Affidavit Of Billy Alvin Ayers
Cpl, 7th Materiel Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group, US Army Air Corps
In re: Lt. Little and T/SGT J.P. Bennett
State of Washington )
County of Pierce )
I, Billy G. Ayers (the initial “G” is a typo), of lawful age, being duly sworn, on oath dispose and say:
I am Cpl. Billy G. (A is written in) Ayers, ASN 18029998. My permanent home address is 2009 E. Grant, Marshall, TX. I was captured on Bataan Peninsula on April 9, 1942 by the Japanese. (next sentence redacted until confirmed) At the time of my capture I was a member of the 7th Materiel Squadron. From July 1942 to July 23, 1943, I was confined at Cabanatuan. From July 23, 1943 to August 10, 1943, I was enroute to Japan aboard a ship of unknown identify. From August 10, 1943 and until my release by American forces on September 10, 1945, I was confined in Camp 17, Omatu, Japan.
In January or February 1945, Pvt. Knight died as a result of punishment administered at Camp 17, Omatu, Japan. Pvt. Knight (William Nobel Knight) stole one dozen buns from the American Galley. This offense was reported to the Japanese authorities by Lt. Little ( Edward Little U.S. Navy) who was in charge of the mess hall. Pvt. Knight was given solitary confinement for 12 days without food or water and died as a result of this confinement. 1st Lt. Fukahara (Asao Fukahara) was the Japanese Commanding Officer at the time that this incident occurred. He was approximately 30 yrs. Of age, was 5’5” in height and weighted 135 lbs. He wore color insignia “48.” I cannot describe or name any of the Japanese guards connected with this incident.
I wish to place some of the blame upon Lt. Little (U.S. Navy) and T/Sgt. J.P. Bennett. Both made every effort to win the favor of the Japanese prison authorities at Camp 17, Omatu, Japan. They would report minor infractions of the rules to the Japanese causing the men to suffer severe discipline at the hands of the Japanese. S/Sgt Bennett was in charge of Camp Duty. Either of them were in a position to discipline the men without reporting matters to the Japanese.
Sammy Young, Quinlen, Texas and Kenneth Luton, Houston Texas (formerly with the 7th Materiel Squadron) can corroborate my statements, as they were in the camp during the whole period of my confinement. I can give no further details concerning the matters described in this affidavit.
Billy G. Ayers, Cpl. ASN 18029998
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 11th day of October 1945 at Fort Lewis, ash.
Arthur G. Bouley
Asst Adjutant General
ASFTC Fort Lewis, Wash
Roderick M. O’Connor
Agent, SIC, 9 SC
Return to Billy's Page Biographies Page Main Page