• Links to Oral History Sessions: Vater, Joseph A. (April 14, 2007)
  • Conflict(s): World War II
  • Military Branch & Unit: Army
  • Theater(s): Pacific
  • US Army Battalion: 803rd Engineer Battalion (Aviation)
  • US Army Company: A Company


Mr. Vater served in the US Army Corps of Engineers, 803rd Engineer Battalion (Aviation), Company A, until the surrender of Corregidor.  He was held as a prisoner of war until the end of the war in the following camps: Billibid, Cabanatuan Number 3 and Hoten. He survived a "hell ship" voyage on the Tottori Maru from the Philippines. to Formosa, Pusan, Korea, and, finally, ending in Mukden, Manchuria. Throughout, he endured years of subjugation as slave labor.