of Testimony of:
Alonzo C. Meredith
(formerly Staff Sgt, ASN 6250970)
My name is Alonzo C. Meredith. My permanent home address is
Strawn, Texas. I am now 31 years old. I was formerly a Staff
Sergeant, Serial No. 6250970, in the 27th Material Squadron,
U.S. Army Air Force, having enlisted on January 25, 1940. I went
overseas April 27, 1940 and returned to the States November 29,
1945. I was discharged from the Army on February 27, 1946.
I was captured on Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on May 6, 1942
by a Japanese Naval landing force, the name of which is unknown
I was held at Cabanatuan No. 3, P.I., until October 28, 1942;
them at Cabanatuan No. 1, P.I., until November 9,1942; then on
Bataan serving in a 50-man salvage detail until February 2, 1943;
then at Bilibid Prison, Manila, P.I., with malaria until April
2, 1943; then at Cabanatuan No. 1, P.I., until September 19,
1943; then at Los Pinas Air Field as a laborer building an air
field until October 3,1944; then to Formosa Island Prison Camp
[Heito] the name of which I do not know until January 14, 1945;
then to Japan at the Sendai Prison Camp No. 3 at Honshu, Japan
until I was liberated on September 12, 1945. The camp commander
at Sendai Prison Camp No. 3 was Katsuo Ishizawa.
They day we arrived at Sendai Prison Camp No. 3 the Jap commanding
officer called all we prisoners into an assembly and told us
that we were his enemies and always would be. This was to be
proven later on by his actions. We received a shipment of Red
Cross supplies and none were ever issued. Even though there was
plenty of food in the camp at all times all the prisoners were
practically starved. We prisoners carried the boxes of food supplies
into the camp. Meals were served to the Japanese guards where
we could see them eating. During this time that we received no
food, we were in a weakened condition that would not permit us
Due to the fact that we were not able to work, we were beaten
at numerous times practically every day. I should like
to state that on one occasion this Japanese commander, Katsuo
Ishizawa, came through the camp drunk. At that time for no reason
at all he started beating the prisoners with a club. He beat
me with a club on my back. I am still having trouble with my
back as a result of this beating.
The enlisted Japanese guards were permitted to beat American
& British prisoners at any time they chose to and any weapon
that they chose by the commanding officer; however, the commanding
officer seemed to enjoy themselves and get much pleasure from
beating the prisoners, and would stand around and laugh while
prisoners would be beaten.
Due to this treatment and starvation 14 men died at Sendai Prison
Camp No. 3, and their bodies were cremated. Three other prisoners
and myself carried the bodies on sleds to the crematory.
The Japanese Sgt. Major, Tasobei Chonan, was more lenient with
the prisoners and I never did see him beat a prisoner. At times
he would issue us more food than he was ordered to issue.
Japanese Sgt. Kunpei Shimizu, would slap and kick the prisoners
when they would ask for more food. He would also hoard the medical
supplies and refuse to issue then to the sick.
There was a mine supervisor whom I believe to be Tanfuji who
was the worst one of the mine supervisors in my opinion. He carried
on more of the beatings than any of the other supervisors. Practically
every day he would hit me over the head with his club for no
reason whatsoever. All prisoners received this same treatment
In addition to my statement regarding the Red Cross Supplies,
I should like to state that the Japanese guards always smoked
American cigarettes and we saw them carry the Red Cross food
supplies from the warehouse to their mess hall.
All the Japanese prison camps were infested with lice, etc.,
but the Japanese commanders never made any attempts toward cleaning
up the living quarters.
When we first arrived at Sendai Prison Camp No. 3 there were
300 American and British prisoners who remained all during my
stay at this camp. We were working in a lead and zinc mine. We
were marched to work by Japanese guards who beat us along the
way with clubs about six o'clock in the morning, and we worked
until 4:30 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon. The Jap commander would
always march to and from the mine with the prisoners.
We were issued one suit of Japanese work clothing and had to
wear this suit during the whole time of our imprisonment. We
were never issued any shoes until after the Japanese surrendered.
Practically all of the prisoners were forced to go barefooted.
The Japanese commander stated that the issuance of shoes to the
prisoners would be bad for the morale of the civilians who worked
in the mines. Leather shoes furnished by the Red Cross were in
the warehouse at all times, but the commander would not allow
them to be issued to us.
At different intervals the Jap Commander would order practically
all of the prisoners to stand at attention from one hour to three
hours in the cold for minor violations like turning of
one's head or smoking a cigarette.
ALONZO C. MEREDITH
State of Texas, County of Palo Pinto
I, Alonzo C. Meredith, of lawful age, being duly sworn on oath,
state that I have read the foregoing statement consisting of
two pages, and that it is true to the best of my knowledge and
/S/ ALONZO C. MEREDITH