Posts Tagged ‘Moji’

We arrived in Moji on November 26, 1942 with 286 of us prisoners, as we lost two more on this thirteen day voyage.

No sooner had we docked until we were put ashore, and after tinko (roll call) we were marched several blocks to a ferry which we boarded to cross to the main land of Japan. Upon arrival we were again marched to a railroad station, but this time we were put aboard a passenger train. We still didn’t know where we were going, and the Japs didn’t want us to see, as all of the windows of the train were covered with heavy shades. It was on this train ride, however, that I got my first look at Fujiyama, as there was a small crack in the window shade where I was sitting. I kept looking also, trying to see the name of the town or city that we passed through.

On the sixth or seventh day aboard this ship, the Jap who had given me the job and I were in the cold storage room taking out fish to be prepared and served to the Jap troops that were aboard. As we were pulling the fish out, a large piece of meat which at first looked like a dressed turkey fell out. It turned out to be a leg of lamb. The Jap said, “You like leg of lamb?” “I sure do,” I answered. He replied, “We cook” and so we did.

It was while we were cleaning the fish for cooking that the ship’s crew really came alive. An alarm sounded and all the Jap soldiers went to their battle stations. There was a lot of commotion, but I could not see any thing. Finally, a Jap who was up in the crow’s nest yelled something, and the ship made a hard right rudder, and then another hard left rudder. By this time, I was over to the side of the ship trying to see what we were dodging. On the second turn, I saw a torpedo coming straight for the ship, and it looked as if it were going to hit us mid ship. By seeing it in time, the ship moved out of the path of the torpedo, and it just missed the ship’s tail by about ten yards. The torpedo went on for about fifty yards, and then it went down. It must have been fired at maximum distance, or also there was a malfunction of the torpedo. It was not long after this that three Jap destroyers came up and rode flank on us until we docked in Moji, Japan.