Sendai 8

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After disembarking the ship, he was taken by train to Sendai #8-B arriving on January 29, 1945. What is known about his time in the camp is that many of the POWs worked at a mill that smelted copper. It is known that the civilian employees were allowed to beat the POWs for not working hard enough.

Little is known about the camp itself. What is known is that the POWs lived in flimsy wooden barracks that were infested with lice and fleas. They also were cold during the winter since little wood was provided to heat them. If a POW was caught smuggling coal into the barracks, the man was beaten. Inside each barracks was a stove about 3 feet long and 18 inches high for heat. The POWs received three pieces of wood each day for the stoves.

When medical supplies arrived at the camp in Red Cross boxes, they were withheld from POWs. They also were not given the medical instruments that came in the boxes. The POWs who reported for the sick call were beaten and forced to go to work.

The Japanese also practiced collective punishment in the camp. When one POW stole a blanket in March 1945, all the POWs stood at attention until the man confessed. Then, the other POWs had to walk past him and slap him in the face. Doing this took ten minutes before he was taken to the guardhouse where he was held for two days.

The POWs were beaten, slapped, hit with iron pipes, and sheaths of swords. They were often made to stand in cold for hours. On one occasion, five POWs were punished and made to stand in the cold while nude for 1½ hours. Other punishments included making the POWs crawl or take painful positions for long periods of time.

The POWs were amazed that the Americans found the camp at the end of the war since it was at the northern end of the island. But planes appeared over the camp and dropped notes to the POWs telling them that B-29s were on their way to drop food, clothing, and other supplies to them.

Since there was such a large number of POWs in Japan, his camp did not officially get liberated until September 11, 1945, when they were taken by ship to Tokyo Bay arriving there on September 12.  They were deloused and the clothing that had been dropped to them was burned. On the U.S.S. Rescue, they received medical examinations and were taken to an airfield to be flown to Okinawa. During the trip to the airfield, they saw that much of Tokyo was a burnt-out shell from the firebombing.