Robert Ervin Schmidtman
|HOME OF RECORD
11514 Dayton Avenue, Seattle, WA
|NEXT OF KIN
Parents, Bernhard & Dorothea Schmidtman
|DATE OF BIRTH
November 19, 1905
October 3, 1933
|DATE OF LOSS
May 8, 1942
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
92nd Garage, Corregidor
Died as POW
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
First Sergeant Schmidtman was captured in the fall of Corregidor, 6 May 1942. He was one of several thousand servicemen held without adequate food, water, or shelter at the 92nd Garage on Corregidor.These punishing conditions took a rapid toll on the captives. Schmidtman succumbed to heat exhaustion on 8 May 1942, and was likely buried in an unmarked grave not far from the garage. He was carried on the POW rolls until evidence of his death was received on 13 September 1945.
Prisoner of War Medal
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
Manila American Cemetery
• Note: The NARA POW Database lists Schmidtman at Old Bilibid Prison; however, the first prisoners from Corregidor did not reach Old Bilibid until 23 May 1942.
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…after we had been held in the 92nd Garage Area for one day, Schmidtman lay down and died: no groaning, no thrashing about, he just stretched out beside the shelter half….
– W. Pat Hitchcock, Forty Months In Hell.
Doctor Wade, stethoscope around his neck, [was] kneeling over a still figure on a stretcher. He arose, dropped his head to his chest, and shook it slowly from side to side. A stretcher party picked up its burden and headed for the main gate. I knew who they were carrying; I had known that now lifeless clay for many years. First Sergeant Schmidtmann [sic], the personnel sergeant major from Headquarters Company, Fourth Marine Regiment, lay dead on that piece of canvas. Doctor Wade now bent over the next case, taking care of a gasping man.
– Charles R. Jackson, I Am Alive! A United States Marine’s Story of Survival in a World War II Japanese POW Camp (New York: Ballantine Books, 2003), 62.
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