ALBUQUERQUE, AUG. 16, 1945 — The monthly bulletin of the Bataan
Relief Organization, published here and distributed nationally,
demands editorially in its current issue that the senate
investigate reported sinkings of Japanese ships carrying
American prisoners of war.
Relatives have received a “flood” of death notices, the
publication said, following official announcements of vessels
sunk last year.
It credited to the war department these figures on losses: 1,001
of 1,600 aboard an enemy prison ship sunk last Dec. 15, all but
nine of 1,800 on a vessel which went down last October, and all
but 83 of 750 aboard a ship sunk last September.
“It is reported,” the bulletin said, “that this tremendous loss
of life occurred as a result of Japanese ships transporting
prisoners of war from the Philippines to camps in Japan being
either torpedoed by American submarines or sunk by aircraft from
The publication added:
“No reasons have been advanced in official circles as to why
convoys of destroyers and other naval craft in the areas near
the submarines’ operation were not contacted to pick up
prisoners swimming in the water.
“There has been no record made public, or any evidence of its
presence, that an official investigation was made of the first
prison ship sinking by American craft. It is self evident that
the tragic error was not corrected as sinkings continued.
“The editors of the bulletin believe that the hundreds of
mothers and fathers who sacrificed sons in a disaster entirely
useless and unnecessary have earned in a grief of a most bitter
potence the full right to be told exactly why their sons were
“They should know who is responsible for the orders which
directed the killings of Americans by Americans.”