Here's the court decision reversing Provoo's conviction: link It's fairly interesting and gives an overview of the case.
I was a prosecutor for 27 years and it's pretty clear to me that the U.S. Attorney's cross-examination of Provoo constituted reversible error. Of course, that was probably less clear-cut under 1954 standards than it is under today's standards. I suspect that the government's proofs were not as strong as it would have liked, so the prosecutor engaged in this type of mud-slinging cross-examination to simply get a conviction. Look at it this way: the original indictment had 12 counts of treason. The trial judge dismissed five of them., and of the seven counts submitted to the jury, the jury convicted on only four and was hung on the other three. That's not what happens with a strong case. Given all the circumstances, I would imagine that this was a very difficult case to prosecute. I have no doubt that Provoo was as guilty as the day is long.
The following is an edited extract of an e-mail from Lou Jurika (his pen name Joe Rica) - Registrar
Let us now add to this sorry history my long distance phone investigation calling Fort Huachuca, AZ, inquiring for the missing archives of the WWII Counter Intelligence Corps, those very same archives on record per internet info as having been sent to Fort Huachuca from former CIC headquarters at Fort Holabird, MD, over 40 years ago when Holabird was closed down for the CIC.
Now gone. Everything. Totally missing according to Fort Huachuca. No record even of US army major Ann Bray's interview with Sakakida in 1955 while she was writing the official history of the CIC.
Indeed there are NO archives at all at Fort Huachuca. This revelation last week from "Command Historian" Ms. Laurie Tagg at Fort Huachuca, who confirmed that they have no archives whatsoever there, no files, nada.
But there is a museum there on their Huachuca army base south of Tucson and just north of Tombstone on the Mexico border, all mainly for tourists, replete with mannequins and WWII CIC paraphernalia to attract Arizona visitors and feather their nest. But no library, no archives, no files, no records of anything.
Ms Tagg suggested that maybe the CIC records could be found at US Army Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, or certainly the National Archives. That said, she has no idea of the reality of this topic.
FYI, Laurie Tagg, a young lass with the official title of "Command Historian" (what a hoot) is not military, just one of the many private contactors employed by today's US army to do the job the army at times can't do for themselves, increasingly.
Give "Command Historian" Laurie Tagg a call at 1-520-533-xxxx and ask her for the original (US Army major Ann Bray's) 1955 Richard Sakakida interview and the manuscript that then led to Bray's book "Spycatchers" and subsequent liftings and fraudulently perpetrated versions from other authors who swallowed the story hook line and sinker.
Anybody want to try calling her? Maybe it might add up to someone on her side finally waking up. After my years of experiencing the National Archives government employees, it can't possibly get worse.
Nobody at Ft. Huachuca, AZ, including administrator Paul Pipik, whom I also talked to, knows anything. Would that Ms. Laurie Tagg could be bombarded with requests for the 1955 Ann Bray interview of Sakakida. It might give her something to do. Who knows?
Hillary Clinton would be impressed with all this non-awareness. But no, this will fade away. The incriminating evidence is gone, lost to the ether. To be found somewhere else, not where you might expect to find it.
So when I asked Ms Tagg if she recognized the names Richard Sakakida and US army major Ann Bray, she quickly responded that she was indeed familiar with them as she explained they are enshrined in the CIC Hall of Fame. She added that they are icons in CIC lore.
For anyone interested, please google the CIC website for a running list of the CIC Hall of Fame. There are some amazing stories there.
But chew on this - Major Ann Bray is on the official CIC Hall of Fame record for having unmasked and apprehended over 150 enemy spies in WWII. No corroborating proof or evidence supplied. No details whatsoever for the claim.
To me and my nose this all has has a strong whiff of CIC self-aggrandizement. Sakakida onwards!
In the meantime, un abrazo to everyone, while looking for the truth from Texas, 70+ years later,
A Legend is a term of the trade-craft of the intelligence, espionage and counter-espionage circles. It describes a well-prepared synthetic identity, a cover story. The ability to create an unbreakable Legend is a significant part of the expertise in intelligence circles.
The ability to create a Legend saved Richard Sakakida's life - twice! It launched him into two careers - one for the Japanese equivalent of the Gestapo, and another for US Military Intelligence.
Richard Sakakida is interesting not just for his wartime expertise, but for his ability to rise to the Hall of Fame level of Military Intelligence. What brought him to this height? Clearly, at the base of it all was his ability to craft a Legend. In 1942 he crafted a Legend that enabled him to work within the Kempei Tai, eventually sharing an apartment with the chief of the Kempei Tai. But for what purpose? Did he do it for his country? For his countrymen?Did he ever tip the balance to the benefit of those Filipinos fighting the Japanese Imperial totalitarianism?
None of these. He used his trade-craft and saved himself.
In truth, none of the stories to the effect of him working in Japanese Manila to a higher (humanitarian or American) purpose are verified or verifiable. Yes, they are quoted in many books, but the nub of it is that every one of those books are traceable to the same origin point, the best authority that the authors having for their works a Pride and Joy-and-bull story of self-aggrandizement that Sakakida spun to Maj. Bray when she had been commissioned to write the history of the counter-intelligence efforts in the Philippines in WWII. She was seeking tales of derring-do, of uplifting perseverance and triumph against adversity, and he spun them to her. He had evaded a thorough examination in 1945 because a former colleague vouched for him. He was a witness in the war trials because he gave the US what they wanted, just like he'd given the Kempei Tai what they wanted. The claims he would go on to make for himself (to Maj. Bray) were never cross-examined, or checked for veracity, and thereby hangs a gigantic fraud on intelligence history. So serious is that fraud, the documents which would have established it (the notes of an interview between Maj. Ann Bray and Richard Sakakida dated 18 March 1955, and every official document relative to Sakakida's time in the Philippines 1941-1945 pre-dating that date) have been entirely lost or destroyed. Sakakida's feats are challenged by persons who did survive, but by the time they could be heard, Sakakida had built himself a position of fame that could be used to protect himself from any allegations, especially truthful ones. His supporters even sought a Congressional Medal of Honor for him.
Now it's obvious that the materials upon which the Bray Report are based, have been destroyed. The fix is in.
Former Pacific Grove resident Alice Campbell (101 on Sept. 15) shows a certificate
and six medals bestowed upon her late husband, Emilio Grupe, honoring his valor
and contributions in the Philippines during World War II. (Courtesy photo)
MONTEREY COUNTY. Former Monterey County resident Alice Campbell was seven months pregnant with her third child, Peggy, the night the Japanese military police burst into the home in San Juan, Manila, that she was sharing with her first husband, Emilio Manuel Grupe, and their other two children, Frankie and Betty.
It was just after 11 p.m. on Feb. 13, 1944, when they came through the door, accusing Grupe of transmitting information to the Americans that resulted in the destruction of a convoy and the death of thousands of Japanese troops.
“They tortured Emilio from 11 p.m. to 3:30 in the morning, and they did it in my presence,” Campbell told The Herald during a 2011 interview. “Finally, I screamed at them, ‘Stop it! You’re acting like animals!’ At that point, they finally noticed I was pregnant, so they took him into the bathroom — six of them — and continued to beat him.
“When they finally brought him out, his eyes were just slits, his cheeks were all swollen, and he couldn’t raise his arms.”
In fact, Grupe was guilty as charged. The native Filipino was a radio engineer with the RCA Corp. who became an intelligence operative — a captain in the Filipino military collaborating with the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) in Japanese-occupied Manila, part of a closed-unit intelligence group known as the Elizalde Espionage Ring.
In the early morning hours, the Japanese military police whisked him away to the infamous dungeons of Fort Santiago.
On Aug. 30, 1944, Grupe and others were taken to the Chinese cemetery in Manila, where they were beheaded [ in the presence of Richard Sakakida - Registrar] and buried together in a mass grave.
Seventy-one years later, Grupe’s sacrifice has been recognized by the Republic of the Philippines, which on Aug. 4 presented Campbell (who turns 101 on Sept. 15) with six medals honoring her husband’s contribution to Philippine independence.
Grupe’s posthumous honors include the Philippine Independence Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Republic of the Philippines Presidential Unit Citation Badge, the Philippine Liberation Medal, the Philippine Defense Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal.
He had been recruited by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur via a Filipino senator, Jose Ozamas, who knew of Grupe’s radio skills. Grupe and a neighbor, Charles M. Holmes, teamed up shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Philippines in December 1941 to install an emergency transmitter for the U.S. Navy in two jai-alai buildings in Manila.
After the fall of Manila, they constructed two small transmitters for the Filipino guerrillas, delivering them to a guerrilla leader in northern Luzon.
In August 1942, Grupe smuggled transmitter parts from the Japanese — who believed he was working for them — which Holmes delivered to the guerrilla forces.
By 1943 and ‘44, Grupe, Holmes and others were monitoring listening posts, picking up radio signals from Mindoro and news broadcasts from Australia.
“Emilio and his comrades contributed immensely to the successful landing of the liberation forces and they may have prevented the death of many Allied soldiers and civilians alike,” said Maj. Gen. Delfin N. Lorenzana, AFP (Ret.) and Special Presidential Representative and Head of the Office of Veterans Affairs, who presented the awards to Grupe’s widow.
Before he was executed, Grupe and fellow POWs endured horrific treatment at the hand of the Japanese.
He and others were held in a 5-by-6-foot cell that filled with water, often neck deep, whenever the nearby river flooded. The cell had an elevated wooden floor with a small trap door on one end, under which was a 5-gallon can was used for sanitary purposes.
Prisoners were observed by guards through a slit in the door and were forced to sit or squat, facing the wall, for 16 hours each day. They were permitted to lie down and sleep for the other eight hours.
Grupe also was forced to work for the Japanese forces, repairing RCA transmitters on warships.
Two months after he had been captured, Grupe was brought back to his home by Japanese guards to retrieve transmitter parts. During that very brief visit, he was permitted to hold his 2-week-old baby, Peggy.
It would be the last time his family saw him. In mid-May, as MacArthur’s forces were liberating the Philippines, Grupe and others were transferred by their captors to Bilibid Prison in Manila.
“I was told he had been taken to Bilibid,” his widow told The Herald. “Whenever they sent somebody to Bilibid, it was the end. We knew they were going to be killed.”
Three months later, he was beheaded for espionage.
“Shortly before March of 1946, I was called to witness the exhumation of the bodies at the Chinese cemetery for identification purposes,” Jose Maria Ygoa reported in a military affidavit in January 1949. “Grupe was my brother-in-law — brother of my wife — and had lived with us from the time he was 4 years old until he got married to Alice Young Grupe Campbell (April 27, 1941).”
After her husband was arrested, Campbell and her three children were placed under house arrest. With three children to raise and no idea where her husband was, she persevered. When the concentration camp at Santo Tomas was opened to the Red Cross, she volunteered, walking there daily to visit her sister and brother-in-law, who were being held there.
The Americans began to bomb Manila Sept. 22, 1944, finally defeating the Japanese in 1945. When occupying troops moved in, Campbell began working for the Army in the supply department.
That same year, she sold the lease on her home, her furniture and her diamond engagement ring, and took her children to America.
“The sad part is that Aunt Alice never received acknowledgement of her husband’s contributions from the Veterans Administration in the United States, and therefore never received any veterans pay or benefits,” said Linda Igoa, whose husband, Joe (a Fresno attorney) is a blood relative of Emilio Grupe. “She literally sold everything they had in Manila, came to the United States with three young children, and started over.”
Alice Grupe met Ray Campbell in San Francisco. They got engaged on Alice’s birthday in 1948. A year later, they moved to Pacific Grove, where Ray worked at Holman’s Department Store, selling and repairing vacuum cleaners.
Eventually, they opened Campbell’s Appliances, a business they owned and operated together in Pacific Grove for 27 years.
Betty, Peggy and Frank were soon joined by two half-siblings — Ray’s children, Nina and Eddie. All used the name Campbell throughout their school years.
Linda and Joe Igoa stumbled across the story of Emilio Grupe while investigating family genealogy last July, and eventually located Alice Campbell’s adult children, who were living in Salinas.
“They told us Emilio’s story, which opened up a whole new investigation for us,” Linda Igoa said. “We found a contact for Louis Jurika (nephew of WWII legend Chick Parsons), who knew the general (Maj. Gen. Lorenzana) we needed to reach.”
Lorenzana examined documents and affidavits the Igoas had found through their research, and within a month had presented Grupe’s widow with six medals.
“Alice is living with her daughter, Nina, and son-in-law, John, in Fernley, Nevada, and she’s so content and happy,” Linda Igoa said. “She literally sleeps with her medals every night. She reads and re-reads her certificates. Emilio was the love of her life.”
Last Edit: Sept 10, 2015 15:06:50 GMT 8 by Registrar
It's been an interesting week. Early in I saw an article announcing that a trial date for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks has been set. yes, it has been that long. The trial had been bogged down by years of pre-trial applications made by the defense. What caught my eye was that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried along with four other men at a military court in Guantanamo Bay from January 11, 2021.
I have been aware that during the Obama Administration, the Holder DOJ had been working to establish a change in policy that trials like this (of alleged terrorists or alleged war criminals) should be held within the Federal court system in the US, rather than before military courts. (What a boon for Law professors and Lawyers that was!) There has long been policy on the left side of the aisle that military courts, indeed military justice, were tainted with "Victors Justice."
In our area of the SWPA, "Victors Justice" points its signpost towards the Manila War Trials and that translates into the "MacArthur's Justice" and "Yamashita Whitewash", and the various and sundry scurrilous memes that Yamashita had nothing to do with the tragedy of the Battle of Manila. This was by no means new. It's been around since America discovered that they had to go soft on the Japanese War Guilt in order to rely upon Japan as an base of its police action (a.k.a. war) in Korea. It was handy for both Japan and the US to revise history that the Battle of Manila was one man's fault, it was one man disobeying orders, the troops went rogue, etcetera.
Strangely, Yamashita became the dog-whistle poster child for a group of revisionists seeking to curry favor with the Holder effort. There even was funding directed through PBS to create a revisionist documentary against the Yamashita conviction, humanising him, making him less of the hard man he really was. I know this because I was one of the group who fought against it at the time.
So it didn't come as all that much of a surprise when the name of another poster child popped up. My Facebook News Feed popped up with a post about the heroism of Richard Sakakida. It was linked to a website with a shallow article along the same lines. I won't mention them, nor will I link to them. I felt it necessary to answer the news feed item. What follows is what I wrote. (Edited for clarity)
History is important, otherwise revisionists would not spend so much time trying to change it. - Paul Whitman"
When some people think they have found the bottom line, and they tell you what it is, they haven't dug near enough deep. If you accept them, neither have you.
The analysis of the issues arising from the Yamashita Whitewash is extremely complex and often difficult for non-lawyers to follow. (Disclosure: I am a retired Lawyer.) Simply to mention the majority and minority opinions, and leave it to folk to think they have been fully informed, is Facebook facile.
Facebook has a regrettable dumbing-down effect. Generally it is written for people who have difficulties understanding three-syllable words, and who succumb to memes. Time and time again I encounter people who have read a few posts on Facebook and then think they have enough information to express an opinion. What's worse, they think they've been fully informed. Here's news: Facebook is bullshit history dressed in bullshit chocolate, with a bullshit cherry on top.
A few years back I wrote a manuscript about the effects of the Battle of Manila, specifically picturing Manila after the battle had run its course, as seen through my father's eyes, and correspondence. It included articles by Professor Rico Jose, and by Peter Parsons. I felt it was improper not to stone the memes which have attached themselves to the topic and which seem, still yet, to be the éminence grise which obscure it as an example of the deliberate use of war crimes as a weapon of war.
Concerned of this "Facebook Meme Effect" I established a number of articles at the Battle of Manila Website. To it I added a paper of my own, "The Battle of Manila - Of Memes and Memists." I often refer people who are factually challenged to it, though there is a problem that many of them, when confronted by a page of articles, tend to wander off and look at the pictures instead. They don't know where to start.
It's a complex issue where it's difficult to set out a beginning, middle and end, particularly when there cannot, by definition, be a "bottom line."
Starting with something light, might be THE THIRD MISCONCEPTION, by which I refer to the Article "Yamashita's Guilt, Korean Atrocity and Other Misconceptions about the Liberation of Manila" by Benito Legarda Jr. The misconceptions concerning the Battle of Manila pop up so regularly that Legarda, who writes with much wisdom, has taken to numbering them. The Third Misconception, he writes, "assiduously promoted by revisionist historians, is that Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, overall commander of Japanese Forces in the Philippines, was not guilty of the killing and destruction in Manila."
THE ISSUE OF COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY FOR WAR CRIMES, is dealt with by Maj. William Parks. His article is an historical and comparative analysis of war crimes trials involving command responsibility in order to determine the standards of conduct required of a military commander in combat with regard to the prevention, investigation, reporting, and prosecution of war crimes. He includes as part of his examination a view of the criminal responsibility of the combat commander, possible offenses, and the degree of intent required under both domestic and international law. A full copy of his paper (100 pages, 46,000 words) is available for a download, and if you haven't read it, then you'd better take a pause, start again, and stop (a) letting Revisionists misinterpret the law for you and (b) wasting your time with history a la Facebook.
The Genesis of Revisionism of the Battle of Manila is the book "The Case of General Yamashita" by A. Frank Reel (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1949). In it Reel, one of the six counsel for Yamashita, reargued his submissions with the benefit of hindsight, dollops of authorial infallibility, and lightning fast editorial scissors, crafting a persuasive meme that continues to attracts a coterie of partisan intellectuals of following generations. His were the discredited submissions rejected by the Supreme Court in their majority opinion. If, after reading the majority, you don't find the minority decision a hot pollywaffle of marshmallow political rhetoric, go back to Intro to Law LA101.
Reel's argument relied on a series of false assumptions - chief amongst them that Yamashita never intended the battle to play out as it did, that he was hamstrung by poor communications and control, that the troops remaining in Manila went "rogue", and that none of the evidence directly linked him to what occurred. Also argued were the legal defenses that (a) the military tribunal was not a proper tribunal (b) the charges did not state that Yamashita had committed, authorized or knew of any atrocities, and that the tribunal's rules did not guarantee a fair trial.
THE CASE OF GENERAL YAMASHITA - MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD (also presented on the Battle of Manila website, and available as a pdf download) was written in November 1949 by U.S. Army Brigadier General Courtney Whitney and represents a stinging rebuttal to Reel (and, years later, his acolytes) taking exception to Reel’s use of the dissenting opinions in the Yamashita decision to “support his post-judicial contention that Yamashita was irregularly tried and unjustly executed.”
Those who seek a better argued and balanced view of Command Responsibility than Reel's might consult Maj. William H. Parks paper, to which I have already referred.
Reel, a labor union lawyer from Boston, became more trenchant in his views as the years passed, and by 1974 he was asserting that General MacArthur had scripted the trial and the verdict. He was active in Democratic politics, which should come as no surprise.
Ultimately, if you pick up the nuances, you will come to the view that Yamashita was a hard man, he was brought to Manila precisely BECAUSE he was a hard man, as Imperial Tokyo was giving him a hard job - to discourage the Americans attacking Japan, by showing them how costly in American lives an invasion and urban warfare in Japan would be.
Of course, revisionsists won't tell you that even had Yamashita not been on trial in Manila, there were other countries that had more than enough uncontested evidence, beyond reasonable doubt, to place Yamashita in a hangman's noose. Indeed, the US later came under criticism (from Australia, England, the Netherlands and China) that the execution of Yamashita denied other countries the opportunity of establishing that the Imperial Japanese use of war crimes as a tool of war came from the highest levels, not the lowest ones.
Wai Keng Kwok, in his "JUSTICE DONE - CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY ISSUES IN THE CHINESE MASSACRES TRIAL, SINGAPORE 1947" writes that "what seems to be lacking is collation of documents in the various languages: English, Chinese, and Japanese." He has a point. The Imperial Japanese had much time and opportunity to destroy incriminating documents.
I go further than that. I think this modern revisionism stinks of glib American legal obfuscation and piffle, of the order of "if the glove don't fit, you must acquit" level. Concise, snappy, and quite misleading. Historical and political complexity dumbed down and fed to the ignorant, perfect fodder for Facebook.
Artem: I use to work in that shipyard. Heard of D. Cleland through my uncles who were previous generations that worked there. Saw a photo or two of D.Cleland in the shipyard library. If my memory is correct I saw his grave out in the city's protestant cemetery.
May 11, 2020 8:24:25 GMT 8
faulkvi2: Hi! My name is Vickie. I am here to learn more about the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and to honor the life of my Uncle, Pvt Eugene Mott, who has not been returned to us after his death on the Oryoku Maru.
Jun 20, 2020 10:59:59 GMT 8
Gen. Gaudencio V. Vera : Brief Biography of Gen. Gaudencio V. Vera
Jul 31, 2020 10:26:06 GMT 8
Whitney Galbraith: In 2018 I self-published my father's WWII memoir (https://www.valleyoftheshadowpow.com) Col. Nicoll F. Galbraith, GSC, US Army, was a senior staff officer of Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright during the Fall of the Philippines. I would enjoy conversation.
Aug 17, 2020 5:42:01 GMT 8
chadhill: Whitney: I was not aware of your book and just ordered it from Amazon. Can't wait to read it. Chad Hill.
Aug 17, 2020 12:42:24 GMT 8
RobH: Hello, I am looking for clarification on the how my Uncle John A. Holmes died at Corregidor. He was with the 3rd Battalion, G Company.
Sept 1, 2020 2:36:14 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH: Try messaging EXO or tmayer on this website. They have much info on individuals of the 503rd.
Sept 2, 2020 11:22:50 GMT 8
RobH: chadhill: My approval status is still pending, so it won't let me message them yet. Any idea how long that takes? Thanks.
Sept 3, 2020 5:33:10 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH, I think you're set now. You may have to make a brief intro of yourself on the guest board to prove to a monitoring system that you're not a spam robot, but try messaging them first.
Sept 3, 2020 6:49:56 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH: Be sure to login with a password, too (you probably already know that).
Sept 3, 2020 6:55:00 GMT 8
rob: chadhill: Thank you! I'm set up and have messaged EXO. Thank you again!
Sept 3, 2020 11:27:51 GMT 8
alalba: Hello.I'm looking for any information about where and how the US recruited Filipinos just after WWII, 1945-46 (Subic or Sangley).I'm writing a memoir for my Dad who was a guerrilla during WWII, joined the US Navy in Apr '46, and retired in 1971. Thanks
Sept 23, 2020 11:30:51 GMT 8
SteveG: My father, Alex Georgakas, was in the 503rd and is listed on the 2nd BT HQ list of participants in the Corregidor action. His service records make no mention of that action, nor did he receive the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to his group. Thoughts?
Nov 13, 2020 0:46:52 GMT 8
Eduardo P. Sayajon : Hello to all, my uncle Crescencio B. Sayajon served & was a member of the 26th Cavalry Regiment Philippine Scout during WW2 a letter of Appreciation was given but unfortunately it was destroyed. I would like to know where I could get a copy??
Nov 16, 2020 23:04:02 GMT 8
tmayer: Steve G, Did you ever talk to your Dad about his time in the service? Does his discharge list a Philippine Liberation Medal? Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with any bronze stars or an arrowhead?
Nov 19, 2020 8:26:25 GMT 8