Andrew (Andy) Arends
I wish to thank you for your interest in the various areas of
service in WWII, especially in prisoners of war. No one sees honor in
surrendering to the enemy, especially we who surrendered. However, the
hell we endured and the hate they exhibited gives us a survivorís
reason to exalt the Lord for seeing us through that terrible ordeal.
age of 22 I entered into the U.S. army. I was a gunner in an Anti
Aircraft Battery. I was captured on an island in Manila Bay, interned in
a POW camp in northern Luzon. I was shipped to Japan on a rusty old
freighter used for transporting horses. It was very filthy inside. It
broke down in a typhoon storm. It took 63 days to get to Japan. I lost
63 pounds. Upon arrival in Japan at camp #17 where I was assigned to
slave labor in a coal mine. It was a very dangerous coal mine, and it
often caved in, many men were killed.
forced to pray to an idol for protection. We injured each other to get
out of the mine. I ran from many cave-ins and was spared by the grace of
God. I had a guy break my arm to get out.
were forced to dig two graves, each six feet deep, ten feet wide, and
thirty feet long; they swore they were going to kill us.
A total of
three and one half years was spent in POW camp where we labored.
At that time of my life I cared nothing for religion God or
anything of that nature, but after getting back home and assessing those
experiences and how God spared my life more than 14 times, I changed my
mind about the reality of God and His love for me.
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