Answers may finally come to some families of “Hell Ship” victims, more than 75 years later

Tens of thousands of US soldiers died in so-called “hell ships”. Japanese merchant ships were converted into prison ships to transport US and allied prisoners of war to slave labor camps.

Many were not found or properly identified, so distressed families were looking for answers. For some, the answer may finally come after more than 75 years.

Just hours after a Japanese aircraft bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and dragged the United States. Second World War, Air and ground campaigns against the US military have begun in the Philippines. As a result, thousands of Americans stationed in the Philippines were put into battle.

Fighting the overwhelming forces, General Jonathan Wayne Wright of the United States was forced to surrender.

One of the many men sent to the torture march was US Army doctor Clarence White.

He was stationed in the Philippines with his family. His wife and daughter were evacuated in advance. Fighting started. This was the last time they saw him.

His daughter, Nancy Crag, said she didn’t know much about her father because of her age, and her mother had never talked about her father.

“My mother didn’t talk. I asked,” What kind of person was my father? ” And she would say, “He was a very nice guy,” Clay told Jeff Glor, co-host of “CBS This Morning: Saturday.”

After enduring three years of hunger and horrific conditions in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, White was loaded onto a private merchant ship, the so-called “hell ship,” carrying hundreds of other allied prisoners heading to slave labor camps. T.

At that time, the United States was participating in air strike operations. Merchant ship There was a suspicion that the ship was carrying supplies for the Japanese, not knowing that it was also carrying POW Americans.

The white ship “Oryoku Maru” was hit, but he survived. He was transferred to the Enoura Maru, the second hellish ship that was also bombed.

“The 300 dead men were put into the freight network and dumped in the Formosa mass burial ground. That was all we knew,” Craig recalled.

The limited amount Craig knows about what happened to his father came from stories told by others in captivity. The man is Dan Crawley, a member of the Army Air Corps. I like. When the Philippines was occupied by Japanese troops in May 1942, Crowley was taken prisoner and detained for three and a half years.

“The worst thing about a hellish ship was drinking the excrement of another companion, because if you got off the wooden platform below, everything would run down your body,” Crowley said. ..

Crowley regained it and celebrated his 99th birthday. He said he was confident of success, despite spending a dark time on a hellish ship.

“No, I knew I would survive and go home and kick their donkeys for the brutal and annoying things they did to the people,” Crowley said.

By the end of the war, an estimated 21,000 men had died on the hell ship.

Some of the bodies were later taken to Hawaii and placed in 20 plots in Hawaii. National Memorial Cemetery of the PacificAlso known as a punch bowl.

Johnie Webb has been working for over 40 years to identify missing and unidentified US military personnel. He is the Deputy Director of the Defense POW Accounting Agency, which has a forensic facility in Hawaii.

The world’s largest forensic skeletal research institute. Webb and his team are using new DNA technology to make identifications that have been impossible for decades.

“Currently, what you can do with a single tooth can be identified. From a small piece of bone, you can use DNA to identify it,” Webb said.

Mystery is now 75 years old.

“I know this is a challenge, but I’m confident that with these resources, we can get there,” said Dr. Camilla Rogers, a crushing specialist at the institute.

“When I learned that there was a family member who didn’t have the answer I was looking for, my loved one died. My husband was the wives who died wondering where they were. My father, who died knowing his son’s whereabouts, is now. “She said. “Some of them died and died in grief. This grief was passed down from generation to generation, so if I could play, it would play an important role as an organization to find their loved ones. If you can fulfill it is an honor It is our duty to do it. And it is our duty to do it for those individuals, those who have dedicated their lives.

As extraordinary work continues at the joint base Pearl Harbor, other parts of the history of the hellish ship are also being reviewed. Crowley was not justified in his sacrifice, but was finally honored at the January ceremony and received a POW medal 80 years later.

For White, there are reports that he died on the deck of the second hell ship when it was bombed. His body is believed to have been contained within what was buried in a punch bowl, but has not been identified. 79 years after she last met him, Crag is still looking for an answer and hopes to find one someday.

“I’m not talking about closures, I’m talking about connections,” she said. She said official ID would be a connection. “And my mother was buried. I would like to take it to the Riverside National Cemetery. “

Answers may finally come to some families of “Hell Ship” victims, more than 75 years later

Source link Answers may finally come to some families of “Hell Ship” victims, more than 75 years later

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