Sgt Joseph G. Pase
Diary - Part 2 - Time Line

Main Kamioka Page    Camp List

Source: RG 389 Box 2129 - Often called the "Diaries Box" at NARA

1st Detachment Americans, Kamioka, Japan

May 24, 1944
One hundred and fifty (150) men were ordered to leave Mukden, Manchuria: Army, 107, Navy 12; Marine Corps, 31; 1st Sgt. J. Pase, Sig. Corps, placed in charge by Maj. S.H. Hankins CAC; destination unknown; 2nd in command: M/Sgt. G.M. Smith, H.F.; morale excellent; weight (average): 62.7 kilos.

May 28, 1944
Arrived Kyushu, Japan; entrained for unknown destination

May 29, 1944
Arrived Kamioka, Japan - Mitsui Lead Mine Area Prison camp occupied by 252 Hollanders and 5 English POWS; 1st Lt. G.A. Theunissen, N.E.I. Army, in charge of Hollanders and English, assisted by 1st Lt. W.A. Bidet and W.F.H. Semmelink, both of N.E.I. Army

June 5 [1944]
Selected men for camp maintenance: selection made by appointing men who I considered would perform their duties honestly and to the best interests of the workers of the mine, which group consisted of all remaining men.

June 19 [1944]
Pvt. Smith, James H. Army, attempted escape, but surrendered himself to Japanese 8 miles from camp; placed in solitary confinement on short rations by Japs

June 29, 1944
PFC C. A. Dees, dislocation of right shoulder by fall in mine. [Carlos A. Dees, 60th CAC]

July 18, 1944
PFC J. C. Dolsen transverse fracture of left arm (in mine). [John C., 4th Marines]

July 20, 1944
Sgt. Jack Williams fracture of left arm (mine).

July 23, 1944
Pvt. Jack Warren transverse fracture of left arm (in mine).

August 3
194 American POWs commanded by 2nd Lt. [Leonard E.] Goldsmith CAC, Lt Ginsbirg [Joseph E. Ginsberg] Med Corps [assigned 48th Material Sqn], arrived this camp and were designated "2nd American Company POWs" by Japanese.
P. M.. This company designated 1st company American POWs by Japanese.

August 19, 1944
Received from Japanese six (6) large Red Cross comfort parcels; these were divided equally among this company (150 men); signed receipt for parcels; requested more.

August 22, 1944
Pvt. Joslin, F. L. [Francis L.], attempted escape from mine; apprehended by Japanese and placed in confinement in this camp.

October 8, 1944
S/Sgt. Mitchell, W. J. [William J., 24 Purs Gp 20 Purs Sqn], wounded in both hands and legs by dynamite blast in mine.

October 19, 1944
Pvt. Butler, F. W. [Frank], laceration of left hand from falling rock in mines; amputation of little finger and ring finger mashed.

October 20, 1944
Pvt. Johngrass, Sam , wounded hands, face, leg, dynamite blast in mine; vision of right eye impaired.

*October 13, 1944
Pvt. Schroeder, W.[Walter], Marine Corps., concussion of brain and strained back from fall in sandpit-working in Kamioka.

October 28, 1944
Pvt. Robinson, R., dynamite blast in mine; loss of finger; infected wounds on remaining parts of hands.

November 11, 1944
Sgt. Lanning, J. L., Med. Corps, admitted to hospital with extremely serious appearing infection of legs.

*December 15, 1944
Sgt. Lanning: leg amputated.

*December 12, 1944
Pvt Davis, Ben, wounded in hands and face by dynamite blast in mine; vision impaired.

December 21, 1944
Sgt. Lanning died this date; Christian service by Dr. C. H. Jackson; military escort to cemetery; requested ashes; request refused.

December 22, 1944
Was requested by Japs to sign receipt for 495 large Red Cross parcels which would be delivered later; held conference with other two commanders; result was that none of us three would sign until delivery effected to our camp.

December 23, 1944
2nd Lt. Goldsmith signed receipt for aforementioned parcels without first making known his intentions to the other two comdrs. In return for his signature he was promised special consideration for his company; it is needless to say we are at odds because of this act; the Japanese have at an unknown location 495 large parcels, believed to be in Funatsu, for which they have been relived of responsibility by signed receipt for same.

December 24, 1944
My leaders consider themselves betrayed by 2nd company and relations are strained between the two groups; from my own observations I believe that an open conflict between the Hollanders and 2nd company is inevitable; such a clash may result in useless sacrifice of personnel, and since Lt. Goldsmith and the Hollanders leader are not on speaking terms I must take the responsibility of promoting an understanding.
P. M.. Same date:
I have called a meeting of all leaders (Americans and Dutch) who consider themselves betrayed by Lt. Goldsmith's signature on receipt; to hear his explanations and accept any apologies he may have to make (to take place tomorrow morning).

December 25, 1944
Meeting proved to be great success; explanations and apologies made and accepted by all leaders; we three commanders, in the presence of our leaders, reaffirmed our intentions of support to each other; considering the potentialities fo the situation, I feel myself justified in adopting this method to relieve the situation, and in the interests of the service, incident considered closed.
P. M.. : Signed receipt for 148 small Red Cross comfort parcels after receiving them this date.

December 31, 1944
We three commanders were called before Japanese and informed that of the 495 large parcels originally signed for, 21 small parcels have already been stolen by unknown Japanese.

January 1, 1945
All medical records will hereafter be contained in separate record books. Start New Year with following figures:

Total Company- 148 EM (62 NCO's; 86 Pvts)
Working in mines–45.2% (62)
Working in Kamioka–11.5% (17)
Working in Camp–8.1% (12)
Working in F. D.–14.85% (22)
Sick in Hospital–20.2% (30)

Approximate average caloric value of food per diem:
2000 to 2300 previous month
2300 to 2500 first week of current month

Morale: Excellent

January 9, 1945
Signed receipt for 19 Red Cross parcels for hosp; was forced by threats of Lt. Furushima and Sgt. Maj. Miura (?) To sign (jointly, the 3 commanders) for receipt of the 21 stolen Red Cross parcels.

January 27, 1945
Signed for and received 140 small Red Cross parcels per man.

January 29, 1945
The following rations are received daily by all hands: 115 g. rice; 111 gm barley; 111 maize; 122 gm beans; 9 gm flour; 43 gm miso; 9gm sugar; 275gm bread.

February 3, 1945
Pvt Myers (Louis), while working in cobbler's shop adjoining Jap Hdqrs, overheard Lt. Goldsmith promise Japs that if they would remove me from my command and join my men with his he could increase the number of men working in the mine considerably. Later I was called to office and informed that this move would take place at once. I declined and awaited the next move. My reason for declining practically every member of my command has voiced their disapproval of any such change taking place.
Later in day: My leaders and ranking NCOs were called to my office and informed of the situation. They unanimously voiced their objections to such a change, requesting me to continue as their leader until such time as I could place them under a capable commissioned officer of the United States. Names of the NCO's may be found on reverse side of this report.

P. M. : I informed Lt. Goldsmith of the reactions of my men, and the affair was dropped. Relations between the Japs and my men are not so good. They miss no opportunity to make us feel uncomfortable.

February 4, 1945
No baths for 16 days. Japs will not issue fuel.

February 14, 1945
Sgt. Herring [Robert R.] in poor physical condition after falling in mine yesterday evening. Was marked qtrs and confined to bed.

February 15, 1945
Sgt. Herring was admitted to hospital 8:00 A. M. Died at 11:00 A M of heart failure. Christian service by Dr. Jackson; military escort to cemetery.

February 16, 1945
Protested to Japanese of heavy increase in forced labor, poorly heated quarters, no recreational facilities, stale bread once daily. Was completely ignored by Lt. Furushima and was finally dismissed with the statement that the Japanese could not consider themselves responsible for deaths of prisoners.

February 26, 1945
Requested issue of Red Cross parcels; request granted only on condition that the contents would be rationed out according to plans set forth by Jap. Sgt. Mj. Had to accept or do without. The men need them badly; so accepted.

February 27, 1945
Received ½ parcel per man and began issue of contents on ration plan; signed receipt.

March 3, 1945
Pvt. Smith died of TB 13:00 this date Christian service; military escort to cemetery.

March 4, 1945
S/Sgt. Moss [Harry J.], Ser. No. 6298045, died 0130 this date–heart failure and malnutrition. Christian service military escort to cemetery; morale of men low.

March 5, 1945
Requested permission from Japs to purchase musical instruments; refused.
P.M.: Rec'd POW Information Bulletin (revised April 1944); re-allotments, insurance, govt bonds.

March 6, 1945
Canvassed entire company–those who cared to take advantage of authority granted in the bulletin of yesterday were given that opportunity; requests were made out and delivered to Japanese to be forwarded.

March 7, 1945
Requested that Swiss Legation in Tokyo forward copies of W. D pamphlet "personal Affairs of Military Personnel and Aid to their Dependents". Japs refused to convey any request to that legation.

March 23, 1945
Signed for and received 106 ½ Red Cross parcels (small); have just been informed that all requests for allotments, insurance and govt bonds given to Japanese for delivery have been destroyed by order of Mr. Takasachi, Jap hdqrs.

March 28, 1945
Was permitted to purchase 50 gallons of ground grasshoppers to be divided with entire camp; cost Y 1600; taste putrid.

March 31, 1945
Pvt. Andersen (L. R.) [Anderson, Robert A., 60th CAC], 19054316, died this date; Christian service by Dr. Jackson; military escort to cemetery.

April 6, 1945
Pvt. Downs (Geo. R.) 19054518, died 02:45 (pneumonia); Christian service by Dr. Jackson; military escort to cemetery.

April 13, 1945
Officially informed Pres. Roosevelt died; held short prayer service and lecture on duty and obligations to our country and families.

May 1, 1945
Received 11 personal parcels; all had been looted and practically destroyed; two with name and address beyond recognition delivered to sick men in hospital.

May 17, 1945
Objected to Japs sending two of my company to work in mine after Doctor had pronounced them sick; objection overruled by Japs.

May 19, 1945
The three commanders of Groups have drafted a letter to the Swiss legation requesting an investigation of conditions prevailing in this camp. Food situation and general treatment are becoming unbearable.

June 5, 1945
Have started searching mountain sides for green things to eat; 30-40 men daily to procure food for the 600 men present in camp.

June 28, 1945
Pvt. Robinson was caught trying to trade a shirt to a civilian Jap for food. Was beaten until unconscious (by Mr. Shimada), stripped nude and dragged to guardhouse; confined without clothes, food or water; all protest useless. Japs finally permitted 200 gms rice and a little water to be given to Pvt. Robinson daily.

July 3, 1945
Pvt. Robinson released; very poor physical condition; seems to mentally affected by treatment.

July 14, 1945
Cpls. Sheya, Smith, Pvts, Warren, Morris, Robinson, Lippard, all beaten severely and confined in guardhouse without clothing; offense: lost or misplaced some article of clothing.

August 1, 1945
Cpl Sheya (Melvin), M. C. , Pfc Johnson, Morris, USMC, Pfc Sparks, Geo W. USMC, Pvt. Morris, Harry F. , Army and Pvt. Phillips, G., USMC, departed this date for unknown destination. Cpl. Sheya in charge. Physical condition of Pvts Morris and Phillips, poor. [All rescued Toyama 7B]

August 14, 1945
Called to Jap Hdqrs with other US Group Commander (Lt. Goldsmith) and beaten over head with wooden clubs (reason not given).

August 17, 1945
Called to office and informed that armistice signed and POW status continued until turned over to US troops at coast.

August 18, 1945
Men are anxious to obtain revenge on Japs for maltreatment in past, and are slightly difficult to restrain. Established combined Hollander and US guard over food in storehouse.

August 19, 1945
Strained relations have improved slightly.

August 21, 1945
Rations doubled by request; demanded return of Pvt Joslin to my command if still living.

August 25, 1945
Informed that Pvt Joslin was still alive and would be returned next day; sent message to Capt. Lisle asking advice on whether to place myself and company under Lt. Goldsmith, or to continue my individual company; was ordered to continue as in the past until evacuation of the camp.

August 26, 1945
Was informed that Pvt Joslin refused to return to Kamioka; was given choice of all clothes in go-downs for my group; camp bought cow for Y 1300.

August 27, 1945
Camp purchased horse (for consumption cost Y 1700).

August 28, 1945
Camp presented with 2 year old bull gratis; rec'd first info on evacuation.

September 3, 1945
Received medicine, foodstuffs, tobacco, clothing, candy, etc, dropped from plane in Funatsu-Nagoya area; all supplies divided proportionally between Kamioka, and Funatsu camps; M/Sgt Smith (Geo. M) made Provost Marshall overall Allied troops this camp; Sgt Thompson, F. E, made Acting 1st Sgt.

September 4, 1945
Plane dropped supplies-food, medicine, tobacco, etc, in this camp. Nav. Gun. Hoyt and Sgt Keller arrived from Toyama to evacuate sick.