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Emmerson G. Loewe

4th Marines, Corregidor

Affidavit

Press Release

Homer Boren Letter

GHQ SCAP Letter

LOEWE'S DIARY

VIEW TEXT / ORIGINAL

All Materials Courtesy Todd Campbell

Donovan S. Pike, 4th Marines


PFC Emmerson G. Loewe, a native of Freeport, Illinois, born February 22, 1919, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on April 17, 1940. After boot training in San Diego, California, Loewe served on board USS Houston (August 1940 - September 1941).

 

On December 7, 1941, PFC Loewe was serving with the First Separate Marine Battalion, "C" Company, Battery "C", at Binakayan, south of Cavite, Philippine Islands. When the Navy yard at Cavite was destroyed, Loewe’s battery was redeployed to Mariveles on the Bataan Peninsula, and the First Separate Marine Battalion was absorbed into the 4th Regiment, United States Marine Corps. Loewe’s battery remained intact. Reorganized, the battery became Battery "C", Company "M", 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment, an anti-aircraft battery assigned to protect the Naval base at Mariveles.

 

Loewe fought on in good health until February 1942 when he contracted malaria. Returned to duty after a week at the field hospital at “Little Baguio”, PFC Loewe remained on Bataan until its surrender on April 9, 1942. Together with some fellow soldiers in his unit, PFC Loewe escaped to Corregidor where he was surrendered on May 6, 1942.

 

Loewe was stricken with dysentery during the first days as a prisoner of war on Corregidor. Transported off Corregidor to Bilibid Prison on the mainland, Loewe, now suffering from both malaria and dysentery, was transferred to Cabanatuan Prison Camp No. 3 after about two weeks at Bilibid. He was held in the section of the camp known as Group No. 3 comprised, chiefly, of Naval and Marine Corps personnel. Within the first week, he witnessed the torture and execution of three men who had attempted escape.

 

In October 1942, the men at Camp No. 3 were moved to Camp No. 1. PFC Loewe’s health continued to decline. He suffered from paralysis and was unable to walk for four months.

 

“I was first sent to the Eye Ward No. 23, and was treated there for an ulcer on my left eye, malaria, dysentery, and an ailment we called ‘dry beri-beri’ which was a sharp, severe, and continuous aching of the feet, ankles and hands. After remaining there for a month or so, I developed a sort of paralysis in which I couldn’t walk, move any hands or even rise up. I was then sent to what was known as the ‘Zero’ Ward No. 2 from which men weren’t supposed to return. Major Edwin Kagy, U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps was the doctor in charge, and I remained in his care until June of 1943, a period of seven months and I finally regained the use of my extremities and learned to walk again through the use of Red Cross Supplies and Medicine which our camp received.”

 

Standing: Four former prisoners of war — Left to Right: Joseph P. Zagarri, St. Louis, Mo.; Orville R. Stanford, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Homer A. Boren, Twin Falls, Idaho; Emmerson G. Loewe, Freeport, Ill. Sitting: Prosecutors — Left — Mr. Max Schiffman, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Right — Mr. Harold Alper, Newark, N.J.

In September 1943, PFC Loewe was transported to Japan and imprisoned at Sakurajima Prison Camp in Osaka, Japan. At Sakurajima, Loewe slave-labored at the shipyards for Osaka Iron Works. Hospitalized there, Loewe was treated by Lt. Brown, US Army, for malaria, dysentery, beriberi, a remaining touch of paralysis, and poor eyes. At this time, he was also suffering from severe tooth decay.

 

“In January of 1944 I contracted pleurisy and was treated by Major McGrath Royal Air Force Medical Corps, who had replaced Lt. Brown. I was sent to work and a month later I again became ill with pleurisy, and two months later I had another attack. In about July of 1944 we received a new doctor by the name of Lt. Nordini U.S. Navy. He treated me for my eyes, beri-beri, dysentery, scurvy and pellagra, and I was continually taking treatment from him for numerous other ills with an occasional stay in the Hospital.”

 

In May of 1945, the Sakurajima camp was destroyed in an air raid and the prisoners were moved to Akenobe, Japan. PFC Loewe was set to work in the machine shop of the Akenobe Mine, a Mitsubishi-owned copper mine. His care was continued by Lt. Nordini and a new doctor, last name Richardson, US Army, until the end of the war. On September 5, 1945, Loewe and six others “self-liberated” themselves and made their way to Yokohama, Japan where they were able to locate American troops. By September 13, 1945, PFC Loewe was receiving care at the naval hospital on Guam.

 

After returning to the states, Emmerson Loewe was placed on 50% disability. In his affidavit prepared for the War Crimes Trials, where he was to appear as a witness, Lowe stated:

 

“... I can no longer do hard manual labor without tiring prematurely; my resistance is low, and my recuperative powers diminished, and my sleep is restless. My eyesight is also impaired and I now wear glasses; the condition of my teeth detract from my appearance. I have also developed a complex and an outlook on life that makes it difficult for me to work or associate with people.”

 

Emmerson Loewe died on August 1, 1946, the day he was to give testimony at the War Crimes Trials. He and a reporter were traveling from Tokyo to Osaka when their jeep overturned in heavy rain. Initially interred at a military cemetery in Yokohama, Japan, Loewe’s remains were returned to Freeport, Illinois for final burial in April 1947. VFW Post 998, the Moseley-Loewe Post, in Freeport, Illinois is named in part for him.

 

Mr. Loewe began a diary prior to his departure for Japan where he was to provide personal testimony at the Trials. We are able to present the diary, Mr. Loewe’s Affidavit, and other documents provided by his nephew, Mr. Todd Campbell, to whom we are extremely grateful.

DIARY OF EMMERSON G. LOEWE

— Cover —

 

Property of Emmerson G. Loewe

939 Clinton St.

Freeport, ILL

U.S.A.

 

— Page One —

 

Traveled into Chicago July 2nd 46 to receive inoculations and sign the necessary papers. Room 1923 Civic Opera Building, Chicago.

 

Picked up travel orders July 4th, 1946 at 201 N. Wells St., Chicago — room 702 — Mr. Williams.

 

Left July 5th for Suisan Airfield, Fairfield, Calif. Arrived 0530 July 8th.

 

Laid over for 3 days at the Terminal during which time I was processed and briefed.

 

Left Suisan at 1830 on July 10th and landed at Hickam field, Hawaii twelve hours later — 0400 Hawaii time.

 

Laid over at Hickam until 0745.

 

The mileage from Suisan to Hickam is 2397, and flying time 12:15.

 

— Page Two —

 

A Douglas C-54.

 

Leave on same plane, but a different crew. Had to wear a parachute harness until we reached cruising altitude, and prior to landing wore a Mae West.

 

Had a good hot meal on the ship at midnight, and the crew was swell.

 

Left Hickam 0745, and had lunch at Johnston Island four hours later. Johnston is a desolate place, all men looking like Robinson Crusoe — tanned in abbreviated uniforms with the arms and legs cut off. Not a tree on the island, and at it’s highest point is only seven feet above sea level. A good sized wave would put the whole island under water.

 

The trip from Johnston to Kawajalien took 8 hours, and we had dinner there and also a bottle of Rutgers Beer. A more likely place than Johnston, but still looking like a desert.

 

Eight more hours to Guam and it was raining as it always

 

— Page Three —

 

has. Somewhere between “Kawa” and Guam, we crossed the 180th — International Date Line — and we gained a day. No Friday in this week. From Thursday to Saturday.

 

Most of the passengers on our plane will lay over here, as there are only two flights daily from here to Tokyo, and it takes a no. one or two priority to make today’s flight. Fortunately I have a no. two, for I’d sure hate to lay over here. Raining, and it’s so hot the place is steaming. It’s now 4 AM, and should be cool but somebody didn’t get the word.

 

Gen. Kaiser, with a four leaf clover shoulder patch, and a one man staff is the only other passenger who isn’t laying over here.

 

Stopped at Hickam, Johnston, Kawajalien, Guam, and Iwo.

 

Landed then at Atsugi Airfield. Passed this new island which appeared in the Pacific south of Japan and circled Fiji on the way in.

 

— Page Four —

 

Arrived in Atsugi Airfield Saturday 13th, and billeted in Yaesu Hotel.

 

Reported in Monday 15th for duty with Legal Section, G.H.Q. S.C.A.P., Tokyo, Japan.

 

I believe we’re treating the Nips too well, and they’re beginning to show it in their actions.

 

Boren & Bradbury checked in to-day, and I’m billeted with them. July 16th. Went swimming in Shiba Pool, and Paul left for the B-29 base in Osaka.

 

Wed. 17th reported for work at 10:00 and read some of the affidavits of the ex-P.O.W. of our camp Sakurajima.

 

Thursday 18th found out Sgt. Kubuta was given 30 years at hard labor, and no witnesses appeared against him. Also found out Wharton & McGee, the two men who escaped from Sakurajima, were apprehended at the Osaka R.R. Depot about four hours after their escape. We were officially told by the Nips that they were shot, and today I found

 

— Page Five —

 

out that they were taken, blindfolded, to Ichioka Hosp. and inoculated with rat poison and died in a few hours. Hope their relatives never find out.

 

Visited a prison camp in Yokohama today with Stafford (Did he mean Stanford?) — one of the camps he was held at. The camp was right on the steel mill premises and definitely no good. That was also the spot where Doolittle dropped his bombs in his first raid.

 

Saw MacArthur today as I was leaving the Dai Ichi — he came out to his car escorted by 6 ft. M.P’s and was driven away.

 

Friday 19th July — Visited Sugamo Prison today and identified 1st Lt. Abbe — one of our ex socho’s. The Iseda they have in custody is not the person I’m looking for.

 

They’re going to build a prison on one of the Pacific Islands — Guam or one of the “Jimas”, and have these war criminals serve their sentences there.

 

Monday 22nd — got my first mail today — 3 letters from home.

 

— Page Six —

 

Wed. 24th July we were interviewed and photographed for publication in Stateside newspapers. Went for a walk in the evening — to the Ginza.

 

Thursday 25th — nothing doing except I drew my coke & beer rations — 122 yen.

 

Left Friday 26th for Mito-on-the-sea. Orville Stanford, the oil man, Ray Rees, the British school teacher, and I. I knew Rees was Limey but am glad he has American citizenship. The Japanese hotel at Mito was very accommodating. Took four hours from Tokyo Central Station, and on the way down we rode an “Off Limits” Jap train (illegible) back Sunday evening, and the hotel bar was celebrating it’s second day of business. Would like to go again to Mito and spend a night with the fishing fleet. Watched them pull two nets, and their chant and actions would make a good “Travel-Talk” for color photography. We made reservations for next weekend, but I may be in Osaka on business. Shuinzi was “off limits”, but we spent the first night there and had a terrible time — until we became acquainted.

 

That’s all for now — sign affidavits Monday if they’ve typed them on week-end.

 

— Page Seven —

 

Tuesday 30th Fabian and I attended the P.M. trials of the leading Jap war criminals, and the subject before the tribunal was the “The Rape of Nanking.” Boren is still down to Kyushu. Fabian is leaving tomorrow for the replacement depot to await transportation to States.

 

— END —

(1946) Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan — (Delayed) — Three Illinois Marines were among 114 liberated members of the famed original Fourth Marine Regiment which participated in a historic Marine reunion on September 6. They were entertained at a luncheon and formal Guard Mount ceremony at Yokosuka Naval Base by Leathernecks of the present Fourth Regiment, first Marines to set foot on Japanese soil following acceptance by the Imperial Government of the Potsdam surrender terms.

 

Possessor of one of the most brilliant battle records in the history of the Marine Corps, the original Fourth Regiment was cut to pieces during the gallant defense of Bataan and Corregidor. Those who weren't killed have spent more than three years in various Jap prison camps at Oshio, Mitsushima, Jooka, Narumi, Niigata, Noote, Hitachi, and Ringke Niigata. They estimate less than 500 survived Bataan and Corregidor. The liberation last week of 114 of these survivors made possible the ceremony held at Yokosuka by members of the present Fourth Regiment, themselves veterans of many Pacific campaigns.

 

The Illinois Marines are: Private First Class Emmerson G. Loewe, 939 Clinton Street, Freeport; Corporal LeRoy A. Finch, 801 N. State Street, Christopher; and Corporal Alfred G. August, Box 171, Wauconda.

 

— USMC —