Kibsgaard, Torvald, SN

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Seaman
Last Primary NEC
000X-Unknown Navy Officer Classification/ Designator
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Service Years
1941 - 1945
Foreign Language(s)
Norwegian
Line Officer

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Home Country
Norway
Norway
Year of Birth
1918
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Thore Kibsgaard-Family to remember Kibsgaard, Torvald, SN.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Sandnessjoen
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Mar 13, 2012
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Uppdate may 2018: www.tkibsgaard.com



Onboard USAT General Wm Weigel after the war.

P.O.W hell ship "Hokusen Maru" from Manila to Japan.

Built 1920, 2095 gt. Passenger/freighter built at Canadian Allis Chalmers for South American Steam Shipping (British) as War Wombat. Sold to Oguma & Co., Japan in 1924 and renamed Chokyo Maru. Sold again to Nihonkai Kisen in 1939 as Hokusen (meaning North Korea) Maru. Records indicate that she arrived Manila, from Kaohsiung, on Sept. 18-1944. In a convoy of eight ships escorted by three sub chasers, she departed Manila on Oct. 3. After losing three ships by U.S. sub attack, the convoy reached Hong Kong, instead of Kaohsiung, on Oct. 11-1944. (This corresponds with what is found in Ralph Walden's story, though he says they were underway for 3 or 4 weeks before she dropped anchor in Hong Kong, where they stayed for about 10 days before continuing to Takao, Formosa).

Listed as a Norwegian Civilian by US reparation documents, Torvald Kibsgaard actually served on a US army transport ship.
According to the website, warsailors.com, Torvald's son, Thore, and a US Army document, Torvald joined the US Army. Warsailors.com describes the account as follows...
Torvald A. Kibsgaard worked as able seamen on this ship, but became sick and was paid off in Manila on Sept. 9-1941 where he was admitted to a hospital. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor Torvald and some other Norwegians were transferred to a motel in the city. After the attack on Manila they were unable to get out due to the fact that Norwegian ships were directed elsewhere, so in order to avoid internment, they all joined the US Navy. Torvald, age 23, signed on the tug S/S Henry Keswick and transported supplies to Corregidor. On New Years Eve (after D. MacArthur had decided to withdraw) Kibsgaard was again sent to Corregidor, and from then on the two Norwegians transported supplies back and forth between Corregidor and Bataan. The USAT Henry Keswick was shelled and sunk at "North Dock", Corregidor, and in March the two shipmates were on the (previously Chinese) S/S You Sang. While loading bombs during the battles for Bataan, the You Sang was sunk at the Bataan harbour Mariveles. After the fall of Bataan in April 1942, Kibsgaard took part in the ammunition transport to the gun positions on Corregidor using trucks. The day after the invasion, on May 5, he was given a gun and ordered to the trenches with the other soldiers, but when he started to display symptoms of severe shock he was picked up and taken to a hospital at Malinta Tunnel, where he was diagnosed with shock as well as malaria.
After Corregidor had fallen (May 6-1942), Torvald was ordered by the Japanese to clean up after the battles, remove the bodies etc. From then on he was a prisoner of the Japanese, first sent to Cabanatuan, then in 1943 to Batangas (both on Luzon) to forced labor building the airport there. When the Americans bombed the airport they were working on early in 1944 he was transferred to Camp Murphy where he stayed until Oct.-1944. His next stop was the Bilibid prison, Manila where he met several other Norwegians. After MacArthur began retaking the Philippines, the Japanese wanted to avoid letting the prisoners fall into the hands of the Americans, so thousands were moved to Japan. Kibsgaard and two other Norwegians (Johan Skulstad and Ragnvald Augustin) were placed on the cargo ship Hokusen Maru, initially bound for Japan. After 41 days of terror they landed in Formosa (now Taiwan). Several ships in the convoy had been sunk by American submarines because the Japanese ignored the Geneva Convention and did not mark prisoner of war ships, and a lot of prisoners had died on the ship due to the horrendous conditions on board. After about 4 weeks on Formosa they were put on another Japanese transport and moved to Omuta, Japan, where they worked in the Fukuoka Camp 17 coal mines for about 6 months until the war was over and the prisoners were liberated.
 
   
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P.O.W camp: http://www.lindavdahl.com/Front%20Pages/Camp%20Roster.html
   
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