War Crime

War Crime

The trial of Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara, commander of Wake Island at its surrender in September 1945, convened at the U. S. Naval Air Base on Kwajalein Island in the Marshalls on December 21, 1945. Two other defendants, Lieutenant Commander Shoichi Tachibana and Lieutenant Toraji Ito, were also to stand trial before the military commission for offenses on Wake Island. The crime of the Imperial Japanese Navy officers: execution of nearly...

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Hard Hat Poets

Hard Hat Poets

With all we know now about what was brewing in the Pacific in late November 1941, I return with amazement to the scene of the Wake contractors and Marines who found spare time for an “all-out poetry blitzkrieg.” After long days hammering, riveting, digging, and bulldozing, “the boys wore pencils down to the eraser and their fingers to a numb and wallowed for days in iambic pentameter, blank and free verse.” One doesn’t readily...

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