To deter any attempt at escape, POWs were assigned to 10-man squads. If one escaped, the other nine men would be executed. To prevent delirious prisoners from wandering away, endangering their ‘blood brothers’, Americans patrolled the fences. As one of these patrolling guards urinated into a slit trench, he sprayed one of three officers trying to escape on what was a very dark night. The officer yelled out, and a commotion ensued...


“The irate officers used the word ‘escape’ so often that it got to the ears of the Japanese... Then began 48 hours of intermittent torture, interrupted for one brief period while the three men were left exposed to a typhoon... the earth was spattered with blood for several feet in all directions. Their half-conscious groans and cries were horrible to hear.”


— Lieut. Col. S.M. Mellnick

as told to Lieut. Welbourn Kelley, USNR

illus. by Fred Wren, “Life,” Feb. 7, 1944