Posts Tagged ‘Old Glory’

September 15, 1945. Yipee! The ships that came for us were in the harbor! The Fourth Division Marines are the ones who came and picked us up. Was I happy? I should say so. Who wouldn’t be after all these years of war and waiting? The officer in charge was Commander Simpson of the Navy. He said, “Men, you are the last ones for us to pick up, and we have been working hard, so get ready and let’s go aboard.” He didn’t have to tell us but once!

As we went aboard we were told to pull off all our clothes and throw them overboard. Then we went through a decontamination process – a spray mist of some form of medication. We then showered and were given a new issue of underwear, a new suit of khaki and a sailor hat.

We went through an interrogation process – were asked a lot of questions about prison life and were asked to write out statements in regard to the treatment of the prisoners in our camp. I did this and turned it over to the Navy Intelligence Officer. After boarding the U.U.S. [sic] Rescue, a Navy hospital ship, we had our first meal under Old Glory. It wasn’t a big meal, but consisted of honest to goodness good vegetable soupbread [sic] and butter and coffee and sugar. The bread tasted as good as cake, and I must have eaten at least a half pound of butter. It sure looked good to see FREE men and women, and when I speak of women, I refer to the nurses. They were white, wore clothes and had shoes on their feet. They also wore lipstick and rouge. The sicker men were kept aboard the Rescue ship, but I then went aboard the A.P.D. Wantuck, a Navy landing ship. We had supper and afterwards I saw the first movie I had seen in over three and one-half years. The title was “Stage Door Canteen,” and I enjoyed every minute of it.

September 1, 1945

Posted: September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Several small planes flew over on September 1, but they didn’t drop anything, and we were glad, as it was very dangerous when the chow came down. All of the men were in the highest of spirits and anxious to get under way and to be under our troop leaders and Old Glory.

On our fourth day out to sea, the Japs let part of us come up to top side, and the thing that hit me the hardest as I climbed out of the hole was the sight of seven Japs on the deck using our flag, Old Glory, as an awning to protect themselves from the hot sun. Here again I was helpless to do anything about it, but I prayed that this horrible war would soon be over, and I knew there would be joy in my heart when I would again see Old Glory flying with her stripes unfurled in the wind.

I was on deck about five hours, and it was really good to feel the fresh ocean breeze in my face and to breathe good clean air once again. Each time we prisoners were moved to a different location, it took just a little more out of our spirits, and we wondered how much longer we could live under these conditions.