Mr. Frank Stacy Tavenner Jr.
|Date of Birth:
Assistant Chief Prosecutor
Acting Chief Prosecutor
Born in Woodstock, VA in 1895, Frank S. Tavenner, Jr. received degrees from Roanoke College (A.B., 1916) and Princeton University (A.M., 1917). In 1927, Tavenner received his LL.B. from the University of Virginia Law School. After being appointed as assistant U.S. attorney in the Western District of Virginia in 1933, Tavenner was passed over for selection to a vacancy on the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in 1938. Roosevelt later appointed him U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia in 1940. After World War II, Tavenner was appointed as the Assistant to Joseph B. Keenan, the Chief Counsel for the International Prosecution Team. Tavenner traveled as "freight" on a cargo plane packed with a large shipment of smallpox serum in March 1946 to reach Tokyo. Keenan, after making the Prosecution's opening statement in May, left for Washington, D.C. for several months. During this time, Tavenner assumed the role of Acting Chief of Counsel.
As Acting Chief Prosecutor, the disorganization that had plagued the trial from the beginning ceased. Brigadier Quilliam remarked "I am very glad to be able to tell you that matters in connection with the conduct of the prosecution are undoubtedly progressing much more satisfactorily than at any other stage. Mr. Tavenner is showing excellent qualities as leader and he has succeeded in obtaining the loyalty of the whole staff."
During his tenure as Acting Chief, he was approached as a possible nominee to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia. Although other members of the IPS sometimes left the team over the two and half years of the Tribunal's run, Tavenner felt he could not leave and therefore declined the offer. His personal life intercepted his work on the trial during brief interludes. In celebration of his 51st birthday, "Mrs. Kiyooka, a highly educated Japanese woman, and daughter of the authoress of “Daughter of the Samuari,” sang “Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” to Tavenner. A few months later, his mother passed away back home in Woodstock, Virginia.
Tavenner gave the International Prosecution Section's final summation on April 16, 1948. After the trial, Tavenner returned to Virginia and again practiced law. He quickly became involved in another large, public trial when he was selected in 1949 to serve as Chief of Counsel for the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He died in 1964.
|Proceeding in Chambers on Reopening of HOSHINO Case
|Proceeding in Chambres on UMEZU Interrogation of TAKEBE