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WORLD WAR II // 50 YEARS AGO TODAY

From newspapers of Sept. 6, 1945: The State Department makes public a report that chronicles hundreds of atrocities by the Japanese on American and other Allied prisoners of war. Typical of the atrocities is the killing of 150 American prisoners at Palawan in the Philippines on Dec. 14, 1944. The prisoners were forced into tunnels used as air-raid shelters, then guards poured gasoline into the tunnels and set them on fire. As Americans fled from the flames, they were bayoneted and machine gunned. Some men tried to escape by jumping over a 50-foot cliff. Those who survived the jump were shot or buried alive. On the same day the report is released, a new atrocity is revealed: the death of 3,500 convalescent Allied prisoners, many of them Dutch or British, on a forced 140-mile march in Thailand. Iva Toguri, the California-born radio announcer who broadcast for Japan as Tokyo Rose, is under detention in Japan, the U.S. 8th Army says. No charges have yet been filed against the 29-year-old Toguri. Australian Defense Minister John Beasley says U.S. naval intelligence officers broke the Japanese naval cipher code in 1942. While it has been rumored for a long time that the code was broken, Beasley's statement is the first official confirmation.

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