Death By Hanging


A Japanese Soldier Hung After the War
for War Crimes He Committed.

The Story of a Tokyo Prisoner
of War Camp 2-D
by
Maj. Richard M. Gordon (USA Ret.)

To steal a line from the noted radio commentator Paul Harvey: "And now the rest of the story."

In July 1990, I was contacted by the Japanese television network SBC, Shin-Etsu Broadcasting Company, Ltd., of Nagano Prefecture, Nagano, Japan, regarding their forthcoming documentary dealing with Japanese war criminals from Nagano Prefecture, the program to be titled, "Death By Hanging". To complete the program, the TV network was seeking surviving American prisoners of war who had spent three years in the Japanese prison camp, Tokyo 2-D, known as Mitsushima in Nagano Prefecture. The village of Mitsushima is more properly identified as Hiraoka.

I agreed to participate in the program, as there are only two survivors of that camp who spent three years there including myself. The other surviving former POW is Arvil Steele of Houston, Texas. We two were among the 81 American POWs captured in the Philippines who entered Mitsushima late at night on Nov., 26,1942.

Reaching Japan aboard the Nagato Maru, we were the first American shipment of Japan's "slave labor" to arrive in that country. Only 13 American prisoners remained in Mitsushima until Sept. 4,1945. Those who did not die in that camp were sent to a carbide mine in Kanose, Japan, in April 1944. The following day, Nov. 27, 1942, 183 British prisoners captured at Singapore arrived. All but 13 of their number either died in the camp or were also transferred to Kanose along with their fellow American prisoners in 1944.

During the first five months of captivity in Mitsushima, 48 allied POWs died from diseases, starvation, or beatings. Dysentery and pneumonia were the leading causes of their deaths. While diseases were rampant, medications to treat them were non-existent. Food, such as it was, was hardly sufficient nutritionally to rebuild one's strength, and the prisoners grew weaker by the day. To compound the situation, all prisoners were required by the Japanese to work, in ten day weeks, building a hydroelectric power dam.

Doing "coolie" labor with "coolie" tools, we found ourselves digging out the side of a mountain. The dam we helped build is one of Japan's four major sources of power today. On top of sickness, you must add the brutality of the Japanese guards. Initially guarded by active duty troops, the needs of Japanese manpower to fight the war shortly dictated that such troops be replaced with former soldiers, all of whom had been wounded by Chinese, American, or British troops. While the active duty soldier was vicious, the former wounded were even more so. It was their chance to strike back at those who may have caused their loss of an arm, leg, or an eye. With both types of guards, entire barracks of either, or both, American and British prisoners were forced to stand outside the barracks, at attention, in below freezing temperatures, all night. (Winters in Mitsushima, where the elevation is well over 6,000 feet, were extremely harsh.)

As a result of such brutalities and deprivations, charges were brought against a number of the guards at the war's end. However, the most notorious guard of all, not only in Mitsushima, but in numerous other camps, was never brought to trial. This guard, Watanabe or "The Bird" as he was nicknamed, disappeared the day after the war ended and was never seen again, nor are his whereabouts known to the SBC. This most vicious individual was sent to Mitsushima to "improve discipline", and his only duty was to go from prison camp to prison camp to improve discipline. "The Bird" obtained his name when he would sit in a circular booth shaped much like a bird cage, in the middle of the camp and watch the entire compound. Calling individual prisoners to his "cage", he would beat them on the slightest pretext: "You did not respond fast enough ...you did not bow correctly to a Japanese soldier ...you have a button open on your jacket." These charges were followed by a severe beating about the head. Taking his orders only from Tokyo, he was completely uncontrollable by even the camp commander.

The very first Yokohama war crimes trial war were held in 1946 to try the Mitsushima guards. As a result of this trial, five Japanese guards, including the first camp commander, Nakajima, were sentenced to death by hanging. Others received sentences up to and including life imprisonment. None of these guards served more than seven years in Sugamo prison, outside of Tokyo. Nearly all of those convicted were from Nagano Prefecture, hence SBC's interest in doing a television documentary.

With some of the war information available in Japan to SBC, a full scale investigation was initiated by the network's freelance writer, Mr. Takashi Higaki. A scenario of "Death By Hanging" was sent to me for my perusal. Fascinated by the Japanese lack of knowledge concerning what happened in Mitsushima, I agreed to participate. It was obvious from their scenario that they were of the impression that all five guards had been hastily executed, without sufficient proof of their guilt. (The trial of these individuals lasted two years.)

As a result of the executions, "the families of those executed are still bereaved." If these men had to be executed, the scenario went on to say, "death by shooting" would have been preferred". Also apparent in reading the scenario was the Japanese lack of knowledge of the fighting in the Philippines in World War II. They knew nothing about the fight for Bataan, the Bataan Death March, or the prison camps where the American prisoners of Bataan were held. Referring to Bataan, they knew it as Batan Island, a small island off the coast of Luzon, far removed from Bataan Peninsula.

In late August 1990, the writer, Mr. Higaki, visited my home accompanied by an interpreter, where he spent four hours obtaining the story of the American prisoners in Mitsushima. Obviously surprised at what he heard, he kept repeating "The Japanese people don't know this." Completely ignorant of Bataan and its Death March (and he honestly was) he offered to return to the United States with his program's director, Mrs, Matsuyo Iwai for filming in late October 1990. From my home, armed with a letter of authorization from me, he went to the National Archives in Washington, DC, where he retrieved copies of my depositions and of other prisoners used in the trial.

True to his word, Higaki returned on Oct. 29, 1990, accompanied by the director, a camera man, a sound man, and an interpreter. The filming of my interview took over four hours. All during this filming, the director, Iwai, also kept saying, "The Japanese people don't know this," and "Would you like to tell your story in Japan?" I recalled the words of Major Walter Hewitt, who had been with me in the early days of Mitsushima and who was a witness in the war crimes trial. In a letter addressed to former American prisoners at Mitsushima, he urged us to speak for those prisoners unable to speak for themselves, when given the chance, I quickly accepted Iwai's offer to face the surviving Japanese guards "eyeball to eyeball". While I certainly have empathy for the widows of those executed, I felt ready to face them as well. The story of what happened to the prisoners in Mitsushima has been unknown to the Japanese for too long.

Before the departure of the SBC crew, I accompanied them to East Syracuse, NY, where they obtained the story of another American prisoner of Mitsushima, Matt Braun. Matt had left Mitsushima, in April of 1944, when the main body of allied POWs were relocated to Kanose. After leaving Matt, the television people then went to New Jersey to interview Dr. Paul Loong, captured at Singapore and interned in Mitsushima in November 1942. Paul, who became an American citizen after the war, left Mitsushima with Matt Braun. Their stories of what had happened in Mitsushima, while they were there, were exact copies of my story. From New Jersey, the SBC crew traveled to Atlanta, GA, to interview the widow of Dr. Alfred . Weinstein, author of "Barbed Were Surgeon," the latter part of which concerned Mitsushima.

In late February 1991, a call from SBC, in Japan, gave me one week to prepare for my trip. I soon found myself flying nonstop aboard a 747 from Newark Airport, in New Jersey, to Narita Airport outside of Tokyo. Flying nonstop for such a distance brought to mind the many American lives lost in an attempt by the American military to secure bombing bases nearer to Japan, while giving the crews of the planes a reasonable chance to return safely from their bombing runs.

Bored after better than 14 hours of flying, our aircraft touched down in Narita Airport, where I was greeted by the SBC crew who filmed my arrival. Anticipating a stopover in Tokyo to recover from the flight, I had a rude awakening when I found myself ushered to a train running from Narita Airport to Tokyo's main railroad station, about an hour's ride away. Here we had dinner in a terminal restaurant while we waited for our train to depart. Boarding this train, we rode for about 2-1/2 hours to Komoro City, in Nagano, arriving there about 9:30 p.m., Tokyo time. By now I had been awake over 36 hours and the prospect of a warm bed on a cold night was very appealing. That pleasure was postponed when my hosts decided they were hungry and, after checking into a modern Japanese European style hotel, we proceeded to have a very late meal in one of a Japanese chain of restaurants named "Skylark", which resembled our Howard Johnsons. Immaculately clean, with excellent food, they offered a wide range of American style meals. Our hosts were not only hungry, but curious to hear about Mitsushima from a prisoner's point of view, and we remained in that restaurant until well after midnight.

After a very brief night's rest, we began our travels through Japan.   At 7:00 a.m., we motored to a suburb of Komoro City where "Little Glass Eye", a former guard sentenced to life in prison whose Japanese name is Tsuchiya, lived. Given the nickname by the prisoners, Tsuchiya was one of the worst guards,. He had lost his eye in China and was bitter to all POWs. The SBC crew told me, enroute to "Little Glass Eye's" house, that he refused to see me, but that they would try to get him outside his home for an interview with me. Arriving at his home bright and early, I was wired with a miniature microphone and recorder and advised not to mention his name on tape, should he decide to speak to me. Apparently the identity of Tsuchiya without his permission was illegal.


Little Glass Eye:  "It looks like we are shaking hands....  NO WAY!"

While the camera and sound men concealed themselves in a doorway nearby, our writer, Higaki, rang the doorbell and spoke to "Little Glass Eye" through an intercom. I heard the same bellowing, threatening Japanese voice that I had heard daily for three years coming through the intercom, yelling that he did not want to see me. Higaki finally calmed him down by explaining that I had "come all the way from America to see you," Perhaps his curiosity got the best of him; he agreed to come out of the house to meet with me. Before he did so, I was asked by Higaki to try to put Tsuchiya at ease, "since he is somewhat afraid of you."


Finally, "Little Glass Eye" emerged from the rear of the house. While 46 years have passed, the recognition was instantaneous. Looking very well for a 74-year-old man (and apparently well fed), he approached me somewhat apprehensively and with good reason. Showing him my POW photograph, taken in early 1943, I asked him if he remembered me. He not only claimed he did not remember me, he also failed to remember any of the events that led to his conviction as a war criminal. Yet, a look in his eye convinced me that he did remember me. Quite surprisingly, his first comment came in the form of an apology for the treatment he had accorded me in Mitsushima, but at no time did he ever mention specifically the beatings he gave me and others. His only response when asked a specific question was, "I was only following orders."

Prior to my visiting Japan, Tsuchiya had been questioned by SBC as to his part in the beating death of an American prisoner named Gordon Teas. "Little Glass Eye" denied to SBC that he was involved in the beatings, over a three day period, saying that he was not in the camp at that time.

My testimony as an eye witness to the beatings was part of the evidence that convicted him, along with two others who took part in the beatings. "Little Glass Eye" had insisted to the Japanese TV network that he was innocent. Yet, when I raised the subject to him, his response was "My attorney told me to never discuss the matter." Standing outside Tsuchiya's house, we all became quite cold with the temperature around the freezing mark. "Little Glass Eye", shivering in a light jacket and trousers, invited us into his house with the admonition that he was living with relatives who knew nothing about his wartime experiences and he wished to keep it that way. No sooner had he opened the front door and invited us in, the sound and camera men came running into his home. Sitting on a tatami mat, he and I talked about the days and nights in Mitsushima. Each time I would raise the subject of the Teas killing, I received the same answer, "My attorney...:' By this time I am sure that the SBC people were aware that he had lied to them about his part in the case.

I then pursued the subject of why, as the camp's supply officer, he refused to issue the several hundred pairs of South African army boots, or high shoes as the Americans called them. These boots had been delivered to the camp several days after our arrival. Asking for the boots at the time of their delivery, we were told "We will save them for you until you go home." I expected that "Little Glass Eye" would tell the truth, that it would have been demoralizing to the Japanese civilians to see us wearing excellent leather shoes while they had to wear a Japanese canvas sneaker, called a "tabi". Instead, "Little Glass Eye" lied once more and said that tabis were safer for us to work in than the hobnail boots. The many prisoners who had rocks fall on their feet would dispute that claim. When "Little Glass Eye" distributed the tabis to the prisoners he issued one size-small. When our big-footed American and British would complain about the size, "Little Glass Eye" would scream at them and beat them about the head with his wooden sword, a very mean weapon considering the hardwood of which it was made. Men unable to wear these tabis went to work with their feet wrapped in gunny sack. Walking through puddles of ice water in the numerous tunnels leading to and from their work site, they often caught colds which led to pneumonia. Eventually some of these men died from such exposure and their deaths can be attributed to "Little Glass Eye." He did a lot of explaining, but he was not specific about anything. After a 30-minute meeting, we left Tsuchiya's house, with him following us to our van. I always felt he was anxious to see us go and wanted to make sure we had left town.


The picture above is of the prison guards in Mitsushima, Japan. Sitting in the center of the first row are two officers. The one on the left was Capt. Sukeo Nakajima. The other officer was Lt. Kubo. Lt. Kubo eventually took over command of Mitsushima, because of the high death rate under Capt. Nakajima. Capt. Nakajima was executed by hanging.  The one to the left of Lt. Kubo was Matsuzaki, "Scareface". He was executed by hanging. To the left of Matsuzaki, was Tamotsu Kimura, "The Punk". Kimura was executed by hanging. Major Richard Gordon witnessed Kimura beat to death one of the POWs.  In the last row, directly over Capt. Nakajima, was Sadaharu Hiramatsu, "Big Glass Eye". Hiramatsu was executed by hanging.

Somewhat disappointed, I apologized to the SBC people for slipping once and referring to "Little Glass Eye" as Tsuchiya. Have no fear, I was told, once he admitted us into his house that barrier had been removed. They could now identify him publicly for the first time. Having him on tape seemed to make SBC very happy.

Down through the mountainous area of Nagano, we made our way to lida City, where another former guard, Kitazawa, lived. While Kitazawa had never served in the military due to polio, he did serve as a civilian bookkeeper for the camp during the first year of its existence. The SBC, knowing he had testified on behalf of those accused, invited him to be part of the documentary. While he and I had a long conversation, the gist of it remained that the Japanese accused were only following orders from higher authorities in their treatment of prisoners. On camera he did say that in the eyes of the Japanese, all POWs were considered animals and were to be treated as animals. His honesty was refreshing. He also added, however, that "Japan is a racist nation which has to change its way of thinking." Showing the numerous photographs he had taken as the camp's photographer during the war, the SBC crew set about filming his photos, while I filed away his comments concerning the Japanese opinion of prisoners of war. We then spent this night in a true Japanese inn in the mountains near Mitsushima.

Early the next morning we drove to Mitsushima, where I had spent three very hard years of my life. Touring the dam site brought a multitude of memories, mostly bad ones. All that remained of Tokyo Prison Camp 2-D is a field that was once used for our tenko roll call formations, and where numerous beatings of the prisoners took place in front of the entire assembly of prisoners.

I recalled vividly the night I was beaten on that field by the camp commander, Nakajima, and placed into the ASO (solitary confinement cell resembling a large coffin) inside of the Japanese administration building. My offense was that I was in charge of a detail who had refused to do more work than our camari (contract) which the Japanese had called for. The Japanese in our camp felt they could obtain more work from their prisoners by setting a work quota. As a reward, the prisoners were allowed to return to their barracks upon completion of the contract, which in extremely cold weather was a great incentive. Unfortunately, once back in camp, the interior guards found work for the returning prisoners. In this one particular case, our work was completed. Being democratic Americans, we took a vote on doing additional work as proposed by our guard. Upon his learning that the prisoners intended to stick to the work agreement, he reported to the camp commander that we had refused to work. I never could understand the position of my fellow Americans on that vote, considering I received the punishment for their stance. The parade ground, as it once was known, is now a soccer field for a primary school, whose students are totally unaware of its history.

After relating my accounts of the camp as best I remembered them, we visited the railroad station high above the campsite. I remembered our arrival at that station on a pitch black night, after a two day train ride from Moji in late November 1942. Dressed in shorts cut down from our tropical trousers and short sleeve shirts, cut down, we shivered for hours attempting to find warmth that night, without success. Somewhere before our one car electric train arrived in Mitsushima, a snow slide occurred which blocked one of the several tunnels our train had to travel. Stymied at first, we sat in a freezing cold train for some time. Finally the word was passed to all, for us to detrain and climb over the mountain to the other side of the tunnel where another electric car awaited us.

Climbing a steep hill that night, unable to see where one was going, tested the physical condition of every prisoner on the train. As for me, my legs gave out somewhere near the top of the hill. If it had not been for the help of a fellow prisoner, Bill Standish of Chicago, I would have remained on that hill. Several men failed to make the climb and were never seen again.

From the interview at the railroad station, we went a short distance, to the cremation site for the prisoners, sitting high on the side of a hill. To locate the site, a local Japanese guide was obtained. Mr. Masami Teradaira, a former Japanese army sergeant in charge of the Chinese prisoners who also worked in building the dam, guided us up a narrow path no wider than two feet. While 85 years old, Teradaira was as nimble as a mountain goat. As for the rest of us, we were grasping at vegetation along the path to maintain our footing.

Arriving at the cremation site, we were told what to me was the most amazing story of my trip to Japan. Teradaira, on camera and audio, readily told us that due to a shortage of wood during the war, the remains of the prisoners "cremated" at the site truly never had been cremated. Further, that wood ashes were retrieved and brought back to camp as the ashes of the dead. Unable to completely cremate the cadavers, the skulls and bones of countless soldiers - Chinese, British and American - were swept over the side of the hill into a ravine. Those remains, however, were left laying in the open at the cremation site until about 1974 when it was learned that a Chinese delegation was going to visit the site for the purpose of erecting a monument to their dead. The visit brought about a cleanup of the area and the sweeping away of the skulls and bones. From all indications, all or some of those remains are still in that ravine, laying under the vegetation added through the years by countless snow slides. I found this story incredible and kept asking, "Are the remains still here?" The answer from our guide was that one couldn't tell the difference between Chinese and American bones if you looked for them. After returning to the United States, I set about to ascertain what our official Army records indicated had happened. Having the names, ranks and serial numbers of 16 of those American who had died in the camp and were "cremated", the Army responded that 15 of the 16 were accounted for when their "ashes" were returned to our government in 1946. The Army did add, however, "that a great deal of confusion existed at the time. "Further check with Japanese friends from my trip revealed that "Those bones, mostly Chinese. were collected at the site are now laid in Zeakorji Temple, in Nagano." There is some question as to what percentage of bones and skulls were recovered. It is highly probable that some of the remains are still on that mountain. The entire story, however, leaves open the question of what ashes were returned to this country. The official U.S. Army records state that the ashes of the dead American prisoners were given to the senior American prisoner and he returned them to U.S. authorities. That senior American prisoner at the time was a Dr. Alfred E. Weinstein, author of "Barbed Wire Surgeon." In his book, Weinstein never mentions the ashes of dead American prisoners. Further, this writer accompanied Al Weinstein out of Mitsushima and he had no such item as ashes of our dead. (Unfortunately, Dr. Weinstein died a number of years ago.)

Asked my feelings about the site of the cremation and what we had been told by our guide, I responded, "Kitazawa, yesterday, stated we were like animals and to be treated as animals. Now I know what he meant. How else can one explain the treatment of honorable soldiers whose remains are thrown away like garbage." From that time on, I refused to talk to Teradaira, whose animosity, towards Americans was very evident. The callousness of his story telling will remain with me.

From here we drove across the Tenryu River, which winds its way along the campsite, to visit Mrs. Hisae Hiramatsu, widow of a Japanese guard we had the nickname "Big Glass Eye'. He had lost his eye in China as did "Little Glass Eye". While very a strict soldier, I never saw him doing anything more than slap a prisoner for some violation of the camp rules. (This type of corporal punishment was very common within the Japanese army.) I was unaware of his death until about 1980, and quite surprised to hear of his execution as a war criminal, as were fellow prisoners Braun and Loong.

During our visit to Hiramatsu's widow, we were shown her two prize mementos: her husband's medal which he had won in China, and his glass eye taken from him after his execution. The meeting, with Mrs. Hiramatsu, was a most traumatic experience. This woman, and her family, still grieves over "Big Glass Eye's" death. I was asked to read a letter her husband had written to her shortly before his execution (which had been translated into English by the SBC for my benefit). Hiramatsu had asked her not to take her own life-and the lives of their three children, but to live for the children. I believe that some of the crimes of "Little Glass Eye" were attributed to "Big Glass Eye and said as much. Stoic as Hiramatsu was, he went to his death without any attempt to find an alibi. To my knowledge, provided me by those who were in constant attendance at the trial, Hiramatsu was the only Japanese guard accused who admitted to striking a prisoner.


Widow and Grand Childred of Hiramatsu - Big Glass Eye, with
Maj. Richard M. Gordon

"Big Glass Eye's" son. who bears a striking resemblance to his father, told me that the Japanese people were also hungry during the war and that we in camp had a vegetable garden, which was true. What the son did not know, and I was quick to tell him, was that we knew the Japanese civilians were hungry, but we did not eat the vegetable grown. The Japanese guards did that for us.

Initially bitter towards me, the Hiramatsu family soon became friendly, and with true Japanese hospitality, brought out a great variety of food. After a several-hour visit, we departed with an invitation from Mrs. Hiramatsu for me to return to her home at any time. She stated to the television crew. "The soul of my dead husband must be very happy to see Mr. Gordon come from so far away." Any anger towards me had vanished by the time I left the Hiramatsu house. I truly feel sorry for this woman and her family, Raising her three children in post-war Japan was extremely difficult for her, taunted as the children of a war criminal by their classmates, her children found life very difficult for a number of years. I am bothered by the possibility that her husband was innocent and paid the supreme sacrifice for "Little Glass Eye", who had been asked by the writer, Higaki, "How do you feel about living when Hiramatsu died?" "Little Glass Eye" became furious with the question and responded, "How dare you ask me such a question!"

Our next stop after a night's rest in Shiojiri City, a railroad town, was the city of Hiroshima. After several hours aboard two trains, including the Japanese bullet train from Osaka to Hiroshima, we visited the relatives of the second camp commander, Lt. Kubo. Lt. Kubo had been arrested at the end of the war, but several of us, knowing he was innocent of any crime, testified in his behalf. His family never forgot this and has always expressed their gratitude to me and others who assisted their father. Kubo, it must be said, did everything in his power to treat his prisoners in a humane fashion. Unfortunately, his hands were tied. At no time did he ever abuse a prisoner or knowingly allow the abuse of a prisoner. When told of such abuse. he would punish the Japanese offender, except for "The Bird" who took orders only from Tokyo.

Before meeting the Kubo family at the Riverside Hotel, in Hiroshima, I was taken to Hiroshima's Peace Park and Museum. The museum, a true horror show, vividly depicts what the atom bomb did to the city and its people. I learned through our interpreter, a fine lady, named Hideki Kondou who had spent four years in the United States as an exchange student, that every junior and senior high school student in Japan must visit Hiroshima during their school years. It is a mandatory part of each Japanese student's curriculum. I know of nothing that could foster anti Americanism more than this requirement, despite Heidi's comments to the contrary when I raised this issue with her. To offset this, we Americans could mandate that every student in our high schools visit Pearl Harbor. But knowing the modern American student's lack of American military history, I doubt such a trip would offer more than a chance for the student to swim at Hawaii's beaches.

I was asked to examine each exhibit, set in a circular fashion in the museum, with the SBC's camera focused on any reactions I might show. Upon completing the tour, I was put on camera and asked the question I expected. "What do you think of the crime your country committed here?" Recognizing my anger at the question, my interpreter apologized for asking it. stating she merely worked for SBC as part time interpreter. I explained that the bomb was not only necessary, but that it saved Japanese as well as American lives, especially my life as a prisoner, as we fully expected to be put to death, if American should have invaded Japan.

Not satisfied with my answer, they repeated the question. Fortunately, as I toured the museum, I had read a placard on an exhibit at the beginning of the tour, which read: "In 1941, Japan as well as the United States was working out an atomic bomb, but gave up on it as Japan felt that no country could complete such an undertaking during the war..." Armed with that information, previously unknown to me, my answer to their prime question was in the form of a question. 'If Japan had continued their work on an atom bomb and completed it during the war, would Japan have dropped it on Americans?"  The answer is a positive "yes."  From that point on, the question of "America's crime" never surfaced again.

On the following day, after a totally pleasant visit with the Kubo family, we left by train for Osaka. where we boarded a flight to Tokyo and then to Manila, Philippines, where the SBC crew learned a great deal about Bataan, the Death March, and the "hell hole," Camp O'Donnell, where the marchers of Bataan were finally taken. It was here that I had to admit that O'Donnell was a hundred times worse than Mitsushima, which it was. I assured the film crew, however, that the conditions at O'Donnell were created by the Japanese. We also had the opportunity here to point out the stories of the hell ships. Japanese transports taking the prisoners from the Philippines to Japan and Manchuria. In particular, we pointed out how Japanese sailors in lifeboats, after their ship was sunk, would reach for an American prisoner in the water swimming to the boat, and then, using a boat hook, hold the prisoner's head under the water until he drowned. I know the SBC film crew learned more about what happened in the Philippines and enroute to Japan than they had ever known.

Returning to the United States after an eight day tour of Japan and the Philippines, I questioned my role in the making of "Death By Hanging". Did I accomplish what I had set out to do? The broadcast, set for May 25,1991, as I write this, will provide the final answer. While on camera over 50 hours, I am not so naive as to think that everything I said that may be detrimental to the Japanese will be heard or seen. However, I am firmly convinced that Hagaki and Iwai are both sincere in their stated goal of insuring that their people, especially the young, know what happened in Tokyo Prison Damp 2-D, Mitsushima, Japan, from 1942-1945, as well as what took place on Bataan and the prison camps for Bataan's survivors.

It was an opportunity for me to speak for so many who could not speak for themselves. It is my sincere hope that I did right by them.

Maj. Richard M. Gordon

 

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