(Extensions of Remarks - April 27, 2017)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E556]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                         HON. DAVID G. VALADAO

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, April 27, 2017

  Mr. VALADAO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Mr. Jack W. Schwartz 
on his 102nd birthday.
  Mr. Jack W. Schwartz is from Hanford, California. Growing up, Mr. 
Schwartz graduated from Hollywood High School at the age of fifteen and 
went on to earn both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees 
in Civil Engineering from California Institute of Technology. After 
working in various engineering jobs, Mr. Schwartz joined the United 
States Navy in 1940 as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Civil 
Engineering Corps. His first Navy assignment was at Pearl Harbor, and 
he was later transferred to Guam in January 1941. Barely a year later, 
on December 8, the Japanese Navy attacked Guam.
  On December 10, 1941, Guam became the first American territory to 
formally surrender to an enemy in World War II. Lt. Schwartz and the 
sailors and Marines on the island became prisoners of war (POW) for 
nearly the next four years. Lt. Schwartz and the other officers were 
sent by boat to the Japanese port of Tadotsu on the island of Shikoku 
to become slave laborers for Japanese corporations. Upon arrival in 
mainland Japan, Mr. Schwartz was taken to the Zentsuji POW Camp nearly 
400 miles west of Tokyo. While in this camp, Lt. Schwartz was beaten 
and denied food, water, and medical service whenever he defended and 
advocated for those under his command. In September 1942, he was 
transferred to Tokyo 2B Kawasaki and later sent to Zentsuji in August 
of 1944. His final transfer was in June 1945 to POW Camp 11-B 
Rokuroshi. This camp was located in the Japanese Alps, where food was 
scarce, conditions were overcrowded, and winter clothes were 
unavailable, leading many to believe they would not survive the harsh 
mountain winter. However, the camp was discovered and liberated on 
September 8, 1945, several days after the formal surrender of Japan on 
September 2. After the war, Lt. Schwartz remained in the United States 
Navy and later retired in 1962 as a Commander.
  At the age of ninety nine, Mr. Schwartz was invited to take part in 
the Fifth Delegation of American Former POWs of Japan where he met with 
Japanese officials, students, and visited the sites of former POW 
camps. He felt the experience was important for remembrance and 
  Mr. Schwartz served as the Public Works Director and City Engineer 
for eighteen years in Hanford, California. Since his retirement in 
1980, Mr. Schwartz has been active on many city and council projects 
including serving eight years as City Planning Commissioner and five 
years on the Kings County Grand Jury. The most prideful accomplishment 
of Mr. Schwartz's long career in public service is his work in helping 
to procure the funds to create and design Hidden Valley Park in 
  Today, Mr. Schwartz has a son, a stepdaughter, and a grandson. His 
favorite hobbies are woodturning and making things out of wood, 
reading, and writing with the Remington Ramblers, a local writing 
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues in the United States House of 
Representatives to join me in wishing this extraordinary American, Mr. 
Jack W. Schwartz, well on his 102nd birthday and thanking him for his 
years of military and public service.