Posts Tagged ‘Korea’

One day we were going to the warehouse, we saw some Japanese longshoremen unloading a barge of fish meal in twenty kellos boxes. I told Sweatman that I was going to get a box of fish meal, so I managed to steal one and stashed it in the warehouse. It took us four days to smuggle it into camp, however. The Japs used it for fertilizer, but I knew there were lots of vitamins and other food values in it regardless of what it was used for. Fish meal was a pretty good trading item in camp, and it didn’t taste too bad over our grain.

When I say grain, that is what I mean. Rice was so scarce in our diet that when we had a bowl or a ration of it in camp, we always made the distinction by calling it white rice. Most of our diet consisted of rolled barley and a grain that they called korea. It is a grain that looks like maize. Sometimes we had soybeans soaked in with the grain, and then there were times when we had mong beans, which tasted like half-cooked black eyed peas.

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The next morning early, the boat began to lift anchor, and we were on our way.

It was now daylight as the Japs opened the hatch and said that it was time to eat breakfast, which was no different from any other meal. The food was lowered down on a rope attached to a large woven basket. We could never tell what time of day it was by the type of meals given us, as we ate the same food for every meal, and this same token held true throughout my entire prison life.

We still had no idea where we might be going. The rumors were running wild as to where we were headed. Some said Japan; others said we were heading for China, and others thought Korea. All of these rumors were wrong, as we landed in Tyeow, Taiwan. I had never heard it called by that name, as the island is better known as Formosa.

We were aboard the Lima Maru for sixteen days, traveling seven hundred miles. I have often wondered how we must have looked from the deck of the ship, as in my mind, we were a group of human beings, living like so many cattle or pigs shoved into and [sic] over-crowded space. I know there were three men who died on the trip, and their bodies were just pushed over the side of the boat into the ocean.