By Roger Mansell and edited by Linda Goetz Holmes
Prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War, Guam was an island paradise for U.S. military and civilian employees stationed there. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, the Japanese invaded the tiny island, capturing almost 800 people, including 414 American military men and women. Japan's military force continued its sweep across the Pacific, crushing Hong Kong, Singapore, and Wake Island. By the second week of May 1942, the Japanese controlled the entire western Pacific. As a result, more than 36,000 Americans would eventually be detained in Japanese military prisoner-of-war camps.
The loss of the small island of Guam was not front-page news. Its capture warranted a brief mention in the New York Times, and in the subsequent histories of the Pacific War the story of Guam's defenders is routinely overlooked — yet their saga is one of the most heartbreaking and inspiring of the entire war. All of the American POWs of Guam were transported to Japan to be used as slaves for Japanese industries with such familiar names as Kawasaki, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi. Fueled by their hatred of the West, the Japanese exposed their captives to starvation, disease, and other brutalities that were part of the daily routine.
Author Roger Mansell was drawn to the story of the POWs from Guam after working to assemble camp rosters and death and survivor lists for prisoners who had been at Bataan, Corregidor, and Zentsuji. As he worked on these compilations, he began to realize that no one had written much about the military and civilian personnel captured on Guam. As a result, for the next 10 years his new mission became telling their stories. Drawing on diaries, interviews with survivors, and archival records, Mansell documented the mostly unknown story of these American POWs. The men endured horrific hardships, many of which are chronicled in this book for the first time. Also included are moving stories of their liberation, transportation home, and the aftermath of their ordeal.
Hard cover. 255 pages. 6 inches by 9 inches.
Made in USA