Ruben Haugen, Army L-4 Spotter / Observer, Philippines Campaign; Musician

Ruben Haugen, U.S. Army, PFC, HQ, 33rd Infantry Division, I-Corps, Originally trained as an Infantry Sniper / Observer. Ruben flew reconnaissance over enemy territory during the Philippines Campaign during WW II in the L-4 Grasshopper as a camera operator. (He didn't weigh a lot, which helped.) The resulting photos were used to make maps. He also radioed back to the artillery if Japanese positions were spotted, and the L-4's also sometimes were used to transport wounded individuals to hospitals. Ruben sat in the second seat behind the pilot, and in his opinion the pilots were all very good. The landscape was covered with vegetation and sometimes they dove straight down to see things better. They only had room to carry a holster firearm and there was no room for any parachutes. The landing strip reminded him of the roads in North Dakota where he grew up which just had two furrows and a ditch on each side. The L-4's had the same army specification as a Jeep so they could be abandoned if necessary. For 40 years people didn't talk about WW II but enough time has passed that they can now. He said it is like a bad dream.
   A Major Robertson (in Washington DC?) produced a 1 hour program which accurately reflects what they did in the Philippines. He has a copy of the DVD.
   Ruben was a musician and carried a clarinet in his backpack and sometimes played with a Hawaiian Bass player Alex Puha from Hawaii who was older at about 34 or 35 then, and a man named Gomez from the SW. They would visit the medical tents where the wounded were being treated by medical staff and entertain them. After the Japanese surrender he also went to Japan and filled in as a background musician at shows with movie stars, etc.
Ruben still plays the saxophone today with the Bend in the River Big Band and recently played at the 385th Bomb Group's reunion at the Hilton Minneapolis / Bloomington on October 19, 2013 (See webpage and You Tube videos). 
   Ruben went on an Honor Flight to Washington DC which he really enjoyed. Although he has never had his WW II story video recorded, he would like to in the near future. He has photos including interesting pictures of an unusual military band composed of women riding bicycles in an auditorium.
 Ruben noted that General Patton also used the Grasshopper in Europe to observe and plan battles and when told that a pilot who said that he flew Patton around lived in St. Croix Falls, WI, Ruben expressed interest in talking to him if we could get his phone number to him.  (This is T/Sgt Owen Mobley). Ruben lives in Burnsville but only has one car and his wife has an event every Wednesday, so he has not been able to attend an 8th AFHS-Mn luncheon.

For more info about the 33rd Infantry Division including stories and photos at Luzon go the the 33rd infantry Division  website.

Information about I Corps in the Philippines and Japan from Wikipedia
The corps was assigned to the Sixth United States Army in preparation for the offensive in the Philippines from the assets of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, Philippine Constabulary and the recognized guerrilla units. On 9 January 1945, I Corps successfully landed on the coast of the Lingayen Gulf in Northern Luzon with the mission of establishing a base for future operations to the north and of denying the enemy northern access to the South China Sea.[17] As a part of the Sixth Army with an overall force of 175,000 men, the American forces faced over 260,000 Japanese in Luzon.[18] In a sustained drive of thirty-four days which covered over 100 miles, I Corps crossed central Luzon and thus separated the Japanese forces in the north from those in southern Luzon, destroying Japanese armored units along the way.[19] Additional landings at Samar and Palawan were conducted in February, reducing the pressure on the forces of I Corps.[20] Following this accomplishment, the corps turned northward and began the systematic reduction of the enemy positions on the approach to the Cagayan Valley. The breakthrough into the valley was followed by a swift exploitation that took the corps to the north coast. This advance covered two hundred miles in little over 100 days; eliminating effective enemy resistance in northern Luzon.[5] Manila was recaptured by the Allies after heavy fighting that ravaged the city.[21] The intense fighting that ensued cost 8,000 killed and 30,000 wounded in the Sixth Army, compared to 190,000 dead for Japan.

Occupation of Japan[edit]

A large Japanese city with American soldiers patrolling the streets
Occupation forces in Tokyo, 1946.
After the end of hostilities, I Corps was assigned to occupation duty in Japan. On 19 September 1945 the corps, with the assigned 33rd Infantry Division, sailed from Lingayen Gulf for Japan, landing on the island of Honshū on 25 September, three weeks after Japan's formal surrender.[27] The next few years were a period during which the terms of the surrender were supervised and enforced; Japanese military installations and material were seized, troops were disarmed and discharged, and weapons of warfare disposed of. The duties of the occupation force included conversion of industry, repatriation of foreign nationals, and supervision of the complex features of all phases of Japanese government, economics, education, and industry"

Info about the 33rd Infantry Division in the Philippines from Wikipedia
" The 33rd landed at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 10 February 1945, and relieved the 43rd Infantry Division in the Damortis-Rosario Pozorrubio area, 13–15 February. The division drove into the Caraballo Mountains, 19 February, toward its objective, Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines and the headquarters of General Tomoyuki Yamashita. Fighting against a fanatical enemy entrenched in the hills, the 33d took Aringay, 7 March, Mount Calugong, 8 April, and Mount Mirador, 25 April. Baguio and Camp John Hay fell on 26 April, under the concerted attack of the 33rd and the 37th Infantry DivisionsManuel Roxas, later President of the Philippines, was freed during the capture of Baguio. Between the Filipino soldiers of the 66th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Commonwealth Army, USAFIP-NL on 27 April that combined with the American forces in liberating the city in Baguio. After mopping up isolated pockets of resistance, the Division broke up the last organized resistance of the enemy by capturing the San Nicholas-Tebbo-Itogon route, 12 May, by inside in Luzon by defenders between the military forces of the Philippine Commonwealth and the local guerrilla fighters against the Japanese from 1945. All elements went to rest and rehabilitation areas on 30 June 1945. The division landed on Honshū Island, Japan, 25 September, and performed occupation duties until inactivated."