"After so many years, it’s surprising that World War II still has some untold stories. In fact, a couple of the 'forgotten men of Guam' have published memoirs, but those are long out of print. In Captured, Roger Mansell brings their stories together with useful background and the results of what was apparently a great deal of personal research. The result is an interesting account of some of the first prisoners of the Pacific war and their tribulations...a valuable collection of reminiscences... Captured conveys the atmosphere of the camps and the men's perceptions clearly enough to make it very enjoyable and rewarding reading."
—The Asian Review of Books
Prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War, Guam was a paradise for U.S. military and civilian employees stationed on the island. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, the Japanese invaded the tiny island, captured the Americans, and shipped them to Japan. Drawing on interviews with survivors, diaries, and archival records, Roger Mansell documents the mostly unknown story of these American POWs. The men endured horrific hardships, many of which are chronicled in this book for the first time. Also included are moving stories of their liberation, transportation home, and the aftermath of their ordeal.
Roger Mansell was a U.S. Army veteran. He spent years uncovering records and interviewing POW s. At the time of his death in 2010, he had compiled a vast database of information that helped several families locate the remains of loved ones and connect ex-POW s with fellow survivors.
Noted historian of the allied POW experience in the pacific, Linda Goetz Holmes, finished the manuscript upon Mansell’s death. She is the author of Guests of the Emperor: The Secret History of Japan's Mukden POW Camp, among other titles.
~ Praise for Captured~
“The strength of the work is that the author interviewed many ex-POWs and recorded their stories first-hand. For every particular event of interest, for every unit involved, military or civilian, he seems to have at least one firsthand account. Often Mansell quotes directly from his interviews or from the diaries the POWs kept while in captivity. This provides a lot of interesting information and detail which make the book a gripping read. But in addition to collecting oral history from the survivors, Mansell has backed this up with thoroughly researched archival material which is well used and documented in the endnotes.”
– Pacific Affairs
“Well researched and well written, Captured is a worthy addition to the growing literature on American POWs in World War II and a fine tribute to those who served on Guam.”
"Captured offers a most interesting account of Americans enduring Japanese captivity during World War II. All those readers who are attracted to that topic will find the book to be an enjoyable read."
— The Journal of America's Military Past
“The contents of this book are difficult to read, but they are worth remembering and serve to fill a curious gap in World War II history. Hopefully this book will receive the audience it deserves and make sure that the struggles of the men of Guam are not forgotten.”
— Naval Historical Foundation
“In the days of shock and horror that followed Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, another monumental event, occurring almost simultaneously, was largely overlooked: Japan's bloody seizure of the strategically critical island of Guam. For the American troops, civilians and native people captured in the invasion, so began an epic ordeal. The Americans were shipped off to be slaves for the Japanese, while the natives remained behind to endure four years of brutalities under their captors. Roger Mansell, the pre-eminent historian of Pacific POWs, devoted the last years of his life to unearthing and telling this forgotten story, and after his death, the work was completed by his colleague, the esteemed POW author Linda Goetz Holmes. Chronicling a lost chapter of World War II, Captured promises to be an authoritative, fastidiously researched and compelling read.”
—Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption and Seabiscuit: An American Legend
“Roger Mansell worked tirelessly to research and document the stories of American POWs in the Pacific during World War II. His efforts give us a better understanding of the great service and sacrifice of these heroes. The stories he tells are a tribute to the warriors who defend us.”
“Roger Mansell’s Captured is a beautifully written, richly researched account of the fall of Guam and a searing reminder of the horrific ordeal suffered by American prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese.”
—John A. Glusman, author of Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945