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
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.
EMMERSON G. LOEWE
— Cover —
Property of Emmerson G. Loewe
939 Clinton St.
— 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
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
— 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
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
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
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
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
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
Monday 22nd — got my first mail today — 3 letters
— 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 —