Sally Meadows to speak in Los Altos, CA

Sally Meadows photoCPOW Commander, Sally Meadows, is set to speak Los Altos, California, at noon on Friday, 19 January 2024. Sally will be delivering a talk on “Former civilian POWs and their internment by the Japanese during Japan’s Occupation of the Philippines in World War II.”

The program is hosted by the Los Altos Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The Chapter focuses on local historic preservation projects, genealogy research, fundraising for a Foothill College scholarship fund, environmental conservation, service to veterans, and other community projects. The talk will be held in the Apricot Room of the Los Altos Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave, Los Altos.

According to the announcement:

    “The presentation will explore a largely unknown facet of World War II in the Pacific: the fact that thousands of civilians, including Americans and citizens of other Allied nations, were held captive by the Imperial Japanese military in internment camps throughout Asia – specifically, those who were interned in the Philippines and how they survived over three years of captivity. The stories include why these people were in the Philippines when the war started, how the internment happened, life in camp, and the eventual liberation by General MacArthur’s forces.”

Link to the complete article online and to register for the event, visit

Brooks family mentioned in new online article

Curtis Brooks, and his family, are mentioned and pictured in a recent CBS News article about VJ Day titled The day of U.S. victory in the Pacific is often forgotten. Survivors hope its lessons won’t be. The article, by Cindy Sui, begins:

Robert Rosendahl was just 19 — too young in those days to drink a beer or cast a vote — when he was sent to Pacific theater in World War II. There, in that deadliest of the war’s arenas, he would see things that no man, let alone a boy, should ever see.

He had just graduated from high school in a small town in Minnesota. His parents couldn’t afford to send him to college, so in 1941, he joined the army.

Soon after arriving in the Philippines, he was sent to the front during the Battle of Bataan. In that bloody struggle, American and Philippine forces tried to hold fast against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines — and failed.

More than 30 million soldiers and civilians were killed in the Pacific theater during the course of the war, compared with the 15 million to 20 million killed in Europe.

But remarkably, as the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Asia approaches, on Saturday, Aug. 15, few remembrance ceremonies are planned…

Curtis is quoted in this article. Follow this link to the entire article.

Defense of the Philippines during WWII

Civilian prisoners who were held in the Philippines during WW II by the Japanese Imperial Army are having a luncheon meeting in Long Beach, California, to hear noted historian and author Jay Wertz describe the role of the Philippine Scouts in the defense of Luzon in 1941-42.  The public is invited to join the ex-prisoners, friends and family at this luncheon.

After the Japanese invasion in 1941, the American Army under General MacArthur undertook a withdrawal on the Bataan Peninsula that delayed the Japanese timetable to invade Australia but ended in the horrific Bataan Death March after these forces ran out of food and ammunition.  Of the 44,000 American troops involved, over a quarter were Philippine Scouts, tough and well-trained troops who were key to the defensive strategy.

The story of these fighters will be told by Jay Wertz who has written several books on the Pacific war along with books on other campaigns.  The presentation will be held as follows:

    DATE: Saturday, March 2, 2019

    PLACE: Tantalum Restaurant, Long Beach Marina
                  6272 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, California
    TIME: 12:00 noon
    PRICE: $42 per person

Please select an entrée from the menu choices below, which include salad dessert and beverage:

  • Vegetarian Pita Taco
  • Rib eye sandwich
  • Hoisin chicken
  • Mahi Mahi

For reservations, send a check made out to BACEPOW by February 23 to:

    Sharon Davis
    P.O. Box 7711, 1133 Camelback
    Newport Beach, CA 92658

“In Memoriam” page released

The first release of “In Memoriam” has been posted to the Philippine Internment website. This page mainly lists the deaths of over 600 “enemy aliens” who were detained in the civilian internment camps, but includes some of those who escaped internment, or others killed during the fight for liberation. A form for corrections and additions is included on the page. The page can be found under “Internees and Others on the website.


Welcome to this site.

Both my grandfathers, Clinton Floren Carlson and Alvah Eugene Johnson, were interned in Santo Tomás Internment Camp during World War II. Grandfather Carlson told me, many times, about the living conditions inside the Camp and how the internees would try to keep their spirits up. Born in Wisconsin, he first came to the Philippines when he was in the U.S. Navy. He lived to age 95 and died in Chula Vista, California.

Grandfather Johnson, however, died of beriberi just before liberation. While researching my family tree, I found out that Alvah had first come to the Philippines during the Philippine-American War. He married a Filipina and they ultimately had 10 children, the youngest of which was my father, Roy Wallace Johnson.

I created this site to honor them and the many others who suffered in, and outside of, the camps. It is my hope that people contribution photos, stories, references and other items to make this a better website.

Thanks for stopping by.