10 December 1942

10 December 1942

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10 December 1942

December 1942


North Africa

Two German counterattacks are defeated near Medjez-el-Bab


Japanese aircraft bomb Chittagong (Bengal)

10 December 1942 - History

Entry from the diary of Yitskhok Rudashevski from December 10, 1942, his fifteenth birthday, in which he reflects upon his time spent in the Vilna ghetto and his hopes for the future.

Wednesday the 10th of December [1942]

It dawned on me that today is my birthday. Today I became fifteen years old. You hardly realize how time flies. It, the time, runs ahead unnoticed and presently we realize, as I did today, for example, and discover that days and months go by, that the ghetto is not a painful, squirming moment of a dream that constantly disappears, but is a large swamp in which we lose our days and weeks. Today I became deeply absorbed in the thought. I decided not to trifle my time away in the ghetto on nothing and I feel somehow happy that I can study, read, develop myself, and see that time does not stand still as long as I progress normally with it. In my daily ghetto life it seems to me that I live normally but often I have deep qualms. Surely I could have lived better. Must I day in and day out see the walled-up ghetto gate, must I in my best years see only the one little street, the few stuffy courtyards?

Still other thoughts buzzed around in my head but I felt two things most strongly: a regret, a sort of gnawing. I wish to shout to time to linger, not to run. I wish to recapture my past year and keep it for later, for the new life. My second feeling today is that of strength and hope. I do not feel the slightest despair. Today I became fifteen years of age and I live confident in the future. I am not conflicted about it, and see before me sun and sun and sun. . . . 1

This security update includes quality improvements. Key changes include:

This build includes all the improvements from Windows 10, version 2004.

No additional issues were documented for this release.

Note This release also contains updates for Microsoft HoloLens (OS Build 19041.1131) released December 8, 2020. Microsoft will release an update directly to the Windows Update Client to improve Windows Update reliability on Microsoft HoloLens that have not updated to this most recent OS Build.

This security update includes quality improvements. Key changes include:

Security updates to Microsoft Edge Legacy, the Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows Media, Windows Fundamentals, and Windows Virtualization.

If you installed earlier updates, only the new fixes contained in this package will be downloaded and installed on your device.

For more information about the resolved security vulnerabilities, please refer to the new Security Update Guide website.

Windows Update Improvements

Microsoft has released an update directly to the Windows Update client to improve reliability. Any device running Windows 10 configured to receive updates automatically from Windows Update, including Enterprise and Pro editions, will be offered the latest Windows 10 feature update based on device compatibility and Windows Update for Business deferral policy. This doesn't apply to long-term servicing editions.

Known issues in this update

System and user certificates might be lost when updating a device from Windows 10, version 1809 or later to a later version of Windows 10. Devices will only be impacted if they have already installed any Latest cumulative update (LCU) released September 16, 2020 or later and then proceed to update to a later version of Windows 10 from media or an installation source which does not have an LCU released October 13, 2020 or later integrated. This primarily happens when managed devices are updated using outdated bundles or media through an update management tool such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. This might also happen when using outdated physical media or ISO images that do not have the latest updates integrated.

Note Devices using Windows Update for Business or that connect directly to Windows Update are not impacted. Any device connecting to Windows Update should always receive the latest versions of the feature update, including the latest LCU, without any extra steps.

If you have already encountered this issue on your device, you can mitigate it within the uninstall window by going back to your previous version of Windows using the instructions here. The uninstall window might be 10 or 30 days depending on the configuration of your environment and the version you’re updating to. You will then need to update to the later version of Windows 10 after the issue is resolved in your environment. Note Within the uninstall window, you can increase the number of days you have to go back to your previous version of Windows 10 by using the DISM command /Set-OSUninstallWindow. You must make this change before the default uninstall window has lapsed. For more information, see DISM operating system uninstall command-line options.

We are working on a resolution and will provide updated bundles and refreshed media in the coming weeks.

When using the Microsoft Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) to enter Kanji characters in an app that automatically allows the input of Furigana characters, you might not get the correct Furigana characters. You might need to enter the Furigana characters manually.

Note The affected apps are using the ImmGetCompositionString() function.

We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

A small number of devices that have installed this update have reported that when running chkdsk /f, their file system might get damaged and the device might not boot.

This issue is resolved and should now be prevented automatically on non-managed devices. Please note that it can take up to 24 hours for the resolution to propagate to non-managed devices. Restarting your device might help the resolution apply to your device faster. For enterprise-managed devices that have installed this update and encountered this issue, it can be resolved by installing and configuring a special Group Policy. To find out more about using Group Policies, see Group Policy Overview.

To mitigate this issue on devices which have already encountered this issue and are unable to start up, use the following steps:

The device should automatically start up into the Recovery Console after failing to start up a few times.

Select Advanced options.

Select Command Prompt from the list of actions.

Once Command Prompt opens, type: chkdsk /f

Allow chkdsk to complete the scan, this can take a little while. Once it has completed, type: exit

The device should now start up as expected. If it restarts into Recovery Console, select Exit and continue to Windows 10.

Note After completing these steps, the device might automatically run chkdsk again on restart. It should start up as expected once it has completed.

Before installing this update

Microsoft strongly recommends you install the latest servicing stack update (SSU) for your operating system before installing the latest cumulative update (LCU). SSUs improve the reliability of the update process to mitigate potential issues while installing the LCU and applying Microsoft security fixes. For general information about SSUs, see Servicing stack updates and Servicing Stack Updates (SSU): Frequently Asked Questions.

If you are using Windows Update, the latest SSU (KB4593175) will be offered to you automatically. To get the standalone package for the latest SSU, search for it in the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Windows Update and Microsoft Update

None. This update will be downloaded and installed automatically from Windows Update.

To get the standalone package for this update, go to the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

This update will automatically sync with WSUS if you configure Products and Classifications as follows:

Product: Windows 10, version 1903 and later

Classification: Security Updates

For a list of the files that are provided in this update, download the file information for cumulative update 4592438.

Note Some files erroneously have “Not applicable” in the “File version” column of the CSV file. This might lead to false positives or false negatives when using some third-party scan detection tools to validate the build.

The Pacific War

As the Japanese continue their advance into Asia they decide to make a surprise attack on Malaysia and Indonesia. The Japanese meet fierce resistance but by March the Dutch have retreated all the way back to Java island. In Burma the British are fighting with what little force they have as the Japanese have by now prevented any secret American-aid from coming to India and other Allied lands. In May the American Navy reports increased Jap activity near Midway, the Philippines, and Hawaii. In the East Indies, Japan has taken all of the Dutch East Indies and is closing in on Australia as they capture much of Papua New Guinea. In June the Brits make a final stand at Port Morseby. The Japanese send nearly three thousand men to fight the British along with numerous naval and air support. After three weeks of bloody fighting the Brits leave with whats left of that garrison and flee to Australia. Meanwhile, the Americans reluctantly bulk up forces at bases in the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, Midway and numerous other islands. On July 2 the Japanese begin air raids on Australia as they eliminate much of the forces in the north. The next week they begin shelling the area and by July 24 they have begun an invasion of Northern Australia. The Brits then sell its remaining islands in the Pacific except for Australia and New Zealand and other small islands near-by to the United States. The Japanese now realize they must speed up in Australia or risk again postponing Pearl Harbor. Meanwhile in India, the Japanese our stopped outside Calcutta as they have failed to defeat Britain but have managed to take Burma in a sweeping victory. In August the Japanese claim of northeastern, north-central, and what they have gathered up along the coast as part of the Empire of Japan as China is falling back into the west. In September the Japanese conquer all of northern-Australia and the British are begging America to join the war but a mute response causes morale to collapse and by November only southeastern-Australia remains. The Japanese decide to keep the attack on America planned for December 7 as on November 22 the British leave Australia in a Dunkirk-like fashion in Sydney and Japan now claims all of Australia. Now that they have captured Australia, the Japanese make more plans for December 7. They decide to invade French Indochina, renew an offensive in India to capture Calcutta, in China they will bomb facilities to bits, and send invasion forces to Midway, Guam, Wake, the Philippines, and Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. Then the day arrives: when it is not even 8:00am in Oahu, the Japanese launch their attack and troops make landings all across the island while the American Pacific Fleet is left to burn to the bottom of the sea. In French Indochina, the Japanese begin to steamroll from all directions. In India, the Japanese have surrounded Calcutta as reinforcements arrive to invade the city while ships shell the harbor and airfields. As for China the Japanese have been able to secure much of the south and have finally overrun all of the Mongolian areas of China in the north and the coast belongs to Japan. In Midway, Guam, and Wake Island the Japanese have taken much of the islands as the Americans are so unprepared to the point that they can't even fire their guns because they forget about the bullets leading to massive casualties and prisoners of war. In the Philippines the invasion won't be over for some time but the Japanese have gotten a head start and are already preparing for the eventual conquering of the islands. By the end of the year the Japanese have secured Midway, Wake, and Guam and have taken other American islands such as the Marianna Islands. In the Philippines, the Japanese have surrounded Manila as the Americans are unable to get reinforcements fast and the battle quickly turns for the worst. And in Hawaii the Japanese have taken all of the islands accept for the big one, Hawaii. Meanwhile the Japanese have forced the British into submission in Calcutta and they have offered peace to Britain since the Brits are on the verge of total annihilation.

Now that the Japanese have successfully attacked their new enemies, they can now finish them off. Throughout all of February and March, the Japanese invade and conquer Hawaii Island after massive bloodshed and secure the Philippines in a blitzkrieg-style attack. The British decide too fight on as they won't give in to surrendering. The Japanese decide they must invade New Zealand to make peace with Britain. The invasion starts on March 25 and ends on April 25, one month later as though the Brits have the will-power but they don't have the fire-power to defeat the Japanese. On May 20 they surrender and only conquered lands are kept by the Japanese but that only leaves India with Britain. As for France and America, the French lose everything except for French Polynesia which is then sold to the Americans but Free French forces still occupy the islands along with American soldiers. As for the United States, the only thing that goes on are massive sea battles with what's left of the American Pacific Fleet(more like what escaped Pearl Harbor). Most of these battles occur near the West Coast and near the Aleutian Islands. Meanwhile in China the Japanese have secured much of the country and offer a peace deal to China: The deal is that the Chinese will only lose Manchuria and will have a puppet government that will be part of the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. They reluctantly accept and the war in Asia is over but the war in the Pacific is not. The Japanese decide to distract the Americans with a mediocre invasion of French Polynesia but the real target will be the Aleutian Islands which will be a set up for the invasion of the Alaska and the rest of Western North America but it won't take place 'til spring 1944 when the Japanese are prepared to launch the attack so for the rest of the year they make weak attacks against the weak American Navy and make the Americans think they will invade California but it is just a trick and they fall for it.

As the Japanese continue their game with the Americans they prepare their troops to invade Polynesia and plan out the real target, the Aleutian Islands. On March 21 the Japanese invade Polynesia and the Americans believe this is the target but they are fooled again. Three weeks later the Japanese finally invade the Aleutian Islands. The Americans are caught off guard and within days much of the island chain is overrun. As the months progress the Americans lose much of coastal Alaska and in Polynesia all but a few islands have been seized. Eventually by July of 1944 the Americans have virtually a knife to their throat as all of Polynesia has fallen and in Alaska the battle may soon tip over into the lower 48. FDR ways his options and decide it may be best to surrender now before it is too late. On August 8, 1944 the United States surrenders to the Empire of Japan unconditionally. In September they discuss the peace deal and it is signed as the Treaty of Vancouver and the terms are thus:

  • The United States will lose all Pacific territory except for its Pacific Coast and will also have to surrender the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
  • All Japanese in Internment Camps must be released immediately.
  • And lastly, all Japanese in America that want to leave may leave without question for the next ten years.

The United States accepts and the Japanese also make a deal with the other Allied Powers: the Japanese will take what they have conquered except for in India where all of its lands will be restored. The Allies accept. Now that the Pacific War is over the Allies can turn to face the even greater danger of Nazi Germany.

American Prisoners of War: Massacre at Palawan

With the stunning defeats suffered by the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands in the early months of the Pacific War, thousands of Allied military personnel became prisoners of the Japanese. The Americans captured in the Philippines were initially detained in filthy, overcrowded POW camps near Manila, but eventually most were shipped to other parts of the Japanese empire as slave laborers.

Among the American prisoners remaining in the Philippines were 346 men who were sent 350 miles on August 1, 1942, from the Cabanatuan POW camps north of Manila, and from Bilibid Prison in Manila itself, to Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan. Palawan is on the western perimeter of the Sulu Sea, and the POWs were shipped there to build an airfield for their captors. Although the prisoners’ numbers fluctuated throughout the war, the brutal treatment they received at the hands of their Japanese guards was always the same. The men were beaten with pick handles, and kickings and slappings were regular daily occurrences. Prisoners who attempted to escape were summarily executed.

The Palawan compound was known as Camp 10-A, and the prisoners were quartered in several unused Filipino constabulary buildings that were sadly dilapidated. Food was minimal each day, prisoners received a mess kit of wormy Cambodian rice and a canteen cup of soup made from camote vines boiled in water (camotes are a Philippine variant of sweet potatoes). Prisoners who could not work had their rations cut by 30 percent.

When six American POWs were caught stealing food in December 1942, they were tied to coconut trees, beaten, whipped with a wire and beaten again with a wooden club 3 inches in diameter. After this brutal episode, they were forced to stand at attention while a guard beat them unconscious, after which the prisoners were revived to undergo further beatings. A Japanese private named Nishitani punished two Americans, who were caught taking green papayas from a tree in the compound, by breaking their left arms with an iron bar.

Medical care was nonexistent, and one Marine, Pfc Glen McDole of Des Moines, Iowa, underwent an appendectomy with no anesthesia and no infection-fighting drugs. The prisoners suffered from malaria, scurvy, pellagra, beriberi and tropical ulcers, as well as from injuries suffered at their work or from the physical mistreatment perpetrated by their Japanese guards. When Red Cross supplies finally were received in January 1944, the enemy had removed the medicines and drugs from the parcels for their own use.

One American, J. D. Merritt, stated that fights broke out on occasion among U.S. POWs who were loading these supplies on the interisland steamers Naga and Isla Princesa in Manila for shipment to Palawan. It seems that some Americans were willing to rob their fellow prisoners and attempted to pilfer the Red Cross parcels. Merritt said that the men at Palawan ‘came to represent our ‘little brothers’ in that obviously their lot was much harder than ours. He also recalled that the POW dockworkers in Manila used to send notes of encouragement to the Palawan POWs and sometimes received notes back.

The Japanese unit in charge of the prisoners and airfield at Palawan was the 131st Airfield Battalion, under the command of Captain Nagayoshi Kojima, whom the Americans called the Weasel. Lieutenant Sho Yoshiwara commanded the garrison company, and Lieutenant Ryoji Ozawa was in charge of supply. Ozawa’s unit had arrived from Formosa on July 10, 1942, and had previously been in Manchuria. Master Sergeant Taichi Deguchi was acting commander of the kempeitai at Palawan, the Japanese army’s military police and intelligence unit. The kempeitai were much feared by anyone who fell into their hands because of their brutal tactics.

In September 1944, 159 of the American POWs at Palawan were returned to Manila. The Japanese estimated that the remaining 150 men could complete the arduous labor on the airfield, hauling and crushing coral gravel by hand and pouring concrete seven days a week. The total area to be cleared was approximately 2,400 yards by 225 yards, with the actual airstrip measuring 1,530 yards long and 75 yards wide. The men also repaired trucks and performed a variety of maintenance tasks in addition to logging and other heavy labor. Late in September, General Shiyoku Kou, in charge of all POWs in the Philippines, ordered the remaining 150 Americans returned to Manila, but that order was not carried out until mid-October, even though transportation was available.

An attack by a single American Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber on October 19, 1944, sank two enemy ships and damaged several planes at Palawan. More Liberators returned on October 28 and destroyed 60 enemy aircraft on the ground. While American morale in the camp soared, the treatment of the prisoners by the Japanese grew worse, and their rations were cut. After initially refusing the prisoners’ request, the Japanese reluctantly allowed the Americans to paint American Prisoner of War Camp on the roof of their barracks. This gave the prisoners some measure of protection from American air attacks. The Japanese then stowed their own supplies under the POW barracks.

U.S. forces under General Douglas MacArthur had successfully landed in the Philippines at Leyte on October 19. While this was not known to the prisoners, the daily sightings of American aircraft led them to believe that their deliverance was not far off. MacArthur also signed a directive to the Japanese commander in chief in the Philippines, Field Marshal Count Hisaichi Terauchi, warning him that his military command would be held responsible for the abuse of prisoners, internees and noncombatants. The directive incorporated phrases such as dignity, honor and protection provided by the rules and customs of war and violation of the most sacred code of martial honor. Leaflets to this effect were dropped by air on enemy positions throughout the Philippines on November 25, 1944.

The constant presence of Allied aircraft overhead caused the prisoners to construct three shelters, each 150 feet long and 4 feet high, for their own protection during air raids. The Japanese had ordered that the entrances at each end of the shelters be only large enough to admit one man at a time. The shelters were roofed with logs and dirt and were located on the beach side of the camp. While not totally bombproof, they did offer a significant level of protection. There were also several shelter holes that could hold two or three men.

On December 14, Japanese aircraft reported the presence of an American convoy, which was actually headed for Mindoro, but which the Japanese thought was destined for Palawan. All prisoner work details were recalled to the camp at noon. Two American Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft were sighted, and the POWs were ordered into the air raid shelters. After a short time the prisoners re-emerged from their shelters, but Japanese 1st Lt. Yoshikazu Sato, whom the prisoners called the Buzzard, ordered them to stay in the area. A second alarm at 2 p.m. sent the prisoners back into the shelters, where they remained, closely guarded.

Suddenly, in an orchestrated and obviously planned move, 50 to 60 Japanese soldiers under Sato’s leadership doused the wooden shelters with buckets of gasoline and set them afire with flaming torches, followed by hand grenades. The screams of the trapped and doomed prisoners mingled with the cheers of the Japanese soldiers and the laughter of their officer, Sato. As men engulfed in flames broke out of their fiery deathtraps, the Japanese guards machine gunned, bayoneted and clubbed them to death. Most of the Americans never made it out of the trenches and the compound before they were barbarously murdered, but several closed with their tormentors in hand-to-hand combat and succeeded in killing a few of the Japanese attackers.

Marine survivor Corporal Rufus Smith described escaping from his shelter as coming up a ladder into Hell. The four American officers in the camp, Lt. Cmdr. Henry Carlisle Knight (U.S. Navy Dental Corps), Captain Fred Brunie, Lieutenant Carl Mango (U.S. Army Medical Corps) and Warrant Officer Glen C. Turner, had their own dugout, which the Japanese also doused with gasoline and torched. Mango, his clothes on fire, ran toward the Japanese and pleaded with them to use some sense but was machine-gunned to death.

About 30 to 40 Americans escaped from the massacre area, either through the double-woven, 61Ž2-foot-high barbed-wire fence or under it, where some secret escape routes had been concealed for use in an emergency. They fell and/or jumped down the cliff above the beach area, seeking hiding places among the rocks and foliage. Marine Sergeant Douglas Bogue recalled: Maybe 30 or 40 were successful in getting through the fence down to the water’s edge. Of these, several attempted to swim across Puerto Princesa’s bay immediately, but were shot in the water. I took refuge in a small crack among the rocks, where I remained, all the time hearing the butchery going on above. They even resorted to using dynamite in forcing some of the men from their shelters. I knew [that] as soon as it was over up above they would be down probing among the rocks, spotting us and shooting us. The stench of burning flesh was strong. Shortly after this they were moving in groups among the rocks dragging the Americans out and murdering them as they found them. By the grace of God I was overlooked.

Eugene Nielsen of the 59th Coast Artillery observed, from his hiding place on the beach, a group of Americans trapped at the base of the cliff. He saw them run up to the Japs and ask to be shot in the head. The Japs would laugh and shoot or bayonet them in the stomach. When the men cried out for another bullet to end their misery, the Japs continued to make merry of it all and left them there to suffer. Twelve men were killed in this fashion. Nielson hid for three hours. As the Japanese were kicking American corpses into a hole, Nielson’s partially hidden body was uncovered by an enemy soldier, who yelled to his companions that he had found another dead American. Just then the Japanese soldiers heard the dinner call and abandoned their murderous pursuit in favor of hot food. Later, as enemy soldiers began to close in on his hiding place, Nielson dived into the bay and swam underwater for some distance. When he surfaced, approximately 20 Japanese were shooting at him. He was hit in the leg, and his head and ribs were grazed by bullets. Even though he was pushed out to sea by the current, Nielson finally managed to reach the southern shore of the bay.

Radioman 1st Class Joseph Barta, who had worked in his family’s poultry business before joining the Navy in 1934, later testified: At first I did not get into my shelter. But a Jap officer drew his saber and forced me to get under cover. About five minutes later, I heard rifle and machine-gun fire. Not knowing what was happening, I looked out and saw several men on fire and being shot down by the Japs. One of them was my friend Ron Hubbard. So I and several other fellows in the hole went under the fence. Just as I got outside the fence, I looked back and saw a Jap throw a torch in the other end of our hole, and another one threw in a bucket of gasoline.

The slaughter continued until dark. Some of the wounded Americans were buried alive by the Japanese. Men who attempted to swim to safety across the bay were shot by soldiers on the shore or on a Japanese landing barge commanded by Master Sgt. Toru Ogawa. Glen McDole, the Marine who had survived the appendectomy without anesthesia, hid in the camp garbage dump with two other men. One of them, a military policeman named Charles Street, made a run for the bay as the Japanese closed in and was shot dead. The second, Erving August Evans of the 59th Coast Artillery, stood up and said, All right, you Jap bastards, here I am and don’t miss me. He was shot and his body set afire. Somehow the enemy missed McDole, who later witnessed a party of five or six Japs with an American who had been wounded, poking him along with bayonets. I could see the bayonets draw blood when they poked him. Another Jap came up with some gasoline and a torch, and I heard the American beg them to shoot him and not to burn him. The Jap threw some gasoline on his foot and lit it, and the other Japs laughed and poked him with their bayonets. Then they did the same thing to his other foot and to his hand. When the man collapsed, the Japs then threw the whole bucket of gasoline over him, and he burst into flames.

When the Japanese ended their search for the surviving prisoners, there were still a few undiscovered Americans alive. Several prisoners hid in a sewer outlet. When the Japanese shone lights into the pipe, the POWs ducked under the water and were not discovered. After nightfall, they attempted to swim the bay, which was 5 miles across at that point. Several of them were successful, including Rufus Smith, who was badly bitten on his left arm and shoulder by a shark but managed to reach the opposite shore. Of the 146 enlisted men and four officers held in the Palawan prison camp, only 11 men survived the massacre on December 14, 1944. Most of the survivors swam across the bay and were rescued by the inmates of Palawan’s Iwahig Penal Colony, where several of the officials in charge were involved with the local resistance movement.

Another U.S. Marine, Pfc Donald Martyn, also swam the bay successfully but was never seen again after reaching land and turning north, in the opposite direction of the path taken by his surviving comrades. Filipino civilian prisoners at the colony, who were interned during the Japanese occupation of their homeland, fed and clothed the American POWs and contacted local guerrilla leaders on their behalf. The guerrillas escorted the Americans down the coast to Brooke’s Point, where they were evacuated by a U.S. Navy seaplane to Leyte. There they told their story to U.S. military authorities.

Barta, who described the Japanese kempeitai as the meanest bastards that ever walked the face of the earth, wandered the jungle for 10 days after swimming the bay. At one point, he came within 3 feet of a Japanese sentry on a jungle path before making his escape. Although wounded in that encounter, he managed to reach the Iwahig Colony, where he was hidden in a well. A local witch doctor treated his wounds by spreading a solution of boiled guava leaves over them with a gray chicken feather, accompanied by much dancing and hollering. He was reunited with Bogue and McDole, and they were ultimately evacuated from Brooke’s Point.

While there were no civilian witnesses to the massacre of unarmed prisoners at Palawan, after the war several Filipinos reported to American authorities that the Japanese officers from Captain Nagayoshi Kojima’s command and personnel from the kempeitai held a celebration to commemorate the event the same night that it occurred. Civilians who questioned the absence of the prisoners were given divergent replies–in some instances they were told that the POWs were all killed in American air raids, in other instances that the prisoners had been transferred to another camp.

The thoughts of one Japanese soldier regarding the atrocity were recorded in a diary left behind at the camp. December 15–Due to the sudden change of situation, 150 prisoners of war were executed. Although they were prisoners of war, they truly died a pitiful death. The prisoners who worked in the repair shop really worked hard. From today on I will not hear the familiar greeting, ‘Good morning, sergeant major.’ January 9–After a long absence, I visited the motor vehicle repair shop. Today, the shop is a lonely place. The prisoners of war who were assisting in repair work are now just white bones on the beach washed by the waves. Furthermore, there are numerous corpses in the nearby garage and the smell is unbearable. It gives me the creeps.

After Palawan was liberated by the 186th Infantry Regiment of the 41st Division, the men of the Army’s 601st Quartermaster Company, under Major Charles Simms, excavated the burned and destroyed dugouts to properly inter the dead Americans. The unit reported 79 individual burials during March 1945 and many more partial burials. Its report stated: 26 skeletons, some still with flesh on the bones, were found piled four and five high in one excavation. The skulls of these skeletons either had bullet holes or had been crushed by some blunt instrument. These were the dead from the compound thrown into the shelters by the Japanese after the massacre. The report also stated: Most of the bodies were found [in the shelters] huddled together at a spot furthest away from the entrance. This would indicate that they were trying to get as far away from the fire as possible. In two dugouts bodies were found in a prone position, arms extended with small conical holes at the fingertips showing that these men were trying to dig their way to freedom.

Japanese atrocities against Allied military and civilian personnel after capture were well-documented by war’s end. Although the famous Nuremberg Trials held in Europe received the lion’s share of interest, especially from the world press, the Military Tribunal for the Far East managed to capture the Americans’ attention. However heinous the crimes of the Nazi government, they rarely involved Americans, while the Japanese were brutal and criminal in their treatment of captured Americans and other Allied military personnel.

MacArthur essentially controlled the War Crimes Trials in the Pacific theater. On August 2, 1948, the Palawan Massacre trial began in Yokohama, Japan. On trial were several staff officers who had exhibited criminal liability through their failure to take command responsibility. Thus, most of the accused Japanese had very little direct involvement with the atrocities perpetrated at Puerto Princesa. However, due to the chain of command, they were deemed responsible. Their attitude was described as callous indifference to the fate of the prisoners in their hands. Of certain import in the trial was the introduction of a written order sent to each Japanese branch camp commander in May 1944. It stated that during an attack on a branch camp by the Allies, the main force shall keep strict guard over POWs, and if there is any fear that the POWs would be retaken due to the tide of battle turning against us, decisive measures must be taken without returning a single POW. In hindsight, there is very little doubt regarding the true meaning of this order to camp commanders.

Several of the American survivors of the Palawan massacre were willing to testify against their former tormentors and returned to the Far East for the trial. Under questioning, Marine Sergeant Bogue admitted that he had physically struck one of the accused, Superior Private Tomisaburo Sawa, several times while the Japanese soldier was confined in his prison cell after the war. When asked why, Bogue replied, For the same reason you’re going to hang him! But that was not to be.

At the beginning of the trial, the prosecution announced its intention to show that Lt. Gen. Seiichi Terada, commanding general of the 2nd Air Division headquartered in the Philippines, radioed instructions on the evening of December 13 to the 131st Airfield Battalion at Palawan to annihilate the 150 prisoners. Accordingly, the Japanese soldiers involved were issued 30 rounds of ammunition each, and the battalion commander announced to the men that due to an imminent Allied invasion, the prisoners regretfully were to be killed. Next, Lieutenant Sho Yoshiwara ordered fix bayonets and load five rounds (the magazine capacity of the standard Japanese infantry rifle), after which the massacre ensued.

Unfortunately, Lieutenant Yoshiwara was nowhere to be found after the war ended nor was Captain Kojima, the prison camp commandant. In fact, it was impossible to find almost anyone from the Palawan garrison. The battle for the Philippines had been costly for both sides, but especially for the Japanese, who lost 80,000 men. There is no doubt that many of the soldiers who participated in the Palawan massacre died in battle or from disease. Many just disappeared in the hostile atmosphere engendered by the Japanese defeat.

Several weeks had passed between Japan’s agreement to surrender to the Allies and the actual signing of the surrender document aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. During that time, millions of Japanese wartime documents were destroyed, and most certainly many Japanese soldiers and civilians, who knew they would be held accountable for their actions against both soldiers and civilians, disappeared from view. The staff of the Allied War Crimes Tribunal accused the Japanese Demobilization Bureau of protecting these alleged war criminals from prosecution, but if they were, Allied threats had little effect.

The war was over, and Americans wanted to get on with their lives. The Japanese, who to this day do not accept responsibility for the initiation of hostilities in 1941, were reluctant to reveal any damaging information about their citizenry and military that could be concealed. At the same time, the U.S. government was anxious to prepare Japan for its new role as part of the defense system against the expansion of international communism, and the fate of 150 American soldiers caught up in the savagery of war was certainly not a political priority. Only the few survivors remained to beseech their government that justice be done.

In the end, six of the Japanese defendants were acquitted of the charges against them related to the massacre. The other 10 were given sentences ranging from two years’ imprisonment to death. The death sentence for kempeitai Sergeant Taichi Deguchi was commuted to confinement and hard labor for 30 years on July 19, 1950, by none other than MacArthur himself.

On March 23, 1949, Toru Ogawa, a company commander in the 131st Airfield Battalion who was charged with abusing 300 POWs and causing the death of 138 prisoners by ordering subordinates to massacre them by surprise assault and treacherous violence, and killing them by various methods, received his sentence of two years’ hard labor, reduced by 91Ž2 months for time served.

Tomisaburo Sawa, the prisoner struck by Sergeant Bogue while in jail, admitted in sworn testimony that he had participated in the Palawan massacre by killing at least three American POWs. On March 29, 1949, he received a sentence of five years’ hard labor, reduced by 131Ž2 months due to time served.

For all of the Japanese military personnel still imprisoned for their barbarous treatment of captured and interned Americans during World War II, liberation day was December 31, 1958, barely 13 years after the end of the war. At that time, any war criminals still in custody were released from Tokyo’s Sugamo Prison in a general amnesty. While all was certainly not forgiven, especially by those Americans who had survived brutal captivity at the hands of the Japanese, it certainly was officially forgotten by the American government.

In 1952, the remains of 123 of the Palawan victims were transferred to the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery near St. Louis, Mo., where they lie in a mass grave, honored today by the few who remember.

This article was written by V. Dennis Wrynn and originally appeared in the November 1997 issue of World War II magazine. For more great articles subscribe to World War II magazine today!

Japanese Americans at Manzanar

Buses line up on a Los Angeles street to take Japanese American evacuees to camp.

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, led the United States into World War II and radically changed the lives of 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry living in the United States. The attack intensified racial prejudices and led to fear of potential sabotage and espionage by Japanese Americans among some in the government, military, news media, and public. In February, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the Secretary of War to establish Military Areas and to remove from those areas anyone who might threaten the war effort. Without due process, the government gave everyone of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast only days to decide what to do with their houses, farms, businesses, and other possessions. Most families sold their belongings at a significant loss. Some rented their properties to neighbors. Others left possessions with friends or religious groups. Some abandoned their property. They did not know where they were going or for how long. Each family was assigned an identification number and loaded into cars, buses, trucks, and trains, taking only what they could carry. Japanese Americans were transported under military guard to 17 temporary assembly centers located at racetracks, fairgrounds, and similar facilities in Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona. Then they were moved to one of 10 hastily built relocation centers. By November, 1942, the relocation was complete.

Waiting in line at the mess hall was a common activity at Manzanar.

Life at Manzanar

Ten war relocation centers were built in remote deserts, plains, and swamps of seven states Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Manzanar, located in the Owens Valley of California between the Sierra Nevada on the west and the Inyo mountains on the east, was typical in many ways of the 10 camps.

About two-thirds of all Japanese Americans interned at Manzanar were American citizens by birth. The remainder were aliens, many of whom had lived in the United States for decades, but who, by law, were denied citizenship.

The first Japanese Americans to arrive at Manzanar, in March 1942, were men and women who volunteered to help build the camp. On June 1 the War Relocation Authority (WRA) took over operation of Manzanar from the U.S. Army.

The 500-acre housing section was surrounded by barbed wire and eight guard towers with searchlights and patrolled by military police. Outside the fence, military police housing, a reservoir, a sewage treatment plant, and agricultural fields occupied the remaining 5,500 acres. By September 1942 more than 10,000 Japanese Americans were crowded into 504 barracks organized into 36 blocks. There was little or no privacy in the barracks—and not much outside. The 200 to 400 people living in each block, consisting of 14 barracks each divided into four rooms, shared men’s and women’s toilets and showers, a laundry room, and a mess hall. Any combination of eight individuals was allotted a 20-by-25-foot room. An oil stove, a single hanging light bulb, cots, blankets, and mattresses filled with straw were the only furnishings provided.

Coming from Los Angeles and other communities in California and Washington, Manzanar’s internees were unaccustomed to the harsh desert environment. Summer temperatures soared as high as 110ºF. In winter, temperatures frequently plunged below freezing.

Throughout the year strong winds swept through the valley, often blanketing the camp with dust and sand. Internees covered knotholes in the floors with tin can lids, but dust continued to blow in between the floorboards until linoleum was installed in late 1942.

“…one of the hardest things to endure was the communal latrines, with no partitions and showers with no stalls.” Rosie Kakuuchi

Sports provided a welcome diversion at camp.

Overcoming Adversity

Internees attempted to make the best of a bad situation. The WRA formed an advisory council of internee-elected block managers. Internees established churches, temples, and boys and girls clubs. They developed sports, music, dance, and other recreational programs built gardens and ponds and published a newspaper, the Manzanar Free Press.

Most internees worked in the camp. They dug irrigation canals and ditches, tended acres of fruits and vegetables, and raised chickens, hogs, and cattle. They made clothes and furniture for themselves and camouflage netting and experimental rubber for the military. They served as mess hall workers, doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, and teachers.

Professionals were paid $19 per month, skilled workers received $16, and nonskilled workers got $12. Many pooled their resources and created a consumer cooperative that published the Manzanar Free Press and operated a general store, beauty parlor, barbershop, and bank. As the war turned in America’s favor, restrictions were lifted, and Japanese Americans were allowed to leave the camps. Church groups, service organizations, and some camp administrators helped find sponsors and jobs in the Midwest and the East. From all 10 camps, 4,300 people received permission to attend college, and about 10,000 were allowed to leave temporarily to harvest sugar beets in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming.

A total of 11,070 Japanese Americans were processed through Manzanar. From a peak of 10,046 in September 1942, the population dwindled to 6,000 by 1944. The last few hundred internees left in November 1945, three months after the war ended. Many of them had spent three-and-a-half years at Manzanar.

The removal of all Japanese Americans from the West Coast was based on widespread distrust of their loyalty after Pearl Harbor. Yet, no Japanese Americans were charged with espionage.

“Manzanar has its first gold star mother. We had dreaded the day when some family in Manzanar would receive the fateful telegram….” Manzanar Free Press article on Pfc. Frank Arikawa’s death

Soldiers from Manzanar served with great distinction in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Loyalty and Service

About 5,000 Japanese Americans were serving in the U.S. Army when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941. The U.S. military soon called for another 5,000 volunteers from the mainland and Hawaii. In January 1942, however, the Selective Service reclassified Japanese Americans as “enemy aliens” and stopped drafting them.

Emotions were intense during 1942 as the United States entered the war and Japanese Americans were moved to the relocation centers. Various protests and disturbances occurred at some centers over political differences, wages, and rumors of informers and black marketing. At Manzanar two people were killed and 10 were wounded by military police during the “Manzanar Riot” in December 1942.

Tensions intensified in 1943 when the government required internees to answer a “loyalty questionnaire.” They were asked if they would serve in combat and if they would swear unqualified allegiance to the United States. Some older internees answered “no” because they were not allowed to become U.S. citizens. Others refused to serve while their families were behind barbed wire. Those who answered “yes” were considered “loyal” and became eligible for indefinite leave outside the West Coast military areas. Those who answered “no” were sent to a segregation center at Tule Lake, Calif.

In January 1944 the draft was reinstated for Japanese Americans. Most of those who were drafted or volunteered joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Combined with the 100th Infantry Battalion of the Hawaiian Territorial Guard, the 442nd fought with distinction in North Africa, France, and Italy. With 9,846 casualties, the 100th/442nd had the highest casualty rate and was the most highly decorated Army unit for its size and length of service. Nearly 26,000 Japanese Americans served in the U.S. military during World War II.

1869 First known Japanese immigrants to U.S. settle near Sacramento.

1913 Alien Land Law prohibits Japanese aliens from owning land in California and imposes a three-year limit on leasing of land.

1924 Immigration Exclusion Act halts Japanese immigration to U.S.

1941 U.S. enters World War II after Pearl Harbor attack Dec. 7.

1942 Executive Order 9066 of Feb.19 authorizes relocation and/or internment of anyone who might threaten the U.S. war effort.

1943 U.S. Army forms 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit for Japanese Americans that serves with 100th Infantry Battalion in Europe.

1944 Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of evacuation based solely on national ancestry while separately ruling that loyal citizens cannot be held against their will.

1945 World War II ends with Japan’s surrender Aug. 14. Manzanar War Relocation Center closes Nov. 21.

1952 Walter-McCarran Immigration and Naturalization Act allows Japanese aliens to become naturalized citizens. 1972Manzanar designated a California Registered Historical Landmark.

1988 U.S. Civil Liberties Act grants a $20,000 payment and an apology to 82,000 former internees.

1992 Manzanar National Historic Site established March 3.

2001 Minidoka Internment National Monument designated Jan. 17 in Idaho. National Japanese American Memorial dedicated June 29 in Washington, D.C.

2004 Manzanar National Historic Site Interpretive Center opens April 24.

Additional Resources

Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium (JACSC)

While not a program of the National Park Service, the Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium (JACSC) is comprised of organizations committed to collectively preserving, protecting, and interpreting the history of the World War II experiences of Japanese Americans and elevating the related social justice lessons that inform issues today. Members include former confinement sites, as well as historical organizations, endowments, museums, commissions, and educational institutes.

10 Reasons People Have Called General Douglas MacArthur a “Jerk”

On June 17, 1932, 17,000 United States military veterans of World War I and 25,000 of their friends and family gathered in Washington, D.C. to demand early payment of their service certificate war bonuses. Although the bonuses were not due to be paid until 1945, the Great Depression had hit the United States and these veterans were floundering financially. General Douglas MacArthur, chief of staff of the Army, personally led US troops to forcibly drive away his fellow veterans, even though future 5 star general and president, Maj. Dwight Eisenhower (serving as an aide to MacArthur) counseled him not to have anything to do with the eviction. Maj. George Patton, future General and World War II hero, personally led a cavalry charge against the protesting veterans, including a man that had saved Patton’s life during World War I. The use of military force against unarmed US war veterans is just one of 10 arguably shameful or stupid things we are listing here to demonstrate why some people think that Douglas MacArthur was a jerk, not a hero.

Digging Deeper

10. Return to Philippines .

Although the Japanese could have been defeated sooner had the US followed a different strategy, MacArthur insisted on retaking the Philippines first to satisfy his own ego and make good on his “I shall return” boast. What an ego! Perhaps “We shall return” would have been more tactful.

9. Acceptance of Payoff from Philippines, 1942.

A dirty little secret kept quiet until 1979 was the fact that MacArthur, already paid as a US general and also as a Philippine Field Marshall at the same time, was paid a $500,000 bonus by the president of the Philippines. By contrast, Dwight Eisenhower was also offered money by Philippine President Quezon but had the class to refuse it.

8. Vanity.

Upon assignment as Chief of Staff of the Army, MacArthur took to calling himself “MacArthur” in some sort of convoluted “royal we” form. He also worked at his desk wearing a fancy Japanese kimono and smoked his cigarettes in a jeweled cigarette holder. Not only did he rashly make the boast about returning to the Philippines, but when he did return he was dropped off the landing craft ramp right onto the beach. That would not do for this publicity hound, so he had the landing restaged and refilmed so that he got off in the water and waded to the beach.

7. Got That One Wrong! 1944.

On December 26, 1944, MacArthur announced that the island of Leyte (an important island of the Philippines) was secure and only “mopping up” was necessary. After that announcement, over the next several months over 27,000 Japanese were killed on Leyte. Around the same time, General Willoughby estimated there were about 134,000 Japanese troops defending the island of Luzon (the largest Philippine Island), the next major target, and MacArthur derisively called that “bunk,” when in fact there actually were 287,000 Japanese troops on Luzon.

6. Immunity for War Criminals, 1945.

MacArthur gave the dreaded Unit 731 members of the Japanese Army immunity from war crimes charges after the war in order to get their research on germ warfare and other human experiment results. These murderous psychopaths escaped justice because of MacArthur’s miscalculation. He also refused advice to force Emperor Hirohito to abdicate even though many members of the royal family asked him to force the abdication. Royal family members were not prosecuted for war crimes even though the Emperor and some of the others certainly deserved to be prosecuted.

5. Miscalculation About Chinese, 1950.

After successfully kicking the North Koreans out of South Korea and moving right up North Korea itself, MacArthur was warned that the CIA estimated about 200,000 Chinese troops were now in North Korea with more to follow. MacArthur scoffed at such information and US forces were surprised and over run when the Chinese masses attacked. MacArthur’s reaction was to contemplate the use of radioactive poisons against the enemy!

4. Fired for Insubordination, 1951 .

After running his mouth time and again second guessing the President and national policy, thus undermining the US war effort in Korea, MacArthur was relieved of command, a humiliating end to a long career. President Truman was struggling mightily to avoid World War III springing out of the Korean War and MacArthur was personally baiting the Chinese and advocating widening the conflict.

3. Medal of Honor travesty, 1942.

After being evacuated from the Philippines, leaving his troops to death and misery as prisoners of the Japanese, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor for political reasons, despite the fact that he showed no heroism or particular efficiency in losing the islands. In fact, he was huddled up in an underground bunker and refused to go outside to see the situation or to rally the troops. He was derisively known as “Dugout Doug.” Dwight Eisenhower objected to this award personally to General Marshall, but was over ruled.

2. Loss of Philippines, 1941-42.

Despite warnings from Washington and news of the Pearl Harbor attack, the MacArthur led US and Filipino forces were taken by surprise so thoroughly that the air forces available to MacArthur were destroyed on the ground right off the bat. Though told repeatedly to initiate the war plans, MacArthur did nothing, despite his air officer asking permission to attack Japanese bases in Formosa. Despite outnumbering the Japanese, MacArthur managed to lose the strategically important Philippines anyway. In his haste to escape the attacking Japanese, MacArthur abandoned Manila and declared it an open city without any consultation with the US Naval commander resulting in many tons of US supplies burned to avoid capture by the Japanese.

1. Suppression of Bonus March, 1932 .

It is bad enough that a veteran Army officer would order troops to attack war veterans down on their luck, but MacArthur insisted on leading the operation personally, bizarre for an Army Chief of Staff to do so.

Question for students (and subscribers): Do you agree with MacArthur’s critics? Was he a hero or a jerk? Please tell us what you think in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

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The featured image in this article, a photograph of Gen. MacArthur signing the Japanese surrender instrument from, is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain in the United States.

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About Author

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.

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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us. they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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10 Facts About Pearl Harbor and the Pacific War

On 8 December 1941 United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered a speech referring to the previous day as ‘a date which will live in infamy‘.

The speech was followed by a formal US declaration of war against the Japanese Empire, launching the US into the Second World War. Much of America’s involvement would be against Japanese forces in the Pacific theatre.

What follows are 10 facts relating to the Pacific portion of the war.

United States

  • Japanese Navy launches a surprise attack consisting by the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7th of the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor, thus drawing the United States into World War II.
  • United Stated officially declares war on Japan
  • Hitler and Mussolini announce they are at war with America who retaliates with its own declaration of war .
  • Willy's Jeep Introduced for use by the US Army
  • U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for his 3rd term as US President.
  • U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend Lease Act providing military aid to the Allies
  • U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the GI-bill to provide financial aid to veterans returning from World War II.
  • Churchill and Roosevelt meet to discuss what will happen after the end of World War II.
  • The United Service Organizations (USO) begins operations providing coffee, donuts, and entertainment to US military forces.
  • Winston Churchill addresses a joint meeting of the United States Congress about War In Europe

Watch the video: Thursday, December 10, 1942- March 25, 1942 (May 2022).