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WWII Hand Made POW DIARY JAPAN - Submarine Vet USS GRENADIER SS-210

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I have had a busy week this week, picking up 3 POW diaries in 7 days. This one is the most significant and of all 3, and the smallest.

 

On the evening of April 20, 1943 the submarine USS Grenadier sighted two Japanese merchantmen and closed in for the attack. Running on the surface at dawn 21 April, Grenadier spotted, and was simultaneously spotted by, a Japanese plane. As the sub crash dived, her skipper, Commander John A. Fitzgerald commented "we ought to be safe now, as we are between 120 and 130 feet (40 m)." Just then, bombs rocked Grenadier and heeled her over 15 to 20 degrees. Power and lights failed completely and the fatally wounded ship settled to the bottom at 267 feet (81 m). She tried to make repairs while a fierce fire blazed in the maneuvering room.

 

After 13 hours of sweating it out on the bottom Grenadier managed to surface after dark to clear the boat of smoke and inspect damage. The damage to her propulsion system was irreparable. Attempting to bring his ship close to shore so that the crew could scuttle her and escape into the jungle, Commander Fitzgerald even tried to jury-rig a sail. But the long night's work proved futile. As dawn broke, 22 April, Grenadier’s weary crew sighted two Japanese ships heading for them. As the skipper "didn't think it advisable to make a stationary dive in 280 feet of water without power," the crew began burning confidential documents prior to abandoning ship. A Japanese plane attacked the stricken submarine; but Grenadier, though dead in the water and to all appearances helpless, blazed away with machine guns. She hit the plane on its second pass. As the damaged plane veered off, its torpedo landed about 200 yards (200 m) from the boat and exploded.

 

Opening all vents, Grenadier’s crew abandoned ship and watched her sink to her final resting place. A Japanese merchantman picked up eight officers and 68 enlisted men and took them to Penang, Malay States, where they were questioned, beaten, and starved before being sent to other prison camps. They were then separated and transferred from camp to camp along the Malay Peninsula and finally to Japan. Throughout the war they suffered brutal, inhuman treatment, and their refusal to reveal military information both frustrated and angered their captors. First word that any had survived Grenadier reached Australia on 27 November 1943. Despite the brutal and sadistic treatment, all but four of Grenadier’s crew survived their two years in Japanese hands.

 

This diary is from one of the survivors, which he hand made himself from cardboard and scrap paper he managed to find.

 

He used the first section of the diary to list the names and addresses of POW in his camp.

 

The second section, fellow POWs signed his diary and wrote their addresses in it. In the last section he placed a few daily entries about what he was experiencing.

 

At the time he wrote this diary he was in Fukuoka Camp # 3 near Yawata, Japan . He was liberated there in Sept 1945. There is an entry in the diary about his liberation.

 

Here is a photo taken at his camp right after he was liberated. he is in the front row.

 

 

yawata.JPG

 

He remained in the Navy until 1962 and retired as a Chief Petty Officer, TMC (SS). During his time in the Navy, he served on nine submarines and one sub tender.

 

I will let his diary speak for itself,


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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MVC_018L.JPG

 

MVC_017L.JPG


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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USS Grenadier memorial

 

MVC_024L.JPG


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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MVC_025L.JPG

 

MVC_026L.JPG


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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MVC_027L.JPG

 

MVC_028L.JPG

 

MVC_029L.JPG


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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MVC_030L.JPG

 

MVC_031L.JPG

 

MVC_032L.JPG


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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MVC_033L.JPG

 

MVC_034L.JPG


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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MVC_035L.JPG

 

MVC_036L.JPG


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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MVC_037L.JPG

 

MVC_015L.JPG

 

MVC_016L.JPG

 

 

 

Riley recently passed away. Rest in peace Sailor .


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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hi kurt........wonderfull diary,love the contemporary photos,for me that really adds to it...........dave


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Pretty cool find Kurt, and I'd have to guess about the rarest of them all in terms of POW items, as so few submariners survived to get that far at all.

 

WOW!

 

MW


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Rare - RARE - R-A-R-E!!!!!!!!!!!! Great historical find, Kurt.......Kudos to you! Bob


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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Amazing how the men were dropping like flies. Did I read correctly that he wrote " Dope Roosevelt dies " or is it " done " ??

 

Great find and even though the entries are very simple one word can sink you right into the heart of the matter.


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Wow, it doesn't get much more historically significant as this. Thank you very much for sharing.


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WOW! To think all that those poor men had to go through, and this diary was there the entire way. This is a great piece of history, thank you so very much for sharing!


Always interested in items related to the 37th Infantry Division or 145th Infantry Regiment in WWII

"Let them not be forgotten for they have shown the world that freedom is not free"

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Wow Kurt, this is just incredible. It may be a small piece but along with your documentation/history of the sub and it's crew, it speaks volumes. Thanks for sharing this with us, it's a very special piece and I too am happy it's in your hands.

 

Will


WWII USMC & USN - CAMOUFLAGE / CORPSMAN / PARAMARINE / MARINE RAIDER / DENIM / DECK JACKETS.

 

VIETNAM - CAMOUFLAGE / SF / 'IN-COUNTRY' ITEMS.

 

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Gotta love WW2 submarine items-this has got to be one of the neatest things I've seen! Thanks for sharing and keeping the memories alive.


Looking for: Fourth/ Seventh Rhode Island Infantry items


Purple Heart : Robert L. Freitag KIA ETO 2/11/45


Any US/German items with the last name "Freitag"


also, war-related posters



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...loved the entry "greatest day of my life" esp on this day.Thx Kurt



The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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"Uncle says CHOW DOWN" Hah love it! Another great pickup Kurt!


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NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

W


In Peace and War, US Merchant Marine. WARNING: Dangerous Cargo. No Visitors, No Smoking, No Open Lights.

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Kurt,

 

Another great nautical group; love the submarine aspect :thumbsup: Groupings like that are so hard to get out of the families and your collection of items of this caliber are a testament to you and your devotion!

 

Kurt Barickman


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

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I bet he never thought his diary would be read and appreciated by so many people. I just finished reading a book about the Grenadiers crew and what they endured. It's amazing that as many of them survived that did,

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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