WWII Philippines in Today's News May 29, 2012 23:33:04 GMT -5
Post by friscohare on May 29, 2012 23:33:04 GMT -5
The Rev. Gary Nagy of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hobart, Ind., saved a diary penned by U.S. Navy Aviation Ordinanceman Doyle Waggoner of Shreveport, a prisoner of war of the Japanese in World War II. Waggoner used scraps of paper for a diary in which he wrote recipes and the menus of meals he dreamed of while he was starved to death by his captors. Severely beaten for stealing rice, he later died in a slave labor camp. Nagy hopes to return the diary, saved by an uncle who was in captivity with Waggoner, to the dead sailor's family.
Shreveport sailor's sacrifice underscores war's toll[/u][/url][/size]
(Shreveport News, 05/28/12)
Almost 70 years after he was murdered by his Japanese captors, the spirit of a Shreveporter taken prisoner early in World War II lives on through his diary.
Navy Aviation Ordinanceman Doyle Waggoner didn't spend much of his 31 years in Shreveport, only a handful at most. He moved to Shreveport with his family from Arkansas around 1933, attended Fair Park High School and the following year joined the Navy.
Days after the Pearl Harbor attack, Times readers saw his picture in an article listing area soldiers and sailors in harm's way. In May 1942, Waggoner was captured in the fall of the Bataan peninsula near Manila in the Philippine Islands and the loss of the island fortress of Corregidor.
Originally imprisoned in the Philippines, he was sent to Japan in 1944 on one of the notorious "hell ships" to be sold to work as a slave at Nagoya Branch 2 Narumi, one of hundreds of labor camps set up in the Home Islands. He and the other prisoners were fed barely enough to stay alive, living on at most a cup of water and a half a cup of rice a day.
The former Fair Park Indians football star is largely forgotten today, but he is an important part of World War II history and his memory has been resurrected by an Indiana minister's attempts to get his diary, miraculously intact after almost 70 years, returned to his family.
"It is fascinating, but it is not ours to keep," said Gary Nagy, pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Hobart, Ind. "It belongs to the family or a museum of something. It belongs to the family and let them do what they want."
Nagy acquired the diary years ago from his uncle, Joe Nagy, who survived slavery in the same camp as Waggoner and saved the fragile papers. Cobbled from a cardboard rations box and a ragtag collection of discarded papers, the diary lovingly details the food and menus Waggoner dreamed of during his days of starvation and slavery.
Numbered dinner menus list oyster dishes, noodle and vegetable soups, "mashed spuds," oatmeal cookies, creamed peas, fried onions, mango pie, corn chowder, "hamberg steak" and other dishes, as well as their recipes. It lists some people and places, but mainly the pages hold a vision of a better future for a man robbed of his youth and life while serving his nation.