The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 07, 1950, Image 1

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CC* ie L„ist
f’cai- 4 * as a Red Captive
Former Student Tells of Life in Russian Prison in Siberia
(Editor’s Note: Seiichi Saka
moto, an Aggie-Ex of the Class of
’:18. returned to this campus re-
centiy with one of the most unique
personal experience stories ever to
come from a former student. His
tale of involuntary service in the
Japanese Army during the war is
an exceptional story in itself.
(The Japanese-American has an
even more exceptional experience
to relate—that, of being a Russian
prisoner for five years. In view
of the present world situation, we
consider that story extremely per
tinent and enlightening.
(for that reason we are print
ing. it in two installments so that
none of the detail need be left
out. Today and tomorrow you can
read that story as told to Battal
ion Reporter Dale Walston.
T h e amazing experience o f
Seiichi Sakamoto, Class of ’88,
read like a movie scenario, com
plete with dungeons, mid-night in
terrogations and imprisonment in
The experiences, though are true.
The small, thin-faced Japanese-
American seldom lost the smiled on
his face as he looked back into
the last decade. But the smile
failed to hide the weary look that
testified to the truth of his tale.
But let’s begin where he did.
It was 12 years ago—1938.
“Sako,” as he was nicknamed,
was just another A&M student.
Good-natured and studious, he
became very well-known before
receiving his degree in Agrono
my that June.
Like many other graduates he
returned to San Antonio to work
for his father. His family had left
Japan when Sakamoto was two
to settle in Texas.
A decision in 1941 set Sako
on the trail that was to end in a
Russian prison camp. It was then
that he decided to study the Jap
anese language back in the- home
land, of his parents.
Unable to return to this country
after the outbreak of the war,
the Aggie-Ex remained in school
until 1943 when all students were
drafted for the Japanese army.
Since he was born in Japan, he
was forced to enter the Japanese
Through a request to a friend
Sakamoto avoided being sent to
the front lines to fight against
his adopted country. He went in
stead to China to fight Chinese
Communists who were infiltrating
into Manchuria.”
Malaria put him out of action
soon after he reached China.
He immediately began to devise
a means to return to this coun
try. A suspicious commanding
officer warned him that if he
tried to escape he would have
two alleinatives.
Either the communists, who had
his forces surrounded, would kill
him or the Japanese would recap
ture him and hang him. Nothing
remained but to stay with the
Japanese army.
Sako, after many requests, suc
ceeded in being sent to school in
Harbin, Manchuria, to study Rus
sian. After graduation, in 1945 he
worked as a monitor of Russian
broadcasts. The Japanese at this
time were afraid of invasion from
It was while he was engaged in
this work that the Russians cap
tured him. Sako’s captors assured
him that he and other prisoners
would be sent back to Japan after
the war.
In August, 1945, he and the
other prisoners left by train for
Vladivostok, where they expect
ed to take a ship to Japan. Dur
ing the night, however the train
was rerouted and the prisoners
arrived instead in Birakan, Siberia,
Sakamoto’s hopes of returning to
America were shattered.
He was put in a labor camp
and again assured that he would
soon be sent to Japan. He work
ed in the Russian forests and
lumber mills.
The Russians allowed no outside
communication—the group was cut
off completely from newspapers,
books, and radios.
The work day was twelve to
fourteen hours long and prisoners
were given approximately one hour
each day between work and time to
Sako utilized this brief time to
teach his friends English. He also
managed to write and distribute
around the camp articles on west
ern culture, Christianity and his
In 1946, the ex-student began to
notice a definite change in the
attitude of his captors. Where they
had formerly praised President
Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of
the greatest political figures of
the day, they now began to run
him down. They especially played
down American participation in
the recent war.
Furthermore they burned the
articles Sakamoto had written
and forbade him to write more.
In place of his teachings, the
Russians substituted their own
schools, teaching the doctrines
of the Communist Party, Mat
erialism and Marx’s Political
Economies. Sako refused to at
Food for prisoners at this time I
consisted of practically a starva
tion diet. Daily rations included
only 330 grams of black bread,
500 grams of sorphum, 50 grams of
dried fish, 48 grams of sugar and
8 grams of oil.
And to obtain even this mea
ger food supply the prisoners were
required to complete the “norm”
of work which they were assigned.
Sakamoto was called before Rus
sian officers to explain why he
wasn’t participating in the Rus
sian schools.
His refusal to deny Christianity
and worship Stalin as a god, placed
him under suspicion. The next four
months found him constantly
watched by a Russian woman spy.
(To be continued in tomorrow’s
The Battalion
Number 59: Volume 51
Price Five Cents
Aggie Players
Open ’50 Season
With 'Kind Lady’
RVs Initiate
The curtain goes up at 8 p. m.
tonight on the Aggie Players’' first
dramatic offering of the 1950-
51 season, Edward Chodorov’s
three-act psychological thriller,
“Kind Lady.”
Based on a novel by Hugh Wal
pole, the play tells the story of
Mary Ilerries, a kindly, middle-
aged London spinster who invited
a sup]K>,sedly starving young pain
ter into her home for a Christmas
Eve cup of tea and shortly finds
herself imprisoned by him in her
own home, with her family alien
ated, her friends terrorized, her
servants murdered, and her price
less art collection stolen, piece by
piece, to enrich the vicious little
gangster she has befriended.
Although all action takes
place in London, and all but one
Senator Hints
Controls Soon
Washington, Dec. 7 —
(AP—Senator Lehman (D-
NY), one of the administra
tion’s regulars, told the Sen
ate yesterday wage and price
controls undoubtedly are coming
He pegged argument that
Congress should, act promptly to
continue rent controls, which are
due to expire at the end of this
month except in communities
which vote to keep them until
next June 30.
He was far from alone in anti-
have to take strong steps to set
curbs on both prices and payrolls.
Chairman Maybank (D-SC) of the
Senate Banking Committee said it
is essential that the government
“get at this inflation right away
and stop it in order to preserve
the economy of the United States.
Senator Capehart (R-Ind) sug
gested throught be given to an
ven more drastic move. He said
he administration should serious
ly consider “freezing” all prices
and wages right where they are.
He suggested that such an across-
tbe-board freeze would avoid “dis
rupting the economy later by a
possible rollback of prices.”
Such action, however, would re
quire the services of a large ad
ministrative and enforcement staff
which is not now available, gov-
cipating that the government will
eminent officials say.
The Senate is considering a 60-
day extension of the rent control
law, and has agreed to vote on it
tomorrow afternoon. (The last
Texas legislature abolished rent
control in Texas.)
A 90-day extension was reported
favorably by the House Banking
Committee, but an adverse 6-
to-5 vote by the House Rules Com
mittee has held it up.
of the characters in British,
Director C. K. Esten has decided
to do away with the usual Brit
ish accent and have the Players
deliver their lines “straight.”
The Players’ last production was
also laid in London, and Esten
feels that two dialect produc
tions in a row might, tend to pall
on Aggie audiences.
Taking the role of the “Kind
Lady” is Alice Burke, who is ap
pearing in her first Aggie Players
production. Wayne Davis has been
cast as Henry Abbott, the part-
time artist and criminal who locks
her into her own bedroom and lei
surely disposes of her lifelong col
lection of art.
In the supporting cast are Pat
Morley, cast as Rose, Mary’s ser
vant murdered at Abbott’s orders.
Phyllis Glenning, Mary’s neice, is
played by Sarah Puddy, while her
fiancee, Peter Santard, is played by
Doyle Smith.
Lucy Weston, Mary’s best
friend, will be acted by Jean
Robbins. Four of Henry’s cohorts
and accomplices in the crime—
Mr. and Mrs. Edwards and their
daughter, Aggie and an unscrup
ulous character known only as
“Doc,” are played by Gordon
Milne, Florence Farr, Theresa
Renghofer, and Don Demke, re
Chodrov’s play is in the nature
of a “flashback.” Action opens in
a prologue which takes place at
the present time. A banker, play
ed by Harry Wooding, calls on Ab
bott to submit an income tax form
for his approval, but accidentally
meets Miss Merries.
She tells him the story of her
imprisonment, and the three acts
of her play are her story. In an
epilogue, Mary gives the banker,
Foster, a note for the police.
In what has been called one
of the most tense and gripping
moments in the American thea
ter, Foster must decide whether
to believe Miss Merries’ story or
to brand her an idiot and a liar
and give her note to Henry,
who suspects that she has given
it to him.
In addition to being the Play
ers’ first play for the currant
semester, “Kind Lady” is also the
first directed for the group by C.
K. Esten of the English Depart
ment, recently appointed group
sponsor and director.
With 23 years of writing, acting,
and directing behind him, Esten
has done a masterful job of put
ting together a difficult and de
manding play in only five weeks
of rehearsal time.
Almost all of the cast will be
new to Aggie audiences. With the
exception of Sarah Puddy, Gordon
| Milne, and Wayne Davis, the en-
j tire cast will be appearing for the
I first time before Assembly Hall
! footlights.
New members of the Ross Volunteers are administered the oath
at the annual initiation banquet of the company in the MSC Ball
Room Tuesday night. Charles Easley and James Anderson repre
sent the group of incoming members.
Allies Dug In
For New Stand
In North Korea
Tokyo, Dec. 7—(/P)—Allied troops rallied today on a
new dug-in defense line 58 miles inside North Korea with
hopes that favorable mountain positions, air support and
their outnumbered manpower might stem the Chinese Red
A hundred thousand enemy troops are estimated in the
frontal array against them with 70,000 to 80,000 more in
To the north and east of the new line, U. S. Marines and
Doughboys and Allied U.N. forces of the Tenth Corps were
fighting in snow and bitter cold in> — —
efforts to escape widely encircling ^^ _ «
Great Issues
Top officers of (he RV Company talk with Maj. Gen. Williston
B. Palmer after the initiation banquet Tuesday night, they arc
from left to right Tom Royder, C. C. Taylor, General Palmer, Bill
Parse, and Noble Clark.
Vishinsky Attacks
Peace Movement
Ft ifie Team Slates
Meet Saturday
The A&M Rifle Team will attend
a shoulder to shoulder meet
against Texas University and Ar
lington State College at Arlington
on Dee. 9th.
The team is composed of Rus
sel Durrill, Orville Schlinke, Ro
land Zapata, John Rowe, Duane
Unrue, and William Rainwater.
The team fired against Univer
sity of Virginia last week and
won by 71 points, team coach Sgt.
Reese, said today.
A special meeting of the team
has been called for Wednesday
night, 7:15 at the rifle range. All
members are requested to attend,
‘Intolerance’ For
Film Society Movie
D. W. Griffith’s “Intolerance”
will be presented at the third
meeting of the Film Society Mon
day night at 7:30 in the YMCA
chapel, Herman Gollob, president,
announced today.
Griffith, one of filmdom’s earl
iest pioneers, laid the groundwork
i for much of Hollywood’s present-
! day technical prowess. Among his
j contributions are the panoramic
I shot, the close-up, and the flash-
; back.
“Intolerance” is a motion pic-
J ture landmark chiefly because it
I contains many technical innova
tions which, at the time of the
film's release in 1918, were revolu
Other films scheduled to appear
in future meetings are “All Quiet
on the Western Front, M “The Good
Earth,” and “The Thin Man,”
Lake Success, Dec. 7—'A 3 )—An
drei Vishinsky attacked today a
13-nation appeal to Communist
China to stop at the 38th parallel
in Korea. His opposition and re
ported objections by Red China’s
envoy apparently doomed the des
perate plea of Asian and Middle
East countries for an end to the
Diplomats said Wu Hsiu-Chuan,
ambassador of the Chinese Com
munists, countered the peace ap
peal last night with an unofficial
demand to know why it was being
sent only to his government. He
was said to have insisted it should
be sent also to the United States.
Red China and Russia both charge
the U. S is the aggressor in Korea.
Peace Appeal
No word came from Peiping on
the peace appeal The general as
sembly went ahead in an extraor
dinary session with plans for a
fast airing of the crisis. The as
sembly voted 51 to 5 to send to the
political committee a six-power de
mand for U. N. action to stop the
Chinese Comrrtunists.
Soon aftni, the six powers—the
United States, Britain, France,
Cuba, Ecuador, Norway—circu
lated the resolution they are put
ting before the U. N. the proposal
called for withdrawal of Red Chi
na’s troops from Korea and pro
mised that China’s borders with
Korea would be protected. Russia
has rejected this.
Turning from a long attack on
the United States in the general
assembly, Vishinsky took a dig
at the 13-nation appeal in these
“American armed forces crossed
the 38th parallel with approval
of, among others, the authors of a
statement published in the . press
and emanating from certain pow
ers supported the campaign of
the MacArthur legions beyond the
38th parallel northward to the
Manchurian border at the time, but
now they make appeals for a halt
at the 38th parallel.”
Statement Authors
The 13 countries are India, one
of the prime movers; the Philip
pines, Pakistan, Afghanistan, In
donesia Burma, Egypt Iran, Iraq,
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Y r e-
An American delegation spokes
man made it clear the U. S. had
nothing to do with the 13-nation
plea. He said the U. S. delegation
was not asked to give its approval
to any implications in this appeal,
nor has it given any favorable or
unfavorable comment.
Vishinsky declared there have
been no facts to show the armies
of the Chinese people’s republic in
tervened in Korea. He said the
only document before the assem
bly was the “notorious” MacAr-
thur raport “which was submitted
by this evil genius of our day who
Chinese man-traps
The Eight Army’s western de
fense is manned by the survivors
of Gen. Walton H. Walker’s force
that outnumbered 110,000 troops
before it was forced into retreat
late in November.
The defense is pegged on the
Yellow Sea coast and extends 60
miles inland on an arc to Koksan.
It is 63 miles southeast of the Red
Korean capital of Pyongyang.
General MacArthur’s headquar
ters described thq U. N. line as
running east and north from a
tributary of the Taedong River—
near the port of Chinnampo—back
down to Koksan, 35 miles north of
the main highway to Seoul.
American troops joined forces
on the snow-swept northeast front
for an escape drive through a Chi
nese trap.
They pushed into Koto today
after a bitter battle through heavy
Chinese resistance south of the
Changjin Reservoir.
Eight Miles in i") Hours
It took them 25 hours to batter
their way eight miles from Haga-
The first elements of two ma
rine and two infantry regiments
made their way into Koto at 7:45
a.m. (5 p.m. EST Wednesday)
Associated Press correspondent
Jack Macbeth, the only correspon
dent in Koto, said eight hours later
they “are still coming into Koto
A headquarters spokesman said,
“the pressure is heavy at Hagaru
and the enemy is trying to cap
ture as many of our men as they
The Americans still were faced
with fighting their way out of Ko
to through heavy Communist con
centrations to cover the 40 miles
of winding mountain road south
east to Hamhung.
Seven Divisions Line Road
Seven Chinese divisions were re
ported deployed along the road—
the only escape route south from
Koto. The spokesman said he may
be able tomorrow to identify two
other Chinese divisions fighting to
hold the Americans in the trap.
The eight-mile trek into Koto
was rugged enough. Elements of
the Fifth and Seventh Marine Reg-
igents and the 31st and 32nd Regi
ments of the Seventh Division
fought through zero weather, a
blinding snow storm and one Chi
nese roadblock after another.
The Communists threw mortar
and small arms fire, “Molotov
cocktails”—gasoline filled bottles
—and sticks of explosives at the
Allied aircraft countered with
strikes that left the surrounding
hills ablaze.
Marine Commander Promises Fight
Col. Lewis Puller, commander of
the Marine First Regiment, said
the Chinese have blown bridges
and blocked the roads “but will
make a fight out of it.”
Infantrymen from the U. S.
Third Division moved up from the
Hamhung area to try to clear the
road for the trapped Americans.
They were forced to halt near Ma
jor, 15 road miles south of Koto,
and engage Chinese troops in
heavy fighting.
To Be Offered
During Spring
Several speakers for the
Great Issues course, to be
held, during the spring semes-
| ter, have been engaged, Dr.
S. R. Gammon chairman of
the Great Issues Committee, an
nounced today.
A budget of $2,800 was made
available by the college to obtain
speakers. One of the notables al
ready scheduled for the spring
calendar is Eric Sevareid, one of
CBS’s leading news commentators,
who will speak Feb. 9 on “Wash
ington vs. the Country.” James C.
O’Brien of the Federal Security
Agency will be on hand Feb. 19 to
discuss “Manpower Resources in
Time of National Emergency.”
Mrs. Vera M. Dean, editor of
the Foreign Policy Association’s
publications and authority on in
ternational affairs, will discuss
“The Next Phase in US Foreign
Policy” March 7.
The last two speakers that have
been scheduled to date are William
L. Shirer, noted MBS news com
mentator, who will speak on “Our
Struggle for Survival” March 26,
and Felix E. Larkin, Counsel for
the US Department of Defense
who will discuss “Our Current De
fense Problem” on April 2.
Negotiations are in progress by
which the Committee on Great Is
sues hopes to add two or three
more competent speakers to the
list, Gammon, said.
Icthyologists End
Guadalupe Survey
Thirteen Icthyology students un
der the guidance of F. T. Knapp
of the Wildlife Department re
cently completed the first complete
survey of the species of fish pre
sent in the Guadalupe River Sys
About 40 different species were
found from the mouth near Tivola
to the headwaters near Kerrville.
At present it is not known wheth
er any new species were taken.
Complete data of the survey should
be available within two weeks.
Aggie Metallurgist
Presents Paper
Robert L. McGannon, Metallur
gical Engineering student from
Wink, presented a technical paper
at the joint meeting of the Texas
Local Sections of the American
Institute of Mining and Metallur
gical Engineers in Lubbock, Dec. 1
and 2.
Attending the. meeting with Mc
Gannon, was faculty representa
tive, Joe A. Laird, assistant pro
fessor of Petroleum Engineering.
Seiichi Sakamoto, loll, ’38, discusses old times wilh Classmate J.
Wayne Stark, director of Hie Memorial Student Cenler. Sakamolo
was held in a Russian Prison Camp lor five years after being
pressed inlo service in the Japanese army during (he war.
Tau Beta Pi Initiation
Banquet Slated Dec. 13
Seventeen student members and
19 alumni members will be initiat
ed into the Texas Delta Chapter of
Tau Beta Pi on Dec. 13.
Initiation for the 36 new mem
bers will be held in the lecture
room of the chemistry building
at 5 p.m., Wednesday.
Oscar II. Koch, consulting engin
eering assistant with Koch and
Fowler, Dallas will speak at the
banquet to be held in Sbisa Hall
at 7:15 Wednesday evening.
New Officers
President of Tau Beta Pi for
this year is Thomas E. Flukinger,
senior EE major from Houston.
James E. Pianta, senior EE from
San Antonio is Vice President of
France to Call
Meeting to Talk
Rearming Plans
Paris, Dec. 7 — (AP) —
France announced last night
she will call a meeting of the
Western European nations in
Paris next month to draw up
plans for a European army.
Information minister Albert Ga-
zier said this and confirmed that
France had agreed to immediate
formation of West German com
bat teams in Atlantic nation for
ces which would defend Europe
against Communist aggression.
Previously the French had held
out for creation of a unified Eu
ropean defense ministry before us
ing German troops.
Faced with the worsening Ko
rean situation, the French offi
cials said the German units would
be accepted as an emergency mea
Some Progress
In London, the North Atlantic
Pact deputies reported “some pro
gress” tonight toward an agree
ment on how to bring West Ger
man troops into western defense
Authoritative sources here said
behind-the-scenes political man
euvering had averted a threaten
ed collapse of the French cabinet
over rearming Germany.
Socialist Guy Mollet, French
minister of state charged with
council of Europe affairs, was re
ported ready to resign ffrom Pre
mier Rene Pleven’s coalition gov
ernment early today in protest
against a Dutch plan for recruit
ing German troops which the At
lantic pact deputies are consid
The Atlantic pact deputies’
spokesman in London indicated
their negotiations on German re
armament have entered a possibly
a final phase.
The Dutch plan is reported to
provide for a civilian high com
mission to handle recruiting of
150,000 German troops. These
would be seeded in brigade units
of from 4,000 to 6,000 in Atlantic
Pact forces in Europe.
A West German spokesman said
yesterday the plan was unaccept
able, that it “discriminated against
West Germany.”
the club.
Other officers are Wallace
j Hooper, senior Ch. E. major from
Ft. Worth, recording secretary;
Albert W. Rollins senior O. E.
major from Austin, corresponding
secretary; Jess D. McTver, senior
C. E. major from Honey Grove,
treasurer; and Robert G Ransom,
j senior EE major from Houston,
| cataloguer.
Faculty Advisors
Faculty advisors for the club are
II. W. Barlow, Dean of Engineer
ing; S. J. Buchanan of the C. E.
Department; Norman F. Rode of
i the EE Department and W. E.
| Street, head of the Engineering
Drawing Department.
The Delta Chapter, received
their chapter on Oct. 11, 1948 after
many years of effort on the part
of the engineering department and
the college.
Present requirements for en
trance, into the chapter require a
first semester junior to have a
grade point ratio of 2.75 or great
er. A second semester junior needs
a ratio of 2.25 or greatei; and any
senior must have a ratio of 2.17
or greater. Acceptance is based on
character, leadership, campus ac
tivities along with the high grade-
The figures for admittance are
based on the top eighth of the
junior class and the top quarter
of the senior class. These figures
are revised slightly each year ac T
cording to the size of the graduat
ing class for that semester.
All members 1 of the club are
asked to pick up their banquet
tickets from Mrs Coleman in Dean
Barlow’s office before Saturday.
Journalism Head
To Address Gonfal)
Donald D. Burchard, head of the
j Journalism Department, will ad*
dress the Texas High School Press
Association twice during its meet-
| ing at TSCW, Thursday through
I Saturday.
As principal speaker at the
meeting, Burchard will first ad
dress the general assembly, con
sisting of some 700 high school
; boys and girls at 1:30 p. m. Thurs
ilis subject “Twenty Thousand
; Ways—All Journalism,” will point
| out the advantages of including
J some journalism courses in any
college curriculum.
Another talk to a smaller group
will be given later Thursday after-
i noon on the principles of news
j writing.
Poultry Class Sets
Trip to East Texas
Poultry Husbandry students will
make a two day inspection trip to
Nacogdoches and Center, Friday
and Saturday.
The class, will investigate new
methods of raising broilers and
inspect the broiler packing plant
at Nacogdoches.
Over 500 broiler houses have
been built the last two years in
the North East Texas area.
John Moosberg, Shelby County
Agent, will supervise the trip,