Author Topic: On This Day in 1945, Japan Released Me from a POW Camp. Then US Pilots Saved My  (Read 448 times)

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Offline shawn5o

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Interesting read


Published on August 15, 2020

On This Day in 1945, Japan Released Me from a POW Camp. Then US Pilots Saved My Life

written by George MacDonell
https://quillette.com/2020/08/15/on-this-day-in-1945-japan-released-me-from-a-pow-camp-then-us-pilots-saved-my-life/

It was noon on August 15th, 1945. The Japanese Emperor had just announced to his people that his country had surrendered unconditionally to the Allied Powers.

To those of us being held at Ohashi Prison Camp in the mountains of northern Japan, where we’d been prisoners of war performing forced labour at a local iron mine, this meant freedom. But freedom didn’t necessarily equate to safety. The camp’s 395 POWs, about half of them Canadians, were still under the effective control of Japanese troops. And so we began negotiating with them about what would happen next.

Complicating the negotiations was the Japanese military code of Bushido, which required an officer to die fighting or commit suicide (seppuku) rather than accept defeat. We also knew that the camp commander—First Lieutenant Yoshida Zenkichi—had written orders to kill his prisoners “by any means at his disposal” if their rescue seemed imminent. We also knew that we could all easily be deposited in a local mine shaft and then buried under thousands of tons of rock for all eternity without a trace.

More at link above
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Offline Weinie

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My first wifes' grandfather, whom I met shortly after I began dating her, was an unabashed hater of all things Japanese. His comments, whenever something even remotely connected to Japan came up, were over the top. I put it off to his generation, who I found, in no small part, to be narrow-minded, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant, although many of them were second or third generations of immigrants to Canada.

About four years later, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, and given weeks to live. We visited him in hospice, and during the second visit he revealed that he had been taken POW in Hong Kong in December 41 and spent the rest of the war in a Japanese internment camp, a fact he had never revealed before to either my wife or I, both military members. He watched his buddies get tortured, starve to death, and get executed on a regular basis. This well over 6 foot man weighed 84 lbs when he was liberated.

I learned a good lesson about making judgements.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 17:37:21 by Weinie »
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My first wifes' grandfather, whom I met shortly after I began dating her, was an unabashed hater of all things Japanese. His comments, whenever something even remotely connected to japan came up, were over the top. I put it off to his generation, who I found, in no small part, to be narrow-minded, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant, although many of them were second or third generations of immigrants to Canada.

About four years later, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, and given weeks to live. We visited him in hospice, and during the second visit he revealed that he has been taken POW in Hong Kong on December 41 and spent the rest of the war in a Japanese internment camp, a fact he had never revealed to either my wife or I, both military members. He watched his buddies get tortured, starve to death, and get executed on a regular basis. This well over 6 foot man weighed 84 lbs when he was liberated.

I learned a good lesson about making judgements.

My uncle was the same, rabid hatred of anything Japanese, and we pretty much also wrote it off to nasty old man syndrome. After he passed away in the 70s my dad informed us that he had served with 14th Army, and got chased out of Burma, turned around and had a brew up, then went right back and chased them all the way out of Burma. Every village he fought through showed the scars of Japanese occupation, and he never forgot it.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats