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Amazing Japanese POW handwritten diary


ramram
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johnduresky

Late reply to this thread, but hoping someone can help me.    I'm writing a book with my friend about his father, 1Lt Chester K Britt who was on the Bataan Death March, spent 2-1/2 years in Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan, Davao, then Bilibid, before going on the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru, Brazil Maru.   Arrived then at Fukuoka Camp #3, then finally Mukden before being liberated.  He died in 1953 due to health complications of being a POW when my friend was only 4.   Along the way we are touching on other men who Chester came into contact with as a soldier fighting on Bataan and also as a POW.   One of particular interest is Lt William Roy Bell.   He died 1/3/1945 while the Enoura Maru was in port at Takao.   On 11/2/1944 he wrote a final letter to his wife, daughter, and parents expecting they would go the next day on a ship to Japan.   He used the letter of a friend, Edgar Gable, to have something to write on.  That voyage was delayed and he later went on the Oryoku Maru in December.   If you look at the attached letter you will see it is very oddly folded.   No one has ever figured out how this letter made it home to his family.    Just a couple days ago then we found out about the incredible story of Lt Walter J Hinkle and his artificial leg with the secret compartment.   Then found the photos of the diary here on Militaria Forum.   Making multiple odd folds to hide such a letter inside a hollow leg with limited space would explain a lot.   Wondering if the diary has any mention of Lt Bell or Lt Britt?    Is there a site where the entire diary is posted so I can search for other names as well?     Thanks, John Duresky

Roy Bell last letter 1.jpg

Roy Bell last letter 2.jpg

Roy Bell last letter 3  censor stamp of Mr. Kubota.jpg

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John,

 

I’ll PM you with a couple of people you’ll want to talk with. 
 

Hinkle had mentioned about trying to drop notes in bottles when near the shorelines while on the hell ships as I recall. That’s a possibility, or he just managed to get it smuggled out by some other means. They had to be creative. 
 

Rob M

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  • 11 months later...
Bill Felt

I have two copies of the diary written by Lt. David Nash. His wife was presented the original handwritten version sometime between 1945 and 1948.

My dad was serving in the Philippines in 1948 and came across these two copies. Somehow, my mom found his wife’s address and offered to send them to her but she declined, stating she had the original.

I recently ran across these papers while sorting my mom’s estate.

Lt Nash had been XO of a gunboat, U.S.S. Mindanao and it went down near the island of Corregidor. All surviving crew were taken prisoner and held until the end of the war.

His diary also includes all the names and info about his fellow prisoners.

I would like to find any remaining family members or collectors who may have an interest in these papers, as well as the letter from his wife adding follow up info to his story.

He lived until 2007!

Bill Felt

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KASTAUFFER

Nash’s original diaries, medals, paperwork and other items were sold in an auction a few years back. There may still be a link to the auction if you google him.

 

Kurt

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Salvage Sailor
1 hour ago, KASTAUFFER said:

Nash’s original diaries, medals, paperwork and other items were sold in an auction a few years back. There may still be a link to the auction if you google him.

 

Kurt

 

or search on the forum.....

 

Lt David Nash USN WWII POW Navy Cross Group

 

DN.jpg

 

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