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07 December 2013


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Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Were the Japanese being deliberately cruel or was this a consequence of being unprepared?

[The South did not have enough medical supplies for her own soldiers, let alone for the Union POWs.]



It is quite clear that the Japanese were deliberately cruel, but they paid a high price for their actions. pl

Jose L Campos

There must be a God.


Jose L. Campos

Father McDonnell evidently thought there was. My mother was not a forgiving person. She knew McDonnell of course and thought that the only way to visit Japan was in a B-29. pl




You might want to read up on this. I suppose there is a case to be made that strategic bombing is a similarly murderous thing, but I have never been an admirer of Lemay or Bomber Harris either. pl


As a PCV in the Philippine Islands (1978-1980) I had been to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PRRI) facility in Los Banos, Nueva Ecija province on several occasions.

I recall locals talking about the spirits of Bataan Death March victims inhabiting the coconut groves in the area. One local described to me her conversation with a "'kano" spirit. Of course this was after several San Miguel beers at the local "Sari Sari" store (the one with a refrigerator).

I always felt a supernatural historical past when I was there.


My father was proud to be "First in the Philippines" and the liberation of Corregidor on the USS Crosby, APD 17. He was in the Navy on that day and went to sea 12 hours after the attack.


Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

The photos of an emaciated Gen Wainwright standing behind MacArthur at the Japanese surrender are evocative of - what? - vengeance? satisfaction? irony?

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, so I heard from Chinese and Koreans: "US ought to have dropped more nuclear weapons on Japan".

I suppose many people from the Philippenes would agree as well.

Babak Makkinejad

The Soviet Union prosecuted the largest number of war crimes cases.

Men like Ezra Pound or those whose sentences were commuted by MacArthur would have been executed - and should.

Hank Foresman

Pat, my late father was on the Pensacola convoy which was headed to the Philippines on 7 December and was turned around and sent to Australia. He then worked in the Combine US-Australian G2 until he joined the 121st Field Artillery of the 32nd Infantry Division where he fought across New Guinea. His accounts of fighting the Japanese and what happened to the number of Americans who when captured by the Japanese and then executed was chilling. He went to his grave referring to the Japanese as the (please excuse the next word--but I am quoting my father) "Fucking Japanese."

Charles I


steve g

A good friends paternal uncle and namesake
was on the Oryoku Maru another prisoner
ship. It was bombed in Subic Bay. He
lived through that but died a prisoner.
His family would not have anthing Japanese
or talk about it. The friend now drives
a Honda Accord, tho.


My late Father-in-Law a Japanese-American who fought with the 442nd in Europe, a very private man, always felt the wrath of us round eyes throughout his life for the actions of his former countrymen to the degree that in his dying days he insisted that a family member stay with him in the hospital 24-7 as a manner of protection. Thus a generation of Japanese have paid dearly for those actions, such as the Death March. Not to say that this offsets, equalizes or condones any of those vile actions by the Japanese inflicted on Allied personnel.

A little off track but I thought this would add to the conversation.


Charkes I

"Respect," Yes, Another chaplain originally from the archdiocese of Brooklyn, New York (and also Irish)baptised my father in 1939. He spent most of the war as a PW in Manchuria and survived. Remarkable men. pl

The Twisted Genius

These chaplains were a magnificent breed. The only pastor I knew while growing up was a Navy chaplain in the Pacific during the War. He was a pillar of strength, faith, wisdom and compassion. I was one of his altar boys for eight years.

Charles I

It would gall me to say war brings out the best - and the worst - in people. But as TTG says, they were already of the best - a magnificent breed. One would have to be to be of any true succor in such existential circumstances.


My most prized posession is the family Bible. It was given to my Dad by a Reverend Davis, at a small missionary community (christian and missionary alliance) near the town of Malayal in the southern phillipines in 1942, while Dad was on the run from the Japanese following the fall of Manilla.

That Bible is one of the few things that survived his sea voyage to Australia where he arrived with his crew of (muslim) Moro pirates near Darwin.

Dad fought through New Guinea and the Solomons and ended up as an Australian war crimes investigator in Tokyo in 1946. He succeeded in tracking down the culprits of at least one massacre of European civilians and the ring leader was hanged.

His general view of the Japanese was : "The worlds largest tribe". They had plenty of food and medical supplies, Dad saw their stockpiles in New Guinea and the Solomons. They just regarded their prisoners as beneath contempt and unworthy of assistance or compassion.

I have yet to find out what happened to the Rev. Davis and the others.



God bless your late father. pl

Al Arabist

pl and others
Any of you with Devens connections, please contribute your recollections to the fort's museum, visited by many many school kids around here. God bless you all. http://www.fortdevensmuseum.org/PostYourStory.php


They're still payin' for their actions to-date.



One evil does not justify another evil. But would you consider the withholding of medicine from Iraqis in the 90s - famously approved and defended by Madlaine Albright - as an act of Evil to Hirohito's?

I have to admit that I am the first one to suspect that Ambassador Madleine Albright probably has dual loyalties and US is not necessarily to be blamed about this.

Peter C

Hank, my late father talks about how when their convoy left San Francisco to head to Australia the convoy went clear down the coast of South America almost into artic waters to make the crossing to Adelaide Australia to avoid Japanese subs. Then by train up to Townsville for the jump to New Guinea. I'm unsure when his unit joined up to the 32nd or if they left the U.S. as the 32nd. I will look in his writings to see the order of his units.

My father was quiet about his time in New Guinea, until he was passing away in 2008. He did mention through the years especially when Viet Nam was ongoing how the Jungle in New Guinea and its environment took out infantry, through malaria, infections, bad water etc.



"would you consider the withholding of medicine from Iraqis in the 90s" Yes. And Albright is a total fraud in many ways. pl


peter c

Yes, New Guinea and parts of VN were quite similar but army logistics in VN were so much better that the two situations were not comparable. the marines suffered a lot more from sheer deprivation in VN because their logistics system was not set up for sustained operations in the field, any field. pl

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