November 18, 1943

Dear Mrs. Brown,
Your latest newsletter dated September 28th, Vol 9 reached me a few days ago and it was good to hear once again about the school and PC men.

During the last two weeks I’ve been figuring on the best method of letting you know some of the experiences I have had.  Taking into consideration censorship regulations I believe if I will just relate one or two in each of my letters you might get some thing you can use.

Through out the fighting that has been going on between the Americans and the Japanese over here in the south pacific I have often thought of the difference between the faith of the Japanese and American soldiers during the New Guinea campaign.  I noticed several incidents, which showed the results of the faith and ideals of the two nations.

Late in the afternoon of January second our outfit had just taken an important objective along the northern shores of New Guinea.  It was important to us because it had been our goal for over a month.  Our troops were engaged in mopping up the stragglers.  A few had been passed by so we had to get them out.  As this was going on we noticed several Japanese barges along the beach.  Artillery and mortar shells had blown holes through the sides.  Some of them were sunk deep down in the mud, which made an excellent hiding place.  As the men started down into one of the barges two Japanese jumped out and tried to escape by swimming out in the water but were shot.  Then they noticed that one had remained in the bottom of the boat.  We called down and tried to get him to come up.  He wouldn’t do it but continued to motion to us to kill him just where he was.  We kept trying to persuade him to change his mind but it was hopeless, so finally we had to throw a grenade in and end his life.

It was here that I saw how foolish the Japanese soldier was. It was his faith in action that some, not all, Japanese soldiers had at the beginning of the war.  Take this soldier in the barge, his situation was critical.  He could no longer do any harm to the enemy, by dying meant nothing to his country except another life loss.  But from the beginning of his life he had been taught by the Shinto priest, educationist, politicians, and militarist that the human being was nothing and that the state was all and the only hope for his soul after death was for him to die for his god-emperor.

Another example, which took place, the day before this, in the same battle. Our company had received several casualities and was pinned down temporarily by Japanese machine gun fire. Out in the front of the leading platoon one of our men was seriously wounded. The Jap gun was raking our front with machine gun fire which made it impossible for us to advance. Then out of the line crawled the platoon's aid man and worked his way up to the fallen soldier. He dressed the wound and started back with the wounded man. The aid man had a red cross band around his arm and the Japs could plainly see what was going on. They let the aid man get started with the injured man then poured machine gun fire into both bodies, killing both men.

These two examples show clearly the faith and ideals of the average Japanese soldier. He believes in the Japanese mission in the world as a "Divine Order." Three magic words they have, Believe, Obey, Fight. Believe in the state, fight for the state, die for the state. These are the whole duty of man. They know no other rules to the game of life. Brotherhood of man, a world federation, is ridiculous to them. Kill men, women, and children, nothing matters but the supremacy of the yellow race.

Against this darkness shines the faith of the American soldier. He hates and despises war. He knows that a permanent peace will never come by unpeaceful methods. Although he is not in favor of war, he is forced to face it. And resolved to use this evil and turn it to the purpose of man's salvation. He quickly admits that America is not perfect. But he knows that his country has been founded on the principle of freedom and love for all men and for over a hundred and fifty years the light of freedom has grown from a small flame into a brilliant light, shining with the possibility of giving freedom to all nations, and binding them together into a world family.

So to this end he gladly carries out his duty knowing that someday God's kingdom of love and freedom will rule a "family of nations," and that war will disappear from the earth.

As you can see this is written in a crude way but, maybe, you can see the meaning.

I'm looking forward to No. 10 --



Capt. Powell A Fraser
US Army

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