On Saturday June 20th 2009 a memorial service was held at the site of the former Taipei Prison to honor and remember the American airmen who were captured by the Japanese when their aircraft crashed or were shot down over Taiwan in the fall of 1944 and the spring of 1945. These men were not considered to be POWs but rather “war criminals” and as such were held in the old Taihoku (Taipei) Prison, often in solitary confinement. They were starved and beaten and suffered great hardships. On May 29th 1945, 14 of these airmen were given a mock trial with no defense and were sentenced to death by firing squad. The sentence was carried out on June 19th 1945 – less than two months before the Japanese surrender! The remaining airmen were released in September 1945 and returned to their homeland again.
On June 19th 2005, a memorial service was held by the wall to commemorate the death of the US Army Air Corps and US Navy airmen who were murdered 60 years ago on that date. It was decided then that some kind of plaque should be placed on the wall of the old prison to remember the sacrifice of those men for our freedom.
The Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society is pleased to have worked with the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Taipei City Government, and with the support of the ROC Veterans Affairs Commission and the American Institute in Taiwan, we are proud to have brought this project to its completion.
This memorial will stand as a remembrance of the courage and strength and sacrifice of those American airmen many years ago. They were needlessly taken from us when they were so young. They are gone– but they will never be forgotten!
THE LIST OF AMERICAN AIRMEN HELD IN THE TAIHOKU PRISON
ALDRO HARRY H. ARM2C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
BECK CALVIN C. CPL. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
BUCHANAN J.C. AMM3C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
BUETTNER VICTOR T. LT./JG USN RELEASED 9/01/45
CARTER DELBERT H. AOM3C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
CHASTAIN CLIFFORD L. S/SGT. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
EHLERS CARL L. 2/LT. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
GATEWOOD HENRY 2/LT. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
HART TED U. 2/LT. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
HARTLEY RALPH LIEUT. USAAF EXECUTED 6/19/45
HATHAWAY DONALD C. AMM3C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
LANGIOTTI JAMES R. ARM1C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
LAWRENCE BOBBY L. S/SGT. USAAF EXECUTED 6/19/45
MCCREARY FREDDY E. ARM1C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
MCVAY CHARLES M. AOM2C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
MONCRIEF BERNARD H. F/O USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
MURPHY HOWARD H. 2/LT. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
PARKER JOHN R. AMM2C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
RIGGS MERLIN S/SGT. USAAF EXECUTED 6/19/45
SEE FRANCIS V. LIEUT. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
SHARP HARWOOD S. LIEUT. USN EXECUTED 6/19/45
SHOTT JOHN CPL. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
SPIVEY HARRY J. S/SGT. USAAF EXECUTED 6/19/45
THURMOND ROY C. LIEUT. USAAF RELEASED 9/01/45
WILSON WAYNE W. ARM3C USN EXECUTED 6/19/45