Lawhead, Pvt. Roger R.

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Pvt. Roger Raymond Lawhead
Born: 22 December 1915 – Beach, North Dakota
Parents: John Q. Lawhead and Minerva E. Greenup-Lawhead
Siblings: 2 sisters, 3 brothers
Home:
– Henry, North Dakota – 1920
– Beach, North Dakota – 1930
– 735 14th Street – Oakland, California
Occupation: ranch hand
Selective Service Registration: 16 October 1940
– Contact Person: Mrs. John Q. Lawhead
– C Ranch – Novato, California
Inducted:
– living at 1208 Daniels Steet – Vancouver, Washington
– U.S. Army
– 20 February 1941 – Portland, Oregon
Units:
– 19th Ordnance Battalion
– first six weeks was the primary training
– Week 1: infantry drilling
– Week 2: manual arms and marching to music
– Week 3: machine gun
– Week 4: pistol
– Week 5: M1 rifle
– Week 6: field week – training with gas masks, gas attacks, pitching tents, and hikes
– Weeks 7,8,9: Time was spent learning the weapons, firing each one, learning the parts of the weapons and their functions, field stripping and caring for
   weapons, and the cleaning of weapons
– the classroom: courses lasted 3 months
– Weapons: soldiers assigned to ordnance issued a pistol, and possibly a machine gun or submachine gun
– Vehicle Training: soldiers attended different schools
– tank maintenance, truck maintenance, scout car maintenance, motorcycle maintenance, and carpentry
– the company’s machine shop, welding shop, and kitchen were all on trucks
– qualified as a tank mechanic
Units:
– 19th Ordnance Battalion
– trained alongside the 192nd Tank Battalion at Ft. Knox
– first six weeks was the primary training
– Week 1: infantry drilling
– Week 2: manual arms and marching to music
– Week 3: machine gun
– Week 4: pistol
– Week 5: M1 rifle
– Week 6: field week – training with gas masks, gas attacks, pitching tents, and hikes
– Weeks 7,8,9: Time was spent learning the weapons, firing each one, learning the parts of the weapons and their functions, field stripping and caring for 
   weapons, and the cleaning of weapons
– Classroom: courses lasted 3 months
– Weapons: soldiers assigned to ordnance issued a pistol, and possibly a machine gun or submachine gun
– Vehicle Training: soldiers attended different schools
– tank maintenance, truck maintenance, scout car maintenance, motorcycle maintenance, and carpentry
– the company’s machine shop, welding shop, and kitchen were all on trucks– – Arkansas Maneuvers
– A Company recalled to Ft. Knox
Overseas Duty:
– A Company inactivated
– activated as 17th Ordnance Company and received orders for duty in the Philippines because of an event that happened during the summer
– A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots noticed something odd
– He took his plane down and identified a buoy, with a flag, in the water. He came upon more flagged buoys that lined up – in a straight line – for 30 miles
   to the northwest, in the direction of a Japanese occupied island, with a large radio transmitter, hundreds of miles away.
– The squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field. When the planes landed, it was too late to do
   anything that day.
– The next day – when planes were sent to the area – the buoys had been picked up and a fishing boat – with a tarp covering something on its deck – was
    seen making its way toward shore.
– communication between the Air Corps and the Navy was poor, so the boat escaped
– the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines
Deployment:
– the company traveled by train to San Francisco, California
– on the same train were the M3 tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
– Arrived: Thursday, 5 September 1941
– spent three days removing the turrets from the tanks
– painted the tank’s serial number on each turret to so it would be put on the same tank
– put cosmoline on the guns to prevent rust
– given physicals and inoculations
– men with medical conditions replaced
– Ship: S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
– Boarded: San Francisco, California – Monday – 8 September 1941
– Sailed: 9:00 P.M.
– Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii – Saturday 13 September 1941 – 7:00 A.M.
– soldiers were given shore leave for the day
– Sailed: 5:00 P.M.
– escorted by the heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Astoria, an unknown destroyer,  and the U.S.S. Guadalupe a fleet replenishment oiler
– smoke was seen on the horizon several times
– cruiser intercepted ships
– 16 September 1941 – crossed International Dateline
– the date became Thursday – 18 September 1941
– Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands – Friday – 26 September 1941
– Disembarked:
– 17th Ordnance remained behind to unload tanks of the 194th Tank Battalion
– reattached turrets to tanks
– worked in shifts
– slept on the ship that night
– finished attaching turrets at 9:00 A.M. the next day
– rode busses to Ft. Stotsenburg
Stationed:
– Ft. Stotsenburg
– lived in tents in a low lying area
– tents flooded the first night in a heavy rain
– barracks completed – 15 November 1941
Work Day:
– the company followed the 194th Tank Battalion’s workday
– 5:15 A. M. – reveille
– washing – the lucky man washed by a faucet with running water
– 6:00 A.M. – breakfast
– 7:00 to 11:30 A.M. 
– Noon – lunch
– 1:30 to 2:30 P.M. – work
– the shorter afternoon work period was based on the belief that the climate made it too hot to work
– the tankers worked until 4:30 P.M.
– the term “recreation in the motor pool” was used for this work time
– during this time, they learned about the M3A1 tanks
– read manuals on tanks
– studied the 30-caliber and 50 caliber machineguns, and its 37-millimeter main gun
– spent three hours of each day taking the guns apart and putting them back together
– did it until they could disassemble and assemble the guns blindfolded
– tank crews could not fire guns since they were not given ammunition
– the base commander was waiting for General MacArthur to release the ammunition
– 5:10 – dinner
– after dinner, the soldiers were free to do what they wanted to do
Recreation:
– the soldiers spent their free time bowling, going to the movies,
– they also played horseshoes, softball, badminton, or threw a football around
– on Wednesday afternoons, they went swimming
– they also went to Mt. Aarayat National Park and swam in the swimming pool there that was filled with mountain water
– men were allowed to go to Manila in small groups
– they also went to canoeing at Pagsanjan Falls in their swimsuits
– the country was described as being beautiful
Engagements:
– Battle of Luzon – 8 December 1942 – 6 January 1942
– 8 December 1942
– that morning the soldiers were laying rocks for sidewalks by their barracks
– informed by their commanding officer, Major. Richard Kadel, about Pearl Harbor
– the company went to a bamboo thicket where they could disperse vehicles
– the company set up a bivouac
– set up machine shop trucks, half-tracks, and trucks
– received orders to return to Ft. Stotsenburg
– the alert had been canceled
– lunch had just been served so they remained at the thicket
– 12:45 P.M. – Japanese attacked
– sauerkraut and hot dogs flew everywhere
– took cover under their trucks
– the Zeros banked and turned around over the thicket after strafing
– ordered not to fire at them
– one reason was the trucks had the only machines in the Philippines that could make parts for the tanks
– Japanese wiped out Army Air Corps
– dead and wounded were everywhere at the airfield
– after the attack on Clark Field, 17th Ordnance ordered to leave by General James R. N. Weaver to Pulilan
– the company moved as the tanks moved
– the company set up fuel dumps for tanks as they withdrew toward Bataan
– it also converted WWI anti-personnel shells for use by tanks
– the company was never on the front lines but lived with the bombings
– individuals did do tank repairs on the frontlines
– repaired disabled tanks
– converted shells into anti-personnel shells 
– 17th Ordnance was always in the same area where the tanks were fighting
– Battle of Bataan – 7 January 1942 – 9 April 1942
– 17th Ordnance worked to keep the tanks of the 192nd and 194th Tank Battalions running
– the company headquartered in an ordnance depot building which was empty
– ammunition dumps surrounded the depot
– repaired tanks damaged by Japanese or tank crews
– manufactured replacement parts for tanks
– 3 April 1942
– Japanese launch new offensive
– tanks sent into various sectors to stop the Japanese advance
– 6 April 1942
– four tanks sent to support the 45th Philippine Infantry and 75th Infantry, Philippine Scouts
– one tank knocked out by anti-tank fire at the junction of Trails 8 & 6
– other tanks covered withdraw
– near Mt. Samat ran into heavy Japanese force
– the tanks withdrew to Marivales
– 8 April 1942
– Gen. Edward P. King decided that further resistance was futile since approximately 25% of his men were healthy enough to fight
– he estimated they would last one more day
– In addition, he had over 6,000 troops who sick or wounded and 40,000 civilians who he feared would be massacred
– His troops were on one-quarter rations, and even at that ration, he had two days of food left.
– 6:30 P.M. – order went out. “You will make plans, to be communicated to company commanders only, and be prepared to destroy within one hour after receipt by radio, or other means, of the word ‘CRASH’, all tanks and combat vehicles, arms, ammunition, gas, and radios: reserving sufficient trucks to close to rear echelons as soon as accomplished.”
– 10:30 P.M. – decision made to send white flag across the battle line
– 11:10 P.M. – the company was given a half-hour to evacuate the depot before the ammunition dumps were destroyed 
– 11:40 P.M. – ammunition dumps were blown up
– At 2:oo A.M. April 9, Gen. King sent a jeep under a white flag carrying Colonel Everett C. Williams, Col. James V. Collier, and Major Marshall Hurt to meet
   with the Japanese commander about terms of surrender.
 – The white flag was bedding from A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion
– Shortly after daylight Collier and Hunt returned with word of the appointment
– the tankers received this message over their radios at 6:45 A.M. – 9 April 1942
– circled tanks and fired an armor-piercing shell into each tank’s engine
– opened gasoline cocks and dropped grenades into the crew compartment
– as King left to negotiate the surrender, he went through that was held by the tank group and spoke to them
– he told them he was going to get them the best deal he could get
– he also said, “When you get home, don’t ever let anyone say you, you surrendered. I was the one who surrendered.”
– Gen. King with his two aides, Maj. Cothran and Captain Achille C. Tisdelle Jr. got into a jeep carrying a large white flag
– They were followed by another jeep – also flying another large white flag – with Col. Collier and Maj. Hurt in it
– As the jeeps made their way north they were strafed and small bombs were dropped by a Japanese plane
– The drivers of both jeeps and the jeeps were provided by the tank group and both men managed to avoid the bullets
– The strafing ended when a Japanese reconnaissance plane ordered the fighter pilot to stop strafing
– About 10:00 A.M. the jeeps reached Lamao where they were received by a Japanese Major General who informed King that he reported his coming to
   negotiate a surrender and that an officer from the Japanese command would arrive to do the negotiations
– The Japanese officer also told him that his troops would no attack for thirty minutes while King decided what he would do
– After a half-hour, no Japanese officer had arrived from their headquarters and the Japanese attack had resumed.
– King sent Col. Collier and Maj. Hunt back to his command with instructions that any unit inline with the Japanese advance should fly white flags
– Shortly after this was done a Japanese colonel and interpreter arrived. King was told the officer was Homma’s Chief of Staff and he had come to discuss
   King’s surrender
– King attempted to get insurances from the Japanese that his men would be treated as prisoners of war, but the Japanese officer – through his interpreter
– he was accused of declining to surrender unconditionally
– At one point King stated he had enough trucks and gasoline to carry his troops out of Bataan
– He was told that the Japanese would handle the movement of the prisoners
– The two men talked back and forth until the colonel said through the interpreter, “The Imperial Japanese Army are not barbarians.” 
– King found no choice but to accept him at his word
– 6:45 A.M. – the order “CRASH” was sent for equipment to be destroyed
Prisoner of War
– 9 April 1942
– Death March
– started the march at Mariveles on the southern tip of Bataan
– POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor
– American Artillery returned fire
– knocked out three Japanese guns
– San Fernando – POWs put into small wooden boxcars
– each car could hold eight horses or forty men
– Japanese packed 100 POWs into each boxcar
– POWs who died remained standing since they could not fall to the floors
– Capas – POWs leave boxcars – dead fall-out of cars
– walked last ten miles to Camp O’Donnell
POW Camps:
– Philippines:
– Camp O’Donnell
– 1 April 1942 – unfinished Filipino training base Japanese put into use as a POW camp
– Japanese believed the camp could hold 15,000 to 20,000 POWs
– POWs searched upon arrival at camp
– those found with Japanese money were accused of looting
– sent to guardhouse
– over several days, gunshots heard southeast of the camp
– POWs who had money on them had been executed
– Japanese took away any extra clothing from POWs as they entered the camp and refused to return it
– since no water was available for wash clothing, the POWs threw soiled clothing away
– clothing was taken from dead
– few of the POWs in the camp hospital had clothing
– POWs were not allowed to bathe
– only one water spigot for the entire camp
– POWs waited 2½ hours to 8 hours to get a drink
– water frequently turned off by Japanese guards and the next man in line waited as long as 4 hours for the water to be turned on again
– the Japanese always had a sufficient supply of water
Meals:
– Breakfast – ½ cup of soupy rice and occasionally they got some sort of coffee
– Lunch – ½ mess kit of steamed rice and a ½ cup of sweet potato soup
– Dinner – the same as lunch
– mess kits could not be cleaned
– POWs had to carry water 3 miles from a river to cook their meals
– second water spigot installed a week after POWs arrived
– slit trenches overflowed since many of the POWs had dysentery
– flies were everywhere including in camp kitchens and food
– the camp hospital had no water, soap, or disinfectant
– the senior POW doctor wrote a list of medicines he wanted to treat the sick and was told by the camp commandant, Capt. Yoshio Tsuneyoshi, never
  to write another letter
– Tsuneyoshi said that all he wanted to know about the American POWs were their names and numbers when they died
– refused to allow a truckload of medicine sent by the Archbishop of Manila into the camp
– 95% of the medicine sent by the Philippine Red Cross in a truck was taken by the Japanese for their own use
– a second truck of medicine sent by the Red Cross was turned away
– the Japanese took what they wanted from the cookies and fruit brought by the Philippine Red Cross for the POWs and gave what was left to the POWs
– POWs in the camp hospital lay on the floor elbow to elbow
– the floor was covered in human waste
– there were only primitive supplies improvised by the POWs to clean the floor
– operations on POWs were performed with mess kit knives
– only one medic out of six medics – assigned to care for 50 sick POWs in the hospital –  was well enough to work
– as many as 50 POWs died each day
– the floor was covered with human excrement 
– the POWs made improvised cleaners to clean it
– each morning dead were found everywhere in the camp and stacked up under the hospital
– in an attempt to stop the spread of disease, the dead were moved to one area
– the ground under the hospital was scraped and covered with lime to clean it
– the dead were moved to the cleaned area and the area where they had lain was scraped and covered with lime
– usually the dead were not buried for two or three days
– Barracks:
– inadequate number of barracks
– POWs slept under buildings and on the ground
– those who did sleep in a building slept as many as 80 POWs in buildings designed to house 40 men
– Work Details:
– if a POW could walk, he was sent out on a work detail
– the less sick from the hospital had to dig latrines
– given one canteen of water that was expected to last for three days
– on the details, they did road construction, loading, and unloading trucks, and carrying goods on their backs
– men returned to camp and died
– POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and malaria
Burial Detail:
– POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and/or malaria
– the next morning the dead were often sitting up in the graves
Burial Detail:
– POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and/or malaria
– the next morning the dead were often sitting up in the graves
– wild dogs dug up the dead
– In May, his parents received a letter from the War Department

“Dear Mrs. M. Lawhead:

        “According to War Department records, you have been designated as the emergency addressee if Private Roger R. Lawhead, 39,300,676, who, according to the latest information available, was serving in the  Philippine Islands at the time of the final surrender. 

        “I deeply regret that it is impossible for me to give you more information than is contained in this letter.  In the last days before the surrender of Bataan, there were casualties which were not reported to the War Department.  Conceivably the same is true of the surrender of Corregidor and possibly other islands of the Philippines.  The Japanese Government has indicated its intention of conforming to the terms of the Geneva Convention with respect to the interchange of information regarding prisoners of war.  At some future date, this Government will receive through Geneva a list of persons who have been taken prisoners of war.  Until that time the War Department cannot give you positive information. 

        “The War Department will consider the persons serving in the Philippine Islands as “missing in action” from the date of surrender of Corregidor, May 7, 1942, until definite information to the contrary is received.  It is to be hoped that the Japanese Government will communicate a list of prisoners of war at an early date.  At that time you will be notified by this office in the event that his name is contained in the list of prisoners of war. In the case of persons known to have been present in the Philippines and who are not reported to be prisoners of war by the Japanese Government, the War Department will continue to carry them as “missing in action” in the absence of information to the contrary, until twelve months have expired.  At the expiration of twelve months and in the absence of other information the War Department is authorized to make a final determination.

        “Recent legislation makes provision to continue the pay and allowances of persons carried in a “missing” status for a period not to exceed twelve months;  to continue, for the duration of the war, the pay and allowances of persons known to have been captured by the enemy; to continue allotments made by missing personnel for a period of twelve months and allotments or increase allotments made by persons by the enemy during the time they are so held;  to make new allotments or increase allotments to certain dependents defined in Public Law 490, 77th Congress.  The latter dependents generally include the legal wife, dependent children under twenty-one years of age and dependent mother, or such dependents as having been designated in official records.  Eligible dependents who can establish a need for financial assistance and are eligible to receive this assistance the amount allotted will be deducted from pay which would otherwise accrue to the credit of the missing individual.

                                                                                                                                                                    “Very Truly yours

                                                                                                                                                                            J. A. Ulio (signed) 
                                                                                                                                                                       Major General
                                                                                                                                                                   The Adjutant General”
   

– 1 June 1942 – POWs formed detachments of 100 men
– POWs marched out the gate and marched toward Capas
– Filipino people gave POWs small bundles of food
– the guards did not stop them
– At Capas, the POWs were put into steel boxcars and rode them to Manila
– the train stopped at Calumpit and switched onto the line to Cabanatuan
– POWs disembarked the train at 6:00 P.M. and put into a schoolyard
– fed rice and onion soup
– Cabanatuan #1
– actually three camps
– Camp 1: POWs from Camp O’Donnell sent there in an attempt to lower the death rate
– Camp 2: two miles away
– all POWs moved from there because of a lack of water
– later used for Naval POWs
– Camp 3: six miles from Camp 2
– POWs from Corregidor sent there
– camp created to keep Corregidor POWs separated from Bataan POWs
– Corregidor POWs were in better shape
– POWs from Camp 3 consolidated into Camp 1
– June 1942 – four POWs escaped and were recaptured
– tied to posts and beaten
– after three days they were cut lose
– made to dig their own graves
– stood in graves facing a Japanese firing squad
– after they had been shot, a Japanese officer used his pistol and fired a shot into each grave
– Camp Administration:
– the Japanese left POWs to run the camp on their own
– Japanese entered camp when they had a reason
– Food:
– daily POW meal
– 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
– rice was the main staple, few vegetables or fruits
– when they received dried fish, it was covered with maggots and lice
– 26 June 1942 – six POWs were executed by the Japanese
– they had left the camp to buy food
– caught returning to camp
– tied to posts in a manner that they could not stand up or sit down
– no one was allowed to give them food or water
– not permitted hats to protect them from the sun
– left tied to posts for 48 hours
– four of the POWs were executed on the duty side of the camp
– two were executed on the hospital side of the camp
– Blood Brother Rule
– POWs put into groups of ten
– if one escaped the others would be executed
– housed in same barracks
– worked on details together
– Barracks:
– each barracks held 50 men
– often held between 60 and 120 men
– slept on bamboo slats without mattresses, covers, and mosquito netting
– diseases spread easily
– no showers
– Morning Roll Call:
– stood at attention
– frequently beaten over their heads for no reason
– when POWs lined up for roll call, it was a common practice for Japanese guards, after the POWs lined up, to kick the POWs in
their shins with their hobnailed boots because they didn’t like the way the POWs looked
– July 1942 – diphtheria broke out in the camp
– 130 POWs died before Japanese released any anti-toxin for treatment
In July 1942, his parents received a second letter. The following are excerpts from it.

“The last report of casualties received by the War Department from the Philippines arrived early in the morning of May 6. Through this date, Private Roger R. Lawhead had not been reported as a casualty. The War Department will consider the persons serving in the Philippine Islands as “missing in action” from the date of the surrender of Corregidor, May 7, until definite information to the contrary is received.

“Efforts to secure prisoner of war lists from the Philippines have not been successful to this date due to the lack of communication and the fact that the Japanese Government has not yet given permission for the Swiss representative and the International Red Cross delegates to make visits to prisoner of war camps in the islands. When the lists of prisoners are received, we will clear the name of your son and send you any additional information that we may have.”

– 12 September 1942 – three POWs escaped
– 21 September 1942 – recaptured and brought back to the camp
–  their feet were tied together
– their hands were crossed behind their backs and tied with ropes
– a long rope was tied around their wrists and they were suspended from a rafter
–  their toes barely touched the ground
– their arms bore all the weight of their bodies
– they were subjected to severe beatings by the Japanese guards
– the punishment lasted three days
– next, they were tied hand and foot and placed in the cooler for 30 days
– the diet was rice and water
– one of the three POWs was severely beaten by a Japanese lieutenant
– 29 September 1942 – three POWs were executed by Japanese
– stopped by American security guards
– the guards were to stop escapes so other POWs would no be executed
– the Japanese heard the commotion
– during questioning, the POWs were severely beaten for two and a half hours
– one man’s jaw was broken
– taken to the main gate and tied to posts
– their clothing was torn off them
– beaten for the next 48 hours
– at the end of three days, they were cut down and thrown into a truck
– POWs were shot in a clearing in sight of the camp
– hospitalized – Tuesday – 2 February 1943
– discharged – date not given
Hell Ship:
Noto Maru
– Boarded: 25 August 1944
– Sailed: Manila – 27 August 1944
– spent night in Subic Bay
– Sailed: 28 August 1944
– submarine believed to be shadowing the convoy
– Arrived: 30 August 1944 – Takao, Formosa
– Sailed: Same Day
– Arrived: Same Day – Keelung, Formosa
– Sailed: 31 August 1944
– Arrived: Moji, Japan -4 September 1944
POW Camp:
– Japan:
Sendai #6-B
– POWs arrived – 9 September 1944
– Barracks:
– wooden barracks with 30-foot ceilings
– barracks connected by covered walkways
– no sidewalls
– barracks had dirt floors
– two tiers of bunks with straw mats and mattresses, stuffed with straw, for the POWs to sleep on
– each man also had a 4″ by 4″ by 8 ” block of wood to use as a pillow
– small potbelly stove to heat barracks
– if the POWs were lucky they got enough wood to heat the barracks for an hour
– POWs who worked in foundry stole coal
– the only insulation was the snow – as deep as ten feet – on the roofs
– Other Buildings:
– 3 latrines
– 2 low buildings served as the hospital
– L shaped building that was the kitchen and showers
– administrative building
– Clothing:
– POWs issued a nice, green, cotton outfit
– these were only worn when the Red Cross visited the camp
– their other set of clothing, for winter, was made of burlap
– canvas shoes
– Rations:
– POWs ate in barracks
– food brought in a small cauldron from the camp kitchen
– 625 grams a day
– sick received 500 grams
– meals included rice, barley or millet
– breakfast was a small bowl of rice and a watery soup
– lunch a bowl of rice with another grain and shark head soup
– the soup had a lot of bones in it
– Work:
– Work Day:
– POWs got up at 5:00 A.M.
– ate breakfast
– 5:30 A.M. – roll call and left camp
– 7:00 A.M. – started working
– half-hour lunch
– 5:00 P.M. – end of the workday
– marched back to camp
– got back after dark
– roll call and dinner
– went to bed
– POWs with skills such as electricians, machinists, and mechanics did skilled jobs
– unskilled workers worked in a foundry or mined copper
– Mine:
– mining copper was the most dangerous job
– POWs in mine under supervision of Japanese “honcho” employed by Mitsubishi
– mine was considered worked out
– Mitsubishi believed it could make a profit with POW labor
– tools were out of date
– broke frequently
– POWs worked in areas were cave-ins were a daily threat
– parts of mine flooded and there was always the danger of flash floods
– Jobs: drillers, car loaders, and car pushers, blasting crew
– POWs believed the supervisors wanted to work them to death
– Collective Punishment:
– if one man broke a rule all the POWs were punished
– beaten with belts, sticks, sabers, kicked and punched
– food, of each man, was reduced by 20 percent
Note: In addition, while working in the mine from November 1944 until August 15, 1945, the POWs were abused by the civilian foreman, Hichiro Tsuchiya, who was known to the POWs as “Patches.” Tsuchiya used any excuse to abuse the POWs. He was known to hit the POWs for no reason in their faces and to also use a wooden club or pickaxe handle. He also used a sledgehammer to hit the POWs on their heads.
– Red Cross Packages:
– Japanese misappropriated Red Cross food, medicine, clothing, blankets, and shoes
– not known if the POWs ever received a Red Cross package
– Medical Treatment:
– at one point the American doctors and medics received orders preventing them from treating sick and injured
– since there was a quota on how many POWs were needed each day, the sick were carried to the mine by the healthy
– many could not work no matter how the Japanese beat them
– Japanese finally gave up and gave the sick light work in the camp
– Work:
– mining
– civilian foreman, Hirchiro Tsuchiya, used any excuse to abuse the POWs
– known as “Patches”
– hit POWs for no reason in their faces
– used a wooden club or pickaxe handle
– used a sledgehammer to hit the POWs on their heads
– On August 16, 1945, the POWs noticed all the guards were gone
– only the camp commander who told them to paint the letters “POW” on the roofs of all the buildings so any planes flying over would know they were
   there
– The POWs were told the war was over on August 20 by the camp commandant in his broken English.

“Peace, peace comes to the world again.  It is a great pleasure to me, to say nothing to you, to announce it for all of you now.  The Japanese Empire acknowledges the terms of the suspension of hostilities given by the American Government even these two Nations do not still reach the best agreement of a truce.  As a true friend from now, I am going to do my best in the future for the convenience of your life in this camp because of having been able to get friendly relations between them, and also the Japanese Government has decided her own Nations policy for your Nation.

“Therefore I hope you will keep as comfortable a daily life by the orders of your own officers from today, while you are here.  All of you will surely get much gladness in returning to your lovely country.  At the same one of my wishes for you is this:  Your health and happiness calls upon you and your life henceforth and they will grow up happier and better than before by the honor of your country.

“In order to guard your life I have been endeavoring my ability, therefore you will please cooperate with me in any way more than usual, I hope.

“I close this statement in letting you know again how peace, the peace has already come.”

– It should be noted that nowhere in his speech did the camp commander say that Japan had surrendered.
– An American Naval plane flew over the camp on August 27
– The pilot dropped a note to the POWs and told them to paint one stripe on the roof of a barrack if they needed medicine, two stripes if they needed food,
   and three stripes if they needed clothing.
– The POWs painted one stripe on one barrack, two stripes on another barrack, and three stripes on a third barrack.
– the plane returned and the pilot dropped another note saying that there was no way for him to drop everything, so B -29s would have to drop the
   supplies
– The POWs had no idea what the pilot was talking about
– When the B-29s appeared over the camp, the POWs had never seen anything so large in the sky
– the POWs received so much food and clothing that they shared it with the Japanese civilians who had been kind to them
– The camp was turned over to an American officer who forced the Japanese to give the POWs more food.
– On August 28, 30, and September 1, food was dropped near the camp by American planes.
– The Japanese civilians helped the POWs carry it into the camps but did not take any of it. The only thing the civilians were interested in was the silk from
   the parachutes so that they could make clothing.
– The former POWs gorged themselves on the food and many became ill but none seriously. 
Liberated:
– weighed 75 pounds at liberation
– 2 September 1945 – a jeep with American Military Police appeared and they told the former POWs to sit tight until the railroad line had been repaired
– the MPs patrolled the camp and prevented POWs from leaving
– 13 September 1945 – after the train line was repaired, the prisoners took the train and an LST to Yokohama.
– 14 September 1945 – the former POWs were processed on the U.S.S. Rescue
– most of the POWs were sent to Okinawa by ship
– he remained on the ship for medical treatment
– Sailed: 19 September 1945  – 5:41 A.M. – Yokohama, Japan
– Arrived: 23 September 1945 – Guam
– Sailed: 24 September 1945
– Arrived: 10 October 1945 – San Francisco
– sent to Letterman General Hospital
– received additional medical treatment
– transferred to a Veterans Administration hospital closer to home
– spent seven months in hospital
Discharged: 15 April 1946
Married: Elma R. Roth
Children: 1 daughter, 1 son
Occupation: Financial Officer – VA Hospital
Residence: Ridgefield, Washington
Died:
– 26 January 1996 – Ridgefield, Washington
Buried:
– Evergreen Memorial Gardens – Vancouver, Washington

Default Gravesite 1

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