THE FIRST CAPTURED
Gen. George Patton was once quoted as saying that "fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man." Nowhere was that truer for U.S. forces than in the Asiatic Theater of Operations during World War II, where 17, 000 American troops were captured by the Japanese in the first five months of the war. These men were also the first American POWs taken. Their incarcerations lasted the longest, in some cases more than 44 months, which sets these men apart from any other World War II U.S. POWs. The length of imprisonment and the effects of Japanese torture often had severe repercussions for the captives.