This collection contains a bound booklet of 33 photocopied letters between Lt. Robert Fugate and his parents. Fugate served
in the Phillipines, surviving Bataan and a P.O.W. camp before being killed in a Manila Bay bombing.
Information on Robert Benjamin Fugate, written by the donor:
"My great uncle, Robert Fugate, participated in World War II. We have his letters and I would like to donate copies to your
project (I can’t seem to find the originals). Robert was from Brazil, Indiana (20 miles west of Terre Haute) and was the first
person in my family to graduate from college (Purdue class of 1940). The letters are to my great grandparents and begin in
June 1941 from Ohio, where he is a second lieutenant in the US Marine Corp (4th Marine Regiment, D Company 1st Battalion).
The letters follow him across country to San Francisco (one is on beautiful Sir Francis Drake Hotel letterhead) to Hawaii
to the Philippines where he is stationed starting in the summer of 1941. They describe life in the Philippines on a US Marine
base. The last letter is dated a week before December 7, 1941 (this got through).
"The letters then transition to my great grandmother writing him in the Philippines first expressing concern about him and
the attack and then just general concern. All of these letters are returned undeliverable.
"The final two documents are a letter to my great grandfather at the end of the war from a friend saying although the world
is rejoicing, I know you are not, and a letter from American Express settling an insurance claim with Robert’s death.
"Robert was taken prisoner by the Japanese. He survived the Bataan Death March and was held prisoner for four years by the
Japanese at Davao Penal Colony (POW Barracks) - PMPC #2 on Mindinao. He was killed after he was put on a Japan ship in the
Philippines to move him to Japan to be force labor and the US bombed the ship in Manila Harbor. They did not know US POWs
were on the ship. Hampton Sides writes about this incident in Ghost Soldiers. We know this because a fellow POW visited my
great grandparents and grandmother on his way back to Brooklyn to explain what happened. He apparently died in transport after