KISI INFO INDONESIA 1944 (BERSAMBUNG)

KOLEKSI SEJARAH INDONESIA

1944

 

 

 

OLEH

Dr Iwan Suwandy , MHA

EDISI PRIBADI TERBATAS

KHUSUS UNTUK KOLEKTOR  DAN HISTORIAN SENIOR

Copyright @ 2013

INI ADALAH CUPLIKAN DAN CONTOH BUKU KOLEKSI SEJARAH INDONESIA HASIL PENELITIAN Dr  IWAN , HANYA DITAMPILKAN SEBAGIAN INFO DAN ILUSTRASI TAK LENGKAP.

BUKU YANG LENGKAP TERSEDIA BAGI YANG BERMINAT HUBUNGGI LIWAT KOMENTAR(COMMENT) DI WEB BLOG INI

sORRY FOR THE UNEDITED ARTICLES BELOW,I DID  TO PROTEC T AGAINST THE COPY WITHOUT PERMISSSION

 

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

PENEMU DAN PRESIDEN PERTAMA

PERHIMPUNAN

KISI

(KOLEKSTOR INFORMASI SEJARAH INDONESIA)

TAHUN 2013-2020

SEJEN KISI

LILI WIDJAJA,MM

DEWAN KEHORMATAN

KETUA

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

ANGGOTA

ALBERT SUWANDY DJOHAN OETAMA,ST,GEA

ANTON JIMMI SUWANDY ST.MECH.

 

ANNGOTA KEHORMATAN

GRACE SHANTY

ALICE SUWAMDY

ANNABELA PRINCESSA(CESSA(

JOCELIN SUWANDY(CELINE)

ANTONI WILLIAM SUWANDY

ANNGOTA

ARIS SIREGAR

HANS van SCHEIK

 

MASA JABATAN PREDIDEN DAN SEKJEN HANYA SATU KALI SELAMA TUJUH TAHUN, PENGANTINYA AKAN DIPILIH OLEH DEWAN KEHORMATAN

BAGI YANG BERMINAT MENJADI ANGGOTA KISI

MENDAFTAR LIWAT  EMAIL KISI

iwansuwandy@gmail.com

dengan syarat

mengirimkan foto kopi KTP(ID )terbaru dan melunasi sumbangan dana operasional KISI untuk seumur hidup sebanyak US50,-

HAK ANGGOTA

SETIAP BULAN AKAN DI,KIRIMKAN INFO LANGSUNG KE EMAILNYA

DAPAT MEMBELI BUKU TERBITAN KISI YANG CONTOHNYA SUDAH  DIUPLOAD DI

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dengan memberikan sumbangan biaya kopi dan biaya kirim

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SEMOGA KISI TETAP JAYA

 

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Copyrught @ Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA 2013

Forbidden to copy without written permission by the author

PENGANTAR

Setelah melakukan penelitian selama kurun waktu empat puluh tahun  dari tahun 1973 ampai 2013 akhirnya saat ini telah ditemukan  informasi dengan ilustrasinya yang cukup lengkap yang berhubungan dengan sejarah Indonesia .

Saya telah berhasil mengumpulkan sebuah koleksi sejarah Indonesia yang merupakan salah satu koleksi terbaik dan terlengkap didunia,kendatipun sebagian ada yang telah dijual kepada kolektor lain tetapi ilustrasinya dan informasinya  ada dalam buku ini

 Penelitian ini dapat diselesaikan berrkat bantuan dari beberapa teman seperti  keluarga almarhum Soewil, Pak Cong , teman-teman di Sumatera barat yang banyak membantu saya dalam mengumpulkan koleksi dari Sumatera Barta, Herry Hutabarat , Aris siregar , teman di Medan,dan Jakarta  yang bnayak memberikan dorongan kepada saya untuk menyelesaikan penelitian ini  yang sangat penting bagi generasi mendatang . untuk itu saya ucapkan ribuan terima kasih

Untuk mereka dapat belajar dari sejarah, sehingga tidak mengulangi kesalahan yanm yang sma dan memanfaatkan hal yang benar dalam memecahkan maslah masa kini dan merupakan data awal dalam menyusun rencana masa depan/

Jakarta 2013

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA 

The Author Profile

.I starting stamps collection during 1955 very young boy. look my vintage photo with mother Diana lanny and father Djohan Oetama at Bukittingi West Sumatra 1955, my father passed away in 1985 and my mother just passed away in june 2011 at  91 years old.

b.Between 1960-1963, during study at Don Bosco high school I had started collected beside stamps all type of informations collections due to my Teacher Frater Servaas told me that I must collected the Informations due to the develping the satellite which made the globalizations which the growing of world cmmunications will became fast and no border between the nations countries, who have the Information he will became the leader and the King in communications, thank you Frater Servaas your info which made me could built the very best informations communications uniquecollection blog in the world.
Look at in memoriam Frater Servaas with my teacher at Frater middle school in memrian Frater Eric at my House during my Sister Erlita 17th years birthday in 1963.


also look my profile with my loving teacher who still alive and stay at Padang city west sumatra Pak Sofjanto at my house in the same time of the photo above


c.Between 1973-1983 many interesting history which related with the stamp and postal history and also with my life :
1. In 1972 I have graduated Medical Doctor(MD)

2.as the temporary assitenst at Pulmonology (Lung Disease) department in Medical faculty

3.In 1973 join the medical officer of Indonesia National Police


4.in September 1973 I was merried with Lily W.


5. in 1974 my first son Albert our photographer was born in November 1974, and later in January 1977 born my second son Anton our Editor .
a. Albert at Solok city west Sumatra 1978

b.Anton at Solok city 1978


6. Between 1975 until 1989 I have travelled around Indonesia myself or officially and I have found many uniquecollections that time.

7.In 1985 I have made a postal communications, I have send the aerogram to all Postal services in the capital city of all oin the world, 90 % send to me back the official cover,this could be done by the helping of Padang postmaster Ahmadsyah Soewil, his father collections I had bought in 1980.
The vintage photo of Soewil St.marajo ,during the chief of Painan West Sumatra Post office
look his photos

During Dai Nippon occupation he still at Painan and during Indonesia Independence war he was the Finance officer of Padang office and later in 1950-1959 the chief of TelukBayur Harbour west Sumatra post office, seme of the rare West sumatra during Dai Nippon occupation and Indonesia Inedependence war were his collectins,thankyou Family Soewil for that rare collections(complete infrmatins source Dai nippon occupatin sumatra under Malaya Singapore or Syonato Dai Nippon military Administrations and Indonesia Independence war collections.

8. Before between 1979-1985 I have joint the postal circuit club and I have found many covers from all over the world especially Latin America.This circuit as the help of my friend Frans,now he was in Bogor.

9.In 1990 I was graduate my Master Hospital Administration.


10.Between 1990-1994
I was n the duty at West Borneo and visit Sarwak,and i have fund some rare Sarawak stamps, revenue there and in Pontianak I have found rare sarawak coins

11.Between 1995 until 2000
I am seeking the postally used cover from the countries I havenot found especailly the new freedom countries.
All the postal stamps and covers I will arranged in the very exciting and unique collections, I will starting with Asia Countries, and later Africa, Australia, America and Euro.
This special collections were built dedicated to my Sons,especially the histrical fact from my vintage books collections as the rememberance what their father collected and I hope they will keep this beautiful and histric collections until put in speciale site in the CyberMuseum.
I hope all the collectors all over the world will help me to complete the collections, frm Asia I donnot have the cover from Bhutan,Mongol, Tibet, and SAfghanistan.but the stamps I have complete from that countries except my thematic bridge on the river kwai from Myanmar and Thailand.
12. In the years of 2000, I was retired from my job
this is my official profile just before retired.


13, Between 2000-2008
I am travelling around Asia,and starting to arranged my travelling unque collections.
14. December,25th 2008
I built the uniquecollection.wordpress.com Blog with articles :
(1). The Unique books collections
(2). The Unique Stamps collectins
(3). The rare Coins collections
(4). The rare ceramic collections
(5.) The Unique label collectins
(6.) The Travelling Unque collections (now changed as the Adventures of Dr iwan S.
(7). The Tionghoa Unique Collections
(8.) The Asia Unique Collections
(9.) The Africa Unique collections
(10). The Padang minangkabau CyberMuseum                                                              

15. In 2010

I built another web :

(1) hhtp://www.iwansuwandy.wordpress.com

(2)hhtp://www.Driwancybermuseum.wordpress.com

In this web the collectors will look the amizing collections:

(1) The Vietnam War 1965-1975, and another Vietnam Historic collections like Vienam during Indochina, Vienam Diem War 1955-1963,etc

(2) The Dai Nippon War 1942-1945, five part in homeland,pasific war,in Korea,in China, in south East Asia including Indonesia.

(3) The Indonesia Independence War  1945,1946,1947,1948,1949 and 1950.

(4) The Uniquecollections from all over the world.

(5) The Icon Cybermuseum, including Bung Karno,Bung Hatta,Sultan Hemangkubuwono, and also from foreign countries Iran,Iraq Sadam huseun ,Palestina jerusalam,turkey,afghanistan, libya Moamer Khadafi, Suriah , etc

(6) The Rare Ceramic Collections found In Indonesia, like China Imperial Tang,Yuan,Ming and Qing; also euro ceramic from delf,dutch maastrict ,etc

(7) The Indonesian History Collections  and many other collections

AT LEAST AFTER THE ALL OF MY COLLECTIONS ENTER THE CYBERMUSEUM AND OTHER WEB BLOG, I WILL ASKING TO GET  THE MURI CERTIFICATE.(INDONESIAN RECORD MUSEUM)

8. I also built a amizing collections due to my premium member prefered, like The Indonesia Revenue Collections from 19th to 20th century, the mysteri of the Indonesian vienna Printing Stamps, the China  Gold Coins, The Rare Chian imperial ceramic design foun in Indonesia, The Tionghoa (Indonesia Chinese Overseas collection), Penguasa Wanta di dunia(Women in Leaders) etc.

5. At Least thankyou verymuch to all the collectors who have visit my blog and support me, my last prestation in June 2011 (26 years from the first starting to built the e-antique or uniquecollections info in internet) :

(1) hhtp://www.Driwancybermuseum : visit 60.000, the highest per day 3200.

(2)hhtp://www.iwansuwandy.wordpress.com:visit 21.000,the highest per day 200.

(3)hhtp://www.uniquecollection.wordpress.com, visit 40.000,the highest per day 210.

Jakarta October 2013

Greatings from teh founder

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Indonesia History Collections 1944

The Dai Nippon

Occupation  java History Collections In 1944

 

Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private limited E-BOOK IN CD-ROM EDITION

Copyright @ 2013

 

 

 

 

The Dai Nippon Occupation Java

Part three

1944

 

 

Created By

Fr Iwan suwandy,mHA

Copyright @ 2012

 

 

 

1944

Entering 1944,

 Japan’s worsened condition.

 

One by one the region was overrun by the Allies, and even direct attacks directed to the country from Japan itself.

 

Top of Form

the Telegraph

ATOMIC BOMB WAS FOR MASS EXECUTION BY JAPAN
by Telegraaf – Amsterdam, Saturday, December 20, 1997

The commanders of the Japanese prison camps in 1944

 

 in the deepest secret instructions from their government in Tokyo gekeregen to an American or British invasion all Allied prisoners died
bring.

This commitment would be an important consideration for the Americans have been to the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nakasaki off. This enables the historian Dr. Amerikaase. Linda Goetz Holmes in her book “The
other Holocaust “, that very shortly in her native appears.

Top Secret
Holmes, a prominent expert in the field of the war in the Pacific, relies on secret documents of U.S. Military Intelligence from the National Archives in Washington.
They found these documents in a special folder of “Top Secret” that because of the demonstrable commitment of the Japanese Emperor Hirohito outside the process of Tokyo were held.

In the Japanese prison camps were in the period from 1942 to 1945 almost 40,000 Dutch prisoner of war and nearly 80,000 Dutch women, children and elderly men from the Dutch East Indies.

From a Japanese army orders to all camp commanders that they were given a free hand or their prisoners were executed individually or in groups. Also, the way they did, if they choose.

The gruesome plan was discovered by the Americans, who in the summer of 1945 a number of coded messages were able to decipher. It was even a date for the massacre said: August 26, 1945. Therefore, the U.S. has decided on August 6, the Hiroshima bomb dropping, said Dr. Goetz Holmes.

 

Original info

De Telegraaf


ATOOMBOM VOORKWAM MASSA EXECUTIE DOOR JAPAN
door Jos Hagers – Amsterdam, zaterdag 20 december 1997

De commandanten van de Jappenkampen hebben in 1944 in het diepste geheim opdracht van hun regering in Tokio gekeregen om bij een Amerikaanse of Britse invasie alle geallieerde gevangenen om het leven
te brengen.

Dit voornemen zou een belangrijke overweging voor de Amerikanen zijn geweest om de atoombommen op Hiroshima en Nakasaki af te werpen. Dat stelt de Amerikaase historica Dr. Linda Goetz Holmes in haar boek “The
other holocaust”, dat binnekort in haar geboorteland verschijnt.

Topgeheimen
Holmes, een prominent deskundige op het gebied van de oorlog in de Grote Oceaan, baseert zich op geheimen documenten van de Amerikaanse Militaire Inlichtingendienst uit het nationale archief in Washington.
Zij vonden deze documenten in een speciale map van “topgeheimen” die wegens de aantoonbare betrokkenheid van de Japanse keizer Hirohito buiten het proces van Tokio werden gehouden.

In de Jappenkampen bevonden zich in de periode van 1942-45 bijna 40.000 Nederlandse krijgsgevangenen en bijna 80.000 Nederlandse vrouwen, kinderen en oudere mannen uit Nederlands-Indie.

Uit een Japanse legerorder aan alle kampcommandanten blijkt dat zij de vrije hand kregen of zij hun gevangenen individueel of in groepen zouden executeren. Ook de manier waarop ze dat deden, mochten zij zelf bepalen.

Het gruwelijke plan werd ontdekt door de Amerikanen, die in de zomer van 1945 een aantal code berichten wisten te ontcijferen. Hierin werd zelfs een datum voor de massamoord genoemd: 26 augustus 1945. Daarom zouden de VS hebben besloten op 6 augustus de bom op Hiroshima te laten vallen, aldus dr. Goetz Holmes.

.

The Japanese had public transportation in Java quickly in order

 

 

Japanese propaganda 1944

 

 

 

 

 

1944, registered cover from Bandung, Java to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 1J1//1J20, 2J2, 2J5, 2J13), franked with a variety of unoverprinted Netherlands Indies definitives (1c, 2c, 4c, 5c and 7½c), plus General Issue 3½c (3 different), faint censor’s handstamp below. A bit wrinkled and soiled, otherwise Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Prison Camp Musician (January 1944 – August 1945)


In January 1944,

Han Samethini appeared at the entrance to Chungkai camp. He was in such a state that his own brother hardly recognized him:

A man stumbles through the gate, leaning on bamboo crutches, one of his legs covered in a dirt-blackened bandage. His uniform hangs loosely in tatters on his pitiful, shrunken frame. His face is bent downwards, which is why I need moment or two to recognise…my brother, Han! Panic stricken, I run to him.

“Han!”

His tired eyes in the sallow face light up. “Frank! So glad to see you. They said you were dead! Oh, my leg. It hurts, it hurts. What’s happening to me?”

Taking his arm, I support him to the hut, with fear in my heart as I smell the odour of a tropical ulcer. Oh my God, how far he is gone! He is so light, so awfully light! With a cold, sinking feeling I lay him down on the bamboo slats. “Jesus, not my brother, not him! You hear me?!” Han, too tired to speak, falls at once into a deep slumber. Only then do I realise that all the time I haven’t spoken a single word to him. [1]

 

 

Hospital huts at Chungkai
Watercolor by POW Jack Chalker
 
Source: Australian War Memorial (ART91822)


As he ran to the hospital huts to summon help, Frank shouted to Han in reassurance, “No fear!” But he had reason to worry. Tropical ulcers – festering skin lesions that could begin with the smallest cut – were a disfiguring and deadly scourge on the Burma Railway. Untreated, they consumed muscle and connective tissue down to the bone. The worst cases required amputation. Less drastic treatments included regular scraping of dead tissue from the gaping wounds until new tissue formed. Typically the work was done with sharpened spoons (scalpels being hard to come by) and without anesthetics. The screaming patient was simply held down by fellow POWs while an orderly did the scraping. In addition to the ulcers and severe malnutrition, Han had contracted malaria again. But a POW doctor reassured Frank that his brother might just pull through with rest, food, and quinine treatments. These life-sustaining essentials, usually meager in the jungle work camps, were relatively abundant here. Frank elaborates:

Like Tamarkan, Chungkai is not too bad as far as POW camps go. The Japs are reasonable because their commander is humane, the work is not too hard and the food is pretty good.

There is even a canteen where one may buy fried eggs, omelets, spicy snacks, ginger bread and rice flour doughnuts!

 

Finely cut native tobacco, properly cured by former tobacco experts from the British-American Tobacco Company in the Indies, is rolled with cleverly constructed tools into cigarettes of reasonably thin paper. Scores of men, unfit for manual work, are being employed by the “factories”, the entire profit of which is donated into the hospital fund.” [2]

 

 

Partially healed tropical ulcers on the leg of a Burma Railway POW
Source: Australian War Memorial (P01433.028)


Though Chungkai was designated a base hospital camp, doctors had to work with scant resources under the most primitive conditions.

A few drugs were obtainable through black market trading with the Thais, but the quantity was insufficient for the great number of sick and broken men.

The Japanese withheld or stole nearly all medical supplies sent by the Red Cross. Malnutrition compounded illness and injury. Critical for a patient’s recovery was the sheer will to live. This Han possessed, and fortified by the generosity of friends, who gave him all they could spare in food and quinine, his vitality gradually returned. [3]

Finally there comes the day when the silent prayers are answered, when the stinking holes in his leg close and the feverish gleam disappears from his eyes.

 

In the hours spent at his bedside, he tells me all about the ordeal he had to go through, the horror of the railroad, his share of the suffering. It is nothing new. His story is but an echo of that from many others, though with typical human selfishness, we here in Chungkai had forced ourselves to forget, to push back the screaming evil into the dark recesses of the mind, until the day of reckoning. [4]


Until then, the only way to resist the Japanese was to stay alive and do everything possible to lift the spirits of the men. Han asked for his accordion as soon as he was able to sit up.

At last Han has beaten the malaria and ulcers, but it’s taken almost all the strength he has left in him. He is too weak as yet to walk by himself, but he says that he can play for the boys if they want him to. And so a time is set, and one evening they take him to the stage on a stretcher.

 

They place him in a chair before a large crowd assembled on the parade ground. For a moment or two, his fingers run tentatively over the keyboard of his old accordion. A hush has fallen over the audience. Then, up spring and sparkle the notes, rising and tumbling down, in singles and in pairs, in chords of low and high notes like a musical fountain.

First they let him play a little while on his own, but not for long. As many times before, the magic of the sweeping rhythm and harmony of his music makes them burst forth into singing. “Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me. Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee” sounds over the heads of the men. “Home, home on the range” echoes against the dusty attap walls, touching the trees looming in the darkness, touching the hardened souls of these ragged, skinny people drawn together in close unity.

 

A unity which goes beyond the boundaries of rank and standing. For now the only important things are Dinah and My Blue Heaven, and She’s My Lady Luck, and Always, and more of the songs of old. But not Home Sweet Home, that is forbidden. The accordion is only audible at the start of each tune, the singing taking over immediately, drowning the mechanical sound in the human voices of the one and same hope they all carry in their hearts.

Lights-out comes much too soon. After Auld Lang Syne the men walk back to their quarters, contented, for had they not, for a little while at least, beaten the enemy? [5]

 

 

Caricature of Samethini at Chungkai
Sketch by Walter L. “Wally” Davis

Source: Han Samethini Collection

Concurrent with the operations in the Marshalls, Marianas, Palaus, and Carolines, forces of the Southwest Pacific Area moved swiftly along the northern coast of New Guinea, jumped to Vogel-kop Peninsula, and then to Morotai and on into the Philippines. The first amphibious advance of 1944 in this area was made

on 2 January 1944

at Saidor, to capture the airport there. The next major advance was begun early on the morning of

29 February 1944

y when a landing was effected on Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands. The Japanese sent reinforcements from Manus Island, separated from Los Negros by only 100 yards of water. Except for isolated groups of enemy troops, Los Negros was cleared on the 23d and Momote airfield, on the east coast, was ready for operation.

Manus Island was invaded on 15 March,1944

after the seizure of a few smaller islands, and an airfield there was captured the next day. At the end of April most of the enemy had been cleared from the Admiralties.

 

 

Chungkai Theater
Pencil and watercolor by Jack Chalker

Source: Australian War Memorial (AWM ART91826)

 

 

Chungkai Theater orchestra with the cast of Leo Britt’s “Wonderbar” (May, 1944)
Eight Japanese (or Korean) POW camp guards sit in the front row onstage.
Samethini sits in the orchestra pit, at bottom, second from right.
Source: Han Samethini Collection


The Japanese commander was so impressed with Han’s accordion playing that he exempted him from further railroad work. Samethini was assigned camp chores.

When these were completed at the end of each day, he devoted much of his free time to helping with entertainments at the POW theater.

Constructed in 1943 out of bamboo and attap (palm thatch), Chungkai Theater was the locus of the camp’s artistic talent. An orchestra pit delved in front of the stage accommodated the band, and the rising ground beyond formed a natural amphitheater that could seat an audience of 2,000. Prisoners crafted costumes, sets, and musical instruments out of whatever materials they could scrounge. Scripts of prewar plays and dialogue from cinema films were reconstructed from memory.

Original material was written as well. Through their combined efforts, the POW musicians, comedians, actors, and dancers made the theater an island of light and laughter in a sea of despair.

 

Leading lights of The Dutch Cabaret at Chungkai
(Clockwise from bottom left) Joop Postma, Philip “Flip” Brugman, and Ferry.

Source: The Museon

Here Samethini linked up again with Joop Postma, his old colleague from the camp in Malang. Postma headed the Dutch show group, Het Hollandsch Cabaret, in partnership with Philip Brugman and Ferry (whose real name is not known). The British and Australians also had their own groups of performers, but artists were not strictly segregated according to nationality. Show posters and handwritten programs often displayed names from all three nations. The versatile, gregarious Samethini participated in several Chungkai bands and ensembles, as an accordionist, music arranger, and on one occasion at least, as a singer.

Postma recalls Samethini’s start as a regular performer at Chungkai:

The first show was performed with Samethini and an English orchestra where he played. It had a homemade drum, a few violins, and an accordion. These were made with railroad material, of course. An old soap box with strings made of telegraph wire. We had to steal those, you understand.

 

But anyway, we got what we needed. It was a success. We had a Dutch-Indonesian young man – really more Javanese than Dutch-Indonesian – named Liddel, with a bass made of the soap box with wire strings.

It had such a fantastic sound that it drowned out everything else except Samethini, who had a huge accordion and knew every piece of music. He [Samethini] had studied four years at the conservatorium in

 

The Hague, and was very proud he was an Indo [a Dutch Eurasian]. But it was in his genes because his father played in a dance hall. This was a good time. He easily switched between playing for the English and for us.

But he always had to do all the musical arrangements for our show, for whatever instruments were available, because the English did have a conductor but he could not arrange music. And so it happened that this English conductor had composed a piece of music just like the Bolero of Ravel.

That man was called Smith. Samethini had to make the entire arrangement and did such an incredible job that he became indispensable. [6]

 

 

First page of the “The Exiles”
Composed by Norman Smith and arranged by Han Samethini
(See
Appendix B for the complete score) 
Source: Han Samethini Collection


Philip Brugman adds:

Every POW doctor will agree that these evenings in the Chungkai Theater were the best medicine for the sick men and the other POWs, yet after the war this has never been made clear. The performers of course had the advantage that their activities entailed a lot of exemptions from railroad work.

 

They were kept back as much as possible, especially when a work group was being formed to go up country. But most of them did have a chore in camp, and they had the extra duties to prepare the performances. And it was hard work to get a show stage-ready in five weeks time.

 

Joop Postma, for example, was the camp cook. Yours truly, the head masseur in the hospital. We both had a full day’s job, and in our free time we worked and rehearsed for the theater in The Dutch Cabaret. Every five weeks we had to stage a musical.

 

This was our specialty. Joop Postma was the director, who also took care of the comedy parts. Yours truly was the choreographer because, before the war, I studied folk and ballet dance. The musical portion was entirely the province of Han Samethini. The songs were written by Flip van Delden and the costumes made by Puck Jonkmans. And each group had its own set designer. [7]

 

 

Poster for “The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse,” produced by Leo Britt 
Geheugen van Nederland/The Museon

Poster for Eddie’s Road Show, emceed by Eddie Edwins
Samethini’s name appears in the credits

Geheugen van Nederland/The Museon

 

Besides The Dutch Cabaret, there were two English groups consisting of professional actors as well as amateurs, and these groups gave performances of high caliber.

 

Then there was a revue troupe led by the professional director Leo Britt, who also staged musicals and an operetta called “Wonderbar.” Also productions of very high quality.

 

Between our group and Leo Britt’s group there was a healthy rivalry resulting in much better performances by both groups. Joop and I performed in Leo Britt’s productions a few times. Then there was a road show group led by an Australian named Eddie Edwins, which performed brief improvisations like drama, singing, and dance numbers with himself as a comical emcee.

 

These Edwins shows were on a much lower level than Britt’s and Postma’s. The sixth group was a musical troupe, an Allied promenade concert party performing light classics. This orchestra was conducted by the Englishman Norman Smith. Of course, Han Samethini played a large part in this orchestra, as most of the members were in his Samethini band. Sammy was very popular everywhere. [8]


In April, Frank left with a party of POWs whom the Japanese promised, “Speedo big
yasme” (“very soon a long resting time”). It was a lie. The men were being taken to Japan for further slave labor. For a third time the Samethini brothers had been reunited in captivity, but they were not to see each other again for the duration of the war.

 

Pte. Walter L. “Wally” Davis, 5th Bn., Royal Norfolk Regiment
Drummer for the Chungkai POW Orchestra

Imperial War Museum

 

 

“English Drummer”
Sketch by Dutch POW Kees van Willigen
(The man depicted appears to be Wally Davis)
 
Legermuseum


One of Han’s colleagues at Chungkai was a British POW named Walter L. “Wally” Davis, who’d been the drummer for the Royal Norfolks regimental dance band. He recalls the physical hazards of playing in the presence of Japanese soldiers, who attended every performance. When displeased, for whatever reason, the guards interrupted shows by assaulting the actors and musicians. Davis began as a spectator. Of the period between between January and June 1944, he writes:


I nearly saw two
[shows], as I remember a pal lent me a pair of trousers to go in, but half way there I had what we called a “slight mishap” and had to go down to the river and wash them out before returning them, and back to my slats. The only one I saw was Dr. Gottler’s [sic] Revue “Thai-Diddle-Diddle” who not only got bashed up for one sketch, but also got sent away from the camp because he could not give the Japanese a satisfactory answer to what the cow jumping over the moon on the poster meant or even Thai-Diddle-Diddle. [9]

 

 

Poster for “Thai Diddle Diddle”
Produced by Dudley Gotla
 
The Burma-Siam Railway: The Secret Diary of Dr. Robert Hardie 1942-45


On June 15, Davis joined the orchestra as a drummer, performing with Samethini in many shows. When too ill to participate on one occasion, he was at least fortunate to avoid an especially zealous round of abuse:

Dec 25…I went down with malaria, yellow jaundice, etc. and whilst [I was] sick the Australians, British and Dutch put on a Revue “Cuts from the Movies” but owing to the Japanese thinking that the monkey in the Australian “Road to Singapore” Dorothy Lamour/Bing Crosby scene was taking the mickey, they bashed up all the band and artists, and the theatre had to be pulled down the next day. [10]

 

 

Concert program for “Sweet and Swing”
(Click images to enlarge)
Drawn by Piet van Velthuysen
Samethini credited as accordionist and vocalist.

Han Samethini Collection

 

 

Poster for “Lichten Op” (Hit the Lights!)
Dutch Cabaret show

Geheugen van Nederland/The Museon

 

 

Poster for “Zijn Groote Reis” (His Big Trip)
Dutch Cabaret show

Geheugen van Nederland/The Museon

 

 

Poster for “Van Lach tot Lach” (Laugh After Laugh)
Dutch Cabaret show

Geheugen van Nederland/The Museon

 

Among the groups Samethini joined was an ensemble called The Swingtette. It proved highly popular, and was sent by the Japanese on tour to other POW camps. In July or August 1944, these musicians gave a concert at nearby Tamarkan. Australian Major James Jacobs writes:

Following my visit to Chunkai, and by arrangement with Major Bill Pyecock, O.C. of the Chunkai Concert Party, we obtained permission for their “Swingtette” to visit Tamarkan and give us a programme. This swing band was a very clever combination of drums, slap bass, trumpet and piano accordeon. The accordeonist was a Dutch Eurasian named Samathini, and was far and away the best performer on the instrument I have ever heard. A sound musician, and a showman to his fingertips, Samathini made a tremendous hit with the Tamarkanites. [11]

 

 

Major James W. Jacobs
Royal Australian Signals Corps

Prisoners of the Japanese 1942-1945


A tour in November took The Swingtette up-country to a series of railway maintenance camps, where Japanese and Korean guards craved relief from boredom. Their performance at Kinsayok is recorded in the diary of C.D.L. Aylwin:

They came here primarily to play at a Nip concert on November 3rd – a big celebration of some sort but none of us attended. We benefited by two concerts during their stay. The first in this camp held inside a hut as it was raining and the second in the Korean camp in the open. Both were much enjoyed. They played light music and jazz. The illuminations provided by the Koreans for the latter concert was terrific. It was held after dark. I’ve not seen as a p.o.w. such generosity with candles, lamps and flares for lighting. [12]


As much as entertainments did to boost POW morale, still more encouragement came from news of mounting Allied victories and continuing Axis retreats during 1944. These reports were obtained through clandestine radios and passed along by word of mouth. One British-built shortwave receiver was kept well hidden at Chungkai. Its operators, the Webber brothers, continued their work even after the Japanese discovered a radio set in neighboring Kanchanaburi camp and beat two British officers to death.
[13]

 

Allied air attack on the Tamarkan rail bridges, circa 1945 
Australian War Memorial (P01433.004)


The most dramatic evidence of Japan’s waning fortunes came from the air, as Allied bombers hammered targets up and down the Burma Railway. American B-24s attacking the bridges at Tamarkan began their bomb runs at a point just southwest of Chungkai, flying low enough to be easily observed by Han and his comrades:
[14]

….we saw many planes flying their bomb loads to a spot dead-right over the bridge, which was promptly blown up. [15]


POW railroad labor was now used increasingly to repair bomb damage. By early 1945, trains returning from Burma carried growing numbers of wounded Japanese soldiers. With these obvious signs of approaching defeat, the captors became less tolerant of entertainments at Chungkai. Davis writes:

….On Jan 10 [1945] we were told that anybody who had valuables (still) had got to hand them in for safe keeping by the Japanese….Later we were told that the officers were all going down to Kanchanaburi, concerts would be allowed but censored. Each week a new order was given until we finished up with no announcing, no singing, no applause and a Japanese tune to be played in both halves [of the concert]. Although “Bill” G. Bainbridge the conductor and “Samathini” the accordionist used to put in the odd bars of British and Dutch patriotic tunes (and Col. Bogey) this caused controversy amongst the POWs as to whether to continue with the concerts or not. Some thought to continue [would have] looked as though as though we were Jap-happy. Others thought to stop altogether was just what the Japs wanted.

We continued for a while, but as Bill kept getting bashed up before we could find the interpreter to explain such things as “Tale” of Hoffman or Vienna Woods, [we] finished up with [the]”Swingtette” going round the hospital huts…. [16]


As a result of one such bash-up, or a beating received earlier in his captivity, Samethini suffered a ruptured eardrum. He took this injury in stride, never letting it impede either his music or his easygoing nature.

 

Chungkai cemetery
Geheugen van Nederland/The Museon


Davis sums up the quiet determination that animated the performers at Chungkai Theater, and indeed all POWs who survived the Burma Railway:

During the daytime if one was working in camp or sick, it was usual to hear Last Post being sounded three or four times a day as the funeral parties arrived at the cemetery where over 1,200 bodies of POWs lay. [These] are things that most men who were there will never forget. When the Last Post was played all the men in camp would stand to attention and as soon as it was over, it was back to work on whatever they were doing. I mention this because with the band and concerts it was, “The show must go on,” regardless of whether any of them had malaria with temperatures well over 100, touch of the trots, or feeling rough otherwise because a very close friend had passed away that day. The shows went on as usual, partly for morale and also to let the Japanese know they still could not break the spirit that kept us going. [17]

 

 

Tamuang POW camp, 1945
Australian War Memorial


On June 2, 1945 the other ranks prisoners at Chungkai were moved to Tamuang. It seems there was a small chapel in this camp, and on June 5, Samethini was inspired by the ringing of its bells to compose the song “Church Bells in the Morning.” The lyrics were written by Australian POW Ron Wells, a swing musician who’d performed with the Tamarkan concert party:

I hear bells with the morning light,
Ringing clear through the air so quiet.
Do they say, “Very soon have faith,
Loved ones at home pray for you always?”
There are church bells ringing in the morning,
Reminding me of the old folks at home.
And my heart is aching for that morning,
When I’m returning across the foam.
Then the church bells of my home town,
And the choir as they sing,
Will remind me of church bells in the morning
And the faith that they brought to me.
And the faith that they brought to me. [18]

 

Opening bars of “Church Bells in the Morning”
Composed by Han Samethini
Lyrics by Ron Wells

Han Samethini Collection

 

At Tamuang the Japanese ordered the prisoners to build a theater. Davis writes:

This [theater] was up in no time but was not used until one day when Colonel Ishi had gone to Bangkok for reasons unknown, and Sgt. Kokabu told us that we had got to have a musical concert, which started all sorts of wild rumours going in camp. I shall never forget that date. It was August 15 and in the middle of the very impromptu evening musical concert with no applause, etc., S.M. Atkins told us that the war was at last over and we were free once again… [19]


With the end of the war came Allied air drops of canned food, medical supplies, and leaflets telling of the atomic bombs and the Japanese surrender. In many camps the Japanese released the Red Cross parcels they had been withholding from the prisoners. POWs also obtained goods through trade with the local Thai population. It was a sudden, almost rapturous transition from fear and wretchedness to security and plenty. But though the hunger for food could at last be satisfied, rags and loincloths exchanged for new uniforms, and proper bathing and shaving enjoyed with soap and fresh razor blades, the greatest desire of every ex-POW was simply to return home.

 

The jungle reclaims its own
A section of the Burma Railway, September 1945

Australian War Memorial (P02310.009)


Over 61,000 Allied prisoners of war had been forced to work on the Burma Railway. Of these, 12,619 had died. The death toll among the Asian slave laborers was even higher, in excess of 85,000. One life, it is said, for every wooden crosstie laid. Though built at an appalling cost, it never provided more than a fraction of the logistical support the Japanese Army had hoped for. Without the constant maintenance provided by the POWs, much of the railroad soon vanished into the encroaching jungle, together with the abandoned camps that lay along its now desolate track.
[20]

Han Samethini would bear the marks of the Railway for the rest of his life: ulcer scars on both shins, partial deafness, eyesight weakened by malnutrition, and recurring malaria. But he was alive. All that mattered now was getting back to Surabaya to find Anna and Margie. What had become of them?

_____________________

Footnotes

[1] The Sky Looked Down, Chapter 13: More of Chungkai.

[2] Ibid., Chapter 12: Chungkai.

[3] Australian Major E.E. “Weary” Dunlop took over command of Chungkai hospital in early 1944. His diary contains the following observations on hospital shortcomings: “21 January 1944. Camp and hospital hygiene is extremely unsatisfactory: shallow, open latrines for the most part, very offensive and badly flyblown and used as both a deposit for excreta and refuse. The dysentery wards are particularly bad….The scabies centre has no disinfestation and no large drums for boiling. As at Tarsau, almost everyone is covered with scabs and sores….” Of the ulcer huts, where Samethini was being treated, he writes: “3 February 1944. My first day in the ulcer wards: the equipment is appalling. The patients are almost all scabies ridden and many have impetiginous sores all over them. No use has been made of beef or other fats for ointment. I am at once approaching the camp command for a supply of beef fat and am urging the construction of ward sterilisers and irrigating cans. There is no boracic acid for boric ointment so I am using carbolic ointment 1% as a sort of universal dressing. Something must be done at once to deal with scabies and infectious bedding and clothing. ” E.E. Dunlop, The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop (Wheathampstead, UK: Lennard Publishing, 1987), pp. 323, 326.

Under Dunlop’s leadership conditions improved substantially as the year progressed: “Discipline, supremely high morale, and the pooling of resources in foodstuffs, money, materials, and human ability were even more important than purely medical treatment. A duck’s egg daily might be all that was needed to turn the scales of a man’s life. Herculean labors improved sanitation and accommodation. Patients were trained as medical orderlies, others were employed in the mass production of improvised equipment, even if they were only able to whittle with a knife on their beds. Sick-welfare money from various national and unit sources was directed into a common pool, and used with the utmost economy in a planned series of special diets, or in the clandestine purchase of essential drugs from the Siamese. For example, at Chungkai from January to April 1944 we raised 38,000 dollars from prisoners’ meagre resources, largely from the officers’ pay of 30 dollars a month.” E. E. Dunlop, “Medical Experiences in Japanese Captivity” (London: British Medical Journal, October 5, 1946), p. 482. For details and statistics on the Chungkai POW hospital, click on the thumbnail images below:



[4]
The Sky Looked Down, Chapter 12.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Werkers aan de Burmaspoorweg, p. 249. Excerpt translated by Margie Samethini-Bellamy. On the matter of Han Samethini’s ethnicity (“very proud he was an Indo“), Postma uses the expression Indische jonge, literally “Indies boy”. It signifies a Dutchman born and raised in the East Indies, especially one of mixed European and Indonesian blood.

[7] Ibid., p. 252-253.

 [8] Brugman’s reference to his masseur job might seem incongruous with conditions in a Japanese prison camp, but it had nothing to do with luxury. POW doctors and orderlies used massage as physical therapy, e.g., to rehabilitate muscles damaged by tropical ulcers, work injuries, or heavy beatings.

[9] Chunkai P.O.W. Camp Theatre, by Walter L. Davis. Copy of an unpublished manuscript sent by Davis to Samethini. The document is not dated, but was probably written in the early 1970s. Dudley Gotla was a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps, hence Davis’ reference to him as “Dr. Gottler.”

Robert Hardie speculated that the title, “Thai Diddle-Diddle”, aroused the suspicion of the Japanese interpreter because one of the meanings of diddle is to deceive or cheat. Robert Hardie, The Burma-Siam Railway, The Secret Diary of Dr. Robert Hardie 1942-45 (London: Imperial War Museum, 1984), p. 141.

Assistant stage manager John Coast saw trouble brewing in the first act, which made liberal use of coarse Japanese and pidgin “Japlish” words (“Kurrah!” “Buggero!” “Benjo speedo!”). It was risky to poke fun, however subtly, at the war or the degradations of POW life. John Coast, Railroad of Death (London: The Aiglon Press, 1948), pp. 181-182.

[10] Ibid. ” Taking the mickey ” is a British expression meaning to mock or ridicule. The guards believed the comical monkey character was intended to represent themselves. American war propaganda often depicted the Japanese as simian brutes. See here, here and here.

[11] The Burma Railway: One Man’s Story, by James William (Jim) Jacobs (1947), page 118. Accessed on the web site Prisoners of War of the Japanese 1942-1945. Coast gives a similar appraisal: “The ‘Swingtet’ consisted of the double-bass, a guitar, trumpet, drums and accordeon; the Dutch accordeonist was the best any of us had ever heard, and he and the ‘bass player made the Swingtet into a combination that would have been of a genuinely high peace-time standard.” Coast, Railroad of Death, p. 182. 

[12] Imperial War Museum (Aylwin, Major C.D.L., IWM 67/330/1, Folder 8, 121). Text and source citation provided by Prof. Sears Eldredge.

[13] The work of the Webber brothers at Chungkai, and the murder of the British officers at Kanchanaburi, is mentioned in: Gavan Daws, Prisoners of the Japanese (New York: Quill/William Morrow & Company, 1994 ) pp. 214-215.

[14] William Henderson, an American bombardier who flew on missions against the Tamarkan bridges, writes that the IP [Initial Point] was “slightly west and south of Chungkai prison camp.” Lt. Col. W. A. Henderson, From China Burma India to the Kwai, (Waco: Texian Press, 2001), p. 72. Wally Davis was one of the ex-POWs Henderson interviewed while researching his book. Davis recalled being on the wooden bridge with a work party on February 13, 1945, when American bombers attacked the neighboring steel bridge. Ibid., p. 86.

In a letter to the FEPOW Forum in 1976, Davis wrote:

“…I was in a work party in the middle of the wooden bridge at the time. We were all looking up at a lone four engined plane which we thought was on pamphlet dropping, but when his parcel did not scatter like snowflakes, we did. I dived off the bridge into the river and had just got near the bank when there was a terrific metallic crash. I cannot remember which side of the river I swum to, where I ran to, or even how long I was there. When we went back to work on the wooden bridge we noticed that No. 8 pier and span lay in the river and No. 7 span at 45 degrees from pier No. 7. I have found out since that 6 B-24s of 493rd Squadron U.S.A.A. Force were credited with this raid. I have never been able to make out if it was the noise of the first bomb which affected my memory (at the time) in some way, or whether I was just scared on February 13th, 1945.” FEPOW Forum, The Official Magazine, Far East Prisoners of War Club, London (Number 15, Tenth Series, February-March 1976), p. 11.
 
[15] Quoted from a letter written by Han Samethini to his brother after the war. The Sky Looked Down, Chapter 13: Peace? As noted above, there were two rail bridges at Tamarkan, the first constructed of wood and the second of steel. Han refers to the steel bridge, famously known today as The Bridge on the River Kwai. Parenthetically, the “Bridge on the River Kwai” actually spans the Mae Klong River. Beyond that point the Burma Railway runs north, through the valley of the Kwai Noi River. Thus the Kwai Noi is the “real” River Kwai. The distinction between the two rivers was ignored in the postwar mythologizing of the steel bridge in literature and film. Accommodating foreign misconceptions in the service of tourism, the Thais have given the Mae Klong a second name: the Kwai Yai.

[16] Davis, Chunkai POW Camp Theatre

[17] Ibid.

[18] “Church Bells in the Morning”, Han Samethini Collection.

[19] Davis, Chunkai POW Camp Theatre. Hardie gives a slightly more accurate and detailed account of the surrender announcement at Tamuang:

“17 August 1945. Yesterday, after several days in which rumours were quite subdued, there were great comings and goings. Ishii went off, they said to Bangkok, excitement grew, a small party was brought in from another camp, who said they had heard the Japanese were giving in…then a high Japanese officer arrived and was closeted with the Jap officers in their camp. Finally RSM Edkins was called across to the Japanese office, and briefly informed that the war was over and that we would now come under our own discipline.

Edkins came straight across to the hospital area, where a concert was in progress, and made the announcement to the audience. There was a tremendous burst of cheering. The National Anthems of Britain, Holland and the United States were sung, and then ‘Abide with me’. One’s emotions were almost numb, after such long suppression of hopes and fears. One could hardly realise that the moment for which one had waited with such desperate but such doubtful hopes had come at last. It was over: we were free again, and would soon be in touch with the outside world, home….” Hardie, The Burma-Siam Railway, pp. 175-176.

[20] See the figures compiled by Neil MacPherson: Death Railway Movements. 85,000 would be a conservative estimate for the number of Asian forced labor deaths. The initial figure, as reported in the Australian press in September 1945, was 150,000. The toll may well be higher. No one knows for certain.

January,12th.1944

 

1944 (Jan. 12) Official stampless envelope made from a school form, with ‘Official Business’ red framed handstamp, canceled by purple ‘Kolonodale’ undated postmark. ‘Menado’ arrival backstamp. Rare usage, especially with the postmark in purple rather than the usual black.

 

ADVANCE PATROL CREEPING ALONG A BEACH to its objective just ahead,

21 January 1944.

 Attacks from all sides by the American and Australian units in their drive toward Sanananda met with stiff enemy resistance after Buna Mission had been captured.

 

CROSSING A JAPANESE FOOTBRIDGE,

 22 January 1944,

Converging attacks by Allied units, starting on 17 January, isolated the enemy units and by 22 January the Papua Campaign came to a close. This long, hard counteroffensive freed Australia from the imminent threat of invasion and gave the Allies a toe hold in the New Guinea area of enemy defenses protecting Rabaul, one of the main Japanese positions in the Pacific.

 

WOUNDED AMERICAN AND AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS waiting to be evacuated. Natives often acted as litter bearers for casualties. Of the 13,645 American troops taking part in the Papua Campaign, 671 were killed, 2,172 wounded, and about 8,000 evacuated sick. Troops fighting in this campaign learned the art of jungle warfare which proved of immense value in training divisions for subsequent operations.

 

ENEMY PRISONERS being fed canned rations by Australian soldiers. The enemy suffered heavy casualties in the Papua Campaign. Disease and starvation claimed many: only a few were evacuated and about 350 were captured by Allied troops.

   

 

 

ANTIAIRCRAFT CREWS MANNING THEIR GUNS in New Guinea; 3-inch antiaircraft gun M3 (top) and 40-mm. automatic antiaircraft gun MI (bottom).

 On 29 January 1944

 American transport planes began to ferry troops from Port Moresby to Wau, about 30 miles inland from the northeast coast of New Guinea. As the troops unloaded, they rushed to defenses around the edge of the field since the Japanese were then within easy rifle range of the airstrip. The next day a determined enemy attack was repulsed. On 3 February the Japanese began to withdraw.

 

Under the Samurai Sword, Clarence M. Graham, 1998 (Cal lives not too far from us in northwest Oregon. He was shipped to Japan

 

Japanese Occupation of Netherlands East Indies,1944 (ca.) large commercial cover used to Pontianak, West Borneo, franked with Japanese occupation of Dutch Indies 1g Dove & Flag (Scott N37) and Unoverprinted Japan 50 sen Showa tied by ‘Makassar’ undated postmark. Japanese Naval Censor’s violet cachet with red oval chop. Rare commercial usage of the key high-value of the pictorial set

 

 

 

 

THE OFFENSIVE —1944

 

 

The battle of production and supply, designed to build a foundation to support unprecedented Allied air and naval power, was won during 1942 and 1943, while Japanese air and naval power greatly diminished. Hawaii, the most important naval base in the Pacific, had become a training center and staging area for U.S. troops as well as one of the many important supply bases. In 1944, the strategic offensive against Japan began.

*See Philip A. Crowl, The Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls. and Campaign in the Marianas; Robert R. Smith, The Approach to the Philippines; and M.Hamlin Cannon, Leyte: The Return to the Philippines. All volumes are in preparation for the series U.S. ARMY IN WORLD WAR II.

Following the invasion of the Gilberts in late 1943, U.S. forces prepared for an assault in the western Marshalls, the principal objective being Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls. According to plans for the assault on the western Marshalls, a Marine division was to seize the northern half of the Kwajalein Atoll, principally the islands of Roi and Naraur; Army ground forces units were to capture the southern half of the atoll, including the island of Kwajalein, and to occupy Majuro Island, one of the finest naval anchorages west of Pearl Harbor. Supporting naval and air bombardment and artillery fire (the artillery had been ferried ashore on the small near-by islands) were brought to bear on the selected landing beaches of Kwajalein and Roi Islands of Kwajalein Atoll. Unopposed landings were made on both islands on 1 February 1944, with slight resistance developing after advance was made inland. Six days after the main landings, all the islands of the Kwajalein Atoll were in U.S. hands and Majuro had been occupied. On 17 February landings were made on the islands of Eniwetok Atoll; resistance was wiped out five days later. A two-day strike against Truk,

FEBRUARY 1944

 16 and 17 February,

 was executed by a large carrier task force to screen the assault of the Eniwetok Atoll and to test strength of the Japanese base there.

 

Although the strong enemy island bases in the eastern Marshalls were bypassed, the air forces maintained continual attacks on them throughout the year. Conquest of the western Marshalls provided air bases and a new forward fleet base in the Pacific.

The Mariana Islands, the next objective in ihe Central Pacific, differ from the coral atolls of the Marshalls and Gilberts. The individual islands are much larger and the distinguishing terrain features are precipitous coast lines, high hills, and deep ravines. Plans were made, ships and supplies collected, and the troops given special training for the invasion; meanwhile Japanese air and ground reinforcements poured into the Central Pacific.

March 1944

 

1944 (ca.) Underpaid 3½c Flag postal card used to Bandjermasin, East Borneo, canceled by ‘Langowan’ undated postmark. Various handstamps including Postage Due boxed cachet with ’15’ written in red ink. Some wear but a highly attractive usage with extensive handwritten message covering both sides.

April 1944

May 1944

The train was not an option

 

because of the more stringent checks and the necessary travel permits. The Japanese conducted from 1944 becoming increasingly strict food policy in the army but also Japan to provide rice and other products while they tried to placate the nationalists with the view of independence on the condition that the central government would regularly from Japan be. Because of reports of the advancing Allied armies took the recruitment of men and boys

 

 for defense activities very far but there was much propaganda conducted for work projects such as the Burma Railway where more than 80,000 killed in romusha would leave. The violent by the Allied bombing of Surabaya

 

in May 1944,

 

 the Japanese are encouraged to cooperation with the Indonesian nationalists to perform. Yet there were increasing reports in circulation that the Japanese were on the losing side and self-consciousness among the Indonesians grew thereby greatly.

More and more Indonesians had the better jobs of the Indo-Europeans taken over and residing outside the camps Eurasians were increasingly butt of ridicule and hatred. Not only the Eurasians and whites were victimized here.

 

In all sectors of Indonesian society was mutual racism abound. Indonesia is amalgamation of a variety different peoples and cultures and knew many walks of life.

 

To what extent the advent of Islam more mutual peace has brought to this day a special discussion. The former presence of the mainly Christian principles based colonial rule from 1942 was surprisingly quickly disappeared.

 

The Japanese Shintoism and Buddhism was not imposed by the Japanese and there were no serious objections to the animist and Islamic faith.

 

There were indeed very similar to the example Wahyu (divine power) and the enlightening influence avn divine Japanese Emperor.

 

And there were spiritual leaders like the Dukuns the upcoming President Sukarno would have given the green light because he is the new Ratu Adil would be.

 

Julie had her father’s confidence in the Dukuns copied and moved between her Catholic faith and thus the rural superstition in the power and strength of the Dukuns and pusaka’s (objects that would give added strength). It would have given her the strength the exceptionally difficult war years to come.

Under the Indonesian youth Pamoeda simmering desire for independence long before 1942. They accused the Dutch that the Dutch colonial approach had been focused on self-enrichment and oppression and the Japanese played it smart in their attention to indicate that the Netherlands had not wanted to give them. Education, nutrition, and the promise of self-determination.

The Pamoeda movement was taking shape and supporters took to the extreme corners of the country with all its islands.

On 17 May

forces debarked at Arare, 125 miles northwest of Hollandia, and established a strong beachhead. Wakde Island, just offshore, was assaulted the next day and was secured by the 19th. Other units assaulted the island of Biak

 on 27 May

to seize additional air base sites. Here considerable resistance was met and the island with its airfields was not secured until August. Noemfoor Island, where three airfields were located, was invaded on 2 July by troops which landed at points where reefs made invasion hazardous. The Noemfoor airstrips were captured by night of the 6th.

June 1944

An intense air offensive against enemy installations in the Marianas began

 on 11 June 1944

and a naval bombardment of Saipan began on the 13th, two days before the landings on the 15th. Opposition was heavy at first, but by the 25th U.S. troops, supported by tanks, heavy artillery, renewed naval gunfire, and aerial bombardment, drove the enemy from the high ground on the central part of the island. Again advances were slow and difficult with heavy troop losses. On 9 July the mission was completed, except for mopping-up operations which continued for nearly two months.

 

 

In July 1944

the Japanese Army, which had moved up the coast from Wewak, attacked the Allied perimeter at Aitape. Within a month the Japanese had been thrown back toward Wewak. At the end of the year Australian troops, which had begun relieving U.S. forces at Aitape in October, started a drive on Wewak from the west. While the enemy was bottled up in this area, the Allies continued to leap-frog up the New Guinea coast.

The last landing on New Guinea was an unopposed one made

on 30 July i944

n the Cape Sansapor area, on the northwestern coast of the Vogelkop Peninsula. The Japanese in New Guinea had been eliminated from the war.

 

Meanwhile, Guam had been invaded

on 21 July 1944

by U.S. forces in two separate landings. This invasion was preceded by a thirteen-day aerial and naval softening-up process. The two beachheads were joined after three days of fighting. The troops, greatly hampered by heavy undergrowth, concentrated on the high ground in the northern part of the island and, except for resistance from small groups of scattered Japanese, were in command of the island

 

On the morning of 24 July

an attack was made on Tinian, supported by artillery on Saipan. Enemy resistance, slight for first two days, increased when high ground was reached in the central part of the island. The entire island was overrun by 1 August.

 

by 10 August. 1944

A force of nearly 800 ships from the Guadalcanal area sailed for the Palau Islands, the next hop in the Central Pacific. Marines landed on Peleliu Island on 15 September while Army units landed on Angaur on the 17th. These were the two southernmost islands of the Palau group. Opposition on Angaur was relatively light. Much stiffer resistance was met on Peleliu, which contained the site of the major Japanese airfield on the islands. The troops succeeded, by 12 October, in pushing the enemy into a small area in the central hills of Peleliu, but many more weeks were spent destroying the remaining opposition.

During the fighting in the southern Palaus, Ulithi Atoll in the western Carolines was taken to secure a naval anchorage in the western Pacific. Air attack against bypassed islands was maintained. Meanwhile, huge air bases were being developed in the Marianas for use by B-29 bombers.

On 24 November

 B-29’s operating from Saipan made the first of a series of attacks on Tokyo.

On 26 November

U.S. units left New Britain, the enemy being contained on the Gazelle Peninsula by the Australians.

In New Guinea, after the Saidor operation, the enemy organized his defenses in the coastal area between Wewak and Madang. Surprise landings by U.S. troops were made at Aitape and Hollan-dia, both west of Wewak, on 22 April. Within five days the airfields at Hollandia and Aitape were in Allied possession.

Another air base site on the southern tip of Morotai Island, northwest of the Vogelkop Peninsula, was seized on 15 September at slight cost. The invasion of Morotai, lying between New Guinea and the Philippines, was the last major operation undertaken by Southwest Pacific forces before the attack on the Philippines in October.

Prior to the invasion of the Philippines a seven-day air attack, beginning

on 10 October,

 was undertaken against enemy bases on the Ryukyu Islands, Formosa, and Luzon. On 17 October, Suluan, Homonhon, and Dinagat Islands, guarding Leyte Gulf where the main invasion was to be made, were captured.

Despite all this activity, strategic surprise proved complete when, on 20 October 1944, the assault forces landed on Leyte. Heavy opposition was encountered on only one of the many beaches. Throughout the entire campaign, opposition at times was fierce although it came from relatively small units or from separate defense positions. Between 23 and 26 October the naval battle for Leyte Gulf took place. The enemy made every effort to hold Leyte; reinforcements were rushed in by every means available to them and during November an all-out struggle for Leyte developed. Bad weather conditions in November seriously interfered with the supply of U.S. forces and with air operations. On 7 December U.S. troops landed on the west coast of Leyte at Ormoc to place new strength at the rear of Japanese forces holding out in northwestern Leyte and to prevent the Japanese from landing any more reinforcements in the Ormoc area. By 26 December Leyte was declared secured but mopping up against strong resistance continued for several months.

HAWAII

 

 

SOLDIERS DEMONSTRATE METHODS OF JUDO (top); training in the technique of uphill attack (bottom). In the early fighting against the Japanese, the tropical battlegrounds of the South and Southwest Pacific imposed severe difficulties on the U.S. forces. Operations were hampered by a jungle-wise enemy whose tactics and weapons were well adapted to the terrain. In October 1942 U.S. commanders were directed to begin a program of training which would include specialized training in close-in fighting, judo, firing from trees and other elevated positions, map reading, and use of the compass for movement through dense undergrowth.

 

INFANTRYMAN CLIMBING OVER A BARBED WIRE FENCE during training at the Unit Jungle Training Center which was opened in September 1943 in Hawaii. The physical conditioning of troops was accomplished by crosscountry marches over difficult terrain, mountain climbing, and vigorous exercises which simulated conditions of actual combat. Obstacle courses were constructed to further harden the troops. The mission of this center was to prepare troops for combat against the Japanese in difficult terrain, by day or night, under all conditions.

 

 

TRAINEE JUMPING THROUGH BURNING OIL (top) ; hip-shooting with 30-caIiber machine guns during jungle training (bottom). Emphasis was placed on specialized training in patrolling, ambushing, hip-shooting, stream-crossing expedients, and jungle living. Training was also given in the assault of fortified areas, hand-to-hand combat, and the use of demolitions. As the varied problems of assaulting the Pacific islands arose, the training was changed to suit the particular requirements.

 

 

CLASS INSTRUCTION IN STREET AND HOUSE-TO-HOUSE FIGHTING (top) ; Medical Corps men move a soldier off a field under machine gun fire during training at the Jungle Training Center (bottom). The course in first aid and sanitation emphasized those aspects of the subject which pertained to combat conditions in the Pacific. Training in jungle living covered all phases of survival in the jungle terrain, on the open seas, and on Pacific atolls.

 

MARSHALL ISLANDS

 

MEDIUM TANKS M4A1 WITH 75-MM. GUNS, going ashore on Kwajalein. The stacks, at the rear of the tanks, were used to extend the vented openings; unvented openings were sealed with tape and sealing compound to render the hulls watertight. Waterproofed vehicles could be operated satisfactorily in water deeper than otherwise possible, permitting them to wade in from landing craft halted at greater distances from shore.

 

WATERPROOFED JEEP heading from ship to shore during the Kwajalein battle. Jeeps were prepared for fording by sealing the individual components and extending air and exhaust vents above the water level. Artillery that was ferried ashore on the smaller islands registered its fire on the selected landing beaches of Kwajalein and Roi, shifting fire inland two minutes before the leading assault waves hit the beaches.

 

WRECKAGE OF A JAPANESE POWER INSTALLATION found on one of the islands in the Kwajalein Atoll on 31 January 1944. As a result of the air, naval, and artillery bombardment, the islands were greatly damaged. With exception of rubble left by concrete structures, there were no buildings standing; all those which had been made of any material other than concrete were completely demolished.

 

FIRTNG A 37-MM. ANTITANK GUN M3A1 at an enemy pillbox, 31 January. The operations on Roi, Namur, and Kwajalein consisted mostly of ferreting the enemy from his concrete pillboxes.

 

MACHINE CUNS AND AUTOMATIC RIFLES cover advancing infantry, men as a tank and tank destroyer, in background, move forward. The machine gun in foreground is a .30 caliber M1919A4. Tanks helped cover the advance of the foot soldier and clear roadways for vehicles.

 

INFANTRYMEN, supported by a medium tank M1A1, move forward to wipe out the remaining enemy on the island. The fire raging in the background is the result of preinvasion bombing and shelling.

 

TROOPS MOVING A 37-MM. ANTITANK GUN over war-torn Kwajalein, 1 February. Before the attacks in the Marshalls, the enemy had a force of about 8,000 men on the islands to guard airfields.

 

 

ROUTING THE ENEMY FROM DEFENSIVE POSITIONS, Kwajalein Atoll. Infantrymen poised to enter a well-camouflaged enemy dugout (top). Using a flame thrower to burn out the enemy from his positions; portion of rifle in right foreground is the .30-caliber Ml with fixed bayonet (bottom). The concrete pillboxes built by the enemy on Roi, Namur, and Kwajalein were, in general, effectively reduced by bazookas and flame throwers.

 

 

.30-CALIBER BROWNING WATER-COOLED MACHINE GUN MI917A1 set up amid rubble on Kwajalein. Water-cooling the barrel of this gun permitted sustained fire over comparatively long periods (top). Men taking time out (bottom). The ground was occupied yard by yard with the aid of air and naval fire and additional flank landings.

 

GUN MOTOR CARRIAGE M10, used to blast pillboxes on Kwajalein. This weapon, called a tank destroyer, was mounted on the medium tank chassis and had a 3-inch gun Ml7 in a semiopen turret, and a ,50-caliber machine gun at the rear of the turret for protection against low flying planes. Six days after the main landings had taken place, Kwajalein was in U.S. hands.

CAROLINE ISLANDS

 

CONSOLIDATED LIBERATOR HEAVY BOMBERS, B-24’s raining 500-pound bombs on Truk in the Caroline Islands as part of a two-day strike executed to screen the assault on Eniwetok Atoll in the northwestern Marshals. The stiong enemy bases in the eastern Marshalls, bypassed when the western Marshalls were invaded, were continually harassed by air attack in 1944.

 

 

ENEMY SHIPS ON FIRE, the result of direct hits during the 17-18 February air raid on Truk. During the two-day strike, 270 enemy aircraft and 32 of his ships were destroyed.

MARIANA ISLANDS

 

 

INVASION TROOPS AND SUPPLIES ready for the run in to Saipan, 15 June 1944. Craft in left foreground are LCVP; an LCM(3) can be seen just behind them. The capture of the Marianas would sever the principal enemy north-south axis of sea communications through the Central Pacific, would become the initial step in the isolation and neutralization of the large enemy base at Truk, and would furnish staging areas and air bases for future offensives.

 

 

INFANTRYMEN DISPERSE FOR BETTER PROTECTION as they approach the front lines (top). Jeep, pulling a 37-mm. antitank M3AI, passes a group of men who are advancing toward a small Japanese settlement (bottom). Prior to the invasion on 15 June, a two-day naval bombardment was directed at Saipan. During the first four days of the attack on the island, Japanese artillery and mortar fire exacted a heavy toll from the invaders.

 

 

TROOPS RESTING beside the narrow gauge Japanese railroad on Saipan (top); wounded cameraman with a speed graphic camera SC PH 104 (bottom). The strong resistance and heavy casualty rate made it necessary to commit reinforcements on D plus I. By midday of the 19th troops had captured the airfield and driven to the east coast of the island.

 

JAPANESE DIVE BOMBER PLUNGING TOWARD THE SEA, downed by antiaircraft fire from a Navy carrier during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, which started on 19 June. Aircraft in the foreground are Grumman Avengers (TBF-1 torpedo bombers). A Japanese naval force approaching the Marianas caused U.S. ships at Saipan, except for those unloading the most necessary supplies, to withdraw to the east. Troops ashore were left without naval gunfire, air support, or sufficient supplies.

PHILIPPINE SEA

 

JAPANESE FLEET UNDER ATTACK by aircraft from carriers operating west of the Marianas. In the late afternoon of 20 June the enemy fleet was discovered at extreme range and shortly before sunset U.S. earner planes took ott. in this attack the Japanese lost one carrier and two tankers; four carriers, one battleship, one cruiser, and one tanker were severely damaged. The Battle ol the r ippine Sea broke the enemy effort to reinforce the Marianas.

MARIANA ISLANDS

 

 

TRACTOR TOWING A 155-MM. GUN OVER A PONTON CAUSEWAY reaching from an LST to shore on Saipan. The tractor is a high-speed 18-ton M4 model; the 155-mm. gun M1A1 is mounted on an Ml carriage (top). A landing vehicle, tracked, provides a shady spot for a game of cards during a lull in the fighting; this armored amphibian LVT(A) (4) was the same as the LVT(A) (I) except for an M8 75-mm. howitzer turret which replaced the 37-mm. gun (bottom). On Saipan tanks and heavy artillery added the weight of their guns to renewed naval gunfire and aerial bombardment after the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

 

 

A ,50-CALIBER MULTIPLE MACHINE GUN EMPLACEMENT (top); a 75-mm. howitzer motor carriage M8 (bottom). The enemy had been driven out of the high ground in the central part of the island by the 25th. After that, moderate daily advances were made over steep hills and through deep ravines in the north.

 

INFANTRYMEN ADVANCING ALONG A ROAD ON SAIPAN to blast an enemy pillbox beyond the next ridge. The 105-mm. howitzer motor carriage M7 in the left background was called the “Priest.” This vehicle was based on a medium tank MS chassis. During the night of 6-7 July the enemy made a massed counterattack which gained some ground and inflicted heavy losses on U.S. troops. The lost ground was recovered by the end of the 7th and the advance was renewed the next day.

 

MARINE USING A FLAME THROWER TO ROUT THE ENEMY from a cave turns his face from the intense heat. The two men in the center foreground are watching to intercept any of the enemy who might try to escape. Note casualty on ground to the right of the two men. On 9 July organized resistance ceased but thousands of the enemy remained scattered throughout the island in small groups.

 

2.36-INCH ROCKET LAUNCHER M9 being fired into a cave on Saipan 28 July. These launchers, called bazookas, were usually equipped with a flash deflector to protect the operator from unburned powder as the rocket eft the tube. The bazooka was employed against tanks, armored vehicles, p.llboxes, and other enemy emplacement! Operations to rid the island of the enemy contmued for nearly two months after organized fighting had ceased.

 

STREET FIGHTING IN GARAPAN, SAIPAN. Enemy buildings and installations were set afire by supporting artillery barrage before troops entered the town to engage the enemy. About 2,100 Japanese out of the original garrison of 29,000 on Saipan were taken prisoner. American casualties were approximately 3,100 killed, 300 missing, and 13,100 wounded.

 

155-MM. HOWITZER Ml ON CARRIAGE M1, on Tinian in the Marianas, 28 July 1944. The assault on Tinian was made on the morning of 24 July. By evening o£ the 27th the two divisions ashore had control of half the island. Enemy resistance, light at first, increased as the high ground in central part of the island was reached. On 1 August the remaining part of the island was overrun.

 

RESULTS OF A JAPANESE NOON RAID ON SAIPAN, November 1944 (note foamite on wing in foreground). Fire fighters attempted to quell the blaze of burning aircraft caught on the ground by the enemy. Before the fighting ended on Saipan, U.S. aircraft were operating from the captured airfield. Along with carrier-based planes, they supported ground troops landing on Tinian and Guam.

 

 

JAPANESE AIRCRAFT FOUND ON SAIPAN. A single-engined fighter plane (top) and the wreckage of bombers (bottom). Japanese aircraft markings usually consisted of a large red disc on the top and bottom of the outer section of each wing and on each side of the fuselage. The side marking was omitted on their Army aircraft but retained on Navy aircraft. Occasionally the red disc was surrounded by a narrow white line.

 

 

CAPTURED ENEMY EQUIPMENT ON SAIPAN. Type 93, 13.2-ram. machine gun mounted on a naval-type pedestal, dual-purpose single mount, which could be used emplaced on a dual-purpose position or emplaced solely for antiaircraft fire or only for ground fire (top). A Type 97 medium tank mounting a 47-mm. tank gun and weighing 15 tons; its manually operated turret could be traversed 360 degrees (bottom).

 

 

MEN WADING ASHORE AT GUAM keep together and follow the shallowest area around the reef; amphibian vehicle on right is bringing in supplies and equipment (top). A beachhead casualty being evacuated in an LCM (3) (bottom). Guam was attacked on 21 July, three days before the landings on Tinian. A thirteen-day air and naval softening-up barrage was directed at Guam before the invasion.

 

INFANTRYMEN ON HIGH GROUND ABOVE AGAT BEACH keep their bayonets fixed for expected contact with the enemy. Vegetation is typical of much of the high ground in central Guam. Two separate landings were made by Marines and Army ground troops about Ty2 miles apart on either side of Orote Peninsula on the western side of Guam.

 

MEDIUM TRACTOR M5 dragging sleds of ammunition to the from as a jeep equipped to lay wire waits on the side of the road. Tropical rains and constant traffic produced a sea of mud on the roads to the dumps. It often took a tractor such as this three hours to make a round trip from the beach to the supply dump, a distance in some cases of only 600 yards. The two beachheads were joined after three days of fighting. Orote Peninsula with its harbor and airstrip was gained when the cut-off enemy in this area was wiped out.

 

 

CLOSING IN ON AN ENEMY POSITION. Explosives being used to destroy a dugout (top) ; note 37-mm. antitank gun M3A1 (bottom). On 30 July American units made an attack toward the north end o£ the island.

 

 

ENEMY BEING ROUTED FROM ONE OF MANY CAVES ON GUAM; before dynamite charges were set in his pillboxes, dugouts, and caves, he was given a chance to surrender (top). Men washing behind the defensive line after a long hard trek (bottom). The advance to the north end of the island was considerably hampered by jungle terrain. The enemy put up a stubborn defense on the high ground in the north and organized resistance did not cease until 10 August.

 

 

OBSERVERS USING AN OBSERVATION TELESCOPE M19 watch ior signs of the enemy from the high ground (top). Two burning medium tanks M4A1 hit by enemy antitank guns near Yigo (bottom). As on Saipan, wiping out scattered enemy forces continued long after the main battle was over.

 

B-24’S APPROACHING FOR AN ATTACK on Yap Island, 20 August 1944. Aircraft operating from fields on Saipan had supported landings on Tinian and Guam and struck at enemy installations in the northern Marianas, and the Bonin, Volcano, Palau, Ulithi, Yap, and Ngulu islands. The next hop of the American ground forces was to the Palau Islands.

PALAU ISLANDS

 

MARINES PINNED DOWN BY ENEMY FIRE on Peleliu Island in the Palaus. An American force from Guadalcanal assaulted Peleliu on 15 September and Anguar on 17 September, the two southernmost islands in the Palau group. Peleliu was the site of the major Japanese airfield in the group of islands and Angaur was important as a suitable location for the construction of a large-size bomber base.

 

MEN STRUGGLE UP A STEEP SLOPE ON PELELIU. The assault of this island was met with considerable opposition. On D day the enemy, supported by tanks, launched a counterattack against the landing forces. This attack was repulsed and the next day the airfield was captured.

 

BATTLE-WEARY MARINE grins at camerman during the hard fight on Peleliu. Note hand grenades within easy reach on shirt. After the airfield was seized, attack was made to the north against heavily fortified enemy positions in the hills. Progress over the rough terrain was very slow. The enemy was forced into a small area in the central part of the island by 9 October and it took many more weeks to ferret him out.

 

THE VOUGHT KINGFISHER two-seat observation seaplane OS2U-3 flies over firing ships and landing craft which carried invading forces to the shores of Angaur. The final loading of men used in the operations at Angaur and Peleliu was made in the Solomons.

 

RAGING FIRE OF AN AMERICAN AMMUNITION DUMP after a direct hit by an enemy mortar. Compared with the battle on Peleliu, opposition was considered fairly light on Angaur. No landings were planned on Babelthuap Island, the largest and most strongly garrisoned island in the Palau group.

 

INFANTRYMEN ON ANGAUR PASS AN ENEMY CASUALTY lying across the narrow gauge railroad of the island. Tanks are medium M4A4’s. Remaining groups of the enemy were holed in the northwest part ot the island. Angaur was declared secure on 20 September, though some fighting continued.

 

WAR DAMAGE FOUND ON ANGAUR near the town of Saipan. In the Palau operation, U.S. casualties amounted to approximately 1,900 killed, over 8,000 wounded, and about 135 missing. Enemy casualties for this operation were about 13,600 killed and 400 captured.

 

FORMATION OF LIBERATORS OVER ANGAUR ISLAND. A B-24 heavy bomber group operating from Angaur received training in raids against the northern Palaus and the Carolines. During the latter part of 1944 enemy bases were constantly bombed from newly acquired American airfields.

ULITHI

 

NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIERS IN ULITHI ANCHORAGE. While fighting continued in the Palaus, an unopposed landing was made in the Ulithi Atoll, 23 September 1944. Steps were taken at once to develop the anchorage at Ulithi, the best available shelter in the western Carolines for large surface craft.

MARIANA ISLANDS

 

 

BOEING B-29 SUPERFORTRESS, the “Tokyo Local,” taking off from Saipan to bomb Tokyo (top) and coming in for a landing after the raid (bottom). Superfortresses made the first of a series of attacks on Tokyo on 24 November 1944, operating from Saipan.

TOKYO

 

 

FIRES lvhich resulted from the first raid on Tokyo by Superfortresses; note native dress of the women in the bucket-brigade line (top). Extinguishing the fires of a blazing building; note antiquated fire equipment (bottom). These photographs are copies of the originals taken from Japanese files.

NEW GUINEA

 

 

LST’S UNLOADING troops and an artillery observation plane directly on shore during the amphibious landing at Saidor on the north coast of New Guinea, 2 January 1944 (top and bottom, respectively). This constituted the first advance of 1944 in the Southwest Pacific Area. Action in the Southwest and Central Areas was concurrent in 1944.

 

AERIAL VIEW OF SHORE LINE NEAR SAIDOR; ships along the coast are LST’s. A regimental combat team landing here had the airstrip at Saidor in use on 7 January.

 

 

EQUIPMENT BEING FERRIED ACROSS A RIVER near Saidor (top). Crawler-type tractor with diesel engine plowing along a muddy road near Saidor; these tractors were mainly used to tow artillery and equipment over rough terrain (bottom). Tropical rains in this area greatly impeded the moving of supplies.

 

HEAVILY LOADED TROOPS CROSSING A RIVER in the Saidor area. In February reconnaissance planes reported that the Admiralty Islands were occupied by only a few small enemy units which were guarding the airfields there.

ADMIRALTY ISLANDS

 

INVADING FORCES LOUNGE ON THE DECK OF A SHIP taking them to Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands. These men landed on the east shore of the island near Momote airfield on morning of 29 February 1944.

 

 

MOMOTE AIRFIELD, looking northwest on Los Xegros Island, Hyane Harbour on left (top); another view of the field, looking northeast (bottom). Following an unopposed landing, the enemy guards at the airfield were overcome, leaving the field in U.S. hands. During the night of 29 February-1 March an enemy counterattack was repulsed.

 

 

155-MM. GUN M1918M1 AND 105-MM. HOWITZER M2A1 (top and bottom, respectively) firing on Japanese positions on Manus Island from Los Negros, 23 March. Japanese reinforcements from Manus Island, separated from Los Negros by about 100 yards of water, were thrown into battle. By the 23d Los Negros, except for isolated enemy units, was captured and the airfield was ready for operation.

 

CAPTURED JAPANESE NAVAL GUN BEING FIRED by an American soldier in the Admiralties. On 15 March, after the seizure of a few smaller islands in the Admiralties, troops landed on Manus. By the end of April most of the enemy in the Admiralties was overcome.

NEW GUINEA

 

 

PART OF A TASK FORCE HITTING THE BEACH at Aitape. 22 April (top). Reinforcements moving inland to their bivouac area (bottom). This landing was one of three made that day on the northern coast of New Guinea. Earlier, the U.S. Navy pounded enemy bases in the western Carolines and western New Guinea to prevent the Japanese from launching attacks against these landing forces.

GREEN ISLAND

 

ALLIED FORCES LANDING ON GREEN ISLAND from LST’s. While the fighting continued in New Guinea, the Allies occupied Green and Emirau Islands, completing the encirclement of the once powerful Japanese base at Rabaul.

NEW GUINEA

 

MEDIUM TANKS AND THEIR CREWS pause in their drive toward the airstrip during the first day ashore. Tank in the foreground is temporarily out of use. The landing at Aitape was designed to engage the enemy in the area and provide air support for the troops at Hollandia.

 

CAPTURED ENEMY SOLDIER BEING QUESTIONED at Aitape. The operation there gave the Allies another airstrip.

 

 

REMAINS OF A LIGHTNING FIGHTER PLANE P-38 which crashed during a landing (top), and a Flying Fortress B-17 which crashed when its right wheel gave way on an airstrip at Aitape (bottom). Since spare parts to maintain aircraft were difficult to obtain, maintenance men would strip crashed and crippled planes of usable parts almost before the engines cooled.

(pics coming soon)

ENEMY OIL DUMP ABLAZE from preinvasion naval fire as troops (top) and tanks (bottom) make their way inland from one of the invasion bases at Hollan-dia, 22 April. Forces invaded Hollandia, landing at Tanahmerah Bay and 25 miles to the east at Humbolt Bay. Simultaneous landings were made at Aitape, 90 miles east of Hollandia.

HOLLANDIA AREA NEW GUINEA, looking west from Humboldt Bay across Jautefa Bay to Lake Sentani, center background. The lake is approximately eight air miles inland; the three airfields were about fifteen air miles inland, north of the lake.

TROOPS MOVING INLAND on 22 April found the way through the swampy areas near Hollandia difficult (top). The men exercised much caution as they penetrated the jungle toward the Hollandia airstrips (bottom). The landings were virtually unopposed since the enemy had taken to the hills.

LAKE SEtNTANI NEAR HOLLANDIA. Men in a “Buffalo,” LVT(A) (2), are firing a machine gun at enemy riflemen hidden in the bushes (top); troops wade through knee-deep water, 27 April (bottom). Despite the dense jungle and lack of overland communications, satisfactory progress was made. The three airfields at Hollandia were taken within five days of the landings.

SUPPLY OPERATIONS ON A BEACH NEAR HOLLANDIA. Trucks lined up along the water’s edge have just been unloaded from the LST in the background (top) ; a conveyor being used to help unload supplies (bottom). As soon as the airstrips were in full operation and the port facilities at Hollandia developed, U.S. forces were ready for further attacks at points along the northwestern coast of New Guinea.

155-MM. HOWITZER M1918 firing on Japanese positions. Only slight opposition was encountered when a regimental combat team debarked on 17 May at Arare just east of a major enemy supply and staging point at Sarmi.

MAIN ROAD AT ARARE being used to transport supplies, 24 May. On 18 May, with artillery support from the mainland, near-by Wakde Island was assaulted. The next day the large airfield there was taken at a cost of about a hundred U.S. casualties.

BIAK ISLAND

 

TROOPS ON BIAK ISLAND. While the positions on Wakde and in the Arare area were being consolidated, other units assaulted Biak, about 200 miles to the west, on 27 May. Only slight opposition was met during the first day ashore; on the second day the advance inland was stopped by heavy enemy fire. On 29 May the enemy counterattacked and a bitter battle ensued.

ADVANCING INLAND ON BIAK; note cave beneath footbridge. Biak was assaulted to broaden the front for air deployment.

CAVES ON BIAK, which constituted the major Japanese strong points, were north of the airfield. The enemy, entrenched in other caves commanding the coastal road to the airstrips, launched attacks on U.S. troops, thus retarding the advances.

INFANTRYMAN READING AN ISSUE OF YANK MAGAZINE, just a few feet away from an enemy casualty. The Japanese attempt to reinforce his units on Biak was repulsed by U.S. air and naval forces and by 20 June the ground forces had captured the three airfields on the island.

NOEMFOOR ISLAND

 

COMMAND POST SET UP ON D DAY, 2 JULY, near Kamiri airstrip on No-emfoor Island. Note camouflaged walkie-talkie, SCR 300. The troops went ashore at points where reefs and other natural obstacles made the landings hazardous.

INFANTRYMEN CROSS THE KAM1RI AIRSTRIP, keeping low to avoid enemy fire (top); 60-mm. mortar emplacement near the airstrip, 2 July (bottom) . Prior to the landings on Noemfoor, Japanese airfields near by were effectively neutralized by aerial bombardment.

AIRDROP AT KAMIRI STRIP. The invasion lorccs on Noemfoor were reinforced by a parachute infantry regiment which dropped directly onto the airstrip.

A PARATROOPER HANGING SUSPENDED FROM A TREE in which his parachute was caught during the drop at Noemfoor. All three airfields here were captured by the night oi 6 July.

NEW GUINEA

 

WATER SPLASH FROM A DEPTH CHARGE dropped off the coast near Cape Sansapor, 30 July 1944. An amphibious force carried out a landing near Cape Sansapor on the Vogelkop Peninsula in western New Guinea on the same day

INFANTRYMEN MOVING ALONG THE BEACH at Cape Sansapor on 31 July; portion of LST in right background. The landings here were unopposed and the construction of new airfields began at once. By this move a large number of the enemy were bypassed and forced to begin an immediate withdrawal to the southwest coast.

CAPE SANSAPOR; note jetty projecting out from shore. The landing here was the last made by U.S. forces on the shores of New Guinea.

END OF AN A-20. The Douglas light bomber, caught by Japanese flak off the coast of New Guinea near Karas Island, goes out of control (top) and explodes (bottom).

MOROTAI ISLAND

 

LCI’S UNLOADING ASSAULT FORCES offshore at Morotai, northwest of Vogelkop Peninsula. The southern tip of Morotai Island was selected as the site for one of the last air bases needed before invading the Philippines. D Day for this operation was 15 September, the same day that the invasion of Peleliu in the Palau group took place. On 30 September several airfields were made operational on the island.

NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES

 

CAMOUFLAGED JAPANESE PLANE, just before it went up in flames from the approaching parafrag bombs, during a low-level bombing and strafing attack on an airdrome in the Netherlands East Indies.

RAID ON JAPANESE OIL-PRODUCING FACILITIES IN BALIKPAPAN, Borneo, October 1944. Aircraft, returning to their base, are B-24’s. While preparations were being made for the invasion of the Philippines, U.S. Air Forces early in October neutralized enemy air strength on Mindanao, attacked Japanese shipping throughout the Netherlands East Indies, and conducted heavy raids on the oil-producing facilities in Borneo.

LEYTE

 

FINAL INSPECTION OF TROOPS at one of the staging areas on Los Negros, an island of the Admiralty group, before they board ships for the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines. The two Army corps which were to be used for the invasion were to rendezvous at sea about 450 miles east of Leyte and then proceed to make simultaneous landings on the east coast of that island.

ADMIRALTY ISLANDS

 

LOADING OF MEN AND SUPPLIES AT SEEADLER HARBOUR, Los Negros. The entire expedition comprised more than 650 ships oal categories. Before invading Leyte three sentinel islands guarding Leyte Gulf Suluan, Hom, and Dinagat, were taken on 17 and 18 October, after which Navy mine sweepers cleared a channel for the approaching armada.

PHILIPPINES

 

UNLOADING AT A BEACH ON LEYTE. 21 October 1944. Beyond the two barges are several LCM(3)’s. An LVT(A)(2), the armored Buffalo, can be seen on the beach. On 20 October landings were made on three beaches; one in the Palo area; another between San Jose and Dulag; and the third about fifty-five miles to the south to control Panaon Strait which was between Leyte and the near by island of Panaon.

PORTION OF A LANDING BEACH ON LEYTE where Philippine civilians left their hiding places to see the American forces. Fires smouldering in the background were caused by preinvasion aerial and naval bombardment. On one of the beaches heavy opposition was encountered. Enemy mortar and artillery fire sank several landing craft and U.S. forces had to fight their way across the beach.

WATER SUPPLY POINT set up near a beach on Leyte, 21 October; note the colapsible water tank. By the end of the 21s , Tacloban, San Jose, Dulag, and two airfileds were captured. Heavy fighting continued at Palo.


INFANTRYMEN AND A MEDIUM TANK MOVING FORWARD on Leyte. At the time of the invasion, the Japanese had only one division stationed on Leyte. Their vital supplies at Tacioban were lost to them on the 21st and they appeared to have no organized plan of defense, offering resistance only at widely scattered points.

MEN CAUTIOUSLY MOVING IN on an enemy machine gun position, 24 October. The infantryman on the right is armed with a .30-caliber Browning automatic rifle M1918A2. The fight for Palo ended on 24 October when a suicidal enemy counterattack that penetrated the center of town was repulsed.

FIRING A 155-MM. GUN M1A1 on an advancing Japanese column. While US ground troops advanced on Leyte, the battle for leyte Gulf took place, 23-26 October. The enemy, using a force comprising more than half his naval strength, suffered a crippling bow.

8-INCH HOWITZERS MI EMPLACED ON LEYTE. By 5 November American forces reached the vicinity of Limon at the northern end of the valley road leading to Ormoc, the principal Japanese installation of the island. Bitter fighting continued and was made more difficult by typhoons which inaugurated the rainy

B-25 APPROACHING A JAPANESE WARSHIP in Ormoc Bay. U.S. planes, operating from fields on Morotai, raided enemy ships in Ormoc Bay on 2 November in an attempt to keep the Japanese from landing reinforcements.

DIRECT HIT ON A JAPANESE WARSHIP by a B-25 in Ormoc Bay. Two transports and six escorting ships were sunk in the 2 November raid; however, by 3 November the Japanese had landed some 22,000 fresh troops at Ormoc Bay to reinforce the 16,000 original troops on Leyte.

PHILIPPINE CIVILIANS carrying supplies to the front for U.S. troops. Heavy rains and deep mud harassed the supply lines and forward units were dependent on hand-carry or improvised means of transporting supplies.

60-MM. MORTAR used to fire on enemy pillboxes. The Japanese, battling fiercely, delayed but could not stop the U.S. drive in the Ormoc valley. By the end of November troops were closing in on Limon and were threatening Ormoc from the south.

TROOPS USING JAPANESE HORSES AND MULE to transport their supplies. On 1 December seven divisions were ashore and five airfields were in operation. On 7 December a division landed south of Ormoc and by 10 December Ormoc was captured together with great quantities of enemy supplies and equipment. Some enemy survivors fled to the hills.

AMERICAN MOTOR CONVOY moving through the streets of a town on Leyte; vehicle in foreground is a cargo carrier M29. Valencia was taken on 18 December, Libungao on 20 December. After troops moved down from the mountains to take Cananga on 21 December, the enemy retreated westward. The Leyte Campaign was considered closed on 26 December but mopping up activities continued for several months.

LINESMAN STRINGING COMMUNICATIONS WIRE ON GUAM stops to watch Liberators taking off from the airfield there. During the last part of 1944 the number of B-29’s based in the Marianas was rapidly increased for participation in strategic bombing attacks on Japanese industrial centers. Large-scale raids on the industry of Japan were soon to be launched.

B-29’S LEAVING THEIR BASE ON GUAM for a strategic bombing mission on Japanese industry. As 1944 drew to a close, although the Allies had gained a foothold in the Philippines, the enemy continued to fight with the same fanatical zeal and tenacity of purpose as he did in the early days of the war. While his air, naval, and ground forces had been considerably reduced, he still had strong forces at his disposal for defense.

SECTION IV. THE FINAL PHASE*

 

The last three months of 1944 marked the almost complete destruction of Japanese air power in the Philippines and the defeat of the enemy ground forces on Leyte. In January 1945 men and equipment began to arrive in the Pacific in ever increasing numbers. Sixth and Eighth Armies were fighting the Japanese in the Philippines, while the Tenth was being organized to be used later on Okinawa. The Navy and Air Forces were also expanding in number of men, ships, and planes.

*See Robert R Smith and M. Hamlin Cannon. Luzon and Ihe Southern Philippines, in preparation for the series V. S. ARMY IN WORLD WAR II: and Roy E. Appleman. James M. Burns. Russell A. Gugeler, and John Stevens, Okinawa: The Last Battle, Washmgton, 1948, in the same series.

The next step in the reconquest of the Philippines was the battle for Luzon. Mindoro was seized before the invasion of Luzon was launched so that an Allied air base could be established to provide air support for the ground operations on Luzon. On 9 January 1945 U.S. troops landed on the beaches of Lingayen Gulf on the western side of Luzon. The landings were virtually unopposed and assault troops advanced rapidly inland until they came to rugged terrain and well-prepared Japanese defenses. While part of the forces were left to hold a line facing north, the bulk of the troops turned south toward Manila, which was captured. Bataan Peninsula was cleared of enemy troops and Corregidor was seized. While the U.S. attack carried on to clear the southern portion of the island, another advance through the difficult mountainous terrain in the north got under way. This was the climax to the fighting on Luzon.
While the battle for Luzon was in progress, other U.S. troops were clearing the enemy pockets on Leyte and Samar and capturing the islands in the southern Philippines with a speed and thoroughness which showed the high degree of co-ordination developed by the ground, sea, and air forces.

By the time the fighting stopped on Luzon, U.S. troops were being redeployed from Europe to the Pacific, and in July the first contingent of service troops from the ETO arrived in Manila. In August the U.S. First Army established its command post on Luzon.

On 19 February 1945 Iwo Jima in the Bonin Islands was assaulted by marines who, by 16 March, overcame the stubborn enemy resistance and secured the island for an advance air base from which the U.S. Air Forces could support the invasion of Japan. On 1 April the invasion of Okinawa in the Ryukyus began. This island, assaulted by Marine and Army troops, was the last in the island-hopping warfare—in fact the last of the battles before the fall of Japan itself. As on Iwo, the enemy had prepared elaborate defenses and fought fanatically in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the U.S. forces from seizing the island. Because of its closeness to Japan, the enemy was able to attack Okinawa by air from its home bases and air superiority had not been gained by the Allies before the amphibious assault began. This period of fighting was marked by Japanese suicide attacks against Allied naval ships and the Navy sustained heavy losses, losses greater than in any other campaign during the war. On 21 June the island was declared secure and the next few days were spent mopping up enemy pockets. The fall of Okinawa and Iwo gave the Allies the air bases from which the almost daily aerial attacks on the principal industrial cities of Japan were to be launched, as well as emergency landing fields for crippled B-29’s returning to their more distant island bases from attacks on Japan.

 

The dai Nippon Occupation Java in 1944

 

 

The DEI postal stationer  2 c Dancer card  was first put into circulation during the Japanese occupation, sometime in 1944.

 

 

January 1944

January,9th.1944

 

 

Front and reverse of the postcard mailed to Elisabeth at Ambarawa camp.
The card is postmarked 9 January, 1944
Frank Samethini Collection


The Japanese sent Elisabeth and Mary-em to Ambarawa Camp No. 4 in Central Java, near Semarang. Elisabeth managed to get word to the family of her whereabouts, and they sent her a postcard bearing well-wishes written in a combination of Malay and Javanese:

Dearest ones: Very happy to receive news. We are all fine. Jannie [Jean], Ceciel, Rita, Alma together with Mom [Emma] and Ans [Anna]. Margie talks a lot about MaryEm. Lots of kisses from the seven of us. [8]


Conditions at Ambarawa were bad: hunger, disease, brutality. Determined to keep Mary-em and herself alive to be reunited with Frank, Elisabeth developed a toughness equal to the ordeal. She marveled at her little girl’s cheerfulness despite all the privations they suffered. Like cousin Margie, Mary-em treasured a picture of her father, saying good night to him every evening before she went to sleep. [9]

At home, Anna worried about Margie’s frequent bouts of illness, a dangerous development given the lack hospitals and proper medicines. Emma increasingly usurped the maternal role, confusing the girl so that she sometimes recoiled from her own mother. A stronger-willed woman would have stood up for herself and her child, but Anna was not strong.

Sometime in late 1943

 Albert Muller died. Jean remained briefly at Altingstraat before coming to live with the Samethinis in January 1944.

It was a fateful move. Jean resented Emma’s domineering treatment of Anna and could not abide the apparent neglect of Margie, whose health continued to worsen. Taking matters into her own hands, she brought Margie to a Chinese doctor and persuaded Anna that the three of them should leave. After quitting the Brantasstraat house, they lodged with Jean’s relatives, the Haccous, at Bothstraat No. 10. The intervention probably saved Margie’s life, but it was not an act of pure altruism. Jean had designs of her own on Anna.

 

Jean Muller’s Japanese ID certificate
Residence listed as Bothstraat (Jalan Both) No. 10
Note the previous addresses crossed out in Section (C)
Courtesy of Margie Samethini-Bellamy


Jean continued working at the Sugar Association, under the direction of a Japanese supervisor who delighted in menacing and humiliating her. On the wall facing her desk he put up a poster of a scowling Japanese soldier pointing at her, with a single word printed in large letters: “SPY!” Calling her into his office on another occasion, the boss proudly showed Jean a newly sharpened
katana sword resting blade-up on his desk. He roughly plucked a hair from her head and laid it across the blade. “Watch this,” he ordered. He blew gently on the hair and it was instantly sliced in half. Such was his sense of humor. [10]

My prison in Banyu Biru

 

There was no more news about my father, no more letters. The complete silence was very frightening. He had written us so many letters while he was in the Marine Camp and most of those letters had been quite optimistic.

 

Christmas came, New Year came and so it was already 1944, almost two years since I had seen the first Japanese troops walking into Malang. To me it seemed many years ago and while I had felt absolutely safe at Sumber Sewu, I was now beginning to feel quite insecure at Malang because more and more people were transported to other camps.

 

We were told that from January 1944,

 we were no longer Internees. From that date on we were considered Prisoners of War, even the youngest children. And so, from January 1944 we were treated as POWs.

 

It was a strange situation, because in Malang we had been told that the Japanese military had put us in camps to protect us against the Indonesians. Now in Banyu Biru we learnt a different story.

 

My malaria attacks came more often, more or less every two weeks. With each bout I had a very high temperature, which made my “job” much harder.

 

My mother and my sister Henny grew very thin, and my youngest sister Jansje hardly played at all. She had quite a few malaria attacks as well. My poor mother also began to lose some of her teeth, and I felt sad to see my family slowly become sicker and sicker.

 

In the meantime more women and children entered our prison. On the 19th of November 1944, 600 came from Kareës and on the 21stt of November, 350 women and children came from the Tjihapit camp. The trouble was of course that when more people came to our prison, there was less food, less space, less water.

 

Everyone walking into our prison said the same thing: “What a horrible camp.”

 

Elizabeth advises that only long after the war she learnt that Koreans using adopted Japanese names were also deployed as camp guards, especially as it was no great honor for the Japanese military to perform this role. Even so, the camp commanders were Japanese and all camps in her region were under the control of the Ambarawa-based Kempeitei(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

 

 

February 1944

 

 

 

February, 1944

 

 

 

Postally Used Dai Nippon Postal stationer card sencored sent from Liem kong Djan, son  of in memoriam Liem Bien Tjiang  Blora 12.2.04 to the member of Dai Nippon Isankhariso officie(balai peninggalan harfta) Soerabaia

 

 

 

Dai Nippon postal stationer card send from Kediri to Djakarta,sencored,about the money 1000 roepiah had sent to Tjoan seng Tjen Shop Gang Boeroeng no 2 Djakarta kota

 

 

Sencored Dai nippon postal stationer card   sent from Semarang to semarang in 1944

 

 

Sencored postal stationer card sent from Soerabaia to Djember in 1944 with pmk the right sender with the number of street

 

The rumours were that we would all be transported to Central Java. But since my sister Henny was ill, the four of us could not go until she was better again. Alas, on the 13th of February 1944, we had to leave Malang. We had to pack our luggage and my mother, Henny, Jansje, and I had to stand with many others on a truck while being driven to Malang station.

 

 

Invincible Japan. Poster demonstrating Japan’s military strength to Indonesians

Along the roadside many young people called us all sorts of names. They shouted at us that they were happy that the Dutch had been captured by the Japanese. Tears welled up slowly in my eyes and I bowed my head.

This was happening in Malang, the town where I had been to school. Now I had to leave this beautiful mountain town, “my Malang.” I had to leave my wonderful father behind in a Kempeitai prison. I couldn’t stop the tears falling on my cheeks.(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kempeitai in Indonesia

Adieu Daddy, adieu Malang.

At the station, we were pushed into long blinded goods-trains, we had to sit on dirty floors, and there was no toilet either. There was no food and, worse, there was no water to drink. Luckily my mother had taken some bananas and something to drink with her for the four of us. She also had taken a toilet-pot with her and that was a great help for several of us. Little children started crying, especially when the train stood still (sometimes several hours) and that while the sun was shining on the roof; it was unbearable. We didn’t know where we were being brought; we could hardly see anything at all. This horrible journey took more than 24 hours.

It was in the late afternoon of the 14th of February that we arrived at the station of Ambarawa, in Central Java. A transport of 680 Dutch women and children from Malang stepped out of the train, happy to get some fresh air. The Japanese military yelled at us, and that yelling was translated for us by an interpreter. We all had to climb in the trucks, waiting for us outside the station. Everybody panicked about their luggage, my mother too. She hoped to find our four mattresses, so that at least we could sleep well that night. But we didn’t see our luggage at all.

The trucks drove through a beautiful landscape. At least this time we didn’t have to stand as we had to in Malang. We were all dead tired, hungry and thirsty.

When we arrived at Banyu Biru, we saw a place surrounded by very high walls. What could that be?  When we walked towards the entrance I read: ROEMAH PENDJARA, which means Prison.  My poor mother almost fainted and she said; “Oh my God, oh my God, how horrible!”

 

 

Banyu Biru landscape

 

 

My prison

The Banyu Biru bed-bugs and other horrors

The gate was opened by a group of shabby looking Indonesian men who were very surprised when they saw all those Dutch women and children. Slowly we walked into the prison, into a new nightmare. It was a very old and very dirty prison. Later, when we lived there with 5,000 women and children, we learned that this prison was built for just 1,000 prisoners.

My mother, Henny, and little sister Jansje and I were brought to ward 14, an empty ward. We were told to wait for our mattresses so we just stood there, tired as we were from our horrible journey.

Thank goodness our trunks arrived, so we found some clean sheets to cover those stinking mattresses. We lay down, Henny, my mother, Jansje and I, the four of us close together. We were very hungry by now and frightened because the Japanese had barred the door of our ward and that had made an elderly lady, Mrs. Schaap cry. She kept saying that her heart was hurting her and that she couldn’t breathe well. We all felt very sorry for her, but we couldn’t help her. She looked so helpless on her mattress, the poor woman.

At last the door was opened and locals, also prisoners, brought us some sort of a soup in a big barrel. Everybody in ward 14 said “good night” to each other but hardly any of us slept that night. The elderly lady was dying, and she kept on crying from pain. She died around 5 o’clock in the morning and was the first dead woman in this prison. It was all so terribly sad, and made a deep impression on Henny and me. I was half asleep when Mrs. Schaap was taken away from our ward.

Another nightmare: everybody in our ward was bitten by thousands of bed-bugs! So we all started killing those bugs and when we went outside the ward while the sun was rising we saw that the whole camp had had the same type of visitors that night.

I looked up at those high walls around me. Was this going to be our life and for how long? Luckily for me and everyone else, we didn’t know yet how long we had to stay in this place. It was the 15th of February 1944, for the Japanese the year 2604.

Three days later, the 18th of February, we heard a lot of noise and people talking outside the walls and then when the gate was opened, we saw 950 more women and children walking into our prison. They came from Kediri and Madiun, in East Java. One of them was our aunt Miep. She told my mother that my uncle Pierre had been taken to the Kempeitai prison in Batavia, now called Jakarta.

This meant that both brothers were now imprisoned by the Kempeitai. I felt very sad that day.

 

 

Two brothers Pierre and Theo in better times

My first Banyu Biru camp job

All of us age fifteen and up had to work. I was almost 17 years old so I had to join the group of grass cutters in our camp. It was not a heavy but a very tiring job.  A Japanese soldier, Mr. Ito, stood there with a whip in his hand watching us. We were not allowed to talk or to sit on the ground. We could only squat on our haunches, and that was painful after a few hours. In the beginning we had to work three hours only, but after a while it became four to five hours a day.

The boys of our age had to do the hard work in the kitchen, and they received some extra food. The boys also had to empty the poop-barrels, an extremely dirty job. The boys had to empty the sewers coming from the toilets into those poop-barrels and take them outside the camp. Later on, when the boys had to leave our camp, the work was taken over by the young women and girls. In the afternoon our “lunch” and then our last daily meal of  “starch soup” was brought to us by the boys and dished up by one of the kitchen ladies.

Our home was now only a bed, planks on the floor and the dirty mattresses on top of them and then those bed bugs. We often tried to clean the mattresses and air them for a short while outside. Every morning we killed some bugs. Many of us had mosquito nets but that didn’t protect us against the malaria mosquitoes. Banyu Biru was a real malaria region, we later learned.

Because we were living so close together, people began to quarrel, mostly about the children.(ibid

Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

 

 

 

 

March 1944

 

March,15th.1944

 

 

Sencored Dai Nippon postal stationer card send from CDS Tegal 15.3.04 to jalan Radja meiji (before nattan)Djakarta

 

Info from other area

 

 

MAIL CALL NEAR THE FRONT LINES (top). Message center in operation, 9 January 1944; note the lamp shade improvised from a tin can (bottom). By this time Allied air and naval power had isolated the enemy; his line of communication to Rabaul had been severed.

 

 

LITTER PATIENT being carried by medical aid men into an underground surgery room (top). Emergency operation being performed in a dugout. This underground surgery room was dug about four feet below the surface and the sides were built up with sand bags and roofed with heavy logs. The entire structure was covered with a pyramidal tent, shielding the occupants from the sun (bottom).

 

INFANTRYMEN FIRING MORTAR, located on one side of a bitterly contested hill, at |apanese positions on the other side of the hill. 8 March 19-M. The mortar is a 60-mm. M2. The Japanese lours had been ordered to drive the Allied forces from Bougainville becanse of the precarious situation at Rabaul.

.

 

 

HALF-TRACK PERSONNEL CARRIER M3 mounting a .30-caIiber machine gun parked at base of hill, its machine gun trained on a hillside target. This vehicle was used to bring men and supplies to the fighting lines and had seating capacity for thirteen men. The roller in front assisted in climbing out of ditches (top). Infantrymen, walking through a lane between barbed wire, carry 60-mm. mortar shells to the front lines (bottom).

 

LIGHT TANKS M3AI, mounting 37-mm. guns and ,30-caliber machine guns in a combination mount in the turret, going up a steep grade in an attempt to drive the Japanese from pillboxes on top of the hill, 9 March 1944. Between 8 and 25 March the enemy launched several major attacks against the Allied forces on Bougainville.

 

INFANTRYMEN WITH BAYONETS FIXED advance through jungle swamp, following an M4 medium tank, to rout out the enemy, 16 March, The conquest of the island necessitated much advance patrol work and many mopping-up operations deep in the tropical jungle. Casualties were heavier than in any operation since the Guadalcanal Campaign in the Solomon chain.

 

Info from Java

April 1944

Info from other are

 

THE SOUTHEAST SLOPE OF “BLOODY HILL” after the last enemy had been routed. The enemy fought with his customary tenacity and his resistance in defended positions won the grudging admiration of the U.S. troops. By 24 April 1944, ground forces had crushed the last important Japanese counter-offensive against the Bougainville perimeter.

 

Info from Java

May 1944

 

 

RAAF Base Post Office Post Mark at the back of postal cover send from cds NARRABEEN

Cancelled and backstamped Narrabeen 8 May 1944 when resent and R.A.A.F. Base

 

 

Our first camp Banjubiru  keeper was Ochiai; the second one from May 1944 was the very strict Ito(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May,15th.1944

 

1944, registered cover from Bandung 15.4.04, Java to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 1J1//1J20, 2J2, 2J5, 2J13), franked with a variety of unoverprinted Netherlands Indies definitives (1c, 2c, 4c, 5c and 7½c), plus General Issue 3½c (3 different), faint censor’s handstamp below. A bit wrinkled and soiled, otherwise Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.

 

 

Allied air strike on the Surabaya naval base
“Operation Transom” – May 17, 1944

 

Direct hit on the BPM oil refinery

 

 

Grumman F6F Hellcat
Source: http://www.vfa32.navy.mil


On May 17, 1944

a swarm of new Allied warplanes appeared in the sky above Surabaya: Barracudas, Corsairs, Dauntlesses, Avengers, and Hellcats. They roared in to attack their targets, bombing and strafing. Jean’s boss watched in fascination from the office window, but the restricted view did not permit him to satisfy his curiosity. “I’m going up to look,” he told her, making for the stairs leading to the roof. For a while he was gone. Then he came scrambling down with a bleeding hand and an astonished expression on his face. “I’ve been shot,” he declared blankly. Jean waited until he ran out of the office before bursting into

 

juni 1944 – mei 1945: De Duitsers teruggedreven

Op 6 juni 1944 begint eindelijk de langverwachte invasie. Amerikaanse en Britse troepen komen in Normandië aan land. Op 4 augustus bereiken ze Parijs, op 3 september Brussel. Geruchten over de bevrijding veroorzaken opwinding op Dolle Dinsdag.

Zuid-Nederland wordt bevrijd, maar na mislukte luchtlandingen bij Arnhem stuit de geallieerde opmars bij de Rijn. De Spoorwegstaking belemmert al het transport en 30.000 man spoorwegpersoneel duikt onder. Het grootste deel van Nederland moet nog tot mei 1945 op de bevrijding wachten, tijdens de hongerwinter. Vooral in de grote steden in het westen van het land sterven veel mensen van honger en kou.

Ondanks de moeilijke omstandigheden groeit het verzet in deze laatste fase van de oorlog. De bezetters reageren met terreur en represailles. Ze geven wel toestemming voor voedselhulp aan de hongerende provincies.

Source

 

http://www.verzetsmuseum.org/tweede-wereldoorlog/nl/KoninkrijkderNederlanden/Nederland,mei-1944—mei-1945

 

June 1944

 

On the 10th of June that same year,

 400 women and children were transported to Banyu Biru camp 11, which was a military complex. The camp was behind our camp 10, not too far away. Of course they were happy to leave this prison with those high walls and it gave us, who had to stay behind, a little more room.

My mother asked if she could get a cell for the four of us. Thank goodness we were able to leave ward 14 and move to a cell in group “C- D”. That gave us more privacy at least, though we had very little room to move around. We put two mattresses on the three cabin trunks, for my mother and Jansje, and two on the floor for Henny and me.

A normal life seamed so far away, this prison life so unreal. I very often asked myself if I would ever see Sumber Sewu again, if I could ever walk again through the jungle with my father. I often dreamed that I was with my father, but when I woke up in the morning he was gone.(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

 

Banjoe Biroe 10

The Banyu Biru camp menu

Every morning we had roll call just after we had received our tea. We were allowed to eat our starch, our breakfast, before starting our various daily jobs.  At the prison Banyu Biru, camp10, the menu was always the same from the 15th of February 1944 right until the end of November 1945.

MENU

Tea early in the morning before roll call

Breakfast: a bowl of starch

Lunch: a cup of boiled rice, a heaped tablespoon of boiled green cabbage and a heaped teaspoon of sambal, a sort of Spanish pepper

Tea in the afternoon

Dinner: starch soup with a few leaves of cabbage. One could count the small pieces

As my mother rightly said, it was just enough not to die too soon.

But in the meantime we discovered another problem and that was the malaria mosquito. Many of us fell ill, my mother, Jansje and I among them. We found out a little later why Henny didn’t get malaria, when we saw that she had jaundice.

There were no medicines and no fruit to help us get a bit better either. There were three doctors, Dr. De Kock a surgeon from Surabaya, his pediatrician wife, and then there was Dr. Kruine.

All three of them stood with empty hands. There was extremely little they could do to keep everyone alive. Dr.de Kock operated on one little boy with a razor blade and boiled water, and the operation succeeded. It was a real miracle.(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banjoe Biroe 10

 

 

 

Banyu Biru 10. This picture was taken after World War Two.

 

 

Banyu Biru 10 , our home, the cells were meant for 1 person only, but all 4 of us stayed there.

 

 

Banyu Biru 10 , our cells. I received the photos from Mrs.Wood

 

In mid 1944

he was transported to Changi Prison in Singapore where he set up a bee colony and lectured on bee keeping to fellow prisoners. A dedicated hobby apiarist before, during and after the war, Mr Mundy still lectures on bee keeping at local colleges.

 

Although the honey wasn’t used for food (there wasn’t a separator for the Queen), it was excellent as an ointment for treating skin diseases and especially tropical ulcers. Honey is hygroscopic so dries out wounds.

 

At least one of his students from Changi POW Camp set up an Apiary business when he returned to Australia.

 

The tragic experiences of the POW’s had a big impact on their families too. Take for example Mrs. Hazel Wilson, whose last recollection of her father James Goode, was of him leaving the house in uniform when she was three. Her father didn’t return, and died when the overcrowded (6520 POW’s and Javanese labourers) Junyo Maru  was torpedoed on route from Java to Sumatra in September 1944 by the British submarine HMS Tradewind. 5640 souls perished making it the largest loss of life for any ship sinking in the Pacific.

 

Mr Glynn of Agspec, said the highlight of the trip was “being able to locate many of the significant camp sites from the war period. Many have been demolished, but with the help of the Port Authority we were able to get to the Tanjung Priok camp site. The main camps in Bandung are still intact and the Indonesian Army was very helpful in places that are now controlled by them. In Liang, Ambon the Camp is also gone, but we were able to locate the site using WW2 reconnaissance photos and current satellite images. It was still possible to locate the airstrip at Liang which is now covered with stunted bushes”.

 

While in Jakarta the group enjoyed afternoon tea with the Reverend Jon Cox of All Saints Church where the original painted glass windows from the Tanjung Priok camp Chapel are housed. They were joined by the British DA, Colonel Phil Thorpe.

 

The group enjoyed a finale dinner at Rumah Jawa with Agspec’s Indonesian team and representatives of the British Chamber of Commerce

Source: http://singaporeevacuation1942.blogspot.com/

 

June,15th.1944

 

 

The Rare sencored Dai Nippon Guntjo Pos Losarang with round violet jubinsyo house of delivery(Rumah Pos) Stamped on postal stationer card 15.6.04 2604(1944)

 

 

 

 

Common sencored dai Nippon postal stationer cadt sent from CDS Tjirebon 15.6.04 to Indramajoe.

 

July 1944

in July 1944

[on the Canadian Inventor] and was sent to Omuta Camp #17. From there he saw the mushroom cloud on that fateful day in Nagasaki. See his article here, and also a CNN broadcast transcript on Larry King Live with Tom Brokaw.)

This is a true narrative by Sargeant Graham, who tells of his amazing life of survival in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He starts with the peaceful life on a tripical island before the start of the war. He tells of battling the jungle conditions as well as the enemy during the battle of Bataan, then the battle of Corregidor and of being overwhelmed and captured by the enemy. He takes the reader through his three-and-one-half years in a prisoner of war camp under the inhumane treatment of the Japanese. Then the wonderful feeling of the return to freedom. It is a gripping true story of terrible atrocities told in a light and casual way.

I Solemnly Swear, Robert Morris Brown, 1957 (Excerpt telling of his arrival in Fukuoka)

I have in my possession an autographed first edition of the book “I Solemly Swear”, written by my cousin, Sgt. Robert Morris Brown (1912 – 1998), in 1957. It is the true story of his experiences as a Japanese POW. Captured on Correigidor, he is a survivor of the Oryoku Maru. The book was not widely circulated at the time and is now almost impossible to find. He goes into great detail about both Japanese and American attrocities in the camps and on the prison ships, including black-marketeering, treason, vampirism, and cannibalism. Near the end of the book he talks about his experiences in Moji and Fukuoka. He tells the names and ultimate fate of many of the men who were with him, which may or may not be known. Before his death, I asked him if he belonged to any POW organizations, but he replied that he “was not a joiner.”

I have made it into an eBook. It is available for $12.00. — Richard H. Goms Jr., 320 Gordon Lane #E11, Salt Lake City, UT 84107

Here is a description of the book from the dustcover:

I SOLEMNLY SWEAR by ROBERT MORRIS “VANDERBILT” BROWN with DONALD PERMENTER

Perhaps no story to come out of World War II can match for sheer drama and horror the tale of “Vanderbilt” Brown.

A GI captured by the Japs in the fall of Corregidor, he spent more than three years in Japanese Hellcamps as a prisoner of war. To his humiliation, on Corregidor after its collapse, Brown suffered the degrading experience of being a lackey to the notorious Sergeant John David Provoo, who was later convicted of treason, then released on a technicality.

Accused on Corregidor of himself being a traitor, and with his life threatened by fellow American prisoners, Brown, in desperation, posed as a member of the Vanderbilt family. Though this ruse worked effectively for his self-protection as a prisoner, Brown returned from the dead only to find the ghosts of prison camp days waiting for him.

Here, in his own words, is the true, searingly realistic account of his experiences-of the prison camps where men traded their souls for a cup of rice crawling with weevils; of the doomed prison ship Oryoku Maru, where maddened Americans practiced cannibalism and even vampirism on their own comrades in order to stay alive one more day; of the Japanese “water torture,” to which most prisoners preferred death; and of the heroes and traitors, the informers and black-marketeers, the dedicated nurses and resolute chaplains, jammed together in soul-rotting misery. . . .

But it is as a probing of the deepest reaches of man’s inhumanity to man that I SOLEMNLY SWEAR has its greatest value for us today. For it also indicates that not even hell can crush the human spirit altogether

 

Sides opens with the proximate motivation for the mission: the Americans’ fear that as they closed in on an increasingly beleaguered Japanese military, the Japanese would vengefully massacre their prisoners. Just such an atrocity had been perpetrated

 

 

August 1944

 August,10th.1944

 

 

KH. Mustofa Bisri or more commonly called by Gus Mus (born in Rembang, Central Java, August 10, 1944,) is a boarding school caretakers

KH Achmad Mustofa Bisri, fondly called Gus Mus,

 alumnus Al Azhar University, Cairo (Egypt),.

.Born in Apex, Central Java, August 10, 1944, from the family of students. His grandfather, Kyai Mustofa Bisri is a scholar. Similarly his father, KH Mustofa Bisri, a boarding school founded in 1941 Roudlatut Thalibin, is a renowned charismatic cleric.He was educated parents with hard especially when it comes to religious principles. However, his secondary education and somewhat chaotic. After finishing primary school in 1956, he went to school tsanawiyah.


KH Achmad Mustofa Bisri, poet, novelist, painter, cultural and Muslim scholars, it has given a new color on a map the journey of social and political life of the clergy. He was a humble priest, instead of an ambitious priest. He was chaplain of learners for the clergy and people. Boarding School Roudlatut Thalibin caregivers, Apex, Central Java, is reluctant to (refuse) nominated as Chairman of the NT NU NU in the 31st Congress 28/11-2/12-2004 in Boyolali, Central Java.

August,13th.1944


Sencored Dai Nippon Postal Stationer card sent from CDS Tjikadjang(west Java) 13.8.04 to Djakarta


2nd Sendai Division, 29th Regiment, 3rd Platoon

 

The 2nd Division (Sendai) was one of the Imperial Japanese Army’s most elite divisions. All members were raised from the Miyagi Prefecture in Northern Honshu.

 

 The 29th Regiment was considered the most elite regiment of the division. After early success in Java, the division was decimated in the battle for Guadalcanal. After reforming in the Philippines in 1943,

 

the division was sent to Rangoon in 1944.

 

Finally they finished the war around Phnom Phen in Indo-China in 1945.

 

The 2nd Division fought the U.S. Marines and Army as well as the Dutch, British Commonwealth and Russian forces defending much of the once vast Japanese Empire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August,13th.1944

 

 

Postal used Dai Nippon postal stationer sencored card from CDS Tjikajang 13.8.04 to Djakrta

 

 

September 1944

 

Formation Hokokai Java

Entering 1944,

 Japan’s worsened condition. One by one the region was overrun by the Allies, and even direct attacks directed to the country from Japan itself. Seeing these conditions

 

  • on 9 September 1944

 

 

 PM Kaiso declared the promise of independence for Indonesia in the future.

 

This promise was merely to motivate people to remain loyal to Indonesia to help fight the Japanese military in the face of the Allies. A few days after the appointment of independence established Fort struggle Java (Java Sentotai) is an entity in Java Hokokai struggle, and even formed another party organizations such as the Barisan Pioneers (Suisyintai) chaired by Ir. Sukarno, Sudiro, RP. Suroso, and Dr. Otto Iskandardinata. Buntaran Martoatmojo.


Through other forms of military training on the above, you will be able to understand the positives and negatives that can be felt by the youth of Indonesia. The young people we are not only trained in military ability and skill in using weapons and mental attitude but they also unwittingly created with a spirit of Bushido (the warrior attitude of the Japanese military) good discipline, tenacity / high fighting spirit, hard work, honesty and courage to face challenges as well as having responsibility.


Mental attitude like this will be a force separate from Indonesia in dealing with young Japanese army atrocities such as the rebellion PETA. On the other hand will be equipped to maintain the independence of Indonesia in the face of the Allied armies, both belonging to the paramilitary and the people who will be the core of the army of the Republic of Indonesia. As shown in Figure 6 below.
 
What about the negative impact? You would have to imagine how the forms of exploitation (recruitment) a physical place, both during training and after a Voluntary Army sent to fight. Those who are of reproductive age (active 20-40 years) had to fight for his life to defend the interests of other nations.

While for those who do not go directly to the battlefield, their labor is prepared to provide facilities ranging from war to the provision of physical equipment logistics / food for the army.


From the above description of the material, you must have a clear picture of how the Japanese government to make government policy to maintain the colony, all of which can not be separated from the exploitation of the nation praktekpraktek Indonesia

 

Original info

g.         Pembentukan Jawa Hokokai
Memasuki tahun 1944

kondisi Jepang bertambah buruk. Satu persatu wilayahnya berhasil dikuasai Sekutu, bahkan serangan langsung mulai diarahkan ke negeri Jepang sendiri.

Melihat kondisi tersebut pada tanggal 9 September 1944

PM Kaiso mendeklarasikan janji kemerdekaan untuk Indonesia di kemudian hari. Janji ini semata-mata untuk memotivasi bangsa Indonesia agar tetap setia membantu perjuangan militer Jepang dalam menghadapi Sekutu.

Beberapa hari sesudah janji kemerdekaan dibentuklah Benteng perjuangan Jawa ( Jawa Sentotai) ini merupakan badan perjuangan dalam Jawa Hokokai, bahkan organisasi lainpun dibentuk seperti

Barisan Pelopor ( Suisyintai)

 dipimpin langsung oleh Ir. Soekarno, Sudiro, RP. Suroso, Otto Iskandardinata dan Dr. Buntaran Martoatmojo.

Melalui bentuk-bentuk pelatihan militer di atas, Anda akan dapat memahami sisi positif dan negatif yang dapat dirasakan para pemuda Indonesia.

Para pemuda kita tidak hanya dilatih kemampuan dan keterampilan militernya dalam menggunakan senjata tetapi sikap dan mental merekapun tanpa sadar dibentuk dengan suatu semangat Bushido (sikap para ksatria militer Jepang) baik disiplin, keuletan/daya juang yang tinggi, kerja keras, jujur dan berani menghadapi tantangan serta memiliki tanggung jawab.

Sikap mental yang seperti ini akan menjadi kekuatan tersendiri dari para pemuda Indonesia dalam menghadapi kekejaman tentara Jepang seperti dalam pemberontakan PETA.

 Di sisi lain akan menjadi bekal dalam mempertahankan kemerdekaan Indonesia menghadapi tentara Sekutu, baik yang tergabung dalam laskar-laskar rakyat maupun yang akan menjadi tentara Inti Republik Indonesia. Seperti terlihat pada gambar 6 berikut ini.

 

Bagaimana dampak negatifnya?

Anda tentu sudah dapat membayangkannya bagaimana bentuk eksploitasi (pengerahan) fisik terjadi, baik pada saat pelatihan maupun sesudah menjadi Tentara Sukarela yang dikirim untuk berperang.

Mereka yang berada pada usia produktif (aktif 20 – 40 tahun) harus berjuang dengan taruhan nyawa demi membela kepentingan bangsa lain.

Sementara bagi mereka yang tidak terjun langsung ke medan juang, tenaga mereka dipersiapkan untuk menyediakan fasilitas perang mulai dari perlengkapan fisik sampai pada penyediaan logistik/bahan makanan untuk tentara.

Dari uraian materi di atas, Anda tentunya sudah mendapatkan gambaran yang jelas bagaimana pemerintah Jepang membuat kebijakan pemerintah untuk mempertahankan jajahannya, yang kesemuanya tidak terlepas dari praktekpraktek eksploitasi terhadap bangsa Indonesia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The toil and moil group

On the 18th of September, 1944,

a group of boys between twelve and seventeen years old, several nuns and several old men, altogether 217 people, were transported to Camp 8 in Ambarawa, not far from Banyu Biru.  That very same day 200 women and children from camp Ambarawa 8 were transported to our prison Banyu Biru 10.

Many girls of my age had to take over the jobs the boys of 16 and 17 used to do, and so I came to be in a toil and moil group. We had to work outside the camp ploughing the fields, or walk to Ambarawa with several old Dutch cavalry carts loaded with all sorts of luggage, or we had to carry stones from one place to another, just to be kept busy.

It was often very hard work but I was also happy that I could walk outside of that prison every morning after roll call and after eating that sickening small bowl of starch.  At least we had fresh air, a beautiful panorama and we could see the real world again with all its wonderful colours(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

 

 

October 1944

 

 

 Luis Rapmund

 also worked with Littlefield Team in the recovery of displaced Indians in the Geelvink Bay area. For years I had attempted to find Rapmund to interview him, but every trail ran cold. And for good reason.

 

Rapmund (standing far right) with guerrillas – 1944

Upon finding the name of the articles, I contacted KITLV, a Dutch archival organization in The Netherlands, and purchased them. A month later they arrived, but to my dismay they were written in Dutch. Armed with several free computer translation sites and a working knowledge of German, I scratched out a rough translation, but rough wouldn’t cut it. I posted an ad on several websites, including the Alamo Scouts website, seeking a free translation.

After a couple months of nothing, I received an email from a Margaret Jacobs, claiming to be the niece of Louis Rapmund. She said that her uncle had been murdered in Java by Indonesian extremists in October 1945.

 But that didn’t correspond with what I had discovered through the Dutch Archives—that Rapmund had died in 1947. Furthermore, the articles were attributed to Rapmund sometime between 1947-1950, which further muddied the waters. But as a historian accustomed to dealing with emotional family members, faulty memories, incomplete stories, and lack of original documentation, I held something back to test the strength of her claim. Louis Rapmund had a unique middle name: Bernardus-Jan, and the article was written by one L.B.J. Rapmund, clearly a match. But I did not tell Margaret that. Instead, I asked if she knew her uncle’s middle name. She did. And the plot grew thicker.

 

 Rapmund in London – 1943

Margaret is a native Dutch speaker and works as a translator in Utah. She gladly offered to translate the lengthy articles into English for free—an offer I readily accepted. Within a week she returned the first article, and a few days later, the second. Amazingly, the articles were actual reports of several missions in Rapmund’s own words and were published posthumously. The next week Margaret called and we had a wonderful conversation. She informed me that her uncle had children living in the United States. I immediately called Rapmund’s daughter, 74-year-old Louise Van Den Eikhof, and the discrepancy surrounding the date of Rapmund’s death was solved. Although he had died in 1945, it wasn’t until 1947 that his body was recovered and he was officially listed as dead. But the phone conversation was not about death—instead, it was about life, love, and closure.

 

November 1944

The Japanese camp commandants

Our first camp commandant was Sakai. In November 1944 Suzuki became our second commandant (ibid   Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

December 1944

Info from other area

 

MEMBERS OF A PATROL CROSSING A RIVER

 on Bougainville.

The bamboo poles on the right in the river form a fish trap. At the end of 1943, further offensive action on Bougainville had not been planned because of expected new strategic plans of operations against the enemy; however, renewed enemy activity evidenced in February 1944 necessitated further action

 Info from Java

the third one

 

 

Banjoe biroe camp

 commandant  from December 1944 was Hashimoto, who stayed with us just for the month December 1944.

Christmas 1944

 

There were many rumours in

 

 

 Banjoe Biroe camp 10.

 

The Japanese were losing the war. The Americans, British and Australians were winning.

 

The Japanese camp keeper and his soldiers were quick to be angered about next to nothing.

 

 The yelling became louder, and more Dutch women were slapped in the face. That must be, we thought, a positive sign since it was very clear that our Japanese suffered from loss of morale.

 

 But of course we were not sure, as we had no contact with the Indonesians either, and

 

 

the Heiho

[Indonesian draft laborer-conscripts]

 

were under strict control of the Japanese camp commandant and his soldiers.

 

 

Heiho conscripts

 

Christmas came, a hungry, filthy, sad Christmas in 1944.

How can you dream while you are locked up in a dirty, overcrowded prison, when you are lying on a filthy mattress full of bugs? How can you dream while your stomach cries for food? How can you dream without music?

I was seventeen years old, but I became a little scared to dream at all

(ibid  Elizabeth Van Kampen)

 

 

in December 1944

upon about 100 American POWs on Palawan. So as the Americans fanned out on Luzon, a unit of army rangers with Filipino support was sent ahead of the front line. Their plan, laid and led by Henry Mucci, worked perfectly, as does Sides’ skillfully modulated narrative of the atmosphere, courageousness, and human cost of the operation.” — Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

The Japanese treatment of prisoners of war in World War II has been written about before, but only with this chronicle will readers come to appreciate the true dimensions of the Allied POW experience at sea. It is a disturbing story that for many made the Bataan Death March pale by comparison. The survivors describe their ordeal in the Japanese hellships as the absolute worst experience of their captivity. Crammed by the thousands into the holds of ships and moved from island to island and put to work, they endured all the horrors of the prison camps magnified ten-fold.

Gregory Michno draws on American, British, Australian, and Dutch POW accounts as well as Japanese convoy histories, recently declassified radio intelligence reports, and a wealth of archival sources to present for the first time a detailed picture of what happened and the extent of the prisoners involved.

His findings are startling. More than 150,000 Allied prisoners were transported in the hellships with more than 21,000 fatalities.

While many of the deaths were attributable to beatings, starvation, disease, and lack of food and water, the most, Michno reports, were caused by Allied bombs, bullets, and torpedoes. He further reports that this so-called friendly fire was not always accidental–apparently at times it was more important to sink Japanese ships than to worry about POWs.

The statistics led Michno to conclude that it was more lethal to be a prisoner on the Japanese hellships than a U.S. Marine fighting in the campaign. His careful examination of the role of U.S. submarines in the sinkings and the rescue of POWs makes yet another significant contribution to the history of the war in the Pacific.

Belly of the Beast — A POW’s Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage, and Survival Aboard the Infamous WWII Japanese Hell Ship Oryoku Maru, Judith L. Pearson

On December 13, 1944,

POW Estel Myers was herded aboard the Japanese prison ship Oryoku Maru with more than 1,600 other captives, almost 1,300 of them would be dead by journey’s end …

Those who emerged from the BELLY OF THE BEAST, and the souls of the departed who marched home with them, merit the recognition Pearson offers in this searing tribute. — Senator John McCain

An inspiring look at one of World War II’s darkest hours. — James Bradley, author of FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

Flyboys:

A True Story of Courage, James Bradley, 2003

Flyboys is the true story of young American airmen who were shot down over Chichi Jima. Eight of these young men were captured by Japanese troops and taken prisoner.

Another was rescued by an American submarine and went on to become president. The reality of what happened to the eight prisoners has remained a secret for almost 60 years.

After the war, the American and Japanese governments conspired to cover up the shocking truth. Not even the families of the airmen were informed what had happened to their sons. It has remained a mystery–until now.

Critics called James Bradley’s last book “the best book on battle ever written.” Flyboys is even better: more ambitious, more powerful, and more moving. On the island of Chichi Jima those young men would face the ultimate test.

Their story — a tale of courage and daring, of war and of death, of men and of hope — will make you proud, and it will break your heart

Itchy Feet, Ted & Ardes Spaulding, 1999

In this down-home type book, Spaulding tells of growing up in North Dakota, joining the Coast Artillery and being transferred to a tank battalion which would later bring him to the Philippines. There he was captured while in Bataan and was on the Death March, and then later herded with some 1600 other POWs onto the hellship Oryoku-maru. He arrived at Fukuoka Camp #1 in January 1945. Read the excerpt below describing life at Fukuoka Camp #1.

Spaulding recalls that not all Japanese were cruel and inhumane:

“I was a cigarette smoker in those days and I used a little trick that hardly ever failed for me. Whenever new guards appeared on the scene they would shake down their captives for anything they might still have on them such as smokes and lighters. I always offered them a cigarette from my pack that had just two cigarettes left in it. Almost every guard would see that I was almost out and pull out his own pack to offer me one of his. I ended up with a full pack. The Japanese soldiers were usually quite average people, a lot like Americans in interests and emotions. If I took out my photograph of Catherine and showed it to a guard he would bring out a photo of his girlfriend or wife to show to me. Some of them were not mean for the sake of being mean but they could and did get vicious if we did not follow their orders. Then there were large numbers of those who were cruel.”

It was on the 28th of January, 1945, that we landed at Moji on the Japanese island of Kyushu. Each day on the Brazil Maru we had lost a few people. Our captors were never in a hurry to remove the bodies, this day no different. We had a sizeable number of bodies piled up in the hold, directly under the hatch where they were in full view from above. Imagine now, those were the dead bodies of men who had been emaciated with skin stretched over bulging bones, faces like skeletons with heavy long hair and whiskers. It was a gruesome sight, I believe to compare with the photographs from Buchenwald. The Japanese guards had built a fire in their area below to keep warm and the smoke was rising to the upper level. The sun was shining directly down from the hatch so that anyone looking into the hold would behold an eerie sight. There was that pile of emaciated bodies with the sun shining on them through the smoke. I thought that I should have had a camera but then I really don’t believe that I would have wanted a photograph as a reminder of that day. I can still see it all in my mind, anyway, as clearly as though I had seen it yesterday.

The Japanese Commander with other officers boarded our ship after we docked at Moji. When they looked down into the hold, viewing the sight that I have just described, the Commander chewed out the officer in charge of us for at least fifteen minutes. He was as furious as a man could be. He ordered the bodies removed, provided a casket for each one and gave them decent burials. Then they sent over new uniforms for each of us. I remember how great it felt to be warm again. Some men had next to nothing to wear and some had a few odd pieces. I had an old Filipino jacket and a pair of shorts that had been issued to me on the tennis court at Olongapo. When we were dressed we were taken to a warehouse on the dock where we were separated into groups. The men who were seriously ill were transferred to a hospital where most of them eventually died.

The final count of those surviving the trip to Japan was four hundred and ninety some, as far as I can determine, out of the sixteen hundred and twenty men who began the trip on the Oryoku Maru on December 13, 1944. This fact did not look good for the Japanese. After the war trials a number of Japanese officers who had been responsible for us were executed.

After we had been uniformed and fed at Moji, we were marched (or staggered) through Moji for several blocks, at a busy time of the day, to the railroad station. There were local citizens crowding the streets. As I glanced at them I could see sympathy as well as curiosity in their expressions. They appeared to feel no animosity, only sympathetic interest in us. I realized how horrible an appearance we must have made.

We were loaded on a train that took us to Casi [Kashii] where we were each issued a heavy army overcoat. When we attempted to put the coats on we were shocked at how weak we were. It took two men to help each man into his coat, one holding each arm of the coat.

From Casi we were transported by truck to Fukuoka where we were housed in a barracks on a military installation. They issued each of us another uniform, a pillow and a stack of six or seven blankets which, unfortunately, were synthetic rather than wool. Wool is much warmer but we weren’t going to complain about a little thing like that. This generosity was greatly appreciated, the best that we had received in about two years. We were almost immediately served a fair-sized bowl of rice, each, and a cup of hot tea. Then we were assigned to an area a lot like the accommodations we had had at Cabanatuan No. 1. The building was a long, low one with a peaked roof and a long corridor running down the center. On each side was a shelf, about one and a half feet above the floor, where we slept and ate our meals. We would roll up our bedding and keep it at the back of the shelf during the daytime. We dropped off our shoes on the corridor floor to keep the living quarters reasonably clean. Each section had another shelf along the back wall where we sat and ate our meals and kept our few worldly possessions.

At that time the Japanese were aware that they were losing the war, therefore they were fortifying their country with small military installations scattered around the countryside. They appeared to be expecting an American invasion.

Unknown to me at that particular time, my older brother Bill had decided to go out to the Pacific war area to rescue me. He, my Mother and my younger sister, Donna, had been at home in Sherwood, North Dakota, operating the family dairy business. Bill sold the cows, enlisted in the Army and found himself in the 96th Division, Engineers. He was among the men who invaded the island of Leyte. I recall that when I was in Bilibid Prison, in Manila, we saw the American planes flying over in air attacks on Leyte. The Americans needed the air base there to make it possible to attack the enemy in our part of the Pacific. I heard that the 96th invaded Luzon on the 10th of January and several months later Bill was a part of the invasion of Okinawa. He never did know exactly where I was until we met when the war was over.

Life was quite uneventful there at Fukuoka for several months, arriving at the end of January and leaving in June of 1945. The Japanese took us out for a little mild exercise almost every day. We were still very run down but gradually were regaining our strength. The exercise was undoubtedly good for us.

In about the sixth week at Fukuoka the Japanese must have believed that we prisoners needed a good cleaning plus a medical check-up, of sorts. We walked to the bath house where we were ordered to strip down, wash ourselves off with a bucket of soapy water first and then get in a big tub filled with nice, warm water. It was there where we realized how tough we looked. We saw one another standing there naked which led to much joking and laughter, so hearty that we jokers had to sit down on the floor to rest. We were allowed to weigh ourselves and I was astounded to see that after six weeks off the boat with a small ration of food every day since, water to drink and a place to sleep I weighed in at all of ninety-seven pounds. I would like to know what I had weighed when we got off the boat six weeks earlier. My average weight before imprisonment had been one hundred and eight-three pounds on my five foot eleven and a half-inch frame. What a unique way to lose weight!

We had some emergencies there at Fukuoka, such as the night a young medic, Pfc. Noyes, went out to use the open ditch latrine, which was full to the top with a very thick liquid that you find in all outdoor toilets of that type. Noyes fell in, probably because he was physically weak. After pulling him out they dragged him in where the medics pulled off his filthy, wet clothing, cleaned him up and dressed him. Just overnight Noyes developed pneumonia which left him ill for a long time. One of the medics who helped him was John McCormack Brown from Chicago. He claimed to be a member of the well known, wealthy McCormack family of International Harvester fame, also related to the equally famous Bordens.

I have often wondered why we didn’t have many common colds during our period of imprisonment. I had caught cold at the drop of a hat previous to that time of my life. I have always believed that it is healthier for a man to be cold than it is to be warm. Except for the time when we were in the holds of the first. two ships on the trip to Japan, we had been cold most of the time.

We were receiving very small rations of rice each day with adequate drinking water. Occasionally there was soup made from weeds. There was a bakery there that the Japanese had set up for us. If we were ill we were allowed a piece of bread each day, otherwise we could have only a serving of rice. Some of us still had beri-beri, pellagra and skin diseases which were all caused by poor diet.

There was an incident of men trading cigarettes for extra food from the kitchen. The only time I ever refused a request from an officer of higher rank than mine was there at Fukuoka. A Colonel whom I knew and admired asked me for cigarettes because he wanted to trade them for extra rations. I had quit smoking in April of 1942. I told the Colonel that I thought what he wanted to do was very wrong because the extra food that we would take would deprive some other man of his fair share. There was just a set amount rationed. He was pleasant about it and then we discussed the possibility of watching the kitchen to insure that no more of that type of trading could continue. He explained that the only reason he had suggested trading cigarettes for food was that other men were doing it.

Three or four man died while we were in Fukuoka, always sad, but a definite improvement over our past record in other camps or on board ship.

I recall that once, in camp, I made the remark, “Hell, this isn’t bad. I spent the first nineteen years of my life in Sherwood, North Dakota, before I came here. I have always said that I would work in hell if the wages were right and it sure is hell here, the wages aren’t too bad and I’m not complaining.” A few of my friends became curious about my hometown after hearing my remarks and I was forced to tell them some stories about my youth. They didn’t believe me when I told them that I had pulled a sled around town, delivering milk (probably frozen) when it was 48 below zero, even 54 below on rare days. Then they heard all about the fistfights in the pool hall, pitching hay in 110-degree weather and even more unbelievable stories than those.

Occasionally we were sent out on work details, piling up sacks of rice or supplies in the storage area, but most of the time we weren’t very busy. One of the work details was a trip out to the camp garden. We had weeds to hoe but we didn’t work furiously at that. On one of those work details to the farm there was a Japanese woman working in a field nearby. She sent a child over to us with a handful of parched corn for two or three of us.

We always enjoyed watching when a Japanese work detail would come in to our camp. There was always a man in charge with several little girls working. The man would supervise while the girls bailed out pailsful of waste from our holding pits from the latrines. The pits were concrete with open tops made for the express purpose of holding the waste until it could be used for fertilizer. Those little teenagers had the most beautiful complexions I had ever seen, but then all Japanese women have beautiful complexions, probably a result of clean living along with bland diets. The Japanese civilians were always pleasant to us, would look our way with pleasant expressions or smiles.

In June of 1945 we were told that we would be moving on to Korea.  We were marched through the city of Fukuoka, which was an interesting experience. We sat in a warehouse where we watched the Japanese load the ship that we were waiting to board. Leaving Fukuoka, we boarded ship where we spent the night sleeping on the floor, crossing the Sea of Japan.

 

 

.

Operation Ichi-Go (April 19 – December 3, 1944) A major Japanese push across Central and Southern China.  The Japanese gained a lot of ground before being stopped at Guangxi.

Operation U-Go (March – June 1944) The Japanese launch unsuccessful attacks into India from Burma.

Battle of Saipan (June 15 – July 9, 1944) US forces capture the island of Saipan, where they build massive airbases for B-29 Superfortress bombers within range of the Japanese Home Islands.

.

America rules the waves

American amphibious landing craft or “LVTs” off
Iwo Jima, February 1945 . @ Pacific War Timeline

The Battle of the Philippines Sea (June 19 – 20, 1944) The US destroys the Japanese Navy’s ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 23 – 26, 1944) Arguably the largest naval battle in history involving over 250 warships and almost 2000 aircraft.  This the first time Japanese aircraft carry out organized kamikaze attacks.  The battle is a decisive Allied victory.

 

 

 

 

JANUARY ,

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