Descendants of Wyoming POWs invited to anniversary dedication
September 19, 2019
Descendants of the Wyoming prisoners of war whose lives were lost during World War II when a Japanese freighter was sunk are invited to an event honoring the nine men in Riverton next month. The dedication will honor the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the Arisan Maru on October 24, 1944.
The Arisan Maru was used as a transportation vessel for POWs from the Philippines to Manchuria, China or Japan, one of the “hell ships” known for their inhumane conditions or cruelty among the crew. On the date of its sinking, it was carrying an estimated 1781 prisoners and was one of the slower ships in a convoy heading for Takao.
The Arisan Maru was not believed to have carried markings or flags indicating that Allied prisoners were aboard. The freighter was hit by a torpedo from the U.S.S. Shark.
No POWs were killed by the strikes, but only the Japanese crew members were rescued by the Japanese. Ultimately, only nine prisoners survived the sinking.
Of those that were lost, nine were Wyoming men: Oscar L. Brevdy, Rolland E. Chenoweth, Martin Giachino, Carl Karell Jr., Raymond P. Livingston, Maxwell A. Mariette, James S. McDonald, William Schilling and Fremen J. Spence.
Giachino entered the military from Crook County and it is thought that he and the other men may have descendants in this area that may be interested in attending the anniversary event.
The event will be held at 5 p.m. on October 24 at Riverton Veterans Park. If you would like to attend, please contact Ed Mcauslan by Friday, October 18 at 307-850-7224.