Friday, December 21, 2018

Remembering the Hopevale Martyrs

On December 19, 1943, 75 years ago, Imperial Japanese soldiers stumbled upon 17 Americans hiding in the forest near Tapaz, Capiz on Panay. Eleven were Baptist missionaries, three were children. They had built an outdoor chapel in their hidden encampment. The next morning, after prayers, the adults were beheaded and the children bayoneted to death. 

In his 1977 memoir, The Blood and Mud of the Philippines: The Worst Anti-Guerrilla Warfare in the Pacific, Mr. Toshimi Kumai, former Adjutant and Captain of the Panay Garrison described the incident, which had shocked him. The Edge of Terror: The Heroic Story of American Families Trapped in the Japanese-occupied Philippines by Scott Walker (2009) is a contemporary account of the tragedy. 

Memorial Plaque at University of the Central Philippines
Iloilo-city, Panay

Replica in Wisconsin of Hopevale Chapel 
where the Japanese captured 
the Americans

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