More from Charles Leroy Myers (Chico High School
Graduate and Prisoner of War, Wake Island 1941)
“After Capture” My father and I were always considered as U.S. Soldiers. We were sent to camp 18, known as the “Death Camp on Sesabo” The Japanese guards could not believe the US Army put old men and boys in the same unit. Every time they changed guards, the new guard would come to see father and son. We did not want the added popularity. Egawa was the Commander at Camp 18, Sesabo. His motto was “one man bad, all men bad.” Then beat all the men in Camp 18. There were honchos for every 20 men. All the civilian Honchos were not bad. Most of them did not try to create a reason so they could put the club to you. All would beat you if they were told to or if you did something wrong. “Grandma,” was a little male, Japanese Honcho, who hated big men. One day when George Dillon was digging in a ditch, Grandma took a branch from a bush. He then would switch George across his face, every time he bent down to get another shovel full. George stood up and pleaded for Grandma not to hit him any more. George stooped over and Grandma hit him in the face. Dillon swung the shovel like a bat hitting Grandma on the side of the head, knocking him down and out. George Dillon was taken out of camp. No one ever saw him again. The guards would make you hold an 18” square, wooden box, filled with a few rocks. As you stood holding it, each guard would pass by and put in more rocks until you let the box fall. Then they would beat you with a club. They cracked two of my ribs with their clubbing. When we heard that mass beatings were to occur, the first man in would holler, “Going to be hot tonight?” We would rush to put every thing we could find to protect our backside. Padding was no protection from a rifle butt, it would only protect from the clubs. They cracked my back with a rifle butt. We survived because I felt that if I died then Father would die too. I am sure he must have felt the same way about me. I had a terrible case of dysentery for several months. If you asked for medicine they would beat you claiming you were stealing bad food. In March the spring of 1943, the Japanese started feeding us with barley bread. We were given one meal a day. This flour was so full of weevils the bread looked like it was peppered all over. The bread was steam cooked so it was very sticky and sour. I thought that if it sticks to your hand, maybe it would stick to my stomach. This bread was very heavy as it had three times as much grain as the rice servings.(to be continued)
Pfc. Marshall J. Bragg what a Hero who gave his life for his country. No, not in Battle, but whose to say he didn’t die as a result of the Battles he was in and the wounds he had. Regardless why he died he will be honored on our Memorial here as he was in the Service when he died in Butte County. I will soon call Speedway West Virginia and hopefully find more and let them know that he only passed through here but will be honored here. At 33 I think he might have volunteered for combat. .
Oroville Gentle Dentistry, 2014 5th Avenue, Oroville CA, is proud to offer a Free Exam and Cleaning for Veterans. Sponsoring Oroville Veteran’s Memorial Park. Come enjoy America’s Favorites; Hot Dogs, Apple Pie & Chevrolet Wear your colors, share stories and enjoy great company. Veteran’s Day November 11th, 2014 8AM-5PM 533-8204 Call today to reserve your appointment.
Next week I hope to have names of the Restaurants that are offering free meals to the Veterans. Just have your Veteran ID’s ready. Free dentistry for Veterans on Veteran’s Day. Oroville Dentist, Dr. Sims Lowry will be providing free dental services on Veterans’ Day, November 11,2014 as a service to those who have served our country in the military. A Veteran himself Dr. Lowry is pleased to provide free services which can be completed on the same day, such as fillings, extractions etc. Veterans wishing to take advantage of these services should call Dr. Lowry’s office at 534-5940 and be prepared to show either their Military ID or DD214. Services provided on a first come first serve bases. Be sure to see the Parade before or after you go to enjoy the hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Veteran’s Day November 11 at 11AM from Feather River Blvd down Montgomery Street. Review stand will be at the City Chamber of Commerce Office. Hope to see you there.