Seaman Tells of Rescue in Hour of Death

Minneapolis Star Journal, August 8, 1945

Fast maneuvering on the part of 63 amphibious "ducks" two hours before he was scheduled to be machine gunned to death by the Japs, saved the life of Merchant Seaman Joseph D. Elwood, 37, of St. Paul Park.

The ducks were part of a rescue party that broke into a Jap prison camp on Luzon island last February, snatching Elwood and several other prisoners from the Japs.

Undaunted by three years and two months imprisonment, Elwood today made application for officers' training in the Maritime Service.

Elwood was en route to Russia as a crew member of a merchant ship when he was captured at Manila, Jan. 2, 1942. He was first imprisoned at Santo Tomas and May 13, 1943, was transferred to Los Banos, another Jap prison camp. He is the only Minnesota merchant seaman to be liberated so far.

Elwood described a sample of the Jap's menu. It was 500 grams of rice in the husk, and the prisoners had to husk it themselves.

Elwood has been employed at Gopher Ordnance works, Rosemount, since returning home. He has three brothers and a sister in service.

Names of Merchant Marine Prisoners of War