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 • Mendocino Cemetery
 • Parlier
 • Fresno County
 • California
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George Alvin Jensen
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Birth: Sep. 9, 1909
California, USA
Death: Oct. 7, 1943

On December 23, 1941, the Japanese captured 1,603 men on Wake Island. Among those captured were 1,150 civilian contractor employees of Morrison-Knudsen Company. This was a cooperative of 8 companies called the Contractors Pacific Naval Air Bases. The company from Boise, Idaho, Morrison-Knudsen was contracted to build an airfield, seaplane base, and submarine base on the island. George Jensen of Parlier was among the civilian contractors captured that day.

Three weeks after the fall of Wake Island, all but 360 were transported to POW camps in China. The contractors who remained were chosen for their skills in operating heavy equipment. They continued the military build-up of Wake Island as prisoner labor for the Japanese. George Jensen was among the 360 that remained.

On September 30, 1942, all but 98 of the captured Americans were loaded aboard a freighter and sent to Yokohama. One doctor and 97 contractors remained to work on contruction projects. Again, George Jensen of Parlier was one of those chosen to stay and work for the enemy.

The Allies began bombing Wake Island on October 5, 1943 and contunued bombing the island for the next 2 days.

This was the largest U.S. raid on the atoll up to that time. Japanese Admiral Sakaibara decided that the prisoners must be killed to eliminate the threat they might pose during any coming invasion.

Lieutenant Commander Tachibana, was ordered by Sakaibara to move the prisoners to an antitank ditch on the northern tip of Wake Island. On October 7, 1943, Lieutenant Torashi Ito of Headquarters Company, had the Americans lined up and seated along the ditch facing the sea. They were blindfolded with their hands and feet bound. The Americans were shot with machine gun and rifle fire and buried in a ditch on the atoll.

It was not until 2 years later after the surrender of the Japanese that the truth about how the men died came out. Admiral Sakaibara was one of the Japanese officers executed for the crimes against the civilians on Wake Island.

There is a marker with the names of those killed along with a marker on a rock now called "POW Rock" that marks the massacre. Wake Island is a military base of the United States and only military personal and their employees are allowed on the Island. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Chris Jensen (1877 - 1954)
  Anna Christine Jensen (1879 - 1959)
 
Inscription:
Killed at Wake Island
 
Burial:
Mendocino Cemetery
Parlier
Fresno County
California, USA
 
Created by: Lester Letson
Record added: Apr 29, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26481646
George Alvin Jensen
Added by: Lester Letson
 
George Alvin Jensen
Added by: Lester Letson
 
George Alvin Jensen
Added by: Lester Letson
 
 
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A civilian working for the military killed while serving his country.
- Lester Letson
 Added: Mar. 17, 2012
 
 
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