28 August 2006

Cannibalism of captured Allied pilots

FLOYD HALL, one of the victims of japanese cannibalism.

What happened to Jimmy Dye, Floyd Hall, Marve Mershon, Warren Earl Vaughan, Dick Woelhof, Grady York, , Glenn Frazier, and the anonymous B-24 crewman

The horrific fate of the other eight "flyboys" was established in subsequent war crimes trials on the island of Guam, but details were sealed in top secret files in Washington to spare their families distress.

Mr Bradley has established that they were tortured, beaten and then executed, either by beheading with swords or by multiple stab-wounds from bayonets and sharpened bamboo stakes. Four were then butchered by the island garrison's surgeons and their livers and meat from their thighs eaten by senior Japanese officers.

A radio operator, Marve Mershon, was marched to a freshly dug grave, blindfolded, and made to kneel for beheading by sword, testified a Japanese soldier, named as Iwakawa, at the war crimes trial. "When the flyer was struck, he did not cry out, but made a slight groan."

The next day a Japanese officer, Major Sueo Matoba, decided to include American flesh in a sake-fuelled feast he laid on for officers including the commander-in-chief on the island, Gen Yoshio Tachibana. Both men were later tried and executed for war crimes.

A Japanese medical orderly who helped the surgeon prepare the ingredients said: "Dr Teraki cut open the chest and took out the liver. I removed a piece of flesh from the flyer's thigh, weighing about six pounds and measuring four inches wide, about a foot long."

Another crewman, Floyd Hall, met a similar fate. Adml Kinizo Mori, the senior naval officer on Chichi Jima, told the court that Major Matoba brought "a delicacy" to a party at his quarters - a specially prepared dish of Floyd Hall's liver.

According to Adml Mori, Matoba told him: "I had it pierced with bamboo sticks and cooked with soy sauce and vegetables." They ate it in "very small pieces", believing it "good medicine for the stomach", the admiral recalled.

A third victim of cannibalism, Jimmy Dye, had been put to work as a translator when, several weeks later, Capt Shizuo Yoshii - who was later tried and executed - called for his liver to be served at a party for fellow officers. Parts of a fourth airman, Warren Earl Vaughn, were also eaten and the remaining four were executed, one by being clubbed to death

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