War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+ α

Tags: Japan, Manchuria, the prisoners, prison camp, Mukden, Formosa, military hospital, Shenyang Allied POW Camp, WWII Site Museum, Oki, my grandfather, Shenyang, Bilibid, prison ship, Liaoning Province, physical condition, Dr, theater building, Moji, Fukuoka Camp, the Japanese, American Red Cross, Imperial Palace, Imperial Japanese Army, Fourth Geneva Convention, Jonathan Wainwright, the Geneva Convention, Japanese government, Dental Corps, prison camps, military personnel, Japanese officers
Content: War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) 4 2015+ Karen Ann TAKIZAWA
1945 1945 This article covers the final months of World War II, from the end of January 1945, when my grandfather arrived in Japan until mid-September 1945, when he returned to the United States after the end of hostilities. During this period, he was kept in prison camps on the island of Kyushu in Japan and in Mukden, Manchuria, and he experienced the heady atmosphere of the days following the liberation of the camp. It also includes information on visits to Shenyang, China, to see a museum on the site of the Mukden POW camp and to Los Angeles, California, to see a documentary film made by the daughter of one of the POWs who knew my grandfather. My Grandfather's Story The previous section ended with the arrival of my grandfather in Moji, Japan, on the island of Kyushu, on January 30, 1945, aboard the Brazil Maru with the 425 out of 1,619 prisoners who had survived the seven-week journey from the Philippines to Japan on the hell ships. After leaving the ship, the POWs spent the day in an empty theater building in the town; they then were separated into small groups and sent to various prison camps on the island of Kyushu. 21
Physical Condition on Arrival in Moji During this day's stay in the theater, 8 of the 425 prisoners who were alive when we reached Japan died. On January 30 while in the theater at Moji, all of the surviving prisoners were very poorly clothed, no blankets or heat were provided, and there was no drinking water. However, just outside the window there was a rain barrel 3/4 full of rain water that had run off the building roof. As I recall, I drank 3 canteens-ful of this water during the 10-hour period. I don't believe I have ever experienced a time in which water was more appreciated. About midafternoon of this day, the Japanese served a small box of steamed rice with a second small box of fish, seaweed and vegetable mixture. This was a much better type of food than we had been used to and was very highly appreciated. The 425 prisoners that arrived in Moji were disposed of in the following manner: 100 were taken to Fukuoka Camp No. 3, of which 35 died within the next few weeks; 96 were taken to Fukuoka Camp No. 17, 15 of whom soon died; 103 were taken to Fukuoka Camp No. 1, 9 died within the next few weeks; 110 of the prisoners who were in the poorest physical condition were taken to the Japanese military hospital at Moji. Of this group, 73 died within the next 6 weeks. Thus out of the total of 425 arriving in Moji, within 6 weeks' time 140 of them had died, leaving 285 still living. On December 13, 1944, the draft of 1,619 left Manila for Japan. T otal surviving: 285. On arrival at Moji, Japan, I was probably in no worse general physical condition than many of the other prisoners. My weight when leaving Manila December 13, 1944, was 150 pounds. My weight 6 weeks later on arrival at Moji, Japan, was 88 pounds. I resembled very much an old, emaciated man. I had not had a bath for 6 weeks. My skin was dry and scaly. I had no shoes or sox. A pair of dungaree shorts and an old sport shirt were all the clothing I had. I was hardly able to walk and unable to get up unassisted. Dr. Sullivan, an army reserve doctor from San Francisco, asked me if I would accompany the group of 110 with him to the Moji hospital, as we felt that as doctors we might be able to do something for them upon arrival at the hospital. The group of prisoners that were moved to the hospital was the last to be taken from the theater building, and I was one of the prisoners in the last ambulance trip. At Moji Military Hospital I arrived at the Japanese military hospital in Moji after a half-hour's ride by ambulance, about 9 PM January 30, and with the 110 other prisoner patients, I was placed in a wooden barracks in the military hospital compound in the city of Moji. This barracks building was divided into 2 sections, each containing 55 patients. There was no heat, no beds were provided. However, there were some straw mats and sufficient blankets. The barracks building was of wood construction. It contained many windows, and a sun porch on one side. Our only toilet facility was a 5-gallon gasoline tin, which, when full, had 22
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) to be carried a half block for disposal. Sufficient water for drinking purposes was provided. However, there was no warm water for bathing. The food was brought to the barracks and turned over to the American prisoners for distribution. This food consisted of steamed rice, a vegetable or seaweed soup, and about once a week some fish. The food was sufficient in quantity for sustaining life in individuals who were in good condition. However, it was far from adequate for a diet for patients who were in as generally a debilitated condition as were the members of this prison draft. Practically no medical personnel help was provided, although there were a half dozen Japanese medical men assigned to the ward. All of the ordinary ward duties were carried out by prisoner patients. About a half dozen of the group of 110 were in better condition than the rest, and this small group provided the working detail for washing the clothes and blankets, cleaning up the barracks, distributing the food, and looking after the general care of those who were unable to care for themselves. On the day after our arrival at Moji hospital, Dr. Sullivan died. Other medical corps personnel among this group of patients were Major Jacobs, USA, and Lt. Barrett, USN. Both of these doctors were in worse general condition than myself. The patients were visited twice a week by a Japanese doctor. After a week in the hospital a small amount of surgical dressings were furnished, and those patients with wounds were dressed about twice a week thereafter. Practically no medication was provided by the Japanese. After a couple of weeks in this hospital, some American Red Cross medicines, such as vitamins and sulfa drugs were provided. The high death rate, 73 out of this group of 110, within the 6-week period was caused by the poor condition of the prisoners who had recently gone through great hardships on the trip to Japan, improper food, insufficient clothing, no heat, and insufficient medication. Signing Death Certificates Three days after arrival at this hospital, the Japanese interpreter in charge of the prison draft, a Mr. W atta (sic)1, came to the hospital to get my signature on the death certificates of the more than 1,000 prisoners who had lost their lives en route to Japan. These death certificates were written in Japanese, and I have no way of knowing as to what they listed as the cause of death in each instance. The individual's name, rate, and date of death were written in English. All other information on the death certificate was in Japanese. The Japanese authorities in the hospital did not seem to be concerned as regards to the condition of American prisoner patients or the large number of deaths in this group. Attempts were made for more food, heat, and clothing, but nothing was gained. Early in March, a small amount of Red Cross food was issued for the use of these patients. This food was again insufficient in 1 Wada Shunsuke, the interpreter for this draft of prisoners from the Philippines 23
amount to accomplish a great deal. Transfer to Fukuoka Camp No. 22 Those prisoner patients who died in this military hospital were cremated and to the best of my knowledge their ashes were forwarded from this hospital to Fukuoka Mining Camp No. 22, and I believe that they were at this camp when the war ended. On February 25, 20 of the prisoner patients who were in the best physical condition were moved from the hospital to Fukuoka Camp No. 22, and on March 15 the remaining surviving members of this group were likewise moved to the same mining camp. I went with the last group on March 15 from the hospital to Fukuoka Camp No. 22. This trip was made by train, a distance of about 4 hours' train ride. Fukuoka Camp No. 22 was a small camp of prisoners consisting of 90 Australian and 10 Dutch, 2 Australian line officers, one a Captain in command of the camp, an Australian chaplain, and a Dutch doctor. This group of prisoners was working in a coal mine in close proximity to the camp. Most of the 25 American prisoners that were sent to this camp were in such poor physical condition that they were admitted to the camp hospital and treated as patients. While at this camp, I was not on patient status, but I worked as a doctor in the camp hospital. My weight was still less than 100 pounds. I was hardly able to walk up the hill from the barracks to the hospital, a distance of 200 or so feet. The food at this prison camp was probably about the same as that received at the hospital. The gram ration of rice per prisoner was 590 grams for the camp workers, 710 grams for the coal mine workers, and 400 grams for the hospital patients. The Japanese idea of a hospital patient differs a great deal from that in our country. In general, their attitude is that when an individual is a patient in a hospital, he is not producing and not contributing towards the military accomplishment, and therefore he is not entitled to as much food as a soldier who is working or on duty status. They do not consider that his physical condition might justify an increase in diet. General living conditions at this camp were fairly good. The prisoners were quartered in small individual wooden buildings. Each building housed a dozen prisoners. The camp had a fairly decent mess hall. Sanitary conditions were fair. The work for the camp prisoners was rather strenuous. The men worked 10 hours down in the coal mines, and spent about an hour going to and from the mines. Thus they were on duty 12 hours out of each 24. The camp had been recently established and was made up of Australian prisoners who were in good general condition. However, they had begun to show the effects of the poor diet and hard work in the mines. The weather was still cold in Japan at this time of year. No heat was provided in the camp. There was hot water for bathing and washing of clothes. During the period that I spent in this camp from March 15 until April 26, there were many air raid alarms. W e would spend on an average of 2 hours in the air raid shelter out of each 24 hours. Most 24
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) of this time would be during the daylight hours. However, there were many occasions when there were night air raids. No bombing was done in the immediate vicinity of the prison camp. Planes could be heard flying over the camp, and bombs were dropped in close enough proximity to the camp that they could be very plainly heard. Drinking water was sufficient. The morning chow usually consisted of a mixture that was known as"pap."This was composed of the vegetable soup that was kept over from the previous evening meal to which was added a small amount of boiled rice resembling the Filipino lugao2. The noon meal consisted of a bowl of steamed rice, sufficient to fill a canteen cup. There was a small gardening project within the camp compound. This work was done by camp officer prison personnel who were able to work. Officer personnel at this camp were not used for working in the coal mines. The morning reveille was about 6 AM; the evening lights out at 9 PM. There was a very limited number of books in the camp; the camp had no commissary and no outside purchase privileges. In fact, there was no food to be purchased in Japan. All food distribution was under the control of the military. A Visit to Town to Buy Reading Glasses While at this camp, about April 1, I made one trip with the Japanese interpreter to a nearby city. I walked a distance of 2 miles. The purpose of making this trip was to buy some reading glasses. Conditions in the town, which I would estimate had a population of about 15,000 to 20,000, were very similar to what one sees anyplace in the Orient. I was greatly impressed by the poverty. On the streets there were very few people, especially in the group of military age. There were many children and a few old people. Schools apparently were functioning normally, although many of the children of school age were used for laborers in the coal mines and not permitted to attend school. Practically all of the store windows in the town were boarded; there seemed to be very little merchandising activity. An occasional vegetable peddler could be noticed on the street. There was practically no motor transportation, probably due to the gasoline shortage. Throughout the city in vacant lots, alleys, and yards, there were a few air raid shelters of very poor structure. They consisted of a few holes in the ground covered over with boards. They certainly would not be very effective shelter against bombing raids. Transfer to Fukuoka On April 26, 1945, I, with about 20 of the American prisoners in this camp, was moved by truck to the city of Fukuoka, where a group of 250 American prisoners, mostly officer personnel had been assembled 2 a kind of porridge made of rice with meat and vegetables 25
from the various camps in that area for transfer to Manchuria. This truck trip took about 7 hours. The truck was a charcoal burner type; it had a great deal of difficulty making some of the hills. Prisoners were crowded in the truck; however, there was room for all to sit down. The country through which this trip was made was very hilly. There seemed to be but a small amount of land available for agriculture. However, one would see an occasional small truck garden patch. The highways were in very poor general condition. The towns and villages through which we traveled were far below the average of American communities. W e arrived at Fukuoka city about 4 PM and were taken to the edge of the city and unloaded in a city park, where we remained until 6 PM, at which time we were moved a distance of 2 miles to the port area in this city. Meeting Dr. Oki on the Boat to Korea About 8 PM the group of 250 prisoners was loaded on board a small, but fast, inter-island boat. Upon this boat we were not crowded. W e had straw mats upon which to sleep. W e were on board for 2 hours when an air raid warning sounded and all of the prisoners were ordered off the ship and assembled in an area along the railroad tracks in close proximity to the ship, where we remained throughout the night. At 8 AM on the morning of April 27 we were again loaded on the ship. About 9 AM we got underway, headed for Fusan3, Korea. This voyage of 7 hours was uneventful. However, after our recent experience in traveling on Japanese prison ships, the thought of making this trip was very depressing. During the 7-hour trip, the small inter-island passenger boat made a speed I would estimate of 20 to 25 knots. There was practically no time that we were out of sight of land as there are many small islands across the entrance to the China Sea. One prisoner patient died en route on this trip and was buried at sea. About 75 of this group of 250 were the same prisoner group that had left Manila on December 13. The remaining members of the group of 250 had been assembled from prison camps in Japan. Some of them had been in Japan for as long as 2 years. It was during this journey from Fukuoka to Fusan that I met the Japanese Dr. Oki4, who was a prison doctor for the camp at Mukden, Manchuria, who had come to Fukuoka to accompany this draft of prisoners to his prison camp. V ery soon after going aboard ship, Dr. Oki contacted me and inquired as to the general condition of the prisoners, informed me as to what emergency medical supplies he had with him, and told me that if any of the prisoner patients needed medication to contact him and it would be provided. This was the first time in my experience in prison life that I had ever seen a Japanese who willfully volunteered to do anything for American prisoners. During this journey on board ship we 3 Busan (or Pusan) on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula 4 26
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) received one meal, a very good meal, a mixture of rice and vegetables with an addition of fish. The food was well prepared and considerably more in amount than we had been used to receiving. W e arrived in Fusan, Korea about 4 PM on April 27. By Train to Mukden, Manchuria On board this same ship, there was a group of about 300 American prisoners that were en route from Japan to a prison camp in Korea. Both groups of prisoners were marched from the port area in Fusan to a theater building in that city, a distance of a half dozen city blocks. Upon arrival at this theater building, the 2 groups of prisoners were kept separate; the group going to camp in Korea was to leave by train at 8:30 PM the same evening. There was a rumor that their camp was 12-hours' train ride from Fusan. The group of 249 prisoners, of which I was a member, that was going to camp in Mukden, Manchuria, left Fusan by train at 8 AM on April 28. W e were told that it was a 36-hour train ride to our camp, but we were not told the location of the camp, and we did not know until after our arrival that we were in Mukden, Manchuria. The train journey was considerably above the average for the transportation of American prisoners by the Japanese. T rain coaches were modern, day coaches, with plush cushions; 2 prisoners assigned to a seat. There was plenty of drinking water on the train, and during the trip we were served very good chow which was served 3 times a day. The food was served in small wooden boxes in sufficient amount and consisted of a mixture of rice, fish, chicken, vegetables, and occasionally fruits with cookies or bread rolls. This was considerably different chow from what I had been receiving during my 3 years' prison life. In fact, it was the first bread that I had had for over 3 years. There was a noticeable change in the attitude of the Japanese officer personnel and guards who were in charge of the prisoners during this trip. Manchuria had not been visited by warfare5 and the military personnel did not seem to be under strain and apprehension of air attacks. They seemed to be friendly with the prison personnel. The entire civilian population acted considerably different in this country than they did in Japan. They acted more friendly and when they looked at us, it was not with the sulky, despised look the Japanese in Japan and the Philippines gave us. Manchuria is a very productive country, and it was a great contrast to the barrenness and poverty that was so noticeable in Japan. The train arrived in Mukden, Manchuria, at 11 PM on April 28. The prisoners remained in the railway cars at the station until daylight the following morning, when the cars were switched to the site of the prison camp in that city. 5 The Japanese and the Americans never fought a pitched battle in Manchuria during the war, but it was the scene of various conflicts and"incidents"involving the Japanese and the Chinese or the Soviet Union. 27
Arrival at the Camp in Mukden W e de-trained and marched a distance of about a mile from the small switchyard station to the main prison camp at the edge of the industrial section of the city of Mukden. This camp was surrounded by a brick and stone wall which was 15 feet in height. It enclosed a space of about 8 acres. The camp had been built especially to house prisoners. It was completed and first occupied by prisoners in March 1942. The main buildings were of concrete brick structure; 2 deck in height; covered with a composition, asphalt roof. The camp buildings consisted of 3 main barracks buildings with toilet and bath facilities, a hospital building providing approximately 100 beds, a galley building, power house, a central store room building, an office building, and 2 buildings which provided the living quarters for the Japanese officer and prison guards. Each barracks building was provided with running water and had sufficient coal burning stoves to provide winter heat. The barracks were divided into 5 equal sections; each of these sections was double decked, so that each section would provide space for approximately 50 prisoners. The lower deck of each section was on a platform 10 inches above the main barracks deck. The second deck of the section was a platform 5 feet higher. No beds were provided, but each prisoner had a straw mattress and sufficient blankets with which to keep warm. Each prisoner had a small shelf at the head of his bed for storing his clothing and personal gear. The sleeping spaces were provided with mosquito nettings. The windows in the buildings furnished plenty of light and ventilation. Each prisoner was given a number and assigned a bed space. The chow was cooked at the main galley and distributed proportionately to each section, where it was redistributed equally to each prisoner. The morning meal usually consisted of a bowl of corn meal mush or a bowl of maize, a grain very similar to kaffir corn6 in this country. The noon meal consisted of a large bowl of soy beans, the evening meal, a mixture of vegetable soup and soy beans. In addition to these 3 meals each prisoner was issued 3 to 5 buns, made of half flour and half corn meal, daily. In general, this diet was considerately better than the prison diet provided in Bilibid or in prison camps in Japan. Upon arrival at camp in Mukden, my weight had increased from 88 pounds to 96, but after eating the diet provided in the Mukden camp, I soon began to increase in weight and pick up in general health. By the time that the war ended on August 15, 1945, after 3 1/2 months in this camp, my weight had increased from 96 to 140 pounds. Officer personnel in the Mukden camp did not work on prison labor detail. However, the enlisted camp prisoner personnel worked on 3 work projects in that part of the city. The main group of prisoners 6 Another name for the grain sorghum 28
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) had worked since the camp was established in November 1942 until the war ended for a machine tool company in a factory known as MKK7. Two smaller groups of prisoners worked at other factories, one at a shoe and leather factory and the other at a cloth and canvas factory, both in close proximity to the camp. The prisoners at this camp were in very good physical condition. Their treatment had been very good; their work not hard. In addition to the factory details, there was a small group of prisoners that worked on a garden project just outside the prison wall. This farming project produced a large amount of the vegetables used in the camp. The camp prison personnel totaled about 1,700, of which about 40 were Americans, 300 Australian and Dutch, and the remainder British. The prison camp commanding officer was a major in the US Army. Most of the prison officer personnel were American army officers. The camp had a tailor shop, cobbler shop, small commissary, good bathing facilities, good toilet and clothes washing facilities, and adequate bakery and galley space and equipment, and a moderately wellequipped and efficiently staffed hospital. Impressions of Dr. Oki The hospital was under the charge of the Japanese Dr. Oki, who had a staff of about a half dozen Japanese medical corps personnel who acted in a supervisory capacity. The actual working staff of the hospital was composed of 2 American and 1 Australian doctor with a number of British and American enlisted medical corps personnel. The hospital was provided with beds. The surgical department was sufficient and well enough equipped to carry out the average major operative procedure. Laboratory facilities were sufficient for a hospital of this size. A large amount of medication was American Red Cross medicines. However, the Japanese government provided a small amount of various types of medicine. The actual treatment of the prisoner patients and the holding of the daily sick call of camp prisoner personnel were carried out by American medical corps personnel. Dr. Oki was very cooperative, very much interested in the patients in general, and had a different attitude regarding prisoners than that of most Japanese officers. I became very well acquainted with Dr. Oki and have more admiration for him as a doctor and as a man than I have for any other Japanese with whom I came in contact. Dr. Oki stated that primarily he was a doctor and not a military man. I have heard him remark that it made no difference to him as to what rank or nationality that the prisoners were; to him they were patients whether they were American, British, Australian, Dutch or Japanese. He 7 MKK was the acronym for Manchu Kosaku Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha (Manchurian Machine Tool Factory), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi. 29
made no distinction between the groups and treated the Japanese military personnel professionally, just the same as he treated the prison personnel. This doctor was held in very high regard by practically all of the prisoners in this camp. At the time that the camp was freed by the Russians and all of the Japanese officer personnel and the Japanese guards who had been administrating the camp were disarmed and made prisoners and confined to their quarters, Dr. Oki was given permission to remain at large and had free run of the camp. He made daily trips to the hospital and during the 3-week period after the end of the war, his attitude and treatment of the prisoner patients was no different than during the period in which they were prisoners. Dr. Oki was a married man, with a wife and 3 children, who prior to the war had lived in T okyo. His wife's people were moderately wealthy and were engaged in the bookbinding and printing industry. Dr. Oki and his family were apparently people of moderate means. He graduated from medical school in 1930, worked for 2 years in charity practice in T okyo, then became associated as a member of the teaching staff in a medical school in that city. He served for a few years as associate professor of medicine and by the time of the outbreak of the war, he was a clinical professor of chest medicine. It was compulsory that he enter the military service medical corps. He was certainly not a military man, but he was a doctor. He had learned to speak English fairly well and had a good command of the written English language. He also spoke and wrote German. He was very interested professionally and stated that after the war was over and he had gotten established in the medical school teaching profession, he would like very much to make a tour of this country visiting medical clinics. He seemed to be fairly familiar with the Mayo Clinic, as he asked many questions regarding it. It was from Dr. Oki that I learned that at the time of our arrival in Japan on January 30, 1945, that we were to continue the journey on to the camp at Mukden. In fact, there was a detail of Japanese guards that came to Moji to meet this draft to accompany it to Mukden. But Dr. Oki stated that when they learned the condition of the prisoners on the draft and that only such a small number of them were still alive, they thought it would be a better thing to do to distribute them to prison camps in the Fukuoka area and to move them to Manchuria later in the year, after their physical strength had improved. The Isolation Period Upon the arrival of the draft of 249 prisoners at Mukden this group was placed in Barracks No. 3 and kept in isolation for a period of 3 weeks. During this period, the group was fed from the main galley. In addition to this food, there were many gifts of food from other prisoners in the camp. This camp had regularly received a nearly daily issue of Red Cross food. Due to the poor health and the general rundown condition of this draft upon its arrival, the entire camp discontinued the issuance of Red Cross food 30
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) to the camp and made available this food for the group of 249 new prison arrivals. This Red Cross diet in addition to the regular camp diet made a very ample maintenance food ration, and it was but a very short period until they changed in general physical condition, and the members on this draft showed marked improvement. During the 3-week isolation period, I held daily sick call on the prisoners in isolation. Medicines were provided from the hospital, and twice a week Dr. Oki and a staff of American hospital corpsmen would hold a general sick call and do dressings on this group of patients. It was during this period that I became better acquainted with Dr. Oki, and at the end of the isolation period I was informed by Dr. Oki that I would be made a member of his hospital staff, but was told by him that I was in good enough physical condition to work, but not in the hospital. However, he said that he wanted me to feel free to come over to the hospital at any time, and if there was anything that I wanted to let him know about it. May 21, 1945, the Japanese moved a group of about 200 high ranking officer personnel, composed of generals, colonels and corresponding ranks of the various nationalities of prisoners who had been stationed at another prison camp in northern Manchuria, to the main prison camp at Mukden. In this group were many of the American generals and colonels who had served in the Bataan and Corregidor campaigns. The camp at Mukden and the city of Mukden had been visited by American four-motored bomber planes on 2 occasions, December 7 and December 21, 1944. On one of these visits, bombs from one of the planes landed in the camp compound killing 19 of the prisoners and wounding many others. After this raid, there was an open section in the compound in which there were zigzag trenches constructed as fox holes for use, should America bombers return to this area. They never returned again. During my stay in this camp, I never heard an air raid siren, and for all practical purposes one would hardly know that a war was in progress, had it not been for the retention in prison camp. The weather at Mukden during the summer months was very pleasant and very agreeable. It was not too hot, and there was a cool, gentle breeze most of the time. The days were bright, clear, and sunny, with a moderate amount of rainfall. The nights are cool enough to sleep under a blanket. However, I am told that beginning about the first of September, the weather begins to get a great deal cooler, and by the middle of November, they are having real cold weather, remaining this way until the 1st of April. There is very little snowfall in the winter time. The news source and supply for the camp at Mukden was very plentiful and usually reliable. The prisoners who worked in factories outside the camp worked with a group of Chinese and Manchurian civilians, and from them they learned the late war news. Also they were usually given the Japanese newspaper that was brought to the camp, where there were about a half dozen Japanese language student prisoners who would translate the paper news and put out a small news bulletin to the camp prisoners. This late in the war, the Japanese had discontinued a large part of their news propaganda and were 31
printing a great deal of authentic bits of news. In fact, we knew to the very day in which Russia had entered the war against Japan8. W e were watching the progress of their army with a great deal of concern, as there was a feeling of uncertainty as to just what the Japanese would do with the prison personnel as the Russian military forces approached the city of Mukden. I believe that there was a period in which the Japanese had planned and considered moving of the prisoners away from Mukden prison camp, probably to some location further into the interior. But the progress of the Russian army was so rapid, and the Japanese had so many more problems of the defense of the country in which they were interested that they could not be concerned with this small group of prisoners. A US Rescue Team Arrives (also known as Operation Cardinal) On August 15 the camp received the news that the war was ended. It was on this day that a rescue team9 composed of 2 (US) army officers, a Chinese, and a Japanese interpreter landed by parachute in close proximity of the camp. This team had come from an American airfield in the interior of China. There was supposed to have been a plane ahead of this one that was to drop leaflets explaining to the civilian personnel and the Japanese military that the rescue team would arrive. However, the rescue team arrived before the plane with the pamphlets. When the members of this team parachuted from the plane, the civilians and the military personnel were greatly alarmed and excited. They surrounded the members of the rescue team, who had parachuted from the plane, and after a short period of confusion in which they attempted to explain the situation, the rescue team was turned over by the civilians to the Japanese military authorities. The Japanese military authorities at this time had not officially received word of the ending of the war, and this rescue team was given rather rough treatment and held as prisoners of war. Late on the evening of the 15th they were brought into the prison camp at Mukden and kept isolated from the rest of the prisoners. This caused a great deal of excitement in the prison camp, as all prisoners knew that something was happening, but they were not certain as to just what was occurring. During the night, the Japanese prison camp personnel apparently received official word of the war's ending and on the next 8 This happened on August 8, 1945. In August 1939, the Soviet Union entered a non-aggression pact with Germany, but changed sides in the conflict when Germany began an invasion in June 1941. After Germany surrendered in May 1945, the Soviet Union joined the war against Japan. The Soviets notified the Japanese of their intent on the night of August 8, 1945, and the (Soviet) Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation lasted from August 9 to September 2, 1945. 9 The rescue mission for Mukden POW camp was known as Operation Cardinal. According to Streifer, "Shortly after Japan surrendered, (US) General Wedemeyer requested that the Office of Strategic Services organize POW rescue missions behind Japanese lines. Each OSS team was assigned an area, and each intelligence operation was named after a bird." 32
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) morning, August 16, their attitude concerning the rescue team was entirely changed. In fact, on the night of the 15th some of the Japanese guards became very friendly with the prisoners, gave them cigarettes and tried to tell them that now since the war is over, we are all comrades. The Russians Arrive August 16 the camp authorities were permitted to contact the members of the rescue team and learn definitely their purpose in coming to this area and that the war was over. Late afternoon of the 16th of August, 2 Russian officers and a Russian enlisted man arrived at the prison camp. The advance body of the Russian troops had reached the city of Mukden on the morning of August 16. The Russian army captain assembled the prisoners in the area of the hospital and through an interpreter gave them a speech. He was indeed quite a showman. The general trend of his speech was that from now on"you are free."After he made this statement, there was a period of a great deal of cheering by the prisoners. When this quieted down, he stated that the Russian army had traveled a distance of more than 1,000 miles over hill and valley in a week's time in order to free you. After this brief speech, he held a conference with the ranking prison generals of all nationalities in the camp. This conference lasted for about 15 minutes, after which he assembled all of the Japanese camp officer personnel and the Japanese guards in the area close to the camp barracks, and it was at this assembly through a Russian-American-Japanese interpreter that he informed the Japanese that they were now prisoners of war and that they must surrender their guns and swords. The camp prison personnel was informed that the camp was under the command of the senior American general, and a camp prison guard of American soldiers was organized. The guns that were taken from the Japanese guards were given to the American guards who took over the guarding of the camp. The previous Japanese camp officers and prison guards were marched through the compound to a section of the camp that had been the Japanese guard quarters and were imprisoned in these quarters and placed under American guards. This changing of the guard was quite a spectacular scene and was very efficiently and dramatically handled by the Russian captain. After this procedure, the Russian captain informed the camp that they were at liberty to leave the camp and to go anywhere in the city of Mukden. However, as a precautionary measure for their own safety, he advised that they refrain from leaving the camp for a day or two, and especially that they do not go to the city at night, as there was still a great deal of unrest in the city. There were still many elements of the Japanese military forces that had not yet been taken prisoners, and there was a great deal of shooting outside the prison wall and in various sections of the city. The Russians were shooting the Japanese, the Japanese were shooting the Russians and Chinese, and the Manchurians and Chinese were also helping to shoot the Japanese. The Japanese were still at open warfare against these 3 groups, so an unarmed ex-prisoner of war in the city of Mukden 33
would not be very safe. This state of semi-warfare continued until about August 20, when conditions in the city were fairly well stabilized. The camp ex-prisoners were permitted to make a liberty during the daytime, but they were requested to return to camp soon after nightfall. However, many of them remained in the city day and night. Some of them became very friendly and intimate with the Russian troops; in fact, a few of them helped the Russians, using Russian military equipment, to clear up the situation in Mukden. First Days of Freedom The first few days after the end of the war were certainly pleasant days for prisoners, after the long and hard period of over 3 1/2 years in various Japanese prison camps. It was quite a novelty to have freedom and to be permitted to go outside the prison walls anyplace in the city and buy items of food and articles that they had been deprived of for such a long period. The money in purchasing items was of no consequence as the Japanese military currency was of no value. There was no American money in the camp. All of the commercial transactions were carried out on a barter basis. The Chinese and Manchurians were very glad to trade their produce for items of clothing, blankets, shoes, etc. that came from the prison camp. In addition to food, there was a great deal of alcoholic liquor brought into the camp, principally beer, as there was a brewery in close proximity to the camp. In fact, there were a few days when beer was brought in by the truckload. There was also a great variety of other alcoholic drinks, undoubtedly much of it not fit for human consumption. Attempts were made to control the activities of the ex-prisoners. Many camp rules and regulations were published, but none of them were very seriously heeded. One of the orders soon after the surrender prohibited the bringing of alcoholic liquor into the camp. It was soon learned that it was impossible to consider enforcing this order, and at one of the general information speeches given to the camp personnel by the American army officer in charge of the processing team, was a simple statement that"it will no longer be considered a violation of the rules to bring alcoholic liquor into the camp." Orders were also issued regarding hours of liberty in the city, but it was soon found out that it was also impossible to enforce this order, as the ex-prisoners left the camp and returned when they felt like leaving, regardless of orders. Considering the amount of confusion in the city of Mukden for the first ten days after the end of the war, and considering the recklessness of the ex-prisoners of war, it certainly is amazing that some of them did not get killed or seriously injured, but to the best of my knowledge there were no casualties of any significance. Within a few days, American planes and supplies began to arrive from airfields in China. There was a nightly movie show in the camp and a nightly newscast by service news reporters. There was also a daily service newspaper published somewhere in China, and radios in various sections 34
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) of the camp were in operation nearly 24 hours daily. American planes from China airfields soon established a daily transport service for the removal of the ex-prisoner personnel who were patients. Later some of the ranking prisoners of different nationalities and some of the other ex-prisoners who were not in too good physical condition were removed by air and returned to the States by way of China, India, Africa, South America, and to the East Coast. A few days after the ending of the war, the prisoner personnel got a close look at the B-29s, as nearly daily groups of from 6 to 25 of these planes, coming from Okinawa, flew over the camp dropping planeloads of food, clothing, and medical supplies by parachute. There was no airfield in the Mukden area that was constructed so that it was able to permit the landing of B-29s. The supplies from these bombing planes were dropped either within the prison compound or in close proximity and were gathered up by the camp personnel and divided among the prisoners. Within a few days, the personnel had new and sufficient clothing and a great variety of foodstuff that they had not seen for 3 or 4 years. It was quite a sight to see a squadron of B-29 bombers parachuting food to the camp. Each plane dumped about 18 parachutes of food. The bombing compartments of the planes were equipped with a wooden platform, and upon this platform were the bundles of food, attached to the parachutes. This platform and the food were dumped from the planes by the same mechanisms that had been used to release the bombs during the war. Many of the parachutes failed to open, and some of the food products were busted open and damaged. The camp at Mukden operated under the supervision of an army processing team from the China theater from August 17 until September 12, when the last of the ex-prisoners had been moved to Port Arthur10 for evacuation on US Naval ships. Dealings with the Russians When the Russian military forces arrived in Mukden, there were practically no medical personnel with the advance troops. The Russians used the civilian hospitals for the treatment of their wounded soldiers. About a week after the end of the war, a Norwegian missionary doctor who had been working at a Scotch (sic) missionary hospital in Mukden came to the prison camp for surgical aid in treating wounded Russian soldiers in his hospital. He had one Russian soldier as a patient who had received a gunshot wound in the left eye. He stated that the Russian general had said that he wanted the soldier operated (on). The Norwegian doctor was not a surgeon, and he stated that he did not believe the Chinese surgeon 10 Port Arthur is now known as the Lushun District of the city of Dalian on the tip of the Liaodong Peninsula. It was a major point of contention between the Japanese and the Russians during the RussoJapanese War in the early 20th century. 35
was capable of performing the operation. He asked if the camp would provide a doctor. I was sent from the camp to the missionary hospital to examine the case. I recommended surgical removal of the left eye with abstraction of the bullet if it was accessible. This recommendation was made to the Russian general. I talked to him personally, and he agreed that I operate upon the patient, telling me not to worry about it should the patient die. One of the great reasons why the missionary doctor did not want the Chinese surgeon to operate on the patient was that he was afraid that the Russian general would be very mad if the patient should die. This patient was operated (on), made an uneventful recovery and about 5 days after operation, he was removed from the missionary hospital to the main Russian military hospital that had arrived in Mukden. The Russian hospital unit of personnel and equipment arrived in Mukden 10 days after the arrival of the first Russian military forces. This organization was transported to Mukden in a plane convoy consisting of 80 planes. A large percentage of the Russian war equipment was American made. Practically all of their planes were American made, and 9 out of every 10 trucks were American. I was not familiar with the American tanks, so I do not know if the tanks, with which the Russians entered Mukden, were of American or Russian construction. By September 1, conditions within the city of Mukden were approaching normal, and I made many trips from the camp area to the main section of the city. The headquarters of the Russian military forces was at the Yamamoto Hotel (sic)11, a large, modern hotel constructed and operated by the Japanese since their occupation of Manchuria in 1933. While at this hotel, I met and talked with the No. 2 Russian general, who was in command of the Russian forces in that area. He spoke very highly of American aid and American equipment during the war. He was in the fighting in the area around Stalingrad and stated very definitely that had it not been for the timely arrival of American equipment and material, the Russians would never have been able to have turned the tide of battle in Stalingrad. This general was also in command of the Russian forces that took the city of Berlin. He spoke a great deal of his contact with the American troops in that sector. He said that he could see no reason as to why there should ever be a conflict between his country and the United States, as neither of them wanted more territory, and there was no reason for them to ever become enemies. As far as Manchuria is concerned, he stated that his country had no interest there, excepting to drive the Japanese out and to obtain an outlet to the sea at Port Arthur. He stated that if conditions passed as expected the Russian forces would be out of Manchuria, with the exception of Port Arthur, within a 90-day period. Soon after the arrival of the Russians in Mukden, the Chinese Communist troops began to infiltrate into the city. It is the arrival of these troops that will probably delay the evacuation of the 11 Most likely, he is referring to the Japanese-built Yamato Hotel in Mukden that was run by the South Manchuria Railway Company. 36
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) Russians, as I believe that it is the intention of the Russians to surrender the control of Manchuria to the Chinese National Government and not to the Communists. Repatriation September 11 about noon I, with a group of 800 ex-prisoners, left the camp at Mukden, was taken in a Russian truck to the railway station, boarded a passenger train, and late that day departed for Port Arthur, a distance of 200 miles. W e arrived at Port Arthur at 8:00 PM on September 12 and boarded the USS Relief for return to the States12. This is the end of my grandfather's manuscript. Decorations and Retirement In December 1941, my grandfather was Captain Carey Miller Smith, Medical Corps, United States Navy. After the war, he received a Purple Heart medal for"being wounded in action against an enemy of the United States,"a Bronze Star medal for"heroic or meritorious achievement or service"in a combat zone, a Silver Star medal for"gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States,"and the Legion of Merit (Oak Leaf Cluster) for"exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements."He also received a World War II Victory medal, an American Defense Service medal, an Asiatic Pacific medal, a Prisoner of War medal, a Philippine Defense ribbon, and a Philippine Presidential Unit citation13. He left active duty in December 1946, and as of January 1, 1947, he became Rear Admiral Carey Miller Smith, Medical Corps, United States Navy, (Retired). The file with his manuscript contains copies of some old letters, including ones from US President Harry Truman14 and James Forrestal, the Secretary of the Navy, that were written after the war thanking him for his service to the nation. To me, though, the most impressive letter was from Thomas H. Hayes, Commander, (MC) USN, the Senior Medical Officer in the Philippines15. It is not dated, but it must have been written during the war when Dr. Hayes was in the Philippines. It 12 The Relief took the men as far as Okinawa. My grandfather arrived in San Francisco on October 22, 1945, on board another ship. 13 The information on his medals, ribbons, and citations was provided by BUPERS, the United States Navy Bureau of Naval Personnel. 14 Unfortunately, his first name was misspelled"Garey"in the letter from President Truman. 37
reads in part: ". . . I was in constant contact with him (Carey Miller Smith) in Bataan during my period of service as District Medical Officer. He is a competent surgeon, a good executive and organizer, loyal, and has a great capacity for work. He readily assumes responsibility and can both take and give orders. Everyone who has been associated with him in this war has seen fit to comment highly on his capabilities. . . ." One could wish for no higher praise from one's colleagues. More on Ann Bernatitus, Navy Nurse The name of Navy nurse Ann Bernatitus was mentioned in a previous article in this series that covered the early days of the war when my grandfather was in the Philippines. From Canacao Hospital in Manila to the Malinta tunnel on Corregidor, she worked with my grandfather as his operating room assistant. Shortly before the fall of Corregidor, she was evacuated aboard the submarine USS Spearfish and was the only Navy nurse stationed in the Philippines to avoid capture and years of internment with the other Army and Navy nurses at Santo Tomas and Los Banos16. In late 1944, Ann Bernatitus was assigned to the hospital ship USS Relief, which was sent to Okinawa during that campaign and then to Port Arthur to pick up the prisoners of war who had been held at camps in Manchuria. According to the USS Relief Wartime Chronicle, the ship arrived in Port Arthur on September 8, 1945, and left on September 12. In an oral history interview recorded in 1994, she describes the arrival of the men on the ship: --. . . It was not until the 11th (of September) that the prisoners came aboard, 753 of them. That was really something. First of all, music was blaring from the ship and everything was all lighted up. Well, they didn't let them come right aboard. They had to be deloused first fumigated and then given showers. Then they came aboard at 2050. I remember the supply officer who was in charge of food came to me and said that the senior medical officer was going to give them sandwiches and I said,"Listen, if you can't give them a steak dinner and 15 In his manuscript, my grandfather records that Thomas H. Hayes was a part of the prison draft of 1,619 that left Manila on December 13, 1944, on the Oryoku Maru, and he was killed in a US bombing attack on the prison ship Enoura Maru in Takao Harbor, Formosa, on January 6, 1945. (See Appendix) 16 The story of Ann Bernatitus and the other"Angels of Bataan and Corregidor"is covered in Norman (1999). 38
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) ice cream or something, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves."They would stand in line waiting from one meal to the next and they ate bread. God, they ate bread! . . . --Dr. (Claud) Fraleigh and Dr. Carey Smith were with that group? --Yes. In fact, we had one Army doctor who came ahead of them. I packed a box for Dr. Fraleigh and Dr. Smithcandy bars and oranges, and I don't know what elsefor the doctor to take back to them. --So it must have been quite a reunion. --Oh, yes, it was. . . . (Recollections of Ann Bernatitus) The Relief took this group of former prisoners as far as Okinawa, where it left them on September 18. In this interview, Ann Bernatitus did not say anything specific about their reunion, but no doubt, she was able to see and speak with my grandfather during the week he was on board the ship. My grandfather clearly admired Ann Bernatitus, and according to family lore, the relationship between them may have crossed the line from professional to personal. The fact is, however, that after the war their lives went in very different directions. He returned to his home in California; she continued her career as a Navy nurse at various military hospitals around the country. In 1942, she was awarded the Legion of Merit for her work during the Bataan and Corregidor campaigns, and when she left the service in 1959, she was known as Captain Ann Bernatitus, Nurse Corps, United States Navy (Retired). In 2003, she died at the age of 91 and was buried in her home state of Pennsylvania. The History of Manchuria The place my grandfather refers to as Mukden, Manchuria, in his manuscript is now known as Shenyang, Liaoning Province, in Northeast China. In order to understand why my grandfather ended up in a POW camp there, it is necessary to go back several centuries to the time when this area was the home of a number of small tribes, including the energetic Manchus. After a series of successful military campaigns, the Manchus started to unify other tribes in the region, and Mukden was an early Manchu capital. In 1644, the Manchus seized control of Beijing, made it their new capital, and established the Qing dynasty that controlled all of China. Manchuria, the area"above the Great Wall,"became something of a backwater. The Qing dynasty ruled China until 1912, when the last Qing emperor, Puyi, was dethroned, and the Republic of China was founded. Manchuria was the homeland of the founders of the Qing dynasty and nominally a part of China, but the Russians and the Japanese also began to have an active interest in the area for reasons of their own. 39
Steppingstones on the Path to World War II The latter half of the nineteenth century was a period of great change for Japan, and the country went from an isolated feudal society under the last of the Tokugawa shoguns to an outward-looking industrial society under the Meiji Emperor following the Meiji Restoration in 1868. It was quite a remarkable and single-minded transformation for a country to make in a relatively short period of time. One catalyst for this change was the visits by American Commodore Matthew C. Perry and his"Black Ships"in 1853 and 1854 demanding that Japan open itself to foreign trade. The Japanese government, realizing that it was in no position to win a battle against the technologically advanced Americans and Europeans with their aggressive foreign policies and unequal treaties, embarked on the road to modernization with the goal of accomplishing it as quickly as possible. The primary motivation was no doubt to save the country from becoming a colony as other Asian countries had, and in the process of learning how to protect themselves from Western nations, the leaders of Japan began to nurture a desire of their own for expansion and world power. The first step was the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), which was fought between the forces of the Qing dynasty and Meiji Japan. With the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki at the end of the conflict, Japan gained control of the Korean Peninsula, plus Formosa (Taiwan), the Pescadores, the Ryukyus (Okinawa), and the Liaodong Peninsula17. It was an impressive debut for Japan on the world stage, and the end result was that the balance of power among Asian countries shifted from China to Japan. The next step was the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), which was fought on land in Southern Manchuria and on sea around the Liaodong Peninsula, Korea, and Japan. This conflict ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth, in which Russia agreed to recognize Japanese control over Korea18, evacuate its troops from Manchuria, transfer the rights to the South Manchuria Railway to Japan, and give Japan the southern half of Sakhalin Island. Significantly, it was the first time a European nation had been defeated by a non-European nation in a modern war. Then came World War I (1914-1918), which JaPan Entered early on19 in support of Britain. The Imperial Japanese Navy played a small role in the Mediterranean, but a major role in protecting sea lanes from Europe to Asia and securing German-held territories in China and in the North 17 Within a week after the Treaty of Shimoseki was signed, control of the Liaodong Peninsula, with its vital warm water port at Port Arthur (Lushun), was rescinded due to pressure from Russia, France, and Germany. 18 Korea was officially annexed in 1910 and was a part of the Japanese Empire until 1945. 19 Japan declared war on Germany on August 23, 1914. In contrast, the US followed a policy of strict 40
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) Pacific. At the end of this war, Japan was at the table at the Treaty of Versailles and the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, had a permanent seat on the Council of the League of Nations, and was granted control of the former German colonies in Asia20. In less than a quarter century, Japan had become a major player on the world stage. Along the way, from Japan's point of view, there had been both victories and disappointments, but the nation had gained confidence and begun to dream of having an empire of its own. The roots of the Japanese militarism that arose in the 1920s and 1930s can be seen in the men who were a part of the Meiji Restoration, descendants of the samurai class who wanted to protect the nation against foreign encroachment in the nineteenth century. Military power, they felt, would earn them the respect of the world, but military power required resources. The total area of the home islands of Japan is slightly less than that of California. The islands are generally resource-poor, except perhaps for water and people, so the acquisition of colonies became a crucial part of the plan. For Japan, the underlying idea was to create a new order in East Asia and rid Asians of Western domination, and this eventually took the form of the hierarchical Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere (1940), in which Japan would control trade in the whole region. It was a very big dream. The Manchurian Incident (also known as the Mukden Incident) They started with China, which had been a tempting target for European nations with imperialist designs for centuries. The Portuguese arrived first, founding their colony at Macau in 1557, and by the early twentieth century, when the Qing dynasty was falling apart, many other European countries21 and the United States, had gained trade concessions or territorial rights there. Japan had replaced Russia as the leaseholder of the Kwantung Leased Territory in Manchuria after the RussoJapanese War in 1905. This territory included the South Manchurian Railway and the adjacent area and was guarded by the Kwantung Army22. On September 18, 1831, members of the Kwantung Army set off an explosion near the South Manchurian Railway line outside Mukden. The plan was that Chinese dissidents would be falsely accused of trying to destroy Japanese property, and the neutrality and did not declare war on Germany until April 6, 1917. 20 Japan suffered about 4,000 casualties in World War I. It is interesting to note that Japan had the supervision of about the same number of German prisoners of war, who were treated relatively well and made such cultural contributions as introducing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the confection known as baumkuchen to Japan. 21 including Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia 22 a branch of the Imperial Japanese Army based in Manchuria for the purpose of protecting the South Manchuria Railway zone 41
Imperial Japanese Army would retaliate with an invasion of Manchuria. This became known as the Manchurian, or Mukden, Incident, a pretext for expanding the Japanese area of influence and another step on the road to war. The explosion near the railway, at around 22:20 on September 18, 1931, was fairly minor, and in fact, a train was able to pass over the damaged section of track just a few minutes later. Chinese troops under Zhang Xue-liang, the warlord of Manchuria after the assassination of his father Zhang Zuo-lin, were stationed not far from the site of the explosion. The following morning, soldiers from the Kwantung Army opened fire, destroying the small Chinese air force and causing the Chinese troops to flee. Though the Japanese were outnumbered, they were much better organized, and they declared Mukden secured on the afternoon of September 19, 1931. Japan Resigns from the League of Nations Japan was one of the founding members of the League of Nations23 in 1919. Zhang Xue-liang's policy of non-resistance after the Manchurian Incident was much criticized in China, so the central government decided to apply to the international community for a solution. On October 24, 1931, the League of Nations issued a resolution calling for Japanese troops to withdraw from the area by November 16, but this was rejected by the Japanese government. Over the next few months, a Japanese-controlled state called Manchukuo was formed. Puyi, the deposed last emperor of the Qing dynasty, was called back to act as head of state, and Manchukuo was officially recognized by Japan on September 15, 1932. The government of China did not officially recognize Manchukuo, nor did the League of Nations, which issued the Lytton Report on October 2, 1932, rejecting the claim that Manchukuo was an independent state, and censured Japan's actions in Manchuria on December 7, 1932. This led to Japan's resignation from the League of Nations on March 27, 1933, another step on the path to war. Manchukuo as Puppet State Puyi became known as Emperor Kangde of Manchukuo, and the commanding officer of the Kwantung Army became the Japanese ambassador to the country, with the additional power of veto. Puyi was assisted by a State Council, and each council member was assisted by a Japanese viceminister. Manchukuo did receive diplomatic recognition, mainly from the countries aligned with the 23 In spite of the efforts of US President Woodrow Wilson to promote the League of Nations, the United States never joined. 42
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) Axis powers24. With the acquisition of influence in Manchukuo, Japan immediately tripled its land area and gained access to its resources, such as iron and coal. The area was used as a base for Japanese incursions into China, a destination for Japanese farmers in search of land, Japanese emigrants and Han Chinese from areas"below the Great Wall"in search of economic opportunity, and a source of agricultural products and raw and manufactured materials for the Japanese war effort. It came to an abrupt end in the summer of 1945 with a series of events that rapidly brought the war to a close: An atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, leaders of the Soviet Union ordered troops to invade Manchuria on August 825, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, and Japan surrendered unconditionally on August 15. Puyi abdicated, and eventually Manchuria again became a part of China. The dream was over. Codifying the Rules of War During the nineteenth century, people began to realize the necessity of establishing some kind of international rules for the conduct of war and the definition of war crimes. To this end, the treaties that were signed after the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 resulted in the creation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration to settle international disputes, prohibitions on the use of poisons as weapons, the protection of civilians and their property, and other war-related issues. Japan ratified the Hague Convention of 1899 in 1900 and the Hague Convention of 1907 in 1911. The Geneva Conventionsincluding four treaties and three protocolsspecifically focus on the humanitarian treatment of people in time of war. The first Geneva Convention in 1864 resulted in recognition of the work of Swiss businessman and social activist Henry Dunant and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Second Geneva Convention in 1906, following the Russo-Japanese War, added provisions for the protection of sailors and others fighting at sea. The Third Geneva Convention in 1929 specifically added guidelines on the treatment of prisoners of war, 24 El Salvador, Dominican Republic, the Soviet Union, Italy, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Vichy France, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark, Croatia, China's Wang Jingwei government, Thailand, and the Philippines 25 At the Yalta conference, which was held from February 4-11, 1945, the leaders of the United States (Franklin D. Roosevelt), Britain (Winston Churchill), and the Soviet Union (Joseph Stalin) met to plan the postwar reorganization of Europe. At that time, the Soviet Union agreed to enter the war against Japan three months after the surrender of Germany, which was announced on May 8, 1945. They did this to the day, declaring war on Japan on the night of August 8. The members of the Soviet army that my grandfather saw in Mukden were a part of this promised invasion. 43
and from the point of view of my grandfather and other POWs in World War II, the significant point is that this treaty was signed by Japan, but never ratified26. Glusman (2005) has this to say about the possible reasons for this: During World War I Japan captured 4,269 Germans in Tsingtao, China; they may have been treated well, but Japan's policy toward prisoners of war was about to undergo a profound change. In March 1920 Russian partisans demanded that the Japanese garrison at Nikolaevsk, at the mouth of the Amur River, disarm. The Japanese attacked instead. On orders from their brigade, the Japanese then laid down their weapons, only to be imprisoned and massacred within months. This marked a turning point in Japanese attitudes toward surrender. By 1941 the doctrine of"no surrender"was codified in the Senjinkun27. If a Japanese soldier would choose death over capture, how could he be expected to respect enemy prisoners of war? Human life, as Japan made clear in its neocolonial exploits in Korea, Formosa, and China indeed, within the ranks of its own militarywas cheap. Japan was a party to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907, the Versailles Treaty (whose Article 171 prohibited the use of poison gas), and the Red Cross Convention of 1929. Although it signed the 1929 Geneva Convention, it refused to ratify it. Whether this was because the"no surrender"doctrine prevented the Japanese from becoming POWs themselves and therefore placed a unilateral obligation on Japan; or because the Geneva Convention called for unmonitored meetings between POWs and representatives of a neutral power, which were considered potential security risks; or because Japan recognized that its standard of living was so far below that of the United States and England that there would be an unbridgeable gap between the subsistence provided to POWs by the"detaining power" compared to that of the"protecting power,"remains unclear. (Glusman, pp. 220-221) Japan did ratify the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1953 and Protocols I and II in 2004. In 1993, the United Nations Security Council concluded that these guidelines had become a part of customary international law, and thus binding on all nations. 26 According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, there were nine nations that signed, but did not ratify, the Geneva Convention of 1929: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Finland, Ireland, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, and Uruguay. The United States signed it in 1929 and ratified it in 1932; the Soviet Union neither signed nor ratified it. 27 The Imperial Japanese Army's Field Service Code, which was issued on January 8, 1941. It contained the instructions:"Do not shame yourself by being taken prisoner alive; die so as not to leave behind a soiled name." 44
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) A Trip to Shenyang, Northeast China In May 2014, we made a trip to Shenyang for the purpose of visiting the Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum, which was built to preserve the history of the Mukden POW camp and the memories of those who were there. The flight from Narita to Shenyang takes about three hours. Shenyang is the provincial capital of Liaoning Province, with a population of 7.2 million, and growing. The airport looks quite new, having been completed in August 2013 in time for a national athletic meet that is held somewhere in China every four years. For this trip, we hired a driver and Japanese-speaking guides to help us get to the places we wanted to go. Both of our guides were Young Women: One had spent four years at a Japanese university in Fukuoka, and the other had studied Japanese at a local university in Shenyang. They were a great help in answering questions about cultural differences and explaining the history of the area. During the 40-minute ride from the airport to our hotel in the city center, we passed through industrial areas and saw many apartment buildings under construction. Our hotel was conveniently located within walking distance of a number of buildings left over from the days of the Japanese occupation, including three that were built by the South Manchuria Railway Company: a hospital, a hotel, and a railway station. From the window of our hotel room, we could see the old South Manchuria Railway Hospital (now known as No. 1 Hospital Affiliated with China Medical University) just across the street. About a block away, facing Zhongshan Square, was the old Yamato Hotel (now known as the Liaoning Hotel). When it was built in the early 20th century, the Yamato was the most elegant hotel in Mukden. After the Russians arrived in Mukden in the closing days of the war, they used this hotel as their headquarters. It now feels a bit rundown, but as I wandered around the lobby and public areas on the first floor, I admired the old dishes and utensils in the display cases, the blue-green tile on the walls, the plasterwork on the ceiling, and the carved wood of the bannisters. I also remembered the episode in my grandfather's manuscript about visiting this hotel and talking with the No. 2 Russian general. In the historic photographs on the walls of the corridor, I could see the way the hotel and the surrounding area looked before World War II. According to the photographs, there used to be a tall obelisk in the middle of Zhongshan Square; in 1970, this was replaced with a large statue of Chairman Mao, his arm raised, pointing to the sky, on a plinth surrounded by statues of enthusiastic workers. About two blocks from our hotel was Mukden (now Shenyang) Station, which looks very much like Tokyo Station, though not so busy, and had lovely plasterwork ceilings and stained glass windows in the entrance hall where tickets are sold. As the crow flies, it was approximately 8 kilometers from our hotel to the Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum, but it took about 40 minutes to get there by car due to heavy 45
traffic and the circuitous route we took on the ring road around the city center. This allowed us a chance to see more of the city: industrial areas, new high-rise apartment blocks, and the coal-fired power plant with its three huge chimneys that produces electricity for Shenyang. The Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum is operated by the governments of the city of Shenyang and Liaoning Province, with the support of the national government, and no admission fee is charged. It officially opened in 2013, after many years of work by former POWs and Chinese historians. It is located in the Daodong district of Shenyang, an older section of the city, and is surrounded by old, low-rise apartment buildings and factories. The walled area containing the museum is about one fifth of the size of the original camp and contains an outdoor memorial area with plaques for former POWs, a few preserved brick prison buildings, the old water tower and the chimney of the boiler room, a rebuilt wooden guard tower, plus the new, black museum building with its modern design. Inside the museum, there were lots of photographs, some historical film clips and narrations by former POWs, artwork inspired by the history of the camp, displays of objects such as uniforms, medals, military equipment and books, a scale model of the camp, and explanations for everything posted in both Chinese and English. On one wall, there was a list of the approximately 2,000 men from the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand who were kept here from 1942 to 1945. I spotted my grandfather's name (Prisoner No. 1891 ­ Smith, C.M.). I also found the name of Jonathan Wainwright, the general who had surrendered the American forces at the fall of Corregidor28. During my visit, I introduced myself to Sun Zhong-mei, the museum director, and explained the reason I had come. During the course of our conversation, Ms. Sun asked me if I had anything of my grandfather's that I would be willing to donate to the museum; I offered to send them a copy of our book about my grandfather's war experiences29 after my return to Tokyo, which I did. Before leaving that day, I signed the museum guestbook after briefly looking at the comments other visitors had written. In addition to the Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum, we visited two World Cultural Heritage sites in the city related to the Qing dynasty (the Imperial Palace and the North Tomb) and a mansion owned by the warlords of Manchuria in the 1920s. With our guide, we visited the Imperial Palace, which was built by Manchu emperor Nurhachi and his son between 1625 and 1636 and served as the residence of the Qing dynasty rulers until 1644, when the Manchus moved their capital to Beijing. Just south of the palace is the compound known as Marshal Zhang's Mansion which contains 28 By the time my grandfather arrived at the camp in Mukden, General Wainwright had already been sent to another camp in the northern part of Manchuria. 29 GI Spoon 4-hai bun no kometsubu (Tokyo: Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1999) 46
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) several buildings and is a fascinating mixture of Chinese and Western styles. It was the official residence of the Zhang Zuo-lin, the warlord of Manchuria in the 1920s, and his son Zhang Xue-liang, the warlord who followed a policy of non-resistance after the Manchurian Incident in 1931. The Japanese had supported the father, Zhang Zuo-lin, but they became disillusioned by his failure to stop the progress of Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Nationalists. According to our guide, soldiers of the Kwantung Army set off an explosion near the train in which Zhang Zuo-lin was riding just outside Shenyang on June 4, 1928, about three years before the Manchurian Incident. Zhang Zuo-lin was severely injured in the bombing, but not killed outright, and we were shown the room in his mansion where he was said to have died several days later. The other World Cultural Heritage site in Shenyang, the North Tomb, burial place of Huang Taiji, the founder of the Qing dynasty, was easily accessible using Shenyang's new subway system. We visited this on our own and spent a pleasant afternoon wandering around and examining the many buildings in the complex that guard the tomb, which looks like a very large mound of hardpacked sand. At both of the World Cultural Heritage sites and at Marshal Zhang's mansion, the architecture, the use of color, and the intricate decorations (including paintings and carvings in stone and wood) were most impressive. The Mukden Prisoner of War Remembrance Society (MPOWRS) According to the web site of the US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, a California-based non-profit organization, the idea for building the Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum got started when writer Yang Jing, a resident of Shenyang who was employed at the US Consulate in the 1990s, received an inquiry from a former POW that piqued his interest. He says,"I started checking into finding the prison and could find no records at all. It got me interested and I wondered why. . . . I stopped in an area where I thought it might have been and asked an older man if he knew anything about the camp. He sent me right to it. . . . It was basically hidden in plain view."Chinese computer engineer Ao Wang, who had gone to the United States as a graduate student in the 1960s, had connections to Shenyang because his parents were born there. He also became interested in the old POW camp, researched the topic in depth, made connections, and began to organize trips to Shenyang for former Mukden POWs and their families. He and his wife Pat were instrumental in the organization of both the Mukden Prisoner of War Remembrance Society and the Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum. In 2007, a memorial service was held at the site of the camp, and in 2008, a group of former POWs returned to unveil a monument to the restoration project and donate artifacts to the planned museum. On the MPOWRS web site, there is a list of the names of all POWs who were kept at the 47
Mukden POW camp, plus their place of enlistment in the US military, serial number, date of arrival in Mukden, name of the hell ship they traveled on, POW number at the Mukden camp, branch, arm and unit of service, rank, date and cause of death, and miscellaneous notes. When I looked at the information about my grandfather, I noticed that the date of his arrival at the Mukden camp was listed as May 29, 1945, which differed from the date he had mentioned in his manuscript (April 29, 1945) by one month. After my return to Tokyo from Shenyang, I was in touch with Pat Wang, secretary of the MPOWRS, about correcting the information about the date of my grandfather's arrival at the camp in Mukden on their web site. I received an immediate reply which included the following information: How wonderful to hear from you!! Of course we will be glad to make the change. . . . His number indicates that he did indeed come into the camp in April. From the notes on the website POW #s 1888 and above arrived on 29 April 45. Most of this group consisted of survivors of the Oryoku/Enoura/Brazil Marus. Some of these were men who had been taken to Japan from Taiwan in March '45 and there were a small number were men who had been held in various camps in Japan since mid-1944 or earlier. . . . (P. Wang, personal communication, June 10, 2014) In her book on the Mukden POW camp, Holmes (2010) discusses the history of the camp and memories of the men who were kept there, as well as the organization of the Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum and the Mukden Prisoner of War Remembrance Society. She has this to say about the final months of the war, when my grandfather was at the camp: . . . During the first few months of 1945, the prisoners at Mukden began wondering just how long it might be before the war ended. Weeks? Months? Surely it will be soon, because U.S. aircraft were obviously dominating the airspace all over Japanese-occupied territory, even Manchuria. Australian private George Harriss had arranged to pay some of his gambling winnings to a Japanese civilian working at the MKK factory in exchange for Japanese newspapers. Capt. Des Brennan stated in his oral memoir that a New Zealander, a Lieutenant Gregg, could read Japanese. Suddenly the POW grapevine was able to circulate daily updates of American victories throughout the Pacific and the relentless progress toward Japan's home islands. But POW optimism was tinged with apprehension, as some prisoners said they noticed Japanese machine guns placed in the towers around the perimeter of the main camp and pointing inward. This was widely reported at many other POW camps, from Thailand to 48
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) Formosa to the Philippines and the home islands, especially during July 1945, along with the burning of camp records during the first weeks of August. Finally the POW apprehension turned to real fear during the week of August 8, after prisoners learned that Russian troops had invaded Manchuria and were rapidly heading toward Mukden. What might happen to them in Russian custody? (Holmes, pp. 93-94) In his manuscript, my grandfather mentioned hearing news about the progress of the war that the prisoners had gotten via Japanese-language newspapers. He also mentioned the concern they felt about the arrival of the Russians at the camp and their worry about what the Japanese prison personnel would do to the prisoners. It may sound harsh, but based on past experience, they simply could not predict what would happen: Would they be used as"bargaining chips,"or would the camp guards commit mass suicide as directed in the Senjinkun and take the POWs with them? Fortunately for the POWs, the US military decided that speedy rescue missions, such as Operation Cardinal at the Mukden camp, would be the best way to ensure their survival. So, the US military forces in the Philippines in 1942, including my grandfather, were"expendable,"on the hell ships on the way to Japan in 1944, they were a target of"friendly fire,"but in the closing days of the war in August 1945, a serious effort was made to save those who were left. There is some comfort in this. An Old Film Clip, a New Documentary, and a Book A few years ago, when I became acquainted with the members of the POW Research Network in Tokyo, I first heard the name of Jan Thompson, an American woman whose father's war experiences paralleled my grandfather's story. They wondered if I knew her. I found out that she has been extremely active in this field as the current president of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society, as well as a professor in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a maker of documentaries. Through the POW Research Network, I was able to get her contact information and introduce myself via e-mail. I discovered that her father had known my grandfather well during and after the war and shared many of the same experiences, including arriving at the Mukden POW camp on the same day. In June 2013, Jan Thompson forwarded a video clip of historical footage taken at the prison camp in Mukden, probably in early September 1945, and asked me to see if I could recognize my grandfather in any of the footage. At the beginning of the clip, there was a group shot of the Oryoku Maru survivors at the camp in front of a brick building. As the camera panned the group, I looked carefully at the men. After several tries, I finally spotted my grandfather crouching down in the front row with a hat on his head and something like a towel tied around his neck, and at that 49
moment, I felt goose bumps. I also identified Jan's father, who had black hair and was also crouched down near the end of the first row next to a man with a medical badge on his sleeve. There were not many smiles on the men's faces, mostly just neutral expressions, as they patiently waited for their photo to be taken. The rest of the clip showed men walking around or sitting in the walled prison compound; some of the men were working, using rope to pull a large roller to smooth some ground. The camera panned the camp, so I could also see laundry drying on lines and fences and a number of two-story buildings made of wood and brick with chimneys. One notable feature was the lack of trees; there were just a few scrubby bushes to be seen. It was only 53 seconds of film, with no sound, but it made the story real for me like nothing else had. On August 15, 2013, one of my sons and I attended the showing of Jan Thompson's newest documentary Never the Same: The Prisoner of W ar Experience at the Museum of Tolerance in the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California. There were representatives from the media there, and before the documentary was shown, we mingled with people in the lobby and watched the interviews and photo session with the filmmaker, cast members, and about a dozen surviving veterans from the Bataan and Corregidor campaigns. I briefly introduced myself to Jan and was in turn introduced to researcher James Erickson. In the auditorium, before the documentary started, Jan Thompson and actress Loretta Swit, who narrated the film, each said a few words. The surviving POWs were introduced individually by name, and they each got a round of applause. A group of Jan's students from Southern Illinois University who had helped her with the project also attended, and they were asked to stand up and be recognized. I learned that this documentary was 22 years in the making and had just had its world premiere in Chicago in the spring of 2013. The film itself lasted about two hours, and it basically followed the story of Jan's father, who was a pharmacist on the submarine tender USS Canopus. It began with the fall of Bataan and Corregidor in 1942 and included life at Bilibid and other prison camps in the Philippines and Manchuria, as well as the voyage on the hell ships. The story was told through the use of historical footage and excerpts from journals kept by the men containing a record of their daily lives plus cartoon drawings, poems, and songs. Because food was in short supply, the men in the camps spent a lot of time fantasizing about it, and long sections of the film were about the recipes they discussed, the menus they planned for future meals, the food they attempted to grow, or the food that was traded, shared, or stolen at the camps. Life-sustaining humor was evident in the journals, and my favorite line in the whole film was,"If I get back home, I'll never complain about anything again." There were reenactments of some scenes which had not been recorded on film at the time and interviews with some of the surviving veterans. The film ended with the liberation of the prisoners at the camp in Mukden, Manchuria, and part of the 53-second film clip Jan Thompson had sent me was used as the last scene. After the film, my son commented on the powerful images in the 50
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) historical footage showing the thin and weak condition of the men at the end of the war and the lack of clothing. No words were necessary to describe what happened there, but on the whole, he felt that it was a forward-looking film with a positive, rather than negative, message about survival and the human spirit. Jan Thompson also introduced me to a book by John Glusman called Conduct Under Fire. It tells the story of four doctors, John Glusman's father, Murray Glusman, Fred Berley, John Bookman, and George Ferguson, the only one of the four who did not survive the war. As the author described them, "There were differences in upbringing, outlook, and temperament, but their wartime experienceCavite, Bataan, Corregidorunited them. They had seen men die in the field and in hospital, and in the interests of self-preservation they subscribed to a single ethos:"All for one, one for all."They even had an adopted father, Carey Smith, who at the ripe old age of forty-three had seniority over all of them."(Glusman, p. 207) Jan Thompson's father, Robert Earl"Tommie"Thompson, was mentioned in the book, and I found 18 references to my grandfather, including three stories about him that I had never heard. This one, for example, about a birthday party that was held for him at Bilibid Prison in Manila in September 1942, illustrates the role he played in the lives of the younger men: Ingenuity and improvisation were woven into the social fabric of Bilibid as well, a patchwork of interests, desires, and wide-ranging abilities. Fred loved to bake and seemed to whip up ingredients out of thin air. He presented Carey Smith with a cake on his birthday, then played fiddle while John and George serenaded their"adopted father."Corpsman Johnson drew up a menu with a variety of dishes"а la Bilibid."Signed by the"Chief Chef, Chief Dish & Bottle Washer, and Chief Bookkeeping & Purchasing Agent,"it was embossed with the "Bilibid Seal,"which showed a man in profile thumbing his nose above two crossed keys on a mock escutcheon, beneath which unfurled a banner that read:"SNAFU."(Glusman, p. 235) Another story, about a bombing attack on Hospital No. 1 during the Bataan campaign in 1942 shows how extraordinarily lucky he was, and the sentiments he expressed at the time sound exactly like him: On the morning of Easter Sunday, a bomb landed at the entrance to Hospital No. 1, blowing up an ammunition truck passing by. . . . Lieutenant (j.g.) Claud Mahlon Fraleigh of the Navy 51
Dental Corps was assisting Carey Smith in an operation when a second wave of planes came over the hospital. Smith was furious and refused to leave the OR."Damn it,"he said,"if they get me, they're going to get me on my duty."Then a raft of 500-pound bombs hit the mess and the doctors' and nurses' quarters, and a 1,000-pound bomb crashed through the wards. . . . Ten bombs in all fell on the hospital, killing 73 men and wounding 117. Smith, Fraleigh, Bernatitus, and (Army nurse) Brantley were all unharmed. The wounded were evacuated to Hospital No. 2. . . . (Glusman, p. 156) The third story is about a song the men remember him singing during the war. As I recall, my grandfather did not possess any musical talent, but the black humor in this little ditty sounds very much like him, too: We'll be free in`43 No more war in`44 Hardly a man alive in '45. (Glusman, p. 268) Afterword My grandfather lived from 1896 to 1984 and experienced an extraordinary amount of social, political, economic, and technological change during his lifetime. His was the generation that went from traveling by horse and buggy to the moon, and along the way, experienced two World Wars and the Great Depression. His father was a dirt farmer in Illinois, and my grandfather was the second-youngest of his eight children. According to family lore, my grandfather worked hard to learn to read and write when he was young, and he was said to have had a photographic memory. He joined the US military in World War I and because of his ability to spell words correctly, he was given a noncombat position as a typist. In later years, he jokingly referred to himself as a"Chocolate Soldier"30 in that war. Things were different for him in World War II, and he was extremely lucky to have survived. Somehow he did, though, and he returned to his home in San Diego, California, to pick up the threads of his life as a civilian with his wife and three children and a career as a doctor in general practice. He ended up with a total of ten grandchildren, all eventually living in the San Diego area, and by the time I was born, six years after the end of the war, people who had lived through it were 30 an expression referring to a good-looking but useless warrior, that was popularized by George Bernard Shaw's 1894 play Arms and the Man 52
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) more concerned about getting on with their lives in the present than dwelling on the past. He did not talk very much about the war, but occasionally he would start a sentence with"When I was in prison . . ."or refer to things like"playing cricket"(meaning"I cut this piece of food; you choose first."). If anybody asked about the war, he would just say things like"They did their job; I did mine."Though I lived in the same city and saw him throughout the year, to me, he was a somewhat distant figure who was always busy with his work as a doctor, his bowling team, and with repairs on various properties he owned in San Diego. For several years in a row in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he surprised the grandchildren by dressing up as Santa Claus at Smith family Christmas parties, and probably for most of us that is our favorite memory of him. It wasn't until junior high school, when I first read his manuscript, that I had any idea what he had been through in World War II. And now, after visiting the places where he was in the Philippines, Taiwan, and China and getting a much clearer picture of the pain and horror of the war, I can only be amazed that he came through World War II relatively unscathed and wonder what he really thought of us, his spoiled postwar grandchildren with our petty squabbles. Appendix The manuscript also included the following information on the fate of some of my grandfather's colleagues; the page numbers given after each section correspond to the original manuscript. As he says,"Such are the fortunes of war." On the Ship from the United States to the Philippines in 1940 Aboard the same ship (US Polk) were Dr. and Mrs. W ade and family and Dr. and Mrs. Bookout, also en route to Asiatic Station. Unfortunately neither of these doctors returned to the States. Dr. Bookout was killed while on duty aboard a destroyer in the Java Sea Battle, February 1942. Regarding his war service the only remark I have to make is that"he never had a chance"; the odds against him were too overwhelming. Dr. W ade died on a Japanese prison ship en route to Japan January 22, 1945, from dehydration, exposure, starvation and complications from bombing injuries sustained at Takao Harbor, Formosa, when the ship was bombed by US Navy carrier planes. During the war Dr. W ade performed admirable duty with the Fourth Marines on Corregidor. He maintained a high standard as a doctor and as a man throughout prison life. Beyond doubt, the Navy lost a good man. Such are the fortunes of war. (p. 1) 53
Canacao Hospital in Cavite Navy Yard, Manila Capt. C.B. Camerer was the Hospital commanding officer. A few of the staff officers were: Comdr. Louis Johnson, executive officer; Dr. Simpson, X-ray (who was soon to return to the States, his relief, Dr. C.C. W elch having recently reported to the hospital). Dr. W elch remained on duty at hospital until it was abandoned soon after outbreak of war. He then remained with the Canacao Medical unit during prison life at Santa Scholastica, Pasay and Bilibid, leaving Bilibid with the prison draft on December 13, 1944, for Japan. Dr. W elch never reached Japan. He died on board the prison ship on January 25, 1945, at sea en route from Formosa to Japan. The cause of his death, like so many others on that ill-fated trip, was dehydration, starvation and exposure. (Details of the trip given later in this write up.) Dr. Owsley was in charge of the EENT Dept. He was relieved in May 1941 by Lt. Comdr. C.L. W elsh, a reserve from Seattle. This Dr. W elsh's war duties and misfortunes were very similar to those related above for Dr. C.C. W elch. He too spent the war and prison life with the Canacao Medical Unit, leaving Bilibid with the prison draft on December 13, 1944. After many hardships, he reached the harbor at T akao, Formosa, and was killed on board the prison ship in that harbor on January 9, 1945, when the ship was bombed by US Navy carrier planes. Three days later his body, with those of more than 300 other prisoners, including many Naval Medical Corps personnel, was taken ashore and to the best of my knowledge cremated. Dr. Jack R. George arrived at Canacao Hospital for duty October 22, 1940, to take over Urological service, relieving Dr. Abernathy. Dr. L.B. Sartin reported to the hospital and assumed duties of Chief of Medicine. He later served as executive officer until relieved of that duty by Capt. L.J . Roberts in June 1941. Dr. Silliphant arrived November 1941 and became Laboratory officer, relieving Dr. Ayers. In June 1940 Dr. J .D. Boone reported from the USS Marblehead as assistant in surgery. He served at the hospital and with the Bilibid Medical Unit in prison camps in Manila. He too left Bilibid December 13, 1944, on the prison ship for Japan. He survived the bombing and sinking at Olongapo December 15, although he nearly lost his life in attempting to swim the 800 yards to the beach. He was also fortunate in being one of those who was not killed or injured in the bombing at T akao, Formosa, but before the prison ship arrived in Japan, he had reached the end of human endurance and died January 23, 1945. Before death he, like some others, became paralyzed from the hips down, developed nutritional diarrhea, and succumbed to dehydration, exposure and starvation. Dr. Lavictoire reported as psychiatrist. Dr. E.F. Ritter was assigned in medical service, later transferred to sea, and at the outbreak of war, he was again on duty at Canacao Hospital. When Manila was declared an open city and the military forces were evacuating to Bataan, he was ordered to duty with the Fourth Marines, who had recently arrived from Shanghai. During the Corregidor campaign, he performed very commendable service on the beach defense at battalion aid stations. In July 1942 he was 54
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) moved as a prisoner from Corregidor to Manila, where he joined the Bilibid Medical Unit. At this prison camp he was deeply interested in eye pathology, optic neuritis, optic atrophy due to beri-beri and did a great deal of good and compiled a mass of statistical material on these cases. He was a member of the prison draft of 1800 that left Bilibid October 11 for Japan. After clearing Manila harbor and heading south a few days, this convoy was forced by US Navy submarines to return to the Mariveles area, finally clearing Luzon for Formosa on October 19, 1944. The prison ship on which he was taken from the Philippines was torpedoed about 4:00 PM on October 24, 12 hours off the southern coast of Formosa. The ship remained afloat about 3 hours. All Japanese crew members were removed by Japanese destroyer. None of the prisoners were rescued. Five survivors reached the China coast and were later rescued and returned to the States. Four survivors were picked up by a Japanese warship three or four days later, taken to prison camp in Formosa, where one died the day of arrival and the other three were freed when the war ended. Dr. Ritter was assumed to have gone down with the other 1800 prisoners in this draft. He was a brilliant, well trained young doctor and undoubtedly would have done a great deal of good for humanity, had it not been for the misfortunes of war. Dr. Brokenshire was at Canacao on Medical service. He had been a mission doctor in the Philippines for many years. He remained with Canacao Medical Unit during prison life until October 1944, when he, like Dr. Ritter, Dr. Ferguson, and Dr. Hogshire, left on a prison ship for Japan, on which he lost his life. Dr. Hogshire at outbreak of war was on duty at dispensary at Olongapo. He joined the Fourth Marines and fought the war as a member of the Corregidor beach defense, being assigned to a Marine battalion aid station. After the surrender he was moved to Bilibid, where he became a member of the Naval Medical Unit at that prison camp. He served at Bilibid until October 1944, when he was placed on the ill-fated 1800 prisoner draft above mentioned. Dr. Ferguson, who also lost his life on this trip, was en route from China station to the States when war came. He served with the Fourth Marines on Corregidor and performed duties that were a definite credit to the Naval Medical Service. Dr. Turnipseed, Dr. Ayers, Dr. V andergrind, Dr. Picciochi, Dr. Roudebush, Dr. Machung and Dr. Berry all returned to the States on the US (President) Coolidge leaving Manila November 27, 1941. Dr. Connell, the dental officer, relieved Dr. Berry late in 1941. Dr. Connell was with the Canacao Medical Unit during the war and prison life. He left Bilibid December 13, 1944, on the prison ship, was wounded in the bombing of the ship in T akao Harbor, Formosa, January 9, 1945. He died about January 24, 1945 at sea between Formosa and Japan of wound complications and starvation. Dr. T.H. Hayes came to the Philippines late in 1941, reported as my relief as Chief of Surgery at Canacao Hospital. During the war he served as regimental surgeon, Fourth Marines on Corregidor. He spent his prison camp life at Bilibid, where from October 1943 to October 1944 he was senior medical officer of the Naval Medical Unit. He survived the journey as far as T akao Harbor, Formosa, where he was killed by bombing by Navy carrier planes. He was an industrious, ambitious man. By his death, 55
the medical corps lost an excellent administrator and doctor. The staff at Cavite Navy Yard Dispensary was: Dr. Erickson, Dr. Berley, Dr. Bookman, Dr. Glusman, and Dr. Lambert. All except Dr. Lambert survived the war and prison camp life and have returned to the States. Dr. Lambert was a member of the December 13, 1944, prison draft. He survived the prison ship bombing and sinking in the Subic Bay area, also the bombing at T akao, Formosa. After this bombing, he did very commendable work in helping care for the many wounded prisoners. During the first few days out of Formosa en route to Japan, he gave all of his strength in caring for the sick and wounded. He became weaker, developed diarrhea, and died of starvation and exposure. Until the very end, he gave his utmost to his patients. He was one of the most sincere, conscientious doctors with whom I have been associated in the practice of medicine. It is my firm belief that he practically worked himself to death on the above mentioned trip. It can truly be said that"he gave his life in doing everything possible for fellow prisoners." Senior Dental Officer at Cavite Naval Yard was Dr. Keith; Assistants were Dr. W anger, Dr. Hertneck, and Dr. Fraleigh. Dr. Keith lost his life in the Battle of the Java Sea, February 1942. From all available reports, it appears that he went down with the cruiser Houston. He too did not have a chance in the war. Dr. W anger was freed from prison camp in Japan at the end of the war. Dr. Hertneck served during the war with the Fourth Marines on Corregidor. After the surrender he was removed to Bilibid; and spent some time at Cabanatuan and Lipa prison camps. Early in July 1943 he was on duty at the prison camp at Lipa when he became violently ill and was moved to Bilibid hospital prison, where he died 72 hours later, on July 6, 1943, of acute polio. He was buried in Bilibid. Dr. Fraleigh became a member of the surgical team during the Bataan campaign. He served at US Army General Hospital No. 1 at Limay and Little Baguio. He was a capable organizer and administrator and has the ability to handle men. He served on Bataan after the surrender, was later moved with the Army Hospital Unit to Camp O'Donnell, then to Cabanatuan, and finally to Bilibid. He left Bilibid on December 13, 1944, for Japan. He survived the journey and later was taken to Mukden, Manchuria, where he was freed by the Russian Red Army at the close of the war. (pp. 3-8) Canacao Hospital Medical Unit At about the time this unit was moved to Bilibid (May 27, 1942) the commanding officer, Captain Davis, and the executive officer, Captain Roberts, were relieved of command and were transferred to a prison camp near T arlac, Luzon, 60 or 70 miles north of the city of Manila, where they remained until August 1942, when they were moved to a prison camp in Formosa, remaining there until October 1944, when they were again moved for a short stay in Japan and then to a camp in Manchuria. I later came in contact with them at Mukden, Manchuria, on May 21, 1945, and remained with them in that prison 56
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) camp until the end of the war, August 1945. Captain Davis left Mukden by plane to return to the States about the first of September 1945 and Captain Roberts returned to the States at the same time as myself, arriving in San Francisco October 22, 1945. (p. 17) Little Baguio Hospital Medical Unit, Bataan During the remainder of the Bataan campaign and later at Corregidor, this doctor (Dr. Nelson) performed very commendable work in his specialty. I was also on duty with Dr. Nelson in Bilibid prison camp from July 1942 until December 1944, and at this camp his services were urgently needed and greatly appreciated. Dr. Nelson lost his life during the bombing attack on the Japanese prison ship Oryoku Maru in the Subic Bay area on the morning of December 15, 1944. (pp. 23-24) Bilibid Prison Camp, Manila Lt. King, who handled the special diet kitchen at Bilibid prison camp, was one of the prison draft of 1619 that left Manila December 13, 1944, for Japan. He was placed in the after hold of the prison ship Oryoku Maru, where conditions were so crowded that 70 of the prisoners died of suffocation within the first 36 hours out of Manila. Lt. King was one of the 70 who died of suffocation aboard this prison ship. (p. 53) 57
References Bernatitus, A. (1994). Oral historiesU.S. Navy nurse in the Pacific theater during World War II Recollections of CAPT Ann Bernatitus, NC, USN, (Ret.). Retrieved from http://www.history. navy.mil Bix, H. P. (2000). Hirohito and the making of modern Japan. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. Dower, J. W. (1999). Embracing defeat: Japan in the wake of W orld W ar II. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Glusman, J. A. (2005). Conduct under fire: Four doctors and their fight for life as prisoners of the Japanese 1941-1945. New York: Penguin Books. Holmes, L. G. (2010). Guests of the emperor: The secret history of Japan's Mukden POW camp. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ICRC International Committee of the Red Cross. Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war. Geneva, 27 July 1929. Retrieved from http://www.icrc.org Matsusaka, Y. T. (2001). The making of Japanese Manchuria, 1904-1932. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Mukden POW Camp [Online article] (2011, January 27). Retrieved from: http://www.us-japandialogueonpows. org/MukdenPOWcamp.htm Norman, A. M. (1999). W e band of angels. New York: Random House. Smith, C. M. (1945). Unpublished report on his experiences in World War II. Spector, R. H. (1985). Eagle against the sun. New York: Vintage Books. Streifer, B. (2010). Operation Cardinal: OSS in Manchuria. The OSS Society Journal, Summer/Fall 2010, 22-25. Retrieved from: http://www.academia.edu/1055900/Operation_Cardinal_OSS_in_ Manchuria Thompson, J. I. (Director) (2013). Never the same: The prisoner of war experience [Documentary film]. USA: Southern Illinois University. Toland, J. (1970). The rising sun: The decline and fall of the Japanese empire 1936-1945. New York: The Modern Library. Acknowledgement I would like to thank Sun Jhong-mei, the director of the Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum, for the time she spent with us on the day of our visit. 58
War Stories (4): Liberation in Manchuria (August 15, 1945+) Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum (May 7, 2014) Cartoon drawn by one of the POWs showing the Russian army captain making a speech to the men at the camp (on display at the Shenyang Allied POW Camp of WWII Site Museum) 59
Former Yamato Hotel (now the Liaoning Hotel) in Shenyang, Northeast China (May 8, 2014) Filmmaker Jan Thompson (center) and actress Loretta Swit (second from left) flanked by survivors of the Bataan and Corregidor campaigns at the showing of the documentary Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience in Los Angeles, California, on August 15, 2013 60

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