Segment 7


The men got up before daylight and took their mess kits and lined up for some soup. Then they immediately lined up in formation and marched off out of the camp. Around noon time they would stop to eat again. At the end of the day they would line up and march back into camp.The men continued to work through the monsoon season. When the rains washed the fill away the Japanese had the prisoners cut brush top to lay down to keep the dirt from washing away.At night it would be dark by the time they got back into camp. The Japanese did their their best to get every daylight hour of work out of the prisoners.All of the naval officers except the medical officer and a couple of other officers had been taken to Japan. All of the officers with Brooks were army officers. They were all nice guys. They were Texans and were not afraid to talk to the Japanese officers. The Japanese would slap them and kick them around and they could do nothing about it. The saddest thing Brooks ever saw was those measly little Japanese soldiers slapping and kicking the army officers around. Brooks also witnessed the Japanese treating their own soldiers the same way.Brooks worked digging the dirt and laying the rail. For 5 or 6 weeks he was on a detail bursting rocks. He was given a small sledge hammer to crush the rocks and bring them up to the railroad. He had to be careful because slivers of rock could hit him and the cuts could turn into ulcers.Brooks was disciplined by the Japanese but never severely. When he got to the 1st camp which a new camp that still had sticks with string tied to them to indicate the borders that the prisoners could not cross he crossed the line and was made to squat down with a piece of bamboo behind his knees and squat down until he was so numb he couldn't move.They never antagonized the guards but would look at them and think to themselves what they planned to do to them when the war was over.There was not a prisoner who wasn't slapped in the face several times. That was the Japanese means of discipline.


All oral histories featured on this site are available to license. The videos will be delivered via mail as Hi Definition video on DVD/DVDs or via file transfer. You will be purchasing the oral history in its entirety but will be free to use only specific clips. Please contact the Museum at if you are interested in licensing this content. Please allow up to two weeks for file delivery or delivery of the DVD to your postal address. See more information at