Introduction to the Weller Dispatches

George Weller of the Chicago Daily News was a war correspondent in the Pacific Theater of Operations at the end of World War II. According to Walter Cronkite, George Weller was one of our best war correspondents.

Soon after the surrender of the Japanese on September 2, 1945, George Weller began to interview liberated POWs. The story of the escapades that enabled George Weller to get interviews with newly liberated POWs in places that were closed to correspondents has been recorded in First into Nagasaki by his son, Anthony Weller. Chapter VI, "The Death Cruise", of that book contains the complete text of George Wellerís dispatches (with some obvious editing by Anthony) about the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru and Brazil Maru series of Hellship voyages that he collectively refers to as "The Death Cruise". These dispatches were sent from Guam late in October 1945.

The Weller dispatches about "The Death Cruise" were published in several newspapers including the Chicago Daily News and the San Francisco Chronicle during November 1945. The San Francisco Chronicle printed the dispatches as a series of nineteen articles on consecutive days. Click on the links below to see a copy of these 19 articles. Readers should be aware that the articles were copied from the newspapers years ago. A copy was sent to me by Duane Heisinger and I (John B. Lewis) translated them into text documents with the use of an OCR scanner. The original wording has been preserved as much as possible, except for correction of some spelling errors (such as changing "Oroyku Maru" to "Oryoku Maru") for clarity. A copy of the Weller Dispatches as they appeared in the Chicago Daily News has been prepared by Wes Injerd.  These articles were provided by Patricia Prickett through Roger Mansell  and are posted on Roger's "Center for Research, Allied POWs under the Japanese" web site,
http://mansell.com/pow_resources/newspaper/newsfrompast-cruiseofdeath.html
Readers should keep in mind that the Weller Dispatches were sent very soon after the end of World War II and without any opportunity for research beyond the POW interviews. For a complete understanding, it is a good idea to read other accounts that were written later. E. Bartlett Kerrís Surrender and Survival (Chapter 12), Manny Lawtonís Some Survived (Chapters 13-15) and Duane Heisingerís Father Found (Chapters 14-16) are good references.

Click on these links to see the 19 articles as they appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle in November 1945:

01

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

 

Note: If the print size on the articles is too small for you, click on "View" at the top of your internet browser window and then click on "Zoom" in the pull-down menu that appears.  Then choose the size you want.