POWs in Japan

For the Japanese soldier fighting in World War II, the worst humiliation was capture by the enemy. So when American servicemen surrendered, many in the early days of the war on the Philippines, their new captors felt only contempt for them, projecting their own culture onto enemy combatants. Beginning with the Bataan Death March and its horrible casualty rate, the Japanese seemed either indifferent or downright hostile to the welfare of their prisoners. In turn, those prisoners put to work in factories or rail yards in Japan and China could take some satisfaction out of subtly sabotaging the Empire's war effort.

Featured Story: John L. Stensby

"We felt insulted we were captured by the Japanese."

Army artillery man John Stensby arrived in the Philippines in November 1941, just in time for the Japanese invasion. Four months later, he was out on patrol when orders were given for the surrender of Bataan, but he wouldn’t give in, eluding the Japanese to fight for one more month. He hit all the low spots of Japanese captivity: Bilibid and Cabanatuan on the Philippines, road work on Taiwan, the Yokohama docks, and the coal mines at Sendai. Throughout his long captivity, he made his twin bywords sabotage and survival.