Monday, August 01, 2011


Everett Reamer 2011
Standing at attention in the hot sun, with beatings if you even twitched, was one of the tortures endured by the POWs of Japan. Two Americans were once noted in Guinness Book of Records for their endurance to this treatment. Today, the category “motionless” does not appear in the print edition and the current “record” is inexplicably days less than those held by the American POWs.

According to a Guinness official we contacted, Om Prakash Singh of India holds the record of standing motionlessness with 20 hours 10 minutes and 6 seconds. Mr. Singh’s record was last included in 2006 Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Thereafter, the record was removed from the book, but not from the database, due to the space limitations according to the Guinness representative.

Eliminated from the Guinness database--and we asked--appear to be two records that far exceed Mr. Singh’s. The Guinness Book of World Records in the 1987 through 1991 editions all noted Pvt Everett Reamer stood at attention for 132 hours without food, water or relief.

Ohio native, Pvt Reamer fought on Corregidor with the 60th Coast Artillery Antiaircraft. As a POW he was sent to Japan to be a slave laborer for Nippon Express (Nippon Tsuun) at the Osaka Main Headquarters Camp No. 1-B (Chikko). After “stealing” Red Cross boxes that the Japanese had withheld, he and others were tortured and forced to stand at attention on August 15, 1944. He was the last to drop, 132 hours later on August 20, 1944.

He was then taken to Japanese Army Headquarters in Osaka where he was sentenced to solitary confinement at Osaka's Sakai Prison. His cell was 5 x 8 feet with solid concrete walls. There were no bars and no window—just a small slit at eye level for the guards to pass food through. There was no bed, no heat, and no running water. He slept on the concrete floor. His toilet was a wooden pail. He wasn’t allowed to stand; he could only sit on the floor. He says he kept sane by repeating the 23rd Psalm each day.

He remained there until August 22, 1945 when the guards gave him a huge bowl of rice. “I thought I had died and gone to heaven,” Reamer says. Then they called him out of his cell, along with the seven other allied POWs. He was certain they were to be shot. Instead, they were told that the war was over and “we are now friends.”

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Mr. Reamer who we interviewed in June 2011, was told by a Guinness Book editor in New York not to be surprised if the Japanese government finagled to have the item removed. Although the cause cannot be confirmed, it is true that the record was removed. Maybe, because the feat was “involuntary” it no longer qualified.

You can read Mr. Reamer's story in his memoir Unconquerable Faith: Surviving Corregidor, Bataan, and Japan or HERE or HERE

Mr. Reamer was able to give us copies of his Guinness Book entries, but we could not confirm Sgt Sam Moody’s claim that he too was included. Mr. Moody died in 1999. However, there are still POWs alive who were with him at Nippon Sharyo’s Narumi POW camp who remember the incident.

Samuel Moody, who his fellow prisoners said was always getting in trouble, was forced to stand at attention for stealing a bowl of rice (in some accounts it was a canteen of cooking oil). He stood in the prison camp yard for 53 hours.

Before he died, Moody fought to receive token compensation from the Japanese companies that enslaved him and other POWs. In 1992, Masashi Mazobuchi, a spokesman for the Japanese Embassy in Washington said that although the Japanese government ''deeply regrets'' all wartime incidents, all legal questions were settled in the Tokyo war crimes trials. ''Of course, morally, some individuals are not satisfied,'' he said.

Moody was one of six Lynn, Massachusetts men who survived the Bataan Death March. He was considered the city’s preeminent war hero and his portrait was included in the 1949 time capsule buried in the cornerstone of the Lynn Memorial City Hall and Auditorium.

As previously noted, Mr. Moody’s last congressman was John Mica (R-FL). You can obtain a free copy of Sam Moody’s memoir, Reprieve from Hell from Mr. Mica's office. The current congressman from Lynn, Massachusetts is John Tierney (D-MA). Everett Reamer’s congressman is Trent Franks (R-AZ). None of these representatives has yet to become co-sponsors of H. Res. 333.

If you wish to follow up with the Guinness Book of World Records, try HERE.

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