``ENOURA MARU'' ANNIVERSARY; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 4
(Senate - January 09, 2019)

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From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                      ``ENOURA MARU'' ANNIVERSARY

  Mr. SCHATZ. Mr. President, today, we remember the 400 American and 
Allied prisoners of war who died 74 years ago from friendly fire aboard 
the Japanese hell ship Enoura Maru docked in Takeo Harbor, Formosa--
modern-day Taiwan.
  Among the dead were men who left their homes in America, Australia, 
Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, and Czechoslovakia to 
fight an enemy they did not know, in places few of them had heard of, 
all in pursuit of a common cause: freedom, justice, and equality. These 
heroes were part of the infamous 45-day odyssey of the last transport 
of prisoners of war from the Philippines to Japan--captive since the 
American territory fell to Imperial Japan in the spring of 1942 after 
fighting to defend the Philippines.
  On the morning of January 9, 1945, dive bombers from the USS Hornet 
attacked the unmarked freighter holding 1,300 prisoners of war docked 
in the Japanese colony's harbor. Two hundred died instantly. Nearly 
everyone else was wounded. For 2 days, the men were left in the 
floating wreckage before the Japanese permitted the dead to be removed. 
Their remains were buried ashore in mass graves.
  After the war, the 400 victims of the bombing of the Enoura Maru were 
exhumed and eventually brought to the National Memorial Cemetery of the 
Pacific in Hawaii. They rest in 20 mass graves marked only as 
``Unknowns January 9, 1945.'' Their families did not learn the final 
fate of their loved ones until 2001.
  This past August, we remembered these brave men with a memorial stone 
on the Memorial Walk at the Cemetery honoring the prisoners of war 
aboard the hell ship Enoura Maru. The American Defenders of Bataan and 
Corregidor Memorial Society, an organization that represents the 
American prisoners of war of Imperial Japan and their families, 
organized the commemoration in Hawaii.
  That memorial stone is a monument to their courage, suffering, and 
sacrifice. It commemorates their tragic death 74 years ago and marks 
their final return home. Let that stone and our remembrance of the 
prisoners of war on the Enoura Maru remind us of our sacred commitment 
to veterans of all eras to ``never forget.'' May they rest in peace.