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Bluemel, Clifford (1885-1973)

"Blinky" Bluemel (who got his nickname from the involuntary facial muscle spasms he was prone to) commanded 31 Philippine Division when war broke out in the Pacific. He was an experienced infantryman and "a spicy little bastard" (quoted in Norman and Norman 2009) who expected his officers to fight until they dropped.

Bluemel was singled out for humiliation by Japanese troops while making the Death March following the Allied surrender on Bataan (Norman and Norman 2009):

... Somewhere between Mariveles and Cabcaben, the Japanese had grabbed the general and started him walking, and along the way some of the guards decided to have a little fun.

They circled the general, then made him squat with his fingers locked behind his neck and started turning him in circles. When he lost his equilibrium and toppled over, they laughed— oh, how they laughed — and when he fought to keep his balance, his poise ("The man is a tough nut," Gordon thought), they kicked his feet out from under him and howled that much harder.

However, Bluemel survived the march and subsequent imprisonment.

Service record

1885     

Born
1941
Colonel     
Commander, 45 Regiment
1941

Commandant, Staff School, Camp Allen, Philippines
1941
Brigadier general     
Commander, 31 Philippine Division
1942-4

Prisoner of war
1945-10     

Commandant, Fort Benjamin Harrison
1947

Retires
1973

Dies

References

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-7-14)

Norman and Norman (2009)



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