From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Hugh Tistadt, Jr. '39

Date of birth: September 25, 1916

Date of death: February 1, 1945

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:


From Find A Grave:


The family of Capt. Hugh A. Tistadt, who died in a prisoner of war camp in Japan near the close of the war and long after his capture at Bataan, has been advised that his body is being returned for burial and is expected to reach here before the end of the week. Tentative arrangements are being made for funeral service Sunday afternoon at the Methodist church in this city.

Capt. Tistadt was with McArthur's forces in the Philippines and for many months were unknown to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Tistadt Sr. Hardships encountered during his period of captivity so weakened him physically that he fell prey to disease shortly before his release would have been effected by the American forces. His rank was advanced from first lieutenant to Captain during this time and has been made permanent since his death, a member of the family states.

Democrat Argus - Caruthersville, Missouri - Friday, September 22, 1948

Full military honors for Marine Captain Hugh Aubrey Tistadt, whose body arrived here last Thursday from a military cemetery in the Philippines were accorded by Company B of the Missouri National Guard Sunday afternoon, when the funeral was held at three o'clock at the Methodist church. The Rev. Floyd V. Brower conducting the church service and the military burial service was held at the graveside in Little Prairie Cemetery.

Capt. Tistadt was born in Caruthersville September 25, 1916, the son of Hugh A. and Phil Magee Tistadt. He attended the local schools and was graduated from Caruthersville High School in May of 1933, spending the following two years as a student at Arkansas State College in Jonesboro and at Missouri School of Mines in Rolla. In 1935 he received an appointment to Annapolis Naval Academy from which he was graduated with honors in 1939.

Deciding to become a Marine officer, he attended the Marine Basic School in Philadelphia for one year, leaving for his first tour of duty to Shanghai, China, in July 1940 and serving with the Fourth Regiment of Marines.

Leaving Shanghai on November 20, 1941, he arrived in the Philippines a short time before Pearl Harbor on December 7 and was active on the fighting there and on Corregidor, being taken a prisoner of the Japanese on the latter island. He was held in Manila until December 13, 1944, just before the arrival of the liberating American troops and was one of the survivors of what has become known as the "Cruise of Death", arriving at Moji Kyushu, Japan on February 1. He died of pneumonia on February 1, 1945 at Camp No. 3 Moji. On May 28, 1946, his body was removed to the Armed Forces Cemetery at Manila.

Captain Tistadt received the Distinguished Unit Badge with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Victory Medal and in addition, he was given the Presidential Citation for bravery beyond the line of duty on Corregidor.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh A. Tistadt Sr., his paternal grandmother Mrs. Laura B. Tistadt, four uncles and two aunts.

Democrat Argus - Caruthersville, Missouri - Friday, October 29, 1948

He was a member of H Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. He survived the sinking of Oryoku Maru on December 14, 1944, which killed several of his classmates. He died while being held at Fukuoka 3b POW camp near Yawata, Japan.

Class of 1939 Marines at the Fall of Corregidor

At least seven Marines of the Class of 1939 were captured by the Japanese when Corregidor fell in May 1942; six of them perished in captivity. Four were awarded the Navy Cross for their heroism and distinguished service in six months of combat under arduous and increasingly desperate conditions. A fifth was awarded the Navy Cross for action in the Korean War.

Two men — William Hogaboom and Willard Holdredge — had extremely similar experiences, and are often mentioned together in after-action reports. Carter Simpson's was also similar; he also managed to keep an exceptionally interesting diary that survived the war. All three of these Marines were killed during or immediately after the attack on Oryoku Maru on December 14, 1945.

A fourth classmate, Ralph Mann, Jr., died in captivity in September 1942.

The final two, Hugh Tistadt, Jr. and John Fantone, survived the Oryoku Maru attack but perished in POW camps a few months later.

A seventh classmate, William Harris, was also captured, but escaped by swimming across Manila Bay from Corregidor to Bataan on May 22, 1942. He was later recaptured and tortured by the Japanese but survived the war to personally witness the Japanese surrender aboard USS Missouri. He was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroism in the Korean War.

Prisoner of War Medal

From Hall of Valor:

First Lieutenant Hugh A. Tistadt, Jr. (MCSN: 0-5910), United States Marine Corps, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death while still in captivity.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Action Date: May 6, 1942 - Died in Captivity
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: First Lieutenant
Division: Prisoner of War (Philippine Islands & Japan)

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

October 1939

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

CAPT Walter Webster '11 (Naval Aircraft Factory)
LT Donald Lovelace '28 (Naval Aircraft Factory)
LTjg Edward Allen '31 (Naval Aircraft Factory)
ENS Lewis Davis '37 (Naval Finance & Supply School)
2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38 (Marine Barracks)

November 1940

2nd Lieutenant, Company E, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, China

Others at this command:

April 1941

2nd Lieutenant, Company E, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, China

Others at this command:

Class of 1939

Hugh is one of 78 members of the Class of 1939 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.