Allied intelligence believed that most captured American officers were being held at the Hammelburg prisoner of war camp, Oflag XIII-B. This population likely included Patton’s son-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel John Waters, but there was no way to be sure.
As General Douglas MacArthur’s campaign on Luzon was underway, news of the Palawan massacre produced a call to action to save thousands of Allied POWs and civilian internees from a similar fate. With the extraordinary assistance of Filipino guerrillas, four daring raids were launched behind Japanese lines to liberate those camps.
As the Allied liberation of the Philippines was underway, Japanese commanders acted on orders to annihilate American POWs rather than allow them to assist enemy efforts, and in December 1944 cruelly executed 139 American POWs on Palawan.