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The other day I received an e-mail from Steve Foster, son of 503d Trooper Frank Foster, "G" Company. 


Dear Paul, 

My father gave me the attached pics.  He didn't take them, but I think he was present at this surrender.  Can you tell where these pictures were taken?  Most likely they were on Negros.

Steve Foster

I sent them on to the e-mail group to see if we could trace the origin of the photographs. Almost within 24 hours we received the following response from Jim Mullaney.


Dear Paul,

The photos were taken on Sept. 2, 1945 on Negros. The 3Bn. (less "I" Company) was in Fabrica. "I" Company had set up tents a short distance away to receive Jap prisoners. Most the Battalion went to this area to witness the ceremony. The 503d members in pictures 3 and 4 are ( left to right) as one views the pictures. Joe Conway - his back is partially to the viewer. Joe is blocking the view of the next person. Then the next person is me; The next is Al Miele - he was in 3rd Bn Headquarters; Al was from Brooklyn, New York. 

Paul, The remainder I couldn't be certain about. The sword that the Jap Major handed me is the one you saw here...

Your Kentucky Friend
Jim Mullaney


The following is a brief summary of the thoughts that entered my mind when traveling to the Japanese summary on Negros Island and during the actual ceremony. The date was September 2, 1945. We had been informed that a large group, possibly thousands of the enemy, would come down out of the hills to be interned and face their destiny. Joe Conway and I headed for the designated area in a “borrowed” jeep. 


After a short trip, from the coastal plains region, we came upon what appeared to be about two companies of Japanese infantry taking a break along both sides of the road. The men practically ignored us, but one or two officers gave a half hearted salute. Since nearly all of the Japs Joe and I had seen previously were either trying to kill us or we were trying to kill them (with the exception of a very few prisoners), I felt very uneasy, to say the least. 


After getting by them, we encountered more units on their way to the assembly grounds; but I certainly wasn’t getting accustomed to it. After moving about another mile, we saw the main body. There were women and children (some, but babes in arms), and several hundred soldiers. We met a group of men from "H" Company there. They attempted to give the children candy but the mothers screamed in terror, as only orientals can. They did their best to hide their young ones. There was just no convincing them of our charitable intention.



After a few minutes, the paratroopers lined up. Someone, I’ve forgotten whom, insisted that I get in the front line to possibly receive one of the better swords, as I had made all the missions. A Japanese major, with a blank expression (but I thought, with a tear in his eye), gave me a beautiful sword which I still have, after all these years. An interpreter later told me it was 130 years old at the time of the surrender. As I looked down at this little man…he was completely docile…after so many battles; my mind wandered back to Nadzab… Hollandia… Noemfoor… Leyte Mindoro Corregidor … here on Negros ; and all the fine young troopers we left along this torturous route. It now seems impossible, that so many faces flashed in my brain. It appeared to be an entire panorama of the past three years. Perhaps the Major wondered why I, too, had a tear in my eye. 


Joe Conway (back to camera) - Jim Mullaney, nearest camera with sword; 
Next to right, also with sword, is Al Miele. 


The gathering quickly ended and the ex-enemy was marshaled to various internment camps. Company "H" was assigned to guard one of the compounds which was located in a town called San Carlos


The prison had been set up in a large field and was encircled by two rows of barbed wire fencing. Outside the first row, the Japanese furnished a 24-hour guard detail; armed with clubs. Outside the second row, Company "H" had a minimal number of armed troopers. 


Occasionally, one or two prisoners would become delirious from fever and try to wander off. These incidents were the only escape attempts, as the Japs feared being caught by the Filipinos if they happened to get out.

  Text courtesy of Jim Mullaney, as published in the THREE WINDS OF DEATH by Bennett Guthrie 



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