|James Tipton, circa 1960|
I wanted to tell you about him, because, although he was just a boy from North Dayton, he endured some of the most brutal treatment one human can impose on another. I guess it can happen to any of us.
Jim joined the US Armed Forces in the late 30’s while he was still in his teens. After finishing his training, Jim had the misfortune to be sent to the Philippines.
Jim’s unit fought in the Battle of Bataan. He survived the battle and then endured the Bataan Death March. After more than three years in a Japanese POW camp in the Philippines he was loaded onto a “Hell Ship" for transfer to Japan.
His ship suffered the same fate as the Shinyo Maru or the Oryoku Maru -- attacked and sunk by Allied units who thought it was transporting Japanese soldiers. After it sank, Jim drifted in the sea for hours before being picked up by another Japanese ship which delivered him to Japan.
When he was liberated after the war he weighed less than 80 pounds.