Two New Mexico Members of 200th Are on Way Home

 

Omori Prisoners Greet Rescuers

 

YOKOHAMA, SEP. 3, 1945 (Delayed) — Japanese guards at Omori prison camp had a party the night the war ended and one of them attempted hara kiri after drunkenly climbing

on a table and giving a long speech.

This and other tales of life in Japanese prisoner of war camps were told today by U.S. repatriates screened aboard the hospital ship Benevolence.

The prisoners screened included two veterans of the New Mexico 200th coast artillery who were captured on Corregidor — Sgt Walter P. Cornell, 37, and his buddy, Cpl. Anthony Galindo, both of Gallup.

Cornell said the Japs had beaten him and pushed him around, “but that’s O.K. now.”

The drunken Jap guard who tried hara kiri was observed running a sword into his stomach and then “taking a slice at his throat,” but a camp medical officer had him removed and the next day he still was alive, the Omori repatriates reported.

Because the camp had been so full of rumors — such as Allied planes with 38 engines and a 6000 foot wingspread which would rescue them — the Omori inmate didn’t believe reports of the atomic bomb.