Proof Through the Night

This is a book about a B-29 pilot that was shot down over Japan and taken prisoner. The first part of the book deals with his background and how he became a pilot, then moves on to talk about the mission over Yawata in which his plane was shot down.

He describes the B-29 in quite a bit of detail and notes how it tended to have a lot of mechanical problems.

After he bailed out he landed and some civilians gathered around him and began to beat him. He was then taken captive and interrogated. They also beat him savagely. 'These people were animals, I concluded, and I despised them. In my eyes they were less than human. The propaganda had been accurate to depict them with bloody fangs and glaring insanity.' They even took a picture of him (which is the cover of the book) where he's covered in blood, standing in a room with a dead serviceman on the floor.

He received no medical attention and little food. He wasn't allowed to bathe and the living conditions were ultra-primitive.

The book traces various moves he made and how he ended up in a camp at Shinagawa which was between Tokyo and Yokahama.

Although Red Cross had provided packages for the prisoners, they were not delivered. The guards, instead, took them, used some materials and sold the rest.

He was while he was there that the American firebombing of March 9/10, 1945 took place over Tokyo.

He goes into a lot of detail about the various beatings he and others underwent, how some prisoners were murdered by their guards, and how he and others were even put in cages on display. The things that were done to them were beyond sickening.

He also writes about what happened after the war ended, how the guards just seemed to vanish or stay to themselves, and how he and the others were eventually liberated by the Americans.

If you want to get a good idea of just how horribly the Japanese treated the prisoners-of-war in Japan, then this is a really good book for that purpose.

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