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 12/10/07

New essay, "Stolen Valor: A phony Bataan Death March survivor was exposed by a real survivor," posted.  
 


11/29/07

You Tube: "Prisoners of the Japanese" Charlie Rose Show (May 24, 1995)

              http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2031467021365325175#


Charlie Rose interviewed Gavan Daws, the author of the seminal book, "Prisoners of the Japanese," and two former POWs of the Japanese.

"I am not interested in monetary reparations..., I want the Japanese to say to the world, 'Yes we did this to you and we are sorry.'"
                                --- Otto Schwarz, survivor of slave labor at the Thai-Burma railway

"I would like the Japanese to recognize what they had done in World War II."
              --- Richard Gordon, survivor of the Bataan Death March and slave labor in Japan

"The last human chance for these men to have their life given some meaning not just by their own government but by the Japanese government and the world, that chance will be gone... So the next three months (before the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII) is the last human chance for this story to be heard and understood by the world. "
                                                                                                                ---Gavan Daws


* It is hard to believe that this program was aired more than 12 years ago. According to the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor's death records, Mr. Richard Gordon passed away on July 26, 2003 and Mr. Otto Schwarz passed away on August 3, 2006.


11/18/07

Carlos: A Tale of Survival

Mr. J. L. Kunkle, nephew of Mr. Carlos Montoya who survived the Bataan Death March and forced labor at Niigata POW Camp 5-B, has just published a book on his uncle's life.

Mr. Montoya is 92 years old.

For more about the book, please go to Carlos.

 


11/15/07

Sasebo Soto Dam (Fukuoka #18 POW Camp) POW Memorial Monument

In February of 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy started constructing Soto Dam as water supply for Sasebo Naval port in Nagasaki prefecture. In October 1942, 265 US POWs were brought in and forced to work for the construction of the dam until April 1944.

These POWs were civilian workers who had been engaged in building the US military facilities on Wake Island. They were confined in Fukuoka #18 Camp near the dam construction site. Fifty-three died of pneumonia, dysentery, and other health reasons due to totally inadequate living and medical conditions.

In 1956, Sasebo City built a memorial monument for those who lost their lives during the construction of Soto Dam. Names of 31 Americans and 14 Japanese were inscribed on the memorial wall together with a phrase, “and 23 unknown others.” The US Navy Sasebo Base has annually held a memorial service around May, which is open to the public.
 



Names inscribed on the wall of the Memorial monument


Mr. Philip D. Eakins, a local historian who has lived in Japan for 18 years, has written an article on such memorial service for the Naval newspaper. However, in 2005, through the website of Mr.
Roger Mansell, http://www.mansell.com/pow-index.html  he realized that the names inscribed on the wall were not correct.

In June 2007, Mr. Barry Kelso contacted the US Navy Sasebo Base, requesting his uncle Oval Allen Kelso’s name be added to the memorial Monument. Mr. Eakins’ research has made progress since. Through the diaries of survivors and a record by a Japanese Naval medical officer, the correct names of all 53 victims were identified.

                                                                                                                  Mr. Philip D. Eakins

Following the Yomiuri Kyushu’s article reporting the above development at the end of October, the Public Affairs office of the US Navy Sasebo Base held an interview session by Mr. Eakins at the memorial site on November 14, which was reported by local TV stations and newspapers. The Water Bureau of Sasebo city has told the media that they are ready to revise the names. It seems that the efforts of concerned people are going to bear fruit in the near future.
 

The dam of 400,000 liter capacity has benefited the city to this day.
                                                                                          
-- Yuka Ibuki

The Stars and Stripes on the Soto Dam POW memorial:
http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=50479
News video  (AFN)


10/25/07

New Essay, "
Remembering Col. Rosen ," by Kinue Tokudome posted


               


XXIV Mukden Survivors Reunion
in Kingston, NY, Sept 25-30

Reunion was hosted by
Shelly & Suzanne Zimbler.


                                                        
 photo by Shelly Zimbler

Standing: left to right    Randall Edwards, Bob Rosendahl, Bob Brown, Erwin Johnson
Seated: left to right       Roy Weaver, Ralph Griffith, Joe Brasel, Hal Leith 

 


10/14/07

New essay, "Working On the Railway of Death," by Mr. Eric Niderost posted

One of the American POWs who were forced to work to build the Burma Railway of Death, Mr.  Howard Brooks, was interviewed by Mr.  Niderost.
 


10/3/07

PBS documentary "The War" (official website: http://www.pbs.org/thewar/)

PBS has just aired this 14-hour documentary on World War II. It contained testimonies of a POW and a civilian internee of the Japanese. Here are some excerpts:

Mr. Glenn Frazier, a survivor of the Bataan Death March and forced labor in Japan, spoke about his post-war struggle with hate and forgiveness. 

When I left Japan I had all kinds of hatred for these people. And it was so imbedded into me, I felt like I was justified to have hate... But I had to get rid of that hate, and it took me 29 years to realize that that's why my health was going bad. That's why my whole life was miserable, because of the hate...


And they, and my preacher ask, the preacher I was going to asked me to, I had to give, forgive myself and had to forgive them. I said, 'Forgive the Japanese? You're kidding. How in the world can I do that?' I said, 'They've never apologized to me. Or anybody else.
They never made any effort to, to smooth over the what they did to us. So why shouldn't I hate 'em. I hafta.' He said, 'Well, you not gonna make it that way.' ...

Mr. Frazier's testimony:  http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5323.htm

Diary of Ms. Sascha Weinzheimer, a civilian internee of the Japanese, described the life in the the Santo Tomas camp in Manila.

January 12.
People are dying every day from starvation. Fred Fairman and Mrs. Everett yesterday. We have such a short time to go. What a pity they couldn't hang on to life just a while longer. Mother weighs only 73 pounds. She used to weigh 148  and Dr. Allen says she has to stay in bed from now because she can't walk.


More on Ms. Weinzheimer's diary:  http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5240.htm
Sascha's story can also be found at: Jansen.htm


9/10/07

New photo essay,
Former POWs remember and depict their experiences, posted
 


9/1/07

On August 31, Directors of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs visited with Congressman
Tom Lantos and Mrs. Lantos.


 

Kinue Tokudome's article, "Passage of H. Res. 121 on 'Comfort Women': the US Congress and Historical Memory in Japan," was posted at Japan Focus:
 

Please go to "Comfort Women resolution"


8/19/07

New essay, "Roster of Deceased Siberian POW Internees: Former Internees’ Protest Against the Japanese Government for its Refusal to Release the Roster to the Public," written by Ms. Yuka Ibuki posted

Names of 46,300 Japanese soldiers who perished as Siberian/Mongolian POW internees have been compiled by a former Siberian POW internee Tsuneo Murayama (81), not by the Japanese government.

Please go to Siberian POW Internees Roster.


 


8/3/07

In Memoriam
 

Col. Melvin H. Rosen, US Army (Ret.)
1918-2007

Col. Rosen was a young officer of 2nd Battalion 88th FA of the Philippine Scouts when he became a POW of the Japanese on April 9, 1942. He survived the Bataan Death March, imprisonment in O'Donnell and Cabanatuan POW camps, and three POW transport Hellships, the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru and Brazil Maru. He was liberated at the POW camp in Inchon, Korea, the country where he was to go back years later as a Colonel commanding some 14,500 troops.  He was very proud of the legacy of his beloved Philippine Scouts. For the program of its 2006 reunion, Col. Rosen wrote this comment.

                                                         Victory in Defeat

The Fil-American forces on Bataan and Corregidor held out for 150 days thereby completely upsetting the Japanese timetable for victory in the Pacific. The Fil-American forces, fighting with no air support and with no hope of ever getting any replacements, held out until their ammunition, their weapons, medicine, food, and, yes, people just plain gave out. But we gave the United States what it needed most at that time and that was time!

I submit that even in defeat, the Fil-American forces on Bataan and Corregidor may have given the United States one of its more important victories of WWII.

Col. Rosen passed away on August 1, 2007.

More about POW Story by Col. Rosen  


7/29/07

Advisor to the US-Japan dialogue on POWs, Inc. won in Upper House election

Mr. Yukihisa Fujita, a long-time supporter of former POWs, was elected to serve in the Upper House of the Japanese Parliament (Diet).

In 2001, Mr. Fujita authored an op-ed piece published in the Asahi Shimbun and the International Herald Tribune where he wrote:

"I came to realize that reconciliation starts from settling the past and establishing justice."

 Mr. Fujita's Op-ed on the POW issue
                                                                          
        Mr. Fujita with former POW Bob Brown
                                                                                                                              and Kinue Tokudome


7/8/07

Apology by the son of a Japanese war criminal

Mr. Osamu Komai has realized his long-held wish when he visited former POW Mr. Eric Lomax and apologized for the enormous suffering caused by his father during WWII.

Mr. Komai's essay and late Captain Duane Heisinger's response 

Local newspaper reported 
An amazing scene of reconciliation was played out in Berwick this week when former Far East prisoner of war Eric Lomax met the son of the murderer of two of his friends....
 


7/1/07

Statement by the Leadership of the national organization of former POWs of the Japanese (ADBC) on the passage of the "Comfort Women" resolution 

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos' remarks on the resolution  http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press_display.asp?id=380

Mr. Lester Tenney and Mr. Edward Jackfert issued the following statement.

                      
 


 



6/22/07

POW story about Mr. Benjamin Steele added.

Mr. Steele is a renowned artist for his POW drawings.

He gave the US-Japan Dialogue on POWs a permission to post some of his works.

Please go to Steele



 

Mukden Allied POW Camp Studies set up at the Shenyang University, China.

Historian Yang Jing is
the leading researcher at the Shenyang University where he has recently set up "Mukden Allied POW Camp Studies." He will also run "Mukden Camp Oral History Project" with the hope of making interviews with all alive ex-POWs, and or their relatives.


Plaque unveiling ceremony for the Studies was held when former POWs and their families visited Shenyang (formerly Mukden) recently. Please read the story on their visit:
 http://www.china.org.cn/english/LivinginChina/211915.htm

 

News from Japan

US-Japan Joint Study Tour of Ofuna POW Camp site and B29 Seminar
 

On May 19, 2007, a study tour was conducted by the POW Research Network Japan at the former Ofuna POW Camp site. The tour was guided by two members; Mr. Hirohisa Ohshima, history teacher of Eiko Boys High School, and Mr. Koichi Hiramatsu, a former student of Mr. Ohshima, who has chosen the camp Ofuna as the theme of his academic research at Nagoya University Graduate Course. Old Mr. Tadokoro, a lifelong resident in the neighborhood, vividly talked of his favorite memories with POWs, with his strong wish for peace. Ninety-four  year old Mrs. Tsubaki, who had her home built in the now residential area, invited the attendants into her garden to show the attendants corner stones of the watch tower, saying that her late husband thought it necessary to preserve it in history. Ryuhoji Temple nearby dedicates a new stupa every year in memory of the POWs who passed away in the camp.

On May 20, 2007, a B29 Seminar was held by the organization, and a total of seven researchers of both countries gave presentations, with a Q & A session. Mr. John Glusman, on knowing of the event, kindly sent his article manuscript of "Darkness Over Kobe," which was published in the June issue of World War II magazine, and the print out copies were generously offered to the attendants of the seminar, which was an inspiring and thought provoking opportunity.

The whole event was symbolic of the joint efforts of the researchers and concerned people of the two countries, trying to find out the facts of the war, in the desire for a peaceful future and friendship.      --Yuka Ibuki


Photo: 
A Buddhist Stupa in memory of the Allied POWs who passed away in Ofuna POW camp, which used to be in front of the Ryuhoji Temple. The stupa is made and rebuilt every year by the temple, in new wood, with a consolation ritual.
 


6/14/07

New essay, "Telling the Truth with Compassionate Objectivity," posted.

Professor Gregory Hadley writes about his new book,  Field of Spears: The Last Mission of the Jordan Crew. Please go to  Hadley.
 


6/11/07

Executive Director of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc. visited the Japanese Diet

Kinue Tokudome visited two members of the Japanese Diet, Lower House (House of Representatives) member Mr. Taro Kono (Liberal Democratic Party) and Upper House (House of Councilors) member Ms. Tomiko Okazaki (Democratic party of Japan).
 



Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Advisor to
the US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc., joined in the visit with Mr. Taro Kono.
Tokudome presented Mr. Kono a copy of the resolution passed by ADBC in April, 2007.

 

With longtime supporter of the POW issue, Ms. Okazaki.
Please read Ms. Okazaki's statement on former POW Dr. Lester Tenney.
 


6/2/07

"
Proof of POW Forced Labor for Japan’s Foreign Minister: The Aso Mines," written by Mr. William Underwood was posted on the online journal Japan Focus.

Please go to:  Proof of POW Forced Labor for Japan’s Foreign Minister: The Aso Mines
 

English translation of Kinue Tokudome's interview article with Congressman Honda is also available on Japan Focus:  Interview with Congressman Michael Honda


5/17/07

New POW Story about Mr. Joe Alexander added  Please go to Alexander
 


5/7/07

More essays written by college students in the US and Japan posted

Miss Akina Kobayashi  (Hosei University, Graduate School)

Miss Laura Abbott (United States Air Force Academy)

Miss Meghan Berver (New Mexico State University)


Congressman Michael Honda interviewed by Kinue Tokudome

Kinue Tokudome, Executive Director of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc., published an interview article with Congressman Michael Honda in Japanese monthly magazine Ronza. Although the main topic was the Comfort Women resolution that Congressman Honda introduced in the House, his support  for the POW issue was also mentioned in the article. 

                     
 



4/26/07

Speech by Mr. George Wallace during the ADBC banquette

..
They asked only for justice: an elusive and lost concept to those who had abandoned
them... I will raise my voice so long as I am able to tell their story...

Please read the entire speech by Mr. Wallace.
 

Article on the alleged Sado POW massacre

"MacKay's Betrayal: Solving the Mystery of the 'Sado Island Prisoner-of-War Massacre'." written by Professor Gregory Hadley and Mr. James Oglethorpe was published in Journal of Military History. The entire article and its Japanese translation can be found at Professor Hadley’s website:  http://www.nuis.ac.jp/~hadley/publication/page2.html
 


3/27/07

Bataan Memorial Death March

On March 25, 2007, the 18th Annual 65th Year Commemorative Bataan Memorial Death March was held at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

More than 4,000 participants ran or walked 26.2 miles (or 15 miles) to honor those brave soldiers who were responsible for the defense of the Philippines during WWII.

Twenty former POWS of the Japanese, including Bataan Death March survivors, were the guests of honor.
 

More on the Bataan Memorial Death March
Report on the 18th BMDM


 


2/18/07

New Essay by Ms. Linda Goetz Holmes, "MESSAGE TO EX-POWS: YOUR GOVERNMENT REALLY DID TRY TO HELP YOU" added.  Please go to Holmes.
 


News from Japan

Hellship Stories told in a new Japanese book

Some of you may know Yuuji Miwa as agent of a painter, Kihachiro Ueda, who has produced a number of realistic, beautiful pictures of Hellships and other Japanese ships engaged in WWII. Yuuji has just published a book, titled Grave Markers at Sea; Japanese Merchant Ships Lost in WWII, (Tenbosha Pub. Feb. 8, 2007). One chapter is dedicated for introducing awful experiences of the Hellship victims and the grief of the bereaved families, through a voluminous amount of quotation from the website US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, i.e. articles by John B Lewis and William Bowen, and Yuuji’s e-mail correspondence with Jim Erickson. It also introduces the POW Research Network Japan and its activities on POW issues; for example, T. Sasamoto’s verifying the ashes of forty-five victims, originally on board the Oryoku-Maru, who now sleep in the Commonwealth War Cemetery near Yokohama is told as facts reached by mutual research shared by her and Jim Erickson. Reconciliation effort through donation of a new Oryoku-Maru painting by Mr. Ueda to the Hellship Memorial Project is also mentioned.

Since 2002, Yuuji has organized a website under the same title with the book: http://www.aa.cyberhome.ne.jp/~museum/ The book is a fruit of his abundant knowledge, materials, and communication with people across the border. He has succeeded in giving an insightful picture of the modern Japanese history, from a fresh and unique angle of telling events and episodes through the activities related to Japanese merchant ships. The creation of merchant ships was indispensable for modern Japan that came back to global community in 1854. Stories of ships that made  development possible for the island country in industry, economy and modernization, and, being requisitioned, how they were all ruined in the war fires, leading to the defeat of the country. They are told in attractive, or touching episodes, and will tell the readers a lot of the truth of the war. Seven pictures by Ueda in full colors, and drawings he secretly did on army post cards are included. Ueda himself was an army gunner of Japanese convoys.
                                                                                                                    
---Yuka Ibuki         


2/11/07

POW Campsites Then and Now

Mr. John Lewis has been compiling a chart of Google Earth coordinates to assist people who want to see today's satellite images of the sites of Japanese POW camps and related sites of interest.  

The US Congress recently passed a law to allocate 38 million dollars to preserve the former internment campsites of Japanese Americans during WWII so that future generations will learn about those sites.

With no such public support, this latest effort by John is very important. Here are some of John’s thoughts on his project.  John Lewis on satellite images of POW camps
 

             
             Tokyo Omori POW camp in 1945                         Today's satellite image of the Omori camp site

 

Many more images can be seen by using John's chart:
http://www.west-point.org/family/japanese-pow/POW%20Sites.htm
 


1/25/07

POWs Attempt Escape from Mukden

Mr. Yang Jing, a historian in Shenyang (Mukden), China,  published an article about the tragic attempt by three American POWs to escape from the Mukden POW camp in the February, 2007 issue of Naval History.

In June of 1943, Sergeant Joseph B. Chastain, Corporal Victor Paliotti, and Seaman First Class Ferdinand Meringolo escaped from the Mukden POW camp hoping to reach the Soviet Union. They were recaptured after they traveled 180 kilometers. They were brought back to the camp and executed. 

More than 60 years later, Mr. Yang visited the village in Inner Mongolia where they were recaptured and where local villagers still remember the tragedy.

 

                               

   A villager points to the "American Hump,"                     Mr. Yang with the Late Captain Duane Heisinger
  the  hill where three POWs were recaptured                 at the Mukden reunion held in Kingston, NY in 2005


1/15/07

100,000 Pages Declassified in Search for Japanese War Crimes Records

College Park, MD…The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) announces the availability of 100,000 pages of recently declassified records as a result of a search for files relevant to Japanese war crimes.

In addition, the IWG presents a new reference book, Researching Japanese War Crimes Records: Introductory Essays and an electronic records finding aid that will help researchers locate and use the thousands of new and extant files in the National Archives related to the war in the Pacific.

Here are pages from Introductory Essays (PP. 80-84) where POW related records are listed.

   

Page 81,     page 82,     page 83,     page 84

 

A new link, JAPANESE  WWII  POW Camp Fukuoka #17 http://www.lindavdahl.com/ run by Ms. Linda Dahl added.
 


1/10/07

New essay, "One More Fight for Redress regarding WWII in Asia: Siberian POW Internees," added. 

Ms. Yuka Ibuki reported on the history of Siberian/Mongolian POW Internees and their current thoughts.


1/8/07

First Into Nagasaki

Anthony Weller, the editor/author of "First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and its Prisoners of War" appeared on C-Span2 Book TV on January 6, 2007 and talked about his book and his father, George Weller. 

George Weller was the first American reporter to enter Nagasaki after the dropping of the atomic bomb. His reports from Japan were censored and never published. In 2003, a year after George Weller’s death, his son Anthony found the missing manuscripts and has assembled them into this book.

Unlike his reports from Nagasaki, Weller’s articles on POW transport Hellships based on his interviews with just-liberated POWs were published in the fall of 1945 and are well-known among ex-POWs.  During the C-Span2 program, Anthony Weller also talked about these POWs at Camp 17 in Omuta.