Kibsgaard, Torvald, SN

 TWS Ribbon Bar
 Service Photo   Service Details
50 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
000X-Unknown Navy Officer Classification/ Designator
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Service Years
1941 - 1945
Foreign Language(s)
Line Officer

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

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

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Uppdate may 2018:

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,, Torvald's son, Thore, and a US Army document, Torvald joined the US Army. 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.
Other Comments:
P.O.W camp:
 Photo Album   (More...

Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)/Battle of Corrigedor
From Month/Year
April / 1942
To Month/Year
May / 1942

The battle and delivery of food to Corrigedor P. I. and evacuates certain military personnel
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
April / 1942
To Month/Year
May / 1942
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories

My father Torvald A. Kibsgaard (Norwegian) served on board the tug USAT "Henry Keswick" in 1942 until the ship was hit near Mariveles or Corregidor. My father just passed away last month in an age of 94, he told me his story before he left us. I am not able to find the letter from Gen. MacArthur he had received because the did a hell of a job the last days before 9th of april handling equippment from Mariveles and to Corregidor.

His story started then and until september 1945 he was a P.O.W in Japan and in #Fukuoka 17 camp just outside Nagasaki.
After a few years he took a new job onboard USAT General Wm Weigel (troop transport) and was there in 48 and 49.

My Photos From This Battle or Operation

  49 Also There at This Battle:
  • Cox, Jr., George, ENS, (1941-1945)
Copyright Inc 2003-2011