AGE: 33 yrs.
MARITAL STATUS: Married; one (1) child.
WIFE’S NAME: KANTO, CHIEKO
HOME ADDRESS: Yamagata Ken, Kitamurayama, Gun, Miyasawamura
The 1st Battalion of the 17th Regt. was there and we were attached to this group (1st Batt. – Capt. Takahashi Bn.). Then, we were attached to the Kamii Detachment (Lt. Col. Kamii – the detachment was a little larger than a Regt.) at Candelaria and were there till 3 Jan. 1945. On this date, the Kamii Detachment was deactivated, so I was put back into the Takahashi
2. 1st Lt. Sakata, Yuzo
3. 1st Lt. Yamada, Taichi
4. 1st Lt. Yamada of air corps
now dead, was in charge
of defense of Tanauan.
5. 2nd Lt. Kanto Bunji
[p. 3]These I found later were participants:
7. ? W/O Shotaro Sato (I think Sato came with Taneichi)
8. 2nd Lt. Muramatsu, Seizeh
A - There was an order from the Fujishige Regt. ordering Sakata, Yamada and me to carry out a punitive expedition on Calamba. However, we requested that the expedition be postponed, for if we did undertake an expedition, we would not be able to do do any intelligence work. (This was before one of my men was killed while building anti-tank defenses.) For asking for a postponement, we were reprimanded by the Regt. and they said that they did not have much trust in us. Then, early one morning of the 12th of Feb., Capt. Saito appeared and ordered the punitive expedition. (I think Capt. Saito came on orders from the Fujishige Regt.) On that date – I had 12 men and leaving 4 of them at the quarters, I took 8 of my men and participated. Since I understood the Tagalog language, I was ordered to go near the church in Calamba and gather the men living near the church. My troops only gathered 7 or 8 men. Lt. Yamada and I were ordered to march our troops in – Yamada to guard the outer perimeter and my troops to do the work I have already mentioned. Before we left, 3 trucks (3 loaded with troops and one on which Capt. Saito was on) went into Calamba. While in town, one of my men came and said that about the only ones around were sick persons, women and children and asked me what he should do. I ordered him
At Tiaong – I received the following order: “All the inhabitants are enemies – includes all women and children. Kill an average of 3 inhabitants per soldier a day. If one soldier kills 10, report it to the battalion commander. If a soldier kills 30 – report it to the Regt. Commander. The regimental commander will assume all responsibilities. All persons (soldiers) not carrying out this order will be killed.”
I heard this order at a meeting where all unit commanders were gathered by the Bn. Commander who said that the above orders came from the Regt.
However, Capt. Takahashi was a very good man, and though he was told repeatedly to carry out punitive expeditions, he
I do not believe that any other units (besides those that went on the punitive expedition) came in to kill the men and set fire to the houses which I saw that evening. I think they were done by troops and their commanders that came in by trucks.
The reason why my men couldn’t gather many persons is because people were starting to flee as soon as they heard the machine gun fire and by the time my men started to round up the men, most of them had fled.
I am sorry I cannot help you out as to the organization and disposition of units in that area, for I was being
/s/ Mr. Myron Buttram
|Photo taken during the war crimes trials in Manila. Image credit: U.S. National Archives.|
1 “Statement of 1st Lieutenant Taiichi Yamada,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.