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ICAS Special Program

Dialogue with Former US Prisoners of War in Japan 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014   18:30 - 20:00

  • Jack SCHWARTZ (Former US prisoners of war in Japan)
  • Bill SANCHEZ (Former US prisoners of war in Japan)
  • Oral C. NICHOLS (Former US prisoners of war in Japan)
  • Warren JORGENSON (Former US prisoners of war in Japan)
  • Daniel CROWLEY (Former US prisoners of war in Japan)
  • Anthony (Tony) COSTA (Former US prisoners of war in Japan)
  • Darrell D. STARK (Former US prisoners of war in Japan)

This program by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entitled “2014 The Japanese/POW Friendship Program”, seeks to promote of mutual understanding between the Japanese and American people by inviting former American POWs and their caregivers to Japan as a gesture of reconciliation. The program started in 2010. ICAS is honored to be able to host them again for four consecutive years.

Date & Time:
Wednesday, October 15, 2014   18:30 - 20:00 (Doors open at 18:00)
5F, Mita Hall
Temple University, Japan Campus
4-1-27 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Robert Dujarric (ICAS Director)
If possible, we ask you to register by E-mail (icas@tuj.temple.edu) , but we always welcome participants even you do not register. / 参加登録はなしでも参加できますので、直接会場へお越しください。



Former US prisoners of war in Japan

Jack SCHWARTZ, 98, was born in San Francisco in 1915. When he was young, Mr. Schwartz’s family moved to Los Angeles.  There he attended Hollywood High School and graduated when he was 15 years old.  Mr. Schwartz’s education continued at the California Institute of Technology where he earned Bachelor and Master Degrees in civil engineering.  He worked at various engineering jobs until joining the Navy as a lieutenant junior grade in the Civil Engineering Corp in 1940.  After Mr. Schwartz’s first Navy assignment at Pearl Harbor, he was transferred to Guam in 1941.  When the Japanese invaded Guam in December, 1941, Mr. Schwartz was taken prisoner. He spent the rest of the war in Japan as a POW, being placed at Zentsuji, Kawasaki #2B, and Rokuroshi.  After the end of the war, Mr. Schwartz returned to the United States and decided to remain in the Navy.  While on duty in Key West Florida, he married and had a son, Ja ck Junior. Mr. Schwartz retired from the Navy in 1962 and moved to Hanford, California, where he was Public Works Director and City Engineer for 18 years.  Since retiring in 1980, Mr. Schwartz has been on many city and county work groups, including eight years as a Planning commissioner and five years on the Kings County Grand Jury.


Former US prisoners of war in Japan

Bill SANCHEZ, 96, was born on July 18, 1918, in Los Angeles and grew up in the city.  He went on to study international trade and finance at Woodbury College (now Woodbury University) and enrolled in graduate classes at the University of Southern California.  Seeing that war was on the horizon, Mr. Sanchez enrolled in the army and decided to go to the Philippines.  There he worked on General MacArthur’s staff in the intelligence unit during the Japanese invasion.  He eventually fought as part of the defense of Corregidor until the fortress surrendered on May 6, 1942.  From there he was taken to the camp at Cabanatuan.  Mr. Sanchez was part of the first group of POWs who were moved from Cabanatuan to Japan aboard the Tottori Maru in October and November 1942.  On the main islands, where he spent three years, he was sent to work on reclaiming land at Camp Omori.  Eventually Mr. Sanch ez was moved to work at the railway yards in Tokyo, where he worked until he was repatriated at the end of the war.  Following his experience as a POW, Mr. Sanchez has returned to Japan several times through his work in international trade, which took him all over the world.  He now lives in Monterey Park, California, and continues to root for the Los Angeles Angels and is a big baseball fan.  He has three sons: Danny, who is joining him on the trip, David, and Adam.


Former US prisoners of war in Japan

Oral C. NICHOLS, 93, lives in Carlsbad, New Mexico and is being accompanied by his son, Jeffrey Nichols.  Mr. Nichols was born on March 29, 1921 and graduated from Woodbury College (now Woodbury University) in Burbank, CA on August 20, 1939.  Following graduation, he worked as a bookkeeper and then for a mining company one hundred miles outside of Los Angeles.  He then joined a construction company that was working on Wake Island.  There he was taken as a prisoner and placed initially in Woosung Camp outside of Shanghai. He was then moved to another camp in the area, Kiangwan.  At Kiangwan he worked in the interpreter’s office for over three years.  He was eventually moved to Sendai Camp #11 where he was put to work in an open pit iron mine.  After repatriation, Mr. Nichols worked a variety of jobs in California and Arizona before moving back home to New Mexico where he worked on his family’s ranch.  He has l ived in New Mexico ever since.  Beyond Jeffrey, Mr. Nichols has two daughters: Susan Long, a retired CPA who lives Texas, and Lynne Soltzman who lives in Virginia.  He also has one more son, Scott, who passed away last year.  Mr. Nichols has not been to Japan since the end of the war and is looking forward to traveling the country.


Former US prisoners of war in Japan

Warren JORGENSON, 93, was a member during World War II of the 4th Marine Regiment, also known as the “China Marines.”  Mr. Jorgenson was born in a small town outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 15, 1921, and grew up in eastern Iowa.  After high school, he enlisted in the Marines and was sent to Shanghai in May, 1940.  He had been stationed with the China Marines there for a year-and-a-half, when he was moved to the Philippines.  There, Mr. Jorgenson was shot and injured during the defense of Corregidor and sent to hospital for three weeks.  He was captured there in 1942.  After being kept in Corregidor for a year, Mr. Jorgenson was moved to Clark Field, which had been converted into a Japanese airfield.  Another year passed and the Japanese moved Mr. Jorgenson aboard the Hellship Noto-Maru to send him to Hanawa Camp on the Japanese main islands where he stayed for the rest of the war.  After repatriation, Mr. Jorgenson received a degree in Commercial Science from Drake University on the G.I. Bill.  He then went on to work in the phonograph music industry first at Capital Records and then at Musicland.  Mr. Jorgenson still loves listening to his phonograph records, and has also written a book about parenting entitled Daisies and Dandelions.  In 1995, he reconnected with his high school sweetheart, living together in California until her passing this past fall.  Today, Mr. Jorgenson lives in Bennington, Nebraska.  He is joined on the trip by his son Larry.


Former US prisoners of war in Japan

Daniel CROWLEY, 92, has proudly dedicated his life to ensuring Americans do not forget the experiences of soldiers at Bataan and Corregidor.  Mr. Crowley was born on May 29, 1922, and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut.  At the age of 18 enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He was stationed in Manila, the Philippines, where they were attacked soon after Pearl Harbor.  Mr. Crowley then continued to fight alongside American and Filipino troops until he was surrendered at Corregidor and was taken as a prisoner of war. From there, he was sent to Camp O’Donnell, and then he was moved to Cabanatuan.  Mr. Crowley was later sent to the island of Palawan where he was put to work for a year-and-a-half building an airstrip.  With the approach of the American army in 1944, Mr. Crowley was placed on the Hellship, Taikoku Maru, and sent to the main island of Japan, Honshu.  There he was put to work in a c opper mine at Ashio until the end of the war.  Following the war, Mr. Crowley returned to Connecticut, where he worked as an insurance agent.  Recently, Mr. Crowley has begun a new life.  He married his wife Anne on April 24, 2014, and they have since spent three months travelling the country in their red Mustang Cobra (with a license plate reading “1 POW”).  He has a daughter and a recently deceased son from his first marriage and four grandchildren.  He now lives in Simsbury, Connecticut.

Anthony (Tony) COSTA

Former US prisoners of war in Japan

Anthony (Tony) COSTA, 94, lives in Concord, California, the town in which he was born on January 8, 1920.  He attended Mt. Diablo High School and, on graduation from Mr. Diablo, began working in the refineries around his town.  In December, 1939, he joined the Marines as a member of the 4th Marine Regiment, also known as the “China Marines.”  He was first stationed in Shanghai and then was moved to the Philippines after falling ill.  There he fought off the Japanese invasion following Pearl Harbor until he was captured at Corregidor.  He was held in Cabanatuan, and, on November 7, 1942, taken by the Hellship Nagato Maru to the Japanese main islands.  There he worked on the docks at Umedea-Bansho in Osaka for three-and-a-half years.  As the allies approached Japan, Mr. Costa’s guards fled and he left, ending up in a recently destroyed Nagasaki.  Following repatriation, Mr. Costa returned to California where he worked in heavy industry.  In 1949, Mr. Costa built his own house, in which he still lives, and soon became the construction inspector of his hometown of Concord.  Mr. Costa married his wife Francis and with her had two daughters, Virginia and MaryAnn.  He also has three granddaughters and one great-grandson, Dominic Anthony.  Mr. Costa is an avid 49ers and Giants fan.  He has not been to Japan since the war and is looking forward to the experience.

Darrell D. STARK

Former US prisoners of war in Japan

Darrell D. STARK, 91, lives in Stafford Springs, Connecticut (CT) where he has resided for the last 58 years.  He was born in Wilson, Oklahoma on Oct. 2, 1923.
He served with the Army’s 31st infantry regiment and was taken captive on Bataan. On April 9, 1942, Bataan was surrendered to the Japan. At the time, Stark was delirious with malaria in Bataan Hospital #2. He did not participate in the 65-mile Bataan Death March and was instead transported by truck to Bilibid Prison in Manila. From there, he was eventually sent to Cabanatuan.  Stark was sent to work in the Davao Penal Colony, a prison camp on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao. He was transported to Japan by ship and arrived on Sept. 2, 1944 after 62 days on the Mati Mati Maru.  He was sent to Yokkaichi and worked in a copper mill feeding the furnace.  During that time there were a Japanese individual showed him great kindness.  Mr. Nakahara, his boss at the time, instead of reporting his partner and him for taking his food began bringing two lunches, one for him and one for them.  He was in Yokkaichi until an earthquake closed the factory and was then transferred to Toyama where he remained until liberation. Upon his return to the U.S., Mr. Stark met Julia Ridzon, and had three children, and worked several jobs until he became Deputy Jailer for Tolland County.  He went on to become a Captain with the State of CT Department of Correction. Since his retirement, he has spoken in schools and to other veterans suffering from PTSD thru the Veterans Affairs in Newington, CT.