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Parent Circumstances surrounding the "confessions" of the Doolittle flyers
Date 16 September 1947
Language English
Collection Tavenner Papers & IMTFE Official Records
Box Box 5
Folder General Memoranda and Reports from September 1947
Repository University of Virginia Law Library
Sergeant Harold A. Spatz, Lieutenant Robert L. Hite, Lieutenant George Barr, Lieutenant Chase J. Nielsen, Lieutenant Robert J. Meder and Corporal Jacob D. Shazer, United States Army Personnel and Prisoners of War upon false and fraudulent evidence in the said Military Tribunal appointed as aforesaid, and did sentence the above named United States Military Personnel to death all under the authority of the said SHIGERU SAWADA in his official capacity as Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial 13th Expeditionary Army in China.?Ç¥ (p. 2) III. In the ?Ç£Review of the Record of Trial by a Military Commission of Shigeru Sawada, et al?Ç¥ submitted to the Commanding General, Nanking Headquarters Command, the following synopsis of evidence pertinent to the subject is to be found. ?Ç£While held in custody at the airport, apparently still prisoners of the 13th Army (R 54), Lieutenant Nielsen, undergoing questioning was given the so-called ?Çÿwater-cure?ÇÖ, kicked in the shins and slapped on the head several times when he refused to answer certain of the questions (R 51, 54, 55, 56). The other two members of the crew were given similar treatment. Lieutenant Nielsen was also handcuffed and hung up on a peg on the wall so that his feet were off the floor until he became unconscious (R 57). Lieutenant Hallmark was put on a stretching machine and stretched until he felt as though his limbs were coming apart (R 56). The next morning, 25 April 1942, Lieutenants Hallmark, Meder and Nielsen were handcuffed, tied to individual seats in an airplane and flown to Tokyo (R 58).?Ç¥ *** ?Ç£The eight fliers were held in Tokyo for about fifty-two days (p. 1, Pros. Trans. Ex. #22), during which time they were imprisoned in solitary confinement. The Japanese Gendarmerie here questioned them day and night for hours at a time trying to force information or admissions by brutal treatment. They were beaten, kicked, slapped, not fed properly, not permitted to wash or shave and kept in leg irons all this time and not even permitted to remove their clothing (R 58-63; pp. 13-17, Pros. Trans. Ex. #21). The fliers continued at first to answer only questions about themselves person ally, their schooling, training, etc., although for the first eighteen days they were constantly asked questions about where they came from, whether they bombed Tokyo, where they were stationed, etc. (R 58-62). Later, however, the fliers having been shown maps and charts that the Japanese had secured from one abandoned American plane, they finally gave the Japanese general information -2-