Hell Ship Oryoku Maru

75th Anniversary

Zf269. 00a. The Memorial Event Announcement. Let’s remember, according to one webpage 1622 POWs started out, 1219 Perished and only 403 survived; many, many died because of hunger, inhumane treatment and mistreatment in the hands of the Imperial Japanese Forces.

In remembrance of nearly 300 Heroes, who perished during the sinking of the hell ship Oryoku Maru December 15, 1944 at Subic Bay Philippines. 15th Dec 2019, 2pm Sunday at the Hellship Memorial, Waterfront Rd. SBFZ.

Bob Hudson, a honorary official of F.A.M.E. had the idea and he asked Jack Walker, the Director of the Retired Activities Office (RAO) Subic Bay for assistance. The Director Jack Walker, a retired Marine, put his Marine Leadership Skills to work and between the two gentlemen a memorable commemoration was held.

Willing VIP Speakers were found, the weather was great, and it was well attended. It became a very successful commemoration. Many sponsors were found and the SBFZ under the SBMA Management went all out to support the event.

I was in Hawaii during this time and did not even hear of this. Then, a few weeks ago the Director told me about, I asked Bob Hudson, he sent me pictures that his wife Rosalie had taken. The pictures indeed show a very solemn event, including laying wreaths over the watery grave site.

I was so pleasantly surprised and wanted to share them. Bob and Rosalie Hudson gave me permission to share these wonderful pictures about this very tragic event with the world, thank you Rosalie and Bob.

Zf270. 01a the vennue. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 35a. SBFZ Waterfront Rd. in front of the present SBMA Headquarters and also the former Naval Base Headquarter. A comment from Bob Hudson: Looking backing at the dock area and Hellship Memorial as the boat that took us out over the wreck of the Oryoku Maru.
The Hellship Memorial is about 20 meters to the right of the Largest Philippine flag to fly in the Philippines!

Zf271. 01b the venue. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 03. A Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) beautification and promotion project.

Zf272. 01c the venue. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 04. A WWII Combat picture of the sinking of the Oryoku Maru in Subic Bay on the 15th Dec. 1944.

Zf273. 01d the venue. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 36a. This is now the Alava Extension Wharf, the Oryoku Maru is to the right of it and further down this wharf. It is a beautiful day for a Hellships commemoration.

Zf274. 01e the venue. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 06a. There were tents left and right of the Hellships Memorial; this is the right one. Bob  said this picture and the other crowed pictures don’t really show how well this event was attended.

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The Speakers, I only have pictures of 4 Speakers, there may have been more.

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Zf275. 02a. the speakers. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 24a. Professor Rico Jose was the main speaker. Bob Hudson and Jack Walker told me several times how impressed they were with his knowledge of the Hellships. One fact they learned that 4 are sunk in Philippine Waters. I know the professor personal; we explored the tunnels under Fort Bonifacio together. And I know he is very famous, I watch the News!

Zf276. 02b. the speakers.201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 27. Jack Walker, a retired Marine, the Director of the RAO in Subic Bay and a friend. Bob Hudson said: Our MC and event Organizer, Jack Walker who without him, this event would have never happened. A million Kudos Jack!

Zf277. 02c. the speakers.201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 29a. Bob Hudson said: I was the first speaker and spoke about the horror of events on the journey of the Hellship, Oryoku Maru.

Zf278. 02d. the speakers.201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson. Tracey Betts (US Embassy Manila) spoke for the Embassy and I have a hunch that the embassy perhaps also made sure of this or that.

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The ceremony

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Zf279. 03a. Ceremony. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 31a. Several Floral arrangements. One from Leslie Ann Murray, Ex VP of FAME and part time American Chamber of Commerce resource person. And wreath from FAME, it seems there are more.

Zf280. 03b. Ceremony. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 31a.  A boat is taking the ceremony party to the Oryoku Maru wreck site, where so many Heroes gave their life.

Zf281. 03b. Ceremony. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 31a. Bob Hudson says: A Harbor Patrol Boat is assisting us in case there was a problem. The wind was really blowing in the Bay today.

Zf282. 03d. Ceremony. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 39a. Bob Hudson says: The beginning of the 2 Bell, (End of Watch) Ceremony on board the boat. The veterans are from the VFW Post 11447 (Subic Bay) and the FRA 396 San Miguel, Zambales.

Zf283. 03e. Ceremony. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 40a. Tracey Betts, Representative of the US Embassy prepares to drop the Embassies wreath into the water over the Oryoku Maru wreck site where so many died.

Zf284. 03f. Ceremony. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 42. About 10 Wreath were dropped into Subic Bay over the Oryoku Maru grave/wreck site. It is in honor of the 300 POW’s who perished this day 75 years ago.

Zf285. 03g. Ceremony. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 43. About 10 Wreath were dropped into Subic Bay over the Oryoku Maru grave/wreck site. It is in honor of the 300 POW’s who perished this day 75 years ago.

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VIPs,

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Zf286. 04a. VIP. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 20a. Mike Villa-Real (VP Philippine Veterans Bank) and Bob Hudson. That bank, I know over the years, has donated countless times for these type of events and has sponsored many, documentary film productions. A triple Hooray to the Philippine Veterans Bank.

Zf287. 04b. VIP. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 13a. The Vice Mayor of Olongapo City

Zf288. 04d. VIP. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 05a. Tracey Betts, US Embassy Manila, General Resty Aguilar, PVAO Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Janice Villarosa, Professional Filmmaker and Professor Rico Jose.

Zf289.  04d. VIP. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 05a. Three reps from the US Embassy, Ed Pooley (retired US Marines and Representative of the Elks Club on Manila), Bob Hudson nd Jack Walker (Retired US Marine) and Organizer of the Event and WHAT an event it was!

Zf290. 04e. VIP. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 21a. L to R Janice Villarosa, professional Filmmaker, Professor Jose Rico, Bob Hudson, Robert Lucke, Desiree Benipayo, Dan Larsen.

Zf291. 04f. VIP. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 22a. Mario Abad Benipayo (Grandson of Jose Abad Santos), Sandy ? Desiree Benipayo (Author, Documentary film maker and Rosalie.

Zf292. 04g. VIP. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 26a. 04g. VIP’s seated inside the Hellship Memorial.

Zf293. 04h. VIP. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 33a. A whole host of VIP’s staring into the sun for this shot.

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Guests and visitors.

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Zf294. 05a. Guests. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 07. This is one of 7 images, shot by Rosalie Hudson of guests arriving for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the Oryoku Maru sinking. Her husband who had the idea of commemorating this event was really surprised of the real good attendance. He said the pictures did not give credit to the full house of guests and visitors! This description is also for the next 6 pictures.

Zf295. 05b. 2 Guests. 01215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 10. This is one of 7 images, shot by Rosalie Hudson of guests arriving for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the Oryoku Maru sinking.

Zf296. 05c. Guests. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 11. This is one of 7 images, shot by Rosalie Hudson of guests arriving for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the Oryoku Maru sinking.

Zf297. 05d. Guests. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 16. This is one of 7 images, shot by Rosalie Hudson of guests arriving for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the Oryoku Maru sinking.

Zf298. 05e. Guests. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 19. This is one of 7 images, shot by Rosalie Hudson of guests arriving for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the Oryoku Maru sinking.

Zf299. 05f. Guests. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 09. This is one of 7 images, shot by Rosalie Hudson of guests arriving for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the Oryoku Maru sinking.

Zf300. 05g. Guests. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 18. This is one of 7 images, shot by Rosalie Hudson of guests arriving for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the Oryoku Maru sinking.

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Friends, whose name I know and some I don’t.

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Zf301. 06a. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 17a. Rosalie Hudson with Dan Larsen (Retired from US Embassy and active in Philippine History). Hello Rosalie, I love these pictures, she shot them.

Zf302. 06b. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 30a. Two of Bob Hudson’s friends: David Metherell, Retired Air Force and Mike Kempski, Ex Army Ranger injured by two IED’s in combat.

Zf303. 06c. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 25a. Bob Hudson’s friend Robert Lucke, (Retired Marine) shaking hands with Gus Vallejo.

Zf304. 06d. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 0a. In this picture Edna Binkowski and Robert Lucke (green shirt) are speaking to that tall man with a black jacket. But we don’t remember who he is. In another picture he is wearing medals on the jacket. Edna Binkowski is a well known historian of Bataan and has written books about WWII history. Boy, I’m bad, the fellow at right is a veteran but I can’t remember his name.

Zf305. 06e. 201215 75th Anniv. Oryoku Maru,Bob Hudson 3a. Well deserved. A big thank you to James and Hilda Kochheiser for buying Rosalie and Bob Hudson lunch before the event started!

2 thoughts on “Hell Ship Oryoku Maru

  1. I very very thoroughly enjoyed reading and seeing the colorful pictures in this presentation. Many Many Thanks, Bob Hudson, for this and what you have continuously done these past years. Talk about consistency, conscientiousness — to the max, par excellance – one dedicated prior service individual !!

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