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We are happy to invite you to a special event with family members of former American Prisoners of War (POWs) in Japan. They will be visiting Japan at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of a cultural diplomacy program that started in 2010. The Japanese/POW Friendship Program seeks to promote a mutual understanding between the Japanese and American people by inviting former POWs, their family members, and caregivers to Japan as a gesture of reconciliation.
Tuesday, February 14, 2023 17:00-18:00
Temple University Japan Campus, Room 608
RSVP not required (e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or reply to this email).
This event is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).
Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.
Ms. Margaret A. Garcia, 72, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is the daughter of CPL Evangelisto “Evans” R. Garcia, a corporal in New Mexico’s 200th Coast Artillery. They were the first to fire on the invading Japanese on December 8, 1941. He fought in the Bataan Peninsula and endured the Bataan Death March. He was sent to Japan in 1943 to be a slave laborer in Mitsui’s Omuta coal mine outside Nagasaki. Today, the mine is a UNESCO World Industrial Heritage site.
Ms. Sandra Harding, 70, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the daughter of two U.S. Army officers who were prisoners of war of Japan surrendered in the Philippines: Lt. Earlyn Black Harding and Lt. Col. Harry J. Harding. Lt. Black was an Army Nurse on Corregidor who was interned at Santo Tomas in Manila. Lt. Col. Harding was with the 63rd Infantry Regiment (Philippine Army) on Panay. He was sent to Japan and imprisoned in Kobe House POW Camp, Zentsuji, and Rokuroshi. Ms. Harding was an elementary school art teacher for the Santa Fe Public Schools and recently retired as a freelance graphic artist.
Mr. Thomas J. Hoskins, Jr., 75, lives in San Antonio, Texas. He is the son of Staff Sergeant Thomas J. Hoskins who was a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His father operated one of the two working radar units in the Philippines when Japan attacked on December 8, 1941. As a POW, his father was forced to build an airfield on Palawan Island in the Philippines. He was taken to Japan to be a slave laborer in various Kawasaki area POW camps near Tokyo. After the war, his father continued to serve in the military until his retirement in 1959 as a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
Linda McDavitt, 76, lives in Austin, Texas where she is President/CEO of the Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation and Sail Training Commander of the Austin Yacht Club. She is the daughter of Capt. Jerome A. McDavitt of the 24th Field Artillery Regiment (Philippine Scouts). Surrendered on Corregidor, he was sent to Japan in 1944 where he was the POW commanding officer at the Hiroshima # 6B - Omine POW camp that provided slave labor for a coal mine owned by Ube Industries. He was one of 89 Texas Aggies (graduates of Texas A&M) involved in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor.
Ms. Lorna Nielsen Murray, 64, lives in South Jordan, Utah. She is the daughter of PFC Eugene P. Nielsen, a member of the 59th Coast Artillery who fought on Corregidor. Nielsen was one of only 11 survivors of the 1944 Palawan Massacre of 139 American POWs. They were on Palawan Island in the Philippines to build an airfield for the Imperial Japanese Army. Today, this airfield is the foundation for the island’ Antonio Bautista Air Base. On November 22, 2023, Vice President Kamala Harris laid flowers at the memorial to the victims of this Japanese war crime.
Dr. Gail Yoella Small, 67, lives in Reno, Nevada and is the daughter of Major George Small who was with the Chemical Warfare Service, 7th Chemical Company, Aviation, at Clark Field in the Philippines. After the Far East Air Force in early December 1941 was destroyed, he was assigned as an officer with the 31st Infantry Division, Company F of the 2nd Battalion that fought on Bataan. He survived the Bataan Death March, Camp O’Donnell, and the Cabanatuan POW Camp in the Philippines. In Japan, he was imprisoned at Osaka POW Camp 2-D UMEDA, Zentsuji, and Rokuroshi.
Ms. Karen Brady Smith, 73, is the daughter of Major Jack E. Brady who was a member of the 228th Army Signal Company in the Philippines. He survived the Bataan Death March, Camp O’Donnell, and Cabanatuan POW Camp. He was on one of the first hellships, Tottori Maru, to Japan, enduring a 38-day journey via Formosa, Mako, and Korea to Japan. He was held at the Omori POW Camp in Tokyo, used as stevedore for Nippon Express and worked at an iron smelter in Iwate at Sendai #10-B for Tokyo Shibaura Denki K.K. (Tohoku Denki Seitetsu Kabushiki Kaisha).