHRISTMAS MORNING, 1941
by W.C. Johnson, Courtesy of Everett Perry collection
The pointed hill on the right side of the entrance to Mariveles Bay is Caracol Point. The U.S.S. Canopus was moored to the shoreline in Caracol Cove on the opposite side of the point and inside the bay.


BURNING MERCHANT SHIP, MARIVELES BAY, CHRISTMAS MORNING, 1941
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
On Christmas Eve, 1941, the Manila Docks were bombed and Canopus was ordered out to Mariveles Bay. Captain Sackett: �It was hoped that at Mariveles Bay, on the tip of Bataan, being close to the big guns of Corregidor, Canopus would be immune to air attacks, although some misgivings were felt on that score when we found a bombed and burning merchant ship in the harbor, and learned that this was the result of a light hearted Japanese Christmas eve celebration." Note the burning ship is French flagged which matches Captain Sackett's THE CANOPUS STORY.


THE CANOPUS "HULK"
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
After the USS Canopus was bomed a second time while in Mariveles Bay, the skipper met with the officers and devised a plan to keep the Old Lady in service a while longer. By flooding the ballast tanks they put an intentional list on the ship. Smudge pots of oily rags were burned in the holds, additional black bomb holes were painted on the decks and cargo booms were left askew and hanging in the water. Not included in Johnson's 1946 drawing was the giant hole in the smokestack from the fragmentation bomb that hit it and showered the gun crews with shrapnel, wounding 16. The next day when Photo Joe came over he saw a burned out, listing hulk and moved on to better, more commanding targets. This ruse lasted for over four more months. By day the ship was an abandoned, listing hulk and at night the ship was righted and became a humming machine shop servicing submarines and building parts for the beleagured troops on the front lines of Bataan.


NAVAL BATTALION ON BATAAN
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
120 of the Canopus crew served in a one and only Naval Battalion, as foot soldiers in the Battle of the Points. Presumably this is one of the sailors drilling. Their part in the battle was around Mt. Pucot and Lapiay Point, some 2,000 yards from Mariveles on the rugged sea coast of the Bataan Penninsula where a Japanese landing party was intent on sneaking in behind the lines. Seven of the 21 dead were from Canopus. The rest were Marines and Army. Canopus Electrician Charles Clayborne stated 988 enemy soldiers were present for the body count.



THE PATHFINDER
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
This Johnson image is of the Pathfinder. The ship is beached in Sisimon Cove, just around the point from Canopus and facing Corregidor. Bulkeley's six PT boats of MTB-3 were also concealed there when not out wreaking havock with enemy transports and landing barges. The shaded area behind the ship looks like smoke but is the foilage on the foothills of the Bataan Penninsula. Pathfinder was Johnson's father's ship many years before the war. While Canopus played possum as "the hulk", Johnson visited Pathfinder on the beach, walked its decks and reminisced about the years his father walked the same decks.



PRESUMABLY ALLIED GUNNERS ON CORREGIDOR
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
During the siege of Corregidor, our gunners returned one shell for every forty the enemy threw at us.


92ND GARAGE AREA PRISONER OF WAR CAMP, CORREGIDOR, MAY 1942
by W.C. Johnson, courtesy of the U.S.S. Canopus, AS-34 Association.
Looking much like a hobo jungle, the seaplane ramp at the 92nd Garage area became the first prison of war camp for the Corregidor garrison. Some 15,000 were held here having to scrounge up canvas, corrugated tin, or anything else to make shelters from the broiling sun and spring rains. The area was ringed with enemy machineguns. Caballo Island, site of Ft. Hughes, is in the right background.

The POWS spent about 19 days here before transfer via Japanese freighters to Manila where they were marched to old Bilibid Prison for overnight, then most were taken by train and more marching to the hell hole Cabanatuan Prison Camps.



"OLD BILIBID PRISON IN MANILA
By W.C. Johnson. Courtesy of Everett Perry collection
Those who survived the 92nd Garage POW Camp on Corregidor were taken by freighters to Manila and marched to Old Bilibid Prison for a short stay, then taken to the Cabanatuan camps.


"PRISONERS WERE TRANSPORTED THUS"
by W.C. Johnson. Courtesy of Meg Parkes and A.A. Duncan Archive
From Meg Parkes: "This W.C. Johnson drawing is done with crayon or possibly wax on a piece of brownish colored paper torn out of a notebook. It is approximately 8" x 5�". The colors are still vivid. It is one of many images and items which my father brought home with him and which are now in my possession. My father is Capt A. A. Duncan, 2Btn A&SH, and he treasured this drawing. My guess is that he would have known Lt. Johnson in Zentsuji as, for his first year or so there, he shared room 18 with several US officers including Lt Kenneth (KG) "Buck" Schacht, USN, another artist who was a very accomplished cartoonist. Dad had several very good friends among the American POWs in the camp." Signed, Meg Parkes. Credit and sincere thanks is given to Meg and the A.A.Duncan Archive.


THE SINKING OF THE LISBON MARU
by W.C. Johnson. Courtesy of Michael Murphy
From Michael Murphy: "I have a copy of a drawing done by a LT. (JG) W.C. Johnson of the sinking of my father's transport ship the Lisbon Maru. Lt Johnson did the drawing from eyewitness descriptions given to him in Kobe House camp in Japan. My dad, James Lawrence Murphy was captured at Hong Kong on Christmas day 1941. He was shipped on the Lisbon Maru to Japan in 1942. En route just south of Shanghai the ship was torpedoed by the USS Grouper and sunk. About 800 prisoners were killed out of 1800 on board. My father escaped the ship with his best friend John Scully. John was holding on to a floating hatch cover because he was very weak with dysentry when he was taken by a shark. My father managed to swim to a group of islands a few miles away and was picked up there by the Japs. My father spent the next 3 years in Kobe working as a slave labourer on the docks there."


PRESUMABLY ZENTSUJI PRISONER OF WAR CAMP
by W.C. Johnson. Courtesy of Everett Perry collection

COMMENTS FROM THE WEBMASTER
I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this display of Lt. Johnson's drawings. It was made to honor our POWs, the Lucky Old Lady Canopus and my dad's brother, Coxswain Paul Edward Perry, making it a labor of love.
By the way, Mamasan is resting peacefully on the bottom of Mariveles Bay in the company of six of her crewmen. Thank you, Everett Perry

Your comments are appreciated
email me at:
everett@evperry.com