Hitched Into Hell

Lester Tenney was a soldier in the US Army during World War 2. He was captured by the Japanese Army and forced to walk (and survive) the Bataan Death March. In his autobiography, My Hitch In Hell, he described what he saw when he arrived at his concentration camp:

Once outside, I saw they had another American spread-eagled on a large board. His head was about ten inches lower than his feet, and his arms and feet were outstretched and tied to the board. A Japanese soldier was holding the American’s nose closed while another soldier poured what I later found out was salt water from a tea kettle into the prisoner’s mouth. In a minute or two, the American started coughing and throwing up water. The Japanese were simulating a drowning situation while the victim was on land. Every few seconds an officer would lean over and ask the prisoner a question. If he did not receive an immediate answer he would order that more water be forced into the prisoner’s mouth. I could not believe my eyes. Torture of this nature was something I had read about in history books. It was used during the medieval times, certainly not in the twentieth century. My God, I wondered, what is in store for me? My entire body became clammy, and I felt a sort of internal shaking, where my insides seemed to be moving all around. My face grew hot and my eyes opened wide as I said to myself, “What now?”

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