Archive for May, 2013

Due to the lack of close supervision by the Japanese inspector, one group of men working on a detail riveting steel plates of ships together, did not buckle down one hole [sic] plate that was below water line. The Japs launched it in the afternoon, and when we got to work the next morning, the ship flooded and sank during the night. I did not see this, but one of the men on the detail told me about it, and said they really got hell for it.

May 18, 1943

Posted: May 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Another way we sabotaged the Japs was by doing such things as stumbling when we were pouring water on large pipes that had to be beat. It would take one or two hours to get the pipe heated just right for bending, depending on the size of the pipe. When we stumbled the water splashed, cooling the pipe down to where it had to be put back in the furnace. We bent everything up to three inches by hand, and this was where we really caused a lot of extra work for the Japs. When we looked just a little, we would yank hard and that would be just a little too much, so back into the furnace the pipe would have to go. Another part of our job on the bending table was to fill the pipes with sand and gravel so that the pipes would not collapse as they were bent. Here we could do just a little sabotaging by not tamping the gravel and leaving air pockets. This was accomplished by slipping rags or paper into the pipe and putting the gravel on top. When the pipe was heated, it destroyed the paper or rag, whichever the case was, and the pipe would bend flat. It took a long time to heat and pound a flat pipe back into the round pipe it was in the beginning.

I was put to work on a bending table which was a square of heavy iron, measuring approximately twenty feet square and one foot thick with holes that were spaced six inches apart. To make a bend, one would use heavy steel pins that were placed in the holes at the desired place. These four tables had four winches that were used. On the cat head of each of these was a large rope used to help bend large pipe. We bent pipe varying in sizes from one-half inch to fifteen inches. Each group of workers had their own unique way of sabotaging the Japs. When we first went to work, all four of these winches were in working order; when we left Mitsubishi shipyard, only two of them worked. Our sabotaging was so slow that they could not say we were responsible. One a week someone in the pipe shop, and usually one who was working on the bending table would gather up a small amount of emery dust that he had picked up at the grinding wheels and deposit it into the oil cup that oiled the large electric motors that ran the winch or cat head. He also put a small amount into the gear box. After a few treatments like this, the old thing just up and quit working, and by 1944 the Japs were finding it difficult to get needed items. The reason we knew this was that on our way to and from work, we could see that they were salvaging all the iron metal they could. We noticed their taking stirrups out of telephone poles and removing all metal that they could from bridges and other places on our route of travel.