Story of Atrocities by Japs on Hapless Prisoners is released by the U.S.; Deliberate Starvation, Torture, Death
courtesy of Bataan Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico, Inc
World War 2-WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — JAN. 28, 1944 — A pent-up story of atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese army on the captured heroes of Bataan and Corregidor was released by the United States government today in sickening detail.
A joint report by the Army and Navy broke at last the rigid censorship maintained by the high command on the almost unbelievable reports that came out of the Pacific, to tell what happened to the men whose valor slowed the tide of Japanese conquest.
A Tale of Torture
Compiled from the sworn statements of officers who survived the starvation and torture and escaped, it catalogued the infamy of a brutal enemy, and wrote in shocking terms the code of the Japanese warrior — to subject 36,000 gallant soldiers to deliberate starvation, to shoot in cold blood the thirsty who seek water, to watch sick men writhe and deny them medicine, to horsewhip those who help their fallen comrades, to beat men with two-by-fours, to behead those who try to escape, and to bury tortured men alive.
The three who lived to return and tell of the agony they endured were Commander Melvyn H. McCoy, USN, of Indianapolis, Lt. Col. S. M. Mellnik, Coast Artillery Corps of Dunmore, Pa., and Lt. Col. William E. Dyess, Air Corps, of Albany, Tex. Dyess is dead—killed in a fighter plane crash at Burbank, Calif., recently while preparing to return to duty in the Pacific. Mellnik is with Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific, McCoy on duty in the United States.
“Their sworn statements included no hearsay whatever, but only facts which the officers related from their own personal experience and observations,” said the official report.
The statements have been verified from other sources.
The three officers stated that several times as many American prisoners of war have died, mostly of starvation, forced hard labor, and general brutality, as the Japanese have ever reported.
At one prison camp, Camp O’Donnell, about 2,200 American prisoners died in April and May 1942. In the camp at Cabanatuan, about 3,000 Americans had died up to the end of October 1942. Still heavier mortality occurred among the Filipino prisoners of war at Camp O’Donnell.
The March of Death
The calculated campaign of brutality began as soon as the exhausted American and Filipino soldiers on Bataan collapsed under the overwhelming weight of the enemy assault. What was in store for them was to begin with “the march of death” — and Dyess reported that, beaten and hopeless as they were, they never would have surrendered if they had guessed what lay ahead.
Thousands of prisoners were herded together on the Mariveles airfield at daylight April 10, within earshot of the still defiant guns of Corregidor. Some had food, but were not permitted to eat. All were searched, their personal belongings seized. Those with Japanese money or tokens were beheaded.
Then, in groups of 500 to 1,000 they began the terrible six-day march, along the national road of Bataan toward San Fernando in Pampanga province, the “march of death” so hideous that it would make the black hole of Calcutta sound like a haven of refuge.
A Japanese soldier took Dyess’ canteen, gave the water to a horse, threw the canteen away. In a broiling sun, the prisoners were herded through clouds of dust. Men recently killed lay along the road, their bodies flattened by Japanese trucks. Patients bombed out of a field hospital were pushed into the marching column. At midnight the entire group was penned in an enclosure too narrow to allow any of them to lie down. They had no water — a Japanese officer finally permitted them to drink at a dirty carabao wallow.
Before daylight the next day the March was resumed. Still no food for any of them. — water at noon from a dirty roadside stream. Another bullpen at night. When exhausted men fell out moaning, no one was allowed to help — those who still marched heard shots behind them.
The Sun Treatment
On the third day “we were introduced to a form of torture which came to be known as the sun treatment. We were made to sit in the boiling sun all day without cover. We had very little water; our thirst was intense. Many of us went crazy and several died.
“Three Filipino and three American soldiers were buried while still alive.”
Death for Water
“Along the road in the province of Pampanga there are many wells. Half-crazed with thirst, six Filipino soldiers made a dash for one of the wells. All six were killed. As we passed Lubao we marched by a Filipino soldier gutted and hanging over a barbed-wire fence.
“Before daylight on April 15 we marched out and 115 of us were packed into a small narrow-gauge box car. The doors were closed and locked. Movement was impossible. Many of the prisoners were suffering from diarrhea and dysentery. The heat and stench were unbearable.
“At Capas Tarlac we were taken out and given the sun treatment for three hours. Then we were marched to Camp O’Donnell.
“I made that march of about 85 miles in six days on one mess kit of rice. Other Americans made ‘the march of death’ in 12 days without any food whatever.”
The prisoners taken at Corregidor did not experience that march, but 7,000 Americans and 5,000 Filipinos were packed for a week with no food on a concrete pavement 100 yards square. There was one water spigot for the 12,000 — the average wait to fill a canteen was 12 hours. They got their first food — a mess kit of rice and a can of sardines — after seven days.
6 to 10 Hours for Water
At Camp O’Donnell there were virtually no water facilities. Prisoners stood in line 6 to 10 hours to get a drink. Clothing went unchanged a month and a half. The principal food was rice, varied twice in two months with enough meat to give one-fourth of the men a piece an inch square. A few times there were comotes, a type of sweet potato, but many were rotten and the prisoners themselves had to post a guard to keep their starving comrades from devouring the rotten vegetables. There was an occasional dab of coconut lard, a little flour, a few mango beans. But there was a black market — those who had money could buy from the Japanese a small can of fish for $5.
There was a hospital — a dilapidated building with no facilities, no medicine. Hundreds lay on the bare floor without cover. The doctors did not even have water to wash the human filth from their patients. After one week, the death rate was 20 Americans a day, 150 Filipinos; after two weeks, 50 and 500 respectively. The sick as well as the merely starving were forced into work gangs, and worked until they dropped dead.
About June 1, the Americans were removed from Camp O’Donnell to Cabanatuan, where Dyess joined Mellnik and McCoy, who had come in from Corregidor. Conditions there were a little better. There was adequate drinking water, it was possible to bathe in muddy water; but the diet did not improve. And the brutality continued — men were beaten with shovels and golf clubs, “men were literally worked to death.”
Three officers who tried to escape were caught, stripped to their shorts, their hands tied behind them and pulled up by ropes fastened overhead, and kept in this position in the blazing sun for two days; periodically the Japs beat them with a two-by-four; finally one was beheaded and the others shot. By Oct. 26, when Dyess, McCoy and Mellnik left Cabanatuan, 3,000 of the American prisoners had died.
Red Cross Salvation
The three officers were taken with 966 other prisoners, to a penal camp at Davao, Mindanao and put to hard labor. Food was slightly better there, but “the salvation of the American prisoners of war,” Dyess reported, was the American and British Red Cross supplies, both clothing and food, that finally began to arrive months late. The beatings, the murder, the studied mistreatment and humiliation continued. By April 1943, there were 1,100 of the 2,000 prisoners at Davao still able to work.
This was the life from which McCoy, Dyess and Mellnik escaped April 4, 1943. The account is based solely on their official reports, but the Army and Navy said at least four others were known to have escaped from the Philippines — Majors Michiel Dobervitch, Ironton, Minn., Austin C. Shoffner, Shelbyville, Tenn., Jack Hawkins, Roxton, Tex., and Corp. Reid Carlos Chamberlain, El Cajone, Calif., all of the Marine Corps.
Japan's Mass Rape and Sexual Enslavement of Women and Girls from 1932-1945: The "Comfort Women" System
courtesy of: http://www.cmht.com/cases_cwcomfort2.php
This is one of the best complete documentary of the Japanese Atrocities during World War 2. I hope this will give you a complete information on how the Japanese young asian women during their occupations in the Philippines and other southeast countries. This is a must-read documentary. source: http://www.cmht.com/cases_cwcomfort2.php
"There has been no greater mass crime that I know of . . . that has been committed against modern women, modern-day women, in the 20th century."-Statement of Brig. Gen. Vorley M. Rexroad (Ret.), January 17, 2001.
Beginning in 1931 or 1932 and continuing throughout the duration of the Asian/Pacific wars, the Japanese Government instituted a system of sexual slavery throughout the territories it occupied. During that time, women were recruited by force, coercion, or deception into sexual slavery for the Japanese military. These women were euphemistically referred to as "comfort women" by the Japanese Imperial Army. Although historians often disagree about the number of "comfort women," the most widely used figure is estimated at 200,000. The majority (approximately 80%) came from Korea, then a Japanese colony, and another large percentage came from Japanese-occupied China. Others were taken from, among other countries, the Philippines, Burma, and Indonesia. In addition, some women who were Netherlands' subjects were included in the immense roundup. The women were drawn primarily from those the Japanese considered racially inferior and virgins were actively sought.
The plight of the "comfort women" remains unresolved despite the fact historians have made public many official documents indicating that the system in question did exist and was maintained by, and for, the Japanese Imperial Army. One key Japanese historian, Yoshimi Yoshiaki, maintains that other key evidence remains locked inside Japanese confidential files and should be made public. Although members of the Japanese government have recently issued statements acknowledging Japanese involvement, there have been no formal apologies by the Japanese government. In addition there have been many denials by various influential political groups and editorial boards. As recently as May 2001, Japan omitted any mention of the system of sexual slavery in the history textbooks used to teach Japanese students. The government of Japan officially remains silent on this issue and it is time that they acknowledge their responsibility.
The Women's Daily Ordeal
"When people talk about a living hell, this is exactly what they mean."
By the end of World War II, the use of "comfort women" was a widespread and regular phenomenon throughout Japan-controlled East Asia. The women held in sexual slavery were raped repeatedly -- by some accounts by 30 or 40 men each day -- day after day. Torture and beatings were common. The women existed under miserable conditions, living in tiny cubicles, and often with inadequate food and medical care. For some, the servitude lasted as long as eight years.
Those who attempted to resist, and some who did not, were beaten, tortured, or mutilated; sometimes they were murdered. The treatment of "comfort women" was consistent with Japan's view of the racial inferiority of the populations from which the women were drawn. At some "comfort stations," the women were given Japanese names and required to speak Japanese and entertain the men with Japanese songs. Korean comfort women were referred to as chosenppi ("Korean vagina") or other derogatory Japanese terms for Koreans.
At the end of the war, many "comfort women" were killed by retreating troops or simply abandoned. For example, in one case in Micronesia, the Japanese Army killed 70 "comfort women" in one night just before the arrival of American troops. Others were abandoned, sometimes in dense jungles, when their Japanese captors fled. Many of those died of starvation and disease. Others did not know where they were, were hundreds of miles from their homes, had no money, and no means to return.
Survivors who made it home returned to what were often lives of isolation and societal rejection, compounded by deeply instilled feelings of guilt and shame. Many were ostracized, beaten or even killed. Most of those still living are extremely poor and suffer from severe physical and psychological problems. Many could not marry. As a result of violent physical and sexual abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and drug addictions arising from their war time experiences, many women suffer serious health effects, including permanent damage to their reproductive organs and urinary tracts. Many women also found themselves unable to bear children as a result of their mistreatment. Sleep disorders, like insomnia and fearful nightmares, are common. They suffer grievously to this day.
The "comfort woman" program of sexual slavery was a systematic and carefully planned system ordered and executed by the Japanese Government. According to a report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy:
The first comfort stations under direct Japanese control were those in Shanghai in 1932, and there is firsthand evidence of official involvement in their establishment. One of the commanders of the Shanghai campaign, Lieutenant General Okamura Yasuji, confessed in his memoirs to have been the original proponent of comfort stations for the military ... a number of Korean women from a Korean community in Japan were sent to the province by the Governor of Nagasaki Prefecture. The fact that they were sent from Japan implicates not only the military but also the Home Ministry, which controlled the governors and the police who were later to play a significant role in collaborating with the army in forcibly recruiting women.
The government of Japan shipped girls and women like military supplies throughout the vast area of Asia and the Pacific that Japanese troops controlled, from the Siberian border to the equator, including: China (including Guangdong and Manchuria), Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Amoi, French Indochina, the Philippines, Guam, Malaya, Singapore, British Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, Burma, Thailand, East New Guinea, New Britain, Trobriand, Okinawa, and Sakhalin, as well as the Japanese islands of Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido. The Japanese government built, operated, and controlled hundreds of "comfort houses" in these areas.
Deception and coercion were common in the recruitment of "comfort women" - who were mostly taken from poverty-stricken families - and many were simply abducted by brute force.Tomas Salinog of the Philippines was awakened one night in 1942 by Japanese soldiers breaking into her home. After the soldiers decapitated her father, Salinog was dragged from her house by the soldiers and taken to a nearby garrison. Ms. Salinog, who was thirteen years old at the time, was then raped by two soldiers and beaten unconscious. She was thereafter forced to serve as a "comfort woman" in the same garrison.
Young girls were targeted as they were unlikely to be infected with venereal diseases. The girls and women taken were as young as eleven years old and were sometimes taken from their elementary schools. The women were often removed to remote places where they had no linguistic or cultural ties so that they could more easily be isolated from any prospect of sympathy or help.
In Korea, in addition to recruitment by force and deception, "comfort women" were recruited under the official labor draft, instituted to strengthen the Japanese war effort. (It was called kunro ("labor") or Yeoja ("woman") Jungshindae (in Japanese, Teishintai), meaning "Voluntarily Committing Body Corps for Labor." This is a phrase coined by the Japanese that denotes the devoting of one's entire being to the cause of the Emperor.) Many young women recruited or lured to work in the factories, were diverted by Japan into sexual slavery. The same occurred to many women originally drafted to work in factories.
Only Japanese soldiers were allowed to frequent the "comfort stations" and were normally charged a fixed price. The prices varied by the women's nationality.The rank of the soldier determined the length of time allowed for a visit, the price paid, and the hours at which the soldier was entitled to visit the comfort station. At least a portion of the revenue was taken by the military. According to the testimony of a survivor quoted in the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur, from 3 to 7 pm each day she had to serve sergeants, whereas the evenings were reserved for lieutenants.
The Japanese Army also regulated conditions at the "comfort stations," issuing rules on working hours, hygiene, contraception, and prohibitions on alcohol and weapons. "Comfort women" were recorded on Japanese military supply lists under the heading of "ammunition" as well as under "Amenities." Army doctors carried out health checks on the "comfort women," primarily to prevent the spread of venereal disease. The "comfort women" system required the deployment of the vast infrastructure and resources that were at the government's disposal, including soldiers and support personnel, weapons, all forms of land and sea transportation, and engineering and construction crews and matériel.