Frank Fujita's ordeal

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Peter H
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Frank Fujita's ordeal

Post by Peter H » 05 Jul 2008 05:45

Fujita is said to be the only Nisei captured by the Japanese in WW2.His father was Japanese,his mother an American from Oklahoma.

Fujita was with the US 131st Field Artillery,Texas NG,captured on Java in 1942.

According to Gavin Daws' Prisoners of the Japanese ,Fujita's heritage was not detected by the japanese until mid 1943:
..and even stranger,not to be recognised as Japanese.After four changes of camp--two of them by ship--any number of shakedowns and sick calls,hundreds of days of morning and evening tenko and work details,he had still not been spotted..

...then at Fukuoka 2 in June 1943 a guard was showing off his English language skills,reading the names of the hut roster out loud,very pleased with himself,and in among the white names he read out Fujita,and suddenly registered what he had heard himself saying..
Ironically Fukuoka 2 camp near Nagasaki was near where Fujita's father had been born.Fujita was offered Japanese officer rank,women and property if he changed sides for the propaganda value it would present.He declined.He was later forced to take Japanese language lessons as he indicated he couldn't speak the lingo.Transfered later to Tokyo he was forced to conduct some radio propaganda broadcasts but acting 'dumb" he wasn't much used.Later witnessed the fire bombing of Tokyo in 1945.Thereafter liberated and returned to Texas.

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Peter H
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Re: Frank Fujita's ordeal

Post by Peter H » 05 Jul 2008 05:53

A photo of Fujita from Daws' book.

His experiences Foo, a Japanese-American Prisoner of the Rising Sun: The Secret Prison Diary of Frank "Foo" Fujita
was first published around 1993.

I have actually heard there were two Nisei's in Japanese captivity in WW2 but I can't find any information on who the other guy was.
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cstunts
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Re: Frank Fujita's ordeal

Post by cstunts » 28 Aug 2008 23:07

Hello,

I knew "Foo" fairly well during the Nineties, and attended several reunions and PacWar symposia with him. He was a completely down-to-earth, unpretentious guy like most of the Lost Battalion men. I found him interesting because he was such a good artist. His illustrations of camp life are excellent.

I do not know how accurate Daws' version is--I also know Gavan & his book as well--but the definitve account would be found in Fujita's book, Foo. A fine record of his experiences and those of other LB members. Frank was in a Battery detached from the main body of the Battalion during the fighting on Java. These men were captured separately IIRC. I can't recall how it was that he was not recognized until 1943. That sounds a little suspicious to me, but stranger things occurred during the war

lee9
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Re: Frank Fujita's ordeal

Post by lee9 » 23 Dec 2010 23:37

I was in Java near Frank Fujita in WWII. Can anyone tell me his address, or if he is still alive? thanks, lee

JamesL
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Re: Frank Fujita's ordeal

Post by JamesL » 24 Dec 2010 02:23

Apparently Mr. Fujita died in 1996 in Abilene, TX.

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Marcus
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Re: Frank Fujita's ordeal

Post by Marcus » 14 May 2011 18:09

I received the below email.
Frank Fujita, the author of Foo: A Japanese-American Prisoner of the Rising Sun, passed away a few years ago. his wife, Ruby, buried him in Abilene Texas. his borther, Herbert Elliott, who changed his name to his mother's maiden name in WWII, died a few years later.

Frank is the great uncle of myt daughter, Miller Hayes Elliott. Her father is Burrell Elliott, son of Herbert and nephew of Frank.

Uncle Frank was indeed a brilliant soul. I recall he learned macrame once. He didnt 'do' crossword puzzles, he Made them. haha....He loved snow crab legs. and he'd doodle on anything. A brilliant man, his brother also.

I saw they men there were asking of him.

I wanted to let them know.

Sonja

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