I work for the Otter Tail County Historical Society in Fergus Falls and today we found an article from the 25 Sept 1942 paper that may interest this group. A Mrs. T.L. Clark had received a letter dated May 30, 1942 from her brother Elmer C. Peterson, a civilian contractor, stating that he was in Shanghai in prison. Peterson had served in World War I.
I had an uncle that was a civilian contractor on Wake Island, was taken captive by the Japanese and eventually died in Camp 18 in Sasebo, Japan on April 8, 1943 four days after his 40th birthday, leaving a young wife and young son. He helped build SOTO DAM, a dam that was completed in 1944 and still furnishes Sasebo City with drinking water today. I was fortunate to visit that same area in May 2013 to attend the annual Memorial Day ceremony honoring those civilians and Japanese slaves that perished while building the dam, the only thing that still stands today is the dam itself. There were 265 civilians from Wake Island alone that was imprisoned at Camp 18 aka "HELL CAMP" There are only two known survivors from that camp today, one from California, and another from Hawaii. I will be seeing the one from California who is 94 now in September at our annual Wake Island Fall Fling here in Boise, Idaho, he and his children and grandaugher were in Japan with me in 2013. It was first ever trip out of the US and overseas and the first trip back to Japan for my friend since he was liberated back in 1945.
You → Art Pratt
your father → Sumner William Pratt
his father → Frances E Dyer
his mother → Jane Susannah Mitchell
her mother → Susannah White Sutter
her mother →Susannah White Fullerton
her mother → Stephen Fullerton
her father → Mary Crowell
his mother → John Crowell
her father → Mehitable Crowell (Miller)
his mother → Rev. John Miller
her father →John "Long" Miller
his father → Martin Miller
his brother → Anne Miller
his daughter → George Miller
her son → Margaret - Mary Elizabeth Miller
his daughter → Sarah Stallion
her daughter → Sarah Edgecomb
her daughter→ Isaiah Bolles
her son → Joseph Bolles
his son → Isaiah Bolles
his son → Reuben Turner Bolles
his son → Minerva Jane Bolles
his daughter → Samuel A Brown
her son →Elizabeth "Lizzie" Kelly
his daughter → Lois Carolina Kelly
her daughter → Eldon Clark (C)
Private User Do you mind if I make some corrections to your dad's profile? He was not killed in combat He was one of the 98 captured and then later massacred by the Japanese. he is buried in the Punchbowl . Bonita Gilbert has written books about wake and is one of the few civilians who has access to the island. She is doing research with the government and would like to have a DNA sample from you.If you are willing,I will give her your information. Also you might want to leave a message at http://www.dogberrypatch.com/archives/morrison-knudsen-wake-island-...
One of Bonnie's books, http://www.amazon.com/Bonita-Gilbert/e/B00HD02ZBW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid...
I found Bonnie's email. Contact her about DNA kit firstname.lastname@example.org
My uncle Orval Allen Kelso lay buried in a very shallow grave for about six years on a hill above SOTO DAM until claimed by his only child Walter Richard (Dick) Kelso now deceased since 1989 and buried him in The Punchbowl on December 8, 1949, in 2007 he was given the Navy rank of E4, then in 2011,I received the Purple Heart for him. A couple of years ago the Department of Veteran's Affairs replaced his original gravestone with a new one with his Navy rank and Purple Heart noted on it, and at the bottom of the stone, the motto of the POW MIA, "YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN"
Eldon, I know my dad was one of the 98 we have always known it. I don't know who put him as killed in action. That is very wrong, he was a P.O W along with the 98 with him. I don't know what profile you're talking about. If it's on genie I posted he was one of the 98 murdered by the japanese on Oct. 1943.If there's another site I don't know about, please let me see it, and I don't mind you correcting that one. Geni is correct.
The civilian cemetery above SOTO Dam was across the dam an up a hill or so I have been told that, there are only two living survivors out of 265 left from Camp 18 in Sasebo, Japan. That camp lost about 54 men, one winter they supposedly lost 31. My uncle as I was told many years ago almost made the 98, but was traded with someone else. Each deceased had a very cheap casket built with straw in it for the body to lay upon, and then carried across the dam by their own people and laid in a very shallow grave. There are printed layouts of where each person was laid to rest. I actually witnessed a little pocket new testament that belonged to the chaplain of Camp 18, and inside both covers were the names of each deceased and where they were buried on that hill. I believe that most of those deceased are buried at The Punchbowl.
Private User Short answer, no. In this case, I know her and she was trying to help me but did not have her facts complete. It was easy to correct.
Barry C. Kelso I believe you are correct about The Punchbowl
The remains of the 98 are in Honolulu for DNA testing, that alone may take several years to ID them. I have ben waiting on the ID of the remains of James Redmond Wilper, his nephew, Honorable Ronald Wilper and myself have been longtime childhood friends.
Also Etta Wells, my grandfather's first wife and mother to Dessal, Wilbert, Marie, Orval, Maxine and Edison remarried a man that I believe was a Carpenter, had one child and both Etta and husband are buried in Norfolk, Nebraska I do believe. Somewhere in my collections, I have a photo copy of their headstone. I don't believe that Etta ever lived here in Idaho, my grandfather left her and children about 1909 and took off with Wilbert and Orval, leaving Etta pregnant with Edison Lee.
Missy Hermes, thanks for making the connection to Wake Island POW Elmer Peterson. 1941 employment records show that he was a general laborer from Allendale, North Dakota, born in 6/21/1897. Elmer Carl Peterson made it through the war and was liberated from Tokyo 5B Niigata prison camp in 1945. I wonder where Otter Tail County is and if he returned to ND after the war. I don't believe he stayed in touch with the survivors' group.
Hi Molly, no disinternment of the Wake mass grave in Punchbowl cemetery. I remember some recent news about a controversial disinternment of some 12/7/41 Pearl Harbor graves of unidentified bodies at Punchbowl but have not followed it. The only JPAC mission for Wake IDs is for remains found on island in 2011. No positive IDs so far as I know. I have located DNA donors for 67 of the 98 and will wrap up my part in the mission this summer. Families will be contacted directly if there is an ID. Best to you and the Pratt bros!
As clarification, the remains being tested are also in Hawaii, as Barry said, but they are in the JPAC central identification lab at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The mass grave in Punchbowl is untouched. Barry, I found 24 individual graves of Camp 18 deceased in Punchbowl cemetery when I was there in 2011, including the one for your uncle Orval Kelso (prior to the new stone you had commissioned). There are another 7 individual Wake graves.
Thanks Bonnie for the reply, would it be at all possible that you send me by e-mail all Camp18 that are buried at Punchbowl? I would greatly appreciate that very much, and will be waiting to see you again in September! (Leroy has a smaller summarized booklet for handouts) He says that he will mail me some).
Thank you so much Bonnie for the reply about the mass grave at the Punchbowl cemetery.
I appreciate everything you do, and have done for the families that had no way of knowing what was going on.
Our government isn't always forthcoming about what's taking place, or what has taken place.
Terry and Bruce have to leave the farm in Greeley Hill. They are moving to 3 Rivers in Tulare County California. I'll be sure to give you the new address when they make the move in early August. Terry is not doing well, health wise.
All the sons and daughters of the 98 are aging, I just had my 76th birthday,
Thank you again Bonnie, you are an asset to all these families.
Bonnie is sure a great asset to the families of the Wake Island Survivors group, she is very educated in the work that she is doing now and in the past too, I wish that there some kind of lasting recognition that we can present to her, she is much like, respected and loved by many hundreds, and perhaps thousands of people that she meets on her adventures.