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The death of Private Kauffman,
USMC Sumay Barracks, Guam Island, December 10th, 1941



This article was kindly given to me by Mr. Roger Mansell, a publisher and World War II researcher.
So please if you have any questions (comments) regarding Guam 1941 or Japanese POW camps see www.mansell.com

Roger Mansell (October 8, 1935 - October 25, 2010)
Associate Editor/Publisher
Tameme Bi-lingual Literary Magazine





Summary of available information


Death of Pfc Kauffman, Sumay Barracks, 10 December 1941, approximately 5:30 AM

Pfc Frank Nichols, Sumay Barracks, Author Interview
"When I got to the plaza, I heard right away about one Marine [Marine Pvt. Kaufmann] who was bayoneted by the Japs. Apparently, he mouthed off to a Jap by saying, "F— you." Unfortunately, the Jap seemed to know what it meant and he ripped into Kaufmann’s gut with his bayonet. The Jap was reported to have said, "...and F— you too!" as he slashed the Marine. He died on the spot." [Nichols arrived in Agaña from Sumay Barracks a few days before the surrender. Nichols states Kaufmann had a reputation as a "hot head." Nichols also states he heard this from a Marine who was directly behind Kaufmann at the time of the incident. Nichols was in Sumay at the time of the invasion.]

Sgt. George Shane, Insular patrol, Author Interview
"The Japs bayoneted four of my men for no reason. Two men were merely wearing their ammo belts having tossed away their pistols. I had told them to remove their belts but they didn’t. It cost them their lives. I was in the rank behind Kaufmann when they bayoneted him. I don’t know why. He dropped to the ground and died." [Author comment- Shane’s memory (he is very close to 90) is severely flawed. In the interview with Sgt. George Shane, Asst Chief of the Insular Patrol, he states two men were bayoneted at this time for wearing ammunition belts and not moving fast enough in disrobing. However, 59 years after the event, he also stated he was not certain how any of his four men died.]

Giles, Captive of the Rising Sun, p. 50
"Feeling that a marine named Kaufmann was too slow to obey, a soldier bayoneted him, ripping the sharp blade from one side of his belly to the other. Two of his buddies instinctively stepped forward and were decapitated instantly. Shortly thereafter, two Japanese soldiers dragged Kaufmann’s gutted body from where he had fallen and threw it onto a nearby trash heap."[author comment- No such event ever happened. Pure fantasy.]

Giles, p. 50- quoting Quartermaster First Class Andrew Carillo, USN, Agaña Administration Staff, deposition to War Crimes Tribunal:
"The Japanese formed us in a single line and ordered us to take all our clothes off. One Marine Corps enlisted man, whose name I do not know, was late in getting his underwear off and one of the Japanese, whose name I do not know or description I cannot give, stepped forward and drove a bayonet into his stomach. The Japanese then built a bonfire and took this Marine, who was still alive, and threw him on top of the fire and burned him to death." [author comment- second line is pure fantasy.—This statement was made by Navy Quartermaster Andrew Carillo but I find no reference to the two other men killed at this point in any other memoirs or reports listing the dead.]

Hale, First Captured, Last Freed, p. 20
" The first man in line was bayoneted by a very young Japanese soldier who was so scared he did not know what he was doing. Haskins was clipped over the head, getting a nasty cut in his scalp for a souvenir, but another Japanese soldier seized the kid before he could kill anymore." [Hale was not on the scene during the surrender]

Palomo, An island in agony , p. 30
"Young John Kaufmann, a Private First Class, was passing through two columns of Japanese soldiers when an invading fanatic struck Kaufmann’s midsection with a bayonet. The Marine had an eye defect which made him twitch uncontrollably, and the Japanese apparently thought Kaufmann was grimacing at him. As the Japanese slashed the bayonet into his stomach; Kaufmann fell to the ground and died on the spot."[author comment- twitch commentary may have been a statement made to "clean up Kaufmann’s reputation." Without rebuttal, e.g., comments by Nichols and partial assurance by Barnett, Palomo’s assertions are generally accepted by historians. However, it is also not logical such a "twitch" would have been an acceptable condition for entry into the USMC in 1941.]

Comments: From the record of the dead, there is no question that only Kaufmann died in ranks as a result of the bayonet slashing in the plaza. A side to side slash of a bayonet would certainly cause his intestines to fall out. All observers mention that his intestines did come out of his body. A number of the Japanese Naval Assault [JNA] soldiers understood a fair amount of American slang and swearwords. Most of the JNA were veterans recently stationed in China. In Shanghai, the Japanese often had arguments with the American Marines deployed in "neutral" Shanghai. No others died in the plaza after the surrender from any report I can find nor, if they did die, are there any additional names on any list of deceased. Carillo’s deposition to the War Crimes Tribunal was a seriously flawed, conglomeration of events that he did not witness but became a fact in his mind with the passage of time. Carillo, as with all other medical personnel, was still at the hospital during the invasion per orders of Lineberry. He could not possibly have witnessed the events in the plaza. The medical personnel were removed from the hospital the following day and placed inside the cathedral. It is the author’s conclusion that the Nichol’s version is most accurate. Soldiers, like anyone else, will attempt to portray enemies in the worst light. Exaggerations and distortions are commonplace in wartime. Events that reflect badly upon one’s friends are easily glossed over or simply ignored in "first person" narratives. If every soldier who "saw MacArthur leave Corregidor with his household furniture" was on the pier as the PT boats departed, the pier would have collapsed. Rumor, contrary to fact, became fact in the minds of many from Corregidor. Everything MacArthur and his entire family had taken would fit inside a standard gym bag but few care to read the reports of Lt. John D. Bulkeley, commander of the four PT boats that rescued MacArthur.

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