PERPETUATION OF TESTIMONY
(Formerly S/Sgt. ASN 20814051)
My name is O.B. Williams. My permanent home address is Box
492. Rotan, Texas. I am now 34 years old. I was formerly a S/Sgt.,
ASN 20814051, in Btry. E., 131st Field Artillery, United States
Army, having enlisted November 12, 1940. I went overseas November
21, 1941 and returned to the United States November 1, 1945.
I was discharged from the Army on June 2, 1946.
I was captured at Sourabaya, Java, March 10, 1942, by a Japanese
ground unit, the name of which is unknown to me.
I was held at Jamaar P.W. Camp in Java. A Japanese 2nd Lt around
50 years of age and a former English professor in the University
of Tokyo was our camp commander. While at this camp, I remember
a severe beating of a Lt. In the Dutch Army. This Lt. Had trouble
with one of the guards and as a result was beaten with bamboo
poles and rifle butts and then tied to a tree, striped of all
his clothing and allowed to remain in the sun for 48 hours. When
he was released, he was covered with cuts and bruises and had
a broken arm.
I remained in this camp until September 1942 at which time we
were moved to a camp which we called H.B.S School
in Sourabaya, Java. We remained here for 7 weeks and during our
stay, daily beatings of the prisoners were quite common. There
was one iunstance where two prisoners attempted to escape and
were caught. Their punishment consisted of being tied to the
guard house where they were beaten hourly with bamboo poles by
the guards. They were tortured in other ways, the most common
was when the guards would take cigarettes and put them out in
the prisoners faces. These men were later put in a wire
cage which was in the sun and they had no clothing except a pair
of short. They were given no food or water.
In Nagasaki we were placed in Fukuoka Camp No. 2, which was under
a Japanese Major, around 65 years old, and partly bald. We called
him the Old Man. It was at this camp while I was
NCO of the week working with an American Army officer, Lt. Hollis
G. Allen, from Dallas, Texas, who was officer of the week that
I witnessed some of the worst treatment given to P.Ws. Food had
been stolen from the canteen by a group of Dutch PWs. As NCO
of the week, it was duty to search these men and try to find
the guilty party. Japanese soldiers finally pinned the blame
on 13 Dutch PWs who were beaten with bamboo poles and rifle butts,
kicked and stomped while lying on the ground, had hot water poured
down their throats and slapped by guards in an effort to get
them to confess their guilt.
A Japanese civilian interpreter, who had lived in California
for 10 years, been in the fruit business in the U.S., wore glasses,
about 5 feet, 2 inches, around 40 years old and spoke good English,
and used American slang frequently was responsible for and encouraged
these beatings in an effort to get the PWs to talk. He was very
jealous of the Americans. He was directly responsible for having
me beaten when I was caught with a pencil in my possession. I
was beaten with a club about the size of a baseball bat by a
guard we called the Weasel.
I was later placed in charge of a shipyard detail and in my group,
there was an Hawaiian boy who was very sick and I requested light
duty for him. He had an acute diarrhea, but they would not admit
him to the hospital. This boy died two days later from pneumonia.
There was Capt. Vicerich, who was a doctor in the Dutch Army
and he was in charge of the prison hospital. He did very little
for the Allied prisoners and whenever possible, he refused to
give them medical and hospital care. It was the belief of many
of the prisoners that he was collaborating with the Japanese.
An American PW was caught stealing soy bean paste and he had
stolen so much that the Japanese knew he was either giving it
away or selling it to the other prisoners, We was forced to give
names of some of the men he had sold the paste to. These men
were given various types of punishment, such as, no food or water,
they were forced to get on their all fours with legs and arms
straight and remain in this position for as much as three and
three quarters of an hour. If they broke this position or swayed
either to the left or right, they were struck by guards with
clubs. A Japanese Sgt., who we called The Chinless Wonder
due to his chinless profile, was in charge of the beatings.
On June 21, 1945, we were moved to Fukuoka #6. Here we worked
in the coal mines where beatings were quite common. My detail
was in charge of a former Japanese soldier, whom we called The
Horse. He was responsible for many beatings and mistreatment
We liberated ourselves on August 29, 1945 and American troops
liberated us September 12, 1945.
/S/ O.B. Williams
Subscribed and sworn before me, the undersigned authority,
on August 19th, 1946.
/s/ Ruth J. Strickland
Ruth J. Strickland, a Notary Public
in and for Fisher County, Texas
My commission expires June 1, 1947