Stow affidavit

Narumi Main

Source: NARA Record Group 331, Box 940
Transcribed by: Gordon Scaggs

San Francisco, California.
12 October 1945.

Memorandum for the Officer in Charge
    James Kenneth Stow, Corporal, ASN 33061516.

19 October 1945, this agent interviewed Corporal James Kenneth Stow, ASN 33061616,, permanent home address, 7911 Tilmont Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland, regarding mistreatment of the allied prisoners of war by Japanese. Stow entered the military service of the United States on 5 June 1941, left for overseas on 4 October 1941 and returned 8 October 1945. He was working as a truck driver for the 803rd Engineering Battalion when he was captured by the Japanese on Corregidor, Philippine Islands on 6 May 1942. Stow was liberated on 4 September 1945.

Corporal Stow's major places of imprisonment were Bilibid Prison, Philippine Islands from 2 July 1942 to 17 July 1944 and Narumi, Nagoya, Japan from 6 August 1944 to 4 September 1945. He boarded the Nissyo Maru on 17 July 1945, which left Manila, Philippine Islands, on 24 July 1944 and arrived at Moji, Japan on 4 August 1944.

While Stow was imprisoned at Narumi, he witnessed the beating of Mickey Owens, a civilian representative for an American Army Magazine in the Philippine Islands. Owens was beaten for attempting to smuggle cooking oil into the camp. When he was questioned by the Camp Commander, he stated that it was just water. The Commander checked the can and when he found it was oil instead of water, he ordered Owens to be beaten. To date, the Commander's name and the name of the guard, who administered the beating, are unknown.

Stow was forced to work in a factory on the outskirts of Nagoya, which produced steam locomotives. He did general labor work, such as, loading boxcars with dirt and ore and moving castings from one shop to another. Stowe doesn't remember the name of the factory, nor the names of the Japanese bosses.

Stow stated in his questionnaire that prisoners were employed in the manufacture of suicide boats and landing barges. He never personally worked on either of these, but he heard other prisoners tell about working on them.

The only Jap that he knew in the entire camp was Kamioka, (phonetic), a civilian interpreter.

David J. Purtell, Agent, CIC, AA F.