E. Abbott Carmichaell, CA -"I was a S/Sgt assigned to the 38th
Reconnaissance Squadron, 19th Bomb Group en route to the Philippine
Islands with a cargo of A. C. materiel on January 1., 1942 (less
than a month after Pearl Harbor). We were captured from lifeboats
by the Jap Navy Commerce Raiders, Airoku Maru and Hokoku Maru
in the Tuamoto Archipelago. We were POWs in camps near Shanghai,
China, and in Kawasaki and Odate, Japan and were liberated by
the U. S. Navy September 12, 1945 (after 3 years 9 months of confinement).
of the information you wrote about was denied to the American
POWs in prison camps in China and Japan by the Japanese captors.
In April 1945, I was in a group of POWs in Kawasaki, Japan POW
Camp #5, who were transferred by train to the established camp
north of Odate, Japan and inland from Sendai, Japan. Kawasakj
POW Camp #5 adjoined Nippon Kokan Kaibushiki Kaisha Steel Complex
where the POWs were worked daily! B-29 aircraft flew over our
POW camp in August and September 1945, and dropped food, clothing,
and medical Supplies to our camp - also U. S. Navy aircraft dropped
supplies. On the train trip from Kawasaki to Tokyo, the POWs could
peek from behind the train window curtains and see that Tokyo
was bombed into rubble as far as they could see. It would take
a long book to detail the mistreatment of allied POWs by their
Japanese captors in World War II. POWs of the camp near Odate
were entrained to the seaport at Sendai, Japan and embarked on
the U. S. Navy Hospital Ship, "Rescue", on September 12, 1945
for the return trip to San Francisco, California, and Letterman
Army General Hospital.
served thirty-one (31) years on active duty and retired in the
grade of Master Sergeant, August 1. 1965, from the 320th Bomb
Wing (B-52s) at Mather AFB, California, which was your Pacific
Theater overseas embarkation point for B-29s in 1944 and 1945."