How many Usaaf.....

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by (G/C) Lionel Mandrake, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. (G/C) Lionel Mandrake

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    We all,(i hope) know about the 'glorious' escapes by RAF officer's from German P.O.W camps.
    The brave and very daring exploits are very well documented in books and films.
    My question thus...
    How many Usaaf officer's or enlisted men escaped from a Luftwaffe
    controlled P.O.W camp, and made it back to England in the 1939-1945 war?
     
  2. (G/C) Lionel Mandrake

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    No takers? Ok, widen the search to any american escaping from Germany....
     
  3. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Stalag IX-B is often regarded as the worst of the camps that held American P.O.W.s.... Abuse of enemy captives, however, was not limited to the camps that held enlisted men..... For 87 days, 6,000 prisoners of Stalag Luft IV were forced to march 600 miles through freezing winter temperatures and snow..... When they arrived at their final destination, four hundred of the airmen were so badly frostbitten that they could hardly walk......

    In 1944, 76 P.O.W.s escaped from Stalag Luft III (the inspiration for the popular 1963 movie THE GREAT ESCAPE).... Only three reached safety, and Hitler ordered the Gestapo to kill 50 of the recaptured men -- an act that the Luftwaffe officers of Stalag Luft III told the Americans they deplored.....

    Seemingly, the G.I.s believed them; two German guards were invited to and warmly received at the 20-year reunion of the American Former Prisoners of Stalag Luft III......

    Instead of wondering about how many escaped, how about remebering the ones who didnt, and gave up their lives for the Defeat of Japan.....

    The Palawan Massacre of WWII

    The Island of Palawan is located on a narrow strip of land running southwest in the Sula and South China Seas off the West Coast of the Philippine Islands. In a two-year process after the Japanese seized Palawan Islands they used a work detachment of about 400 American prisoners from Cabanatuan to lengthen the airfield on the island. The Japanese wanted the job to take three months, but the project took two-and-one-half years to complete. After a few months, more than 50 percent of the men on the work detail were practically naked. Clothing was not supplied to the prisoners. What they had to wear came off their backs when they arrived because the Japanese took everything from them. The prisoners were given axes, picks, and shovels and first had to clean a jungle area 220 meters long and 210 meters wide. (History of the Defenders of the Philippines Guam and Wake Islands, Puducan, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1991, p. 56.)
    The POWs in the work details of Palawan were housed in old quarters in Puerto Princessa. The Japanese did not supply bedding to the prisoners, and sanitation was primitive. Housing was located on the East Side of the island near the airfield. Medical supplies were practically nonexistent; the supplies sent by the Red Cross were usually ransacked by the Japanese before the packages reached the prisoners. Most of the major drugs were filtered out. (History of the Defenders of the Philippines Guam and Wake Islands, Puducan, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1991, p. 56.)

    The POWs constructed a galley, dug latrines, piped in water, and made the necessary repairs to make their new "home" livable. (History of the Defenders of the Philippines Guam and Wake Islands, Puducan, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1991, p. 56.)

    Beatings, slapping, kicking, and other acts of brutality were part of the daily routine for the POWs. Several atrocities occurred on Palawan including the execution of four POWs who failed in two separate escape attempts. Six POWs were discovered stealing some food, and on December 1942, they were first beaten and jailed, then taken out and tied to a coconut tree. Each person was whipped with a wire whip then beaten with a wooden pole three inches in diameter. The prisoners were taken back to the brig and forced to stand at attention while a guard delivered blows to the face which rendered each man unconscious. They were then revived with water so the beatings could continue. Atrocities like this resulted in the Palawan Prison Camp attaining the highest percentage of attempted escapes of any POW camp in the Pacific. (History of the Defenders of the Philippines Guam and Wake Islands, Puducan, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1991, p. 73.)

    POWs were ordered into shelters under close Japanese supervision. A group of 50-60 Japanese soldiers entered the compound armed with light machine guns, rifles, bayonets, grenades, dynamite, large buckets of gasoline, and torches. Each shelter was attacked; a bucket of gasoline was thrown into each trench followed by a torch. Full explosions were heard among the screams of dying American POWs, and the cheering of Japanese soldiers. Hand grenades followed the torches to ensure all POWs were dead. For those who escaped the inferno of the trenches, a deadly machine gun cross fire awaited them which caused several POWs to die hanging onto a barbed wire fence. (History of the Defenders of the Philippines Guam and Wake Islands, Puducan, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1991, p. 73.)

    Those who suffered at the hands of the Japanese government, like the POWs of Palawan, received some retribution at the War Crime Trials held in Manila and Tokyo after the end of World War II. Altogether, 5,000 Japanese were arrested for individual acts of brutality which had taken the lives of over a half million people from Asia and the United States. About 4,000 Japanese were brought to trial. Of the 4,000, 800 were acquitted, 2,400 were sentenced to three years or more in prison, and 809 were executed. Tojo, the Premier (First in rank) of Japan and seven of his officials were sentenced to hang. General Yamishita the commanding officer on the Palawan Island and General Homma, director of the Army against the United States in the Philippines, were tried by the War Crimes Tribunal in Manila. Yamashita was found guilty of permitting brutal atrocities and other high crimes against Americans and Filipinos on the Philippines. Among the major charges against him were responsibility for the brutalities at Pasay School and the Palawan Massacre, as well as widespread slaughter of Filipino men and women in Manila. General Homma was held responsible for Japanese atrocities at the beginning of the war, the Bataan Death March, and Camp O'Donnell. Both Yamashita and Homma were found guilty and sentenced to death. Yamashita was hanged in February, 1946 while Homma died in front of a firing squad in April, 1946. (History of the Defenders of the Philippines Guam and Wake Islands, Puducan, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1991, p. 81.)
     
  4. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I never heard before of those Japanese atrocities.
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    :salute:

    May they never be forgotten.
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The Japanese conduct in Manila in 1945 was atrocious. Barbaric behavior was the norm.

    Gen. Yamashita had ordered his troops NOT to engage in such behavior, but for whatever reason, they did.
     
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