Robert Vaughn Cartee affidavit regarding brutality of Japanese guards

Nagoya #3 Funatsu Main

Source: RG 331 Box 940


Statement of Robert Vaughn Cartee, Staff Sergenat, United States Army Air Force, Serial No. 6383466, 452nd Air Service Corps Hqs and Base Service Squadron, Greenville, South Carolina
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1. I went overseas February 1937 and returned to the United States 21 October 1945. I was captured on Bataan, Philippine Islands, on 9 April 1942 by a Japanese Ground Unit, the name of which is unknown to me. I was held at Camp O'Donnell, P.I., until about 28 June 1942, and from there transferred to Cabanatuan #1, P.I., staying there until I entered a prison camp on HONSHU ISLAND, JAPAN, knowm as FUNATSU #1, NAGOYA AREA until liberated September 6, 1945.

2. The Camp Commanders at the Camp in Japan, the names of which I do not recall, were nicknamed "GLASSEYE, "SNAKEYES", and "LITTLE NAPOLEON". The Sergeant Major in this camp was a Jap whose name I do not recall other than we called him at time "GLENN CUNNIGHAM" due to his athletic ability. The guards whose names I will later state were alternated in our camp for a period of about two weeks.

3. One incident so vividly [recalled] was in the case of Private MANN, member of the 60th Coast Artillery on CORREGIDOR, P.I. MANN attempted to escape from this camp around the middle of July, 1945. The guards as well as the civilian guard of the mining camp in this area formed searching parties and located him four days later. Upon returning MANN to the camp, he was beaten and in such an exhausted physical condition that he was unable to walk. They kept MANN in their small guardhouse inside of our prison camp area, putting him on one-quarter rations which was a cup of water as day and the rice ration of about one teacup a day. Each guard, at an interval of about two hours, would take turns going into the guardhouse and beat MANN with anything which they had, usually a wide leather belt, wooden swords, bayonets, and rifles. This practice was kept up for twelve days and MANN's screams of pain kept the entire camp awake during the nights until he finally succumbed to the treatment. I myself was on the detail that took MANN's body to the crematory in that area and there his remains were cremated.

4. The names of the guards in the camp I do not know except the nicknames we gave them. One, especially, who was acting in the capacity of Quartermaster and one was acting as Supply Sergeant. We called one "FOXY" and the other "CLARK GABLE", due to his extraordinary or rather his odd looks, other than the average JAP. These two guards looted not only the rations which were brought into camp for American POW consumption but they looted the RED CROSS supplies as well. The two guards took exceptional pride in beating up every American POW in camp.

5. We maintained a Fire Guard over the American barracks, a low two story wooden structure, which was poorly ventilated and poorly heated. These guards would inspect this so-called American fire guard and if they caught a man siting down or lying down trying to sleep, they would beat the man unmercifully. This guard was unnecesary but was forced on by the Camp Commander as a precaution, so he said.

6. In the mine which we worked, we civilian guards and overseers. One of these overseers name was FUGAIROY, nicknamed "CHESTY". Another was named EMASTAR, nicknamed "SMOKEY JOE". Another named TAKIMOTO, nicknamed "SHORTY". These civilian guards enforced severe rules and upon the slightest infringement of rules would not merely beat up the one man but the entire working crew, sometimes consisting of 20 to 30 men.

7. Another form of torture put upon us by the camp guards for a minor incident, which reporter by the mine civilian guards, would be to disrobe us, tie our hands behind us and cause us to kneel upon the rungs of the ladder placed at the side of the building at approximately 45 degree angle. Sometimes in this position for as long as six hours. This was extremely uncomfortable due to snow being sometimes four to six feet deep and temperature of approximately 22 degrees below.

8. Another pet peeve which the civilian guards caused us to undergo would be to dig a grave close to where we were working. If we worked well we were permitted to cover up the grave upon returning to camp at the termination of the day's work.

9. TAKISHITI or "SQUIRREL FACE" was the outstanding cruel guard which we had. I personally saw him beat the aforementioned Private MANN into unconsciousness. One day during our rest period at the camp at which time MANN was brought to the guardhouse and taken to our latrine to relieve himself, the aforementioned guard caused MANN to stop in front of the rest of the POWs and there, as a showoff, took his rifle belt or cartridge belt about two inches wide and there he beat MANN until he was bloody from head to foot. His back was cut practically to shreds. I personally know that MANN did not receive medical treatment for such wounds inflicted by said TAKISHITI.

10. One, Private K.C. Jones, 31st Infantry, on the night of about the middle of January, 1945, was supposed to be on fireguard. Said guard, "CLARK GABLE", inspected the fireguard to see if he was alert. He found K.C. Jones lying down in his allotted bed space asleep. He beat JONES unmercifully with his bayonet and steel end of his scabbard. After beating JONES down to his knees, the guard continued to pull him up on his feet, knocking him down 8 or 10 times. Until he knocked JONES down a flight of steps, consisting of approximately 42 steps, Jones was taken onto the small structure building there called the hospital and there administered medical treatment by the American doctor in our camp.

11. One, Private STERNER, [Owen A. Sterner- died 1 April 1945] formerly Service Company, 31st Infantry, attempted to steal some rice while at work at the mine. He was discovered by FUKAIROY or "CHESTY" and there unmercifully beaten. STERNER received numerous other beatings from the camp guards. He was however, put in the American hospital in our camp, but as a result of beatings and starvation by the Japanese, STERNER died in March 1945.

12. One, Johnny KEKESEO [Kekseo - died 5 April 1945], 19th Air Base Sqdn, Nichols Field, a POW in our camp, also stole a Japanese Mess Kit while working in the mine and he was discovered by the Japanese whom we called "SHORTY". "SHORTY" caused KKEKESEO to lie down on the small guage tracks upon which the ore cars rolled. While KEKESEO was in a prostrate condition upon the rails, his chest on one rail and his leg across the other, the Jap guard caused a heavily loaded ore car to run over Private KEKESEO, crushing four of his ribs and breaking one leg. KEKESEO died in April of 1945 as a result of the aforementioned treatment.

13. One, Private McMANN, [PFC MANN - died 6 August 1945 beaten to death] former member of "B" Battery, 60th Coast Artillery, while attempting to move a heavy ore car while working in the mine could not move the car- so as to satisfy said "SMOKEY JOE" or EMASTAR, the Jap civilian guard in the mine; as a result of the unsatisfactory work, the Jap guard caused McMANN [Mann] to be put on top of the ore car. Then, he the Jap guard, pushed the ore car down the tracks and dumped the ore which weighed approximate three thousand pounds into the allotted bin for the ore, McMANN [Mann] going into the bin with the ore. McMANN [Mann] was suffocated as a result of being covered up by he ore but was later administered artificial respiration and returned to the camp where he was admitted to the hospital. He later died as result of treatment of Japanese guards. This incident took place June, 1945.

14. Captain LILES whose home is in Clinton, Oklahoma, was the American Commanding Officer of the Camp. He may verify the above statements.

/S/ Robert Vaughn Cartee

It is believed that the guard nicknamed "CLARK GABLE" was named ISIOKA.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 17th day of August 1946.
/s/ W.J. Carpenter
Contact Representative