|Submariner Prisoners of
World War II
Outside of the submarine community, there's a common misconception that there were no prisoners of war from the submarine service. Most assume that prisoners of war are comprised of Army soldiers and Marines but the truth is that not all submarines lost were lost WITH their crew.
This is an attempt to shed some clarifying light on this issue through the use of first-hand stories and photos from a submariner who was a prisoner of that war - Bob "Sarge" York.
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The following photographs have been graciously provided by Bob "Sarge" York (most are from Mr. York but others are from former shipmates (fellow prisoners) and their familles:
Left to right: Sarge York, Charles Johnson, Gordon Cox, Riley Keysor, Bernard Witze, Chuck Ver Valin. Sarge York (in the May 2001 message that contained this photo) said, "...we all were in the same camp and as of last Dec. all alive, Sarge."
What follows is an excerpt from a message receive from Sarge York when the creation of this page began. I think it's a most suitable dedication....
The trip home....
(click photo for larger version)
More information on the Fukuoka prison camp is available at the North China Marines website and the Center for Research, Allied POWS Under the Japanese website.
May 2003: Robert "Sarge" York, passed away Saturday,
May 10, 2003 at 8pm. Sarge served on USS Grenadier (SS-210), USS Corsair,
USS Dogfish, and USS Bream). He died of lung cancer after a long illness.
So long shipmate and friend, and thanks for sharing some of your experiences
during World War II. God Bless you Sarge, take care and stand relieved,
we have the watch now.... - Don Gentry, Editor.