Stuart Rucker Barnett (1912 - 1989)
and wife, Irene Barnett (1912 - 1984)
Lawrence Stuart Barnett
David Rucker Barnett (19?? - 2009)
Although listed in "Santo Tomas" by Stevens, Cecile Elizabeth Barnett, is not part of this Barnett family. Anyone know her?
October 3, 2005
I just happened to pull up your Santo Tomas website. I noticed that you did not have the names of my father, mother, older brother and me on your family list. Therefore I thought you might want to add us to it. My dad was Stuart Barnett, mother Irene Barnett, older brother Larry Barnett and me, David Barnett. Larry was 4 and I was 1 1/2 when we went into the camp. As far as we can remember we lived in Glamorville.
Here is a watercolor of our shanty done by Chris Arundell.
He was another neighbor in the camp and he did quite a few watercolors.
You might want to see if anyone else remembers him.
The many names that you have as family members are very familiar to me as my mom and dad had spoken of them to me for many yeas after the war. Another couple whose names do not appear are Charlie and Marion Harper. Their nipa shack was next to ours. Charlie had been an All American in basketball at he University of Illinois before the war.
Here is some of my family's information that you may not be aware of. My dad was with us for the first two years in Santo Tomas. Prior to the war he was the Far Eastern Rep for Upjohn Drug Company. He was allowed to go out of the camp at times and buy drugs from the Chinese who controlled that market in Manila. He would listen to short wave radio from San Francisco and bring the news back to the camp written on a piece of paper hidden in the barrel of his pen. Someone, undoubtedly tortured, blew the whistle on him to the Jap Kempetai and he was court martialed, convicted of passing propaganda and sentenced to 7 years at hard labor. He was taken from Santo Tomas and sent to Muntinlupa and Bilibid for a year.
This is a picture of my dad, Stu Barnett,
taken by the Japs when he was sent to Bilibid in July, 1944.
The Filipino guerrillas finally released him and he escaped and ran into a unit of General Eichelberger's command. Long story short, he returned to Santo Tomas when we were liberated and the family was reunited. The Japs had told my mother that he had been executed and gave her his ring and some other personal items. They liked to do that kind of stuff as you may know.
After liberation by the 1st Cav
The Barnett family picture was taken behind our shanty.
That's me in front of my mother, Irene, and my brother, Larry, in front our dad, Stu Barnett.
Larry and dad at the rear of our shanty.
This picture is Charlie & Marion Harper on left with the Barnett's on the right.
Taken at the rear of the Harpers shanty.
They were our neighbors and lifelong friends after the war.
Upon release from Santo Tomas we flew out of Manila to Tacloban, Leyte where we boarded the Jean Lafitte and sailed to Manus in the Admiralty Islands and then to Oakland, California.
This (below) is a picture of the Barnett family, taken in March, 1945 aboard the Jean La Fitte. We sailed from either Tacloban, Leyte or Manus in the Admiralty Islands on this ship to Oakland. Pictured are my mother, Irene Barnett, holding my older brother, Larry. Holding me is my dad Stu Barnett. We look pretty well fed as we have been out out Santo Tomas for about 30 days or so and gained some weight. As you can see, my mother looks exhausted. We have just been reunited with dad after his year in Bilibid. She was told that he had been executed and you can see the strain on her face. What that poor woman had to go through! Thank God that Larry and I were really too young to understand most of what our folks had been through. Boy do I miss them both!!
Waterman Steamship Corporation's CS-2-E1
S.S. Steamship JEAN LAFITTE USN Ship
February, 1943 -- Mobile, Alabama
Our entire family returned to Manila after the war where my dad was the Sales Manager for Manila Cordage Company. He was also the amateur golf champion of the Philipines from 1949-52. An excellent golfer. We stayed there until October of 1952 when we returned to the U.S. for good. Both my parents have passed away but my older brother, Larry and I are alive and kicking. Larry is an orthopedic surgeon still practicing and living in Orange County, California. While in the Army I served a tour with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1965-66 as the Prisoner of War Interrogation Officer for the 1st Brigade of the 1st Inf. Div. How's that for a real turn of events? I then spent 30 years with Oldsmobile Division of General Motors Corp. I retired in 1998 and live with my wife in Georgetown, Texas.
I hope I didn't take too much of your time with this but I am an avid history buff and your website got me all excited. My spelling of some of the words may be incorrect but I am having to draw on information that is 60 years old and some things get a little fuzzy. Many thanks for the effort that you have put into your website. I am now pulling up all the information I can on Santo Tomas.
David - Thanks for your story. Tom
NOTE: Dave passed away January 29, 2009. He will be missed.
or would like to be added to my POW/Internee e-mail distribution list,
please let the me, Tom Moore, know.