|Typical labouring scene. Shows Hammer|
and Tap, Embankment. Labouring, Timber felling
and an excavated cutting by Lt Fred "Smudger" Smith
The Japanese forced over 200,000 Asian conscripts (romusha) and over 60,000 Allied POWs to construct the Railway. Among the Allied POWs were some 30,000 British including colonial troops, 13,000 Australians, 18,000 Dutch, and 700 Americans. Between June 1942 and October 1943 the POWs and forced laborers laid some 258 miles (415 km) of track from Ban Pong, Thailand (roughly 45 miles [72 km] west of Bangkok), to Thanbyuzayat, Burma (roughly 35 miles [56 km] south of Mawlamyine). During this time, prisoners suffered from disease, malnutrition, injury, and cruel forms of punishment and torture inflicted by the Japanese.
One of the Americans was Eddie Fung. He was a private with the Texas Lost Battalion that fought the Japanese on Java in early March 1942.
Eddie became the only Chinese-American soldier captured by Imperial Japanese forces during World War II. His battalion—all white Texans, except for Frank Fujita, a Japanese-American from Abilene, Texas—became known as the “Lost Battalion” as it was surrendered on March 8, 1942 by its Dutch Commanders on Java and its fate unknown until near the end of the war.
In the statement below inserted in the Congressional Record on June 14th by US Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), the quote by Eddie is incomplete. It should continue on with:
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