ago I corresponded with Roger via telephone and e-mail seeking
inf re. a relative who was a Japanese POW in Japan and of course
he was very helpful. He was never too busy to answer a question.
He was the "best of the best"! He is kindly remembered!
John Peterlin Jr. (85 yrs.)
March 25, 2012
I was excited
to find your web site. My Uncle Edgar Ramsey was on Guam. As
a young boy I heard some of his stories. He remained in the Marine
Reserves and volunteered to fight in Korea.
an honour to read the work of Roger Mansell. I look forward to
further additions to your website.
I am a great granddaughter of an American Civil War Veteran who
settled here in Victoria in 1868.
Congratulations to you all,
Valma (Bristol) Martin
To the Mansell family:
Please accept my apologies in just having learned of Roger's
passing. I lost my own mother (Genevieve Snow) suddenly on Good
Friday this year.
To lose such a man is a heartache no words of mine can repair.
But, it should be said that I am honored and thankful to have
known him. The world is a lesser place without him, and Heaven
is surely enriched by his company. I will always remember his
laughter and smile among our times talking and conspiring on
politics and history. His insights. His unselfishness and devotion
to country. His vast wealth of POW archives and book which better
helped understand my own grandfather's POW years. My family is
honored to have contributed Chief Ploke's POW diary to his effort.
I am happy to have earlier helped him some with alternative medicine
recipe in reversal of his Prostate Cancer. Happy to see his smile
once more among your website photos. Sad that I let life and
work keep me from checking on him sooner.
I hope your family finds at least comfort in knowing that good
men like Roger never really die. They are remembered for a time
longer than most in this world, but very much alive, well, and
in a better place on the other side. For them, it is easy. For
us, the hardest part is that it seems like forever until we will
ever see them again, but they are truly there and always watching
over us if you look, listen, and pay closer attention to the
subtle signs and wonders in the world.
If you look, now and then you will see his face, hear his voice,
and hear him laughing as if in the wind. Still here with us but
in different form. Such things will cause you to doubt your sanity,
but men with his sense of humor would surely leave you little
clues that it is truly his spirit looking after all of you.
There is either a God or there isn't and, if there is, surely
He loves Roger's company as much as we all did. Surely, such
a kind God would equip Roger to watch over you. We often look
at death as a sad thing, and it is very hard for us to see that
here is not the greatest place nor even truly life. Here is the
dream and nightmare. Where Roger now dwells is the reality. One
only need look and there he is alive and well. No wishful thinking.
Reality. It's just that the veil between this world and the next
is hard for most to peer through. So much noise in this world.
Roger was a beautiful noise and music played on this side, however.
His is one of the few souls I will always remember and try to
emulate as best as possible. A true officer and gentleman.
Stanley L. Snow
grandson, CPO John Francis Ploke, Zentsuji POW
great grandson, Don Atanasio T. Perez, chief of Guam's Resistance.
son, Lt. Genevieve Ploke Snow, USN
July 6, 2011
I just want to extend thanks for this website. Although I have
no direct connection with any POWs, I have always found
this subject fascinating, sad and sobering reading after idly
picking up a book by Manny Lawton called Some Survived
(a survivor of the Bataan Death March and the Oryoku Maru, etc).
I have read many POW books and articles and only recently stumbled
upon this website which provides so many references and links.
My dad served in WWII but only stateside, however, I think of
all those that served as brothers and there but for luck or the
Grace of God go my father, uncle, relative, neighbor or friend
who could have suffered the same fate.
Thanks again, sincerely,
Mrs. Judy Langdale (b.1950)
January 27, 2011
We lost a good friend. The last meeting we had in China (Manchuria)
Roger and I exchanged hats. His green (brown) hat is a precious
souvenir to me.
Lieke - my wife -and I are looking back with great pleasure to
hours we spend laughing and discussing "work."
If you would liketo have the fotographs of the trip in China,
let me know.
Wiko Lamain, The Netherlands
June 3, 2011
I would have liked to meet your exceptional father and am saddened
by your loss. Roger's book The Forgotten Men of Guam,
is eagerly anticipated as my father lived the story too.
My Father was John Hollis Smalling, USMC, Insular Patrol, captured
in the first battle of Guam and sent to Zentsuji POW camp. He
loved life on Guam and guarded the Governor's Palace until the
Japanese came and changed his life forever. Dad passed away in
1975 at the age of 53 of his third heart attack... a beriberi
Trish Smalling Goldfarb
legacy to give to the rest of us.
With love to you Catherine, Agustin and the family
Ceri, Jorge and Tristan
del sensible fallecimiento de tu padre, me permito expresarte
mis más sinceras condolencias, esperando encuentres pronta
resignación a tan lamentable pérdida.
Celia Méndez Herrera
March 23, 2011
QUERIDOS CATHERINE Y
ME HE QUEDADO IMPRESIONADA
POR LA TRAYECTORIA TAN PLENA Y VARIADA QUE LLEVO TU PADRE Y SUEGRO
DURANTE LA VIDA. SE NOTA UN HOMBRE AL QUE NO SOLO ADMIRAN Y QUIEREN
SUS FAMILIARES, AMIGOS Y TANTA GENTE QUE PUDO ACCEDER AL ARCHIVO
TAN VASTO QUE INVESTIGO. SIENTO MUCHISIMO QUE CUCO Y YO NO PUDIERAMOS
ACOMPAÑARLOS HOY EN LA
MISA, LA VERDAD ES QUE ABRI EL CORREO YA MUY TARDE. RECIBAN UN
FUERTE ABRAZO MIO Y DE PARTE DE CUCO.
UN BESO GRANDE
I just finished
reading Unbroken and noticed the acknowledgement to Roger
and his name caught my eye. The book was fascinating and I look
forward to reading Roger's book. I, too , was born in New York
but raised in Texas and have lived in Florida for the past 40
I recently inherited my sister's vast geneological collection
and will do some research. The name "Roger Mansell"
rings some distant bell with me.
Katherine Mansell Merritt
March 3, 2011
Dear Ms Mansell:
It was with
deep sorrow that I learned of your father's passing; what an
exceptionally fine man he was. In 2006, I contacted your father
regarding a British dog tag that was in my father's memorabilia,
that had the name Joseph McCamley. My father's ship, USS Benevolence,
was the first hospital ship in Tokyo Bay with the 3rd fleet to
rescue POWs. That dog tag had to be associated with that event.
Your father immediately researched and told me this British soldier
was captured at the fall of Hong Kong. Because the soldier's
address before the war no longer existed, he called upon a Mr.
Jonathan Moffatt to assist. Together, with the help of a local
newspaper in the soldiers home town, The Northern Echo, we placed
an article with a photo of the dog tag and my father. The article
appeared on their Remembrance Day and was seen by the soldiers
son. His father was alive and well at 87. He had, indeed, been
rescued and taken on board the USS Benevolence. Thanks to your
father, we were able to return this dog tag, much to the astonishment
of Mr. McCamley. It was a very proud moment for me, knowing that
my father would have been proud, as well. I will always be thankful
to your father for making that happen.
January 8, 2011
tracked down my father in the course of his research and interviewed
him about his 1368 days as a prisoner of the Japanese. At the
conclusion of the interview he asked Dad how much disability
he received, which at the time was only thirty percent. He urged
Dad to apply for 100% disability and gave him contacts at the
VA in Phoenix. Dad followed through and ended up with 100% disability,
retroactive from the date of his application. he money has made
a huge difference in his life and, should she outlive Dad, Mom
is now guaranteed the same amount as his widow. What a huge difference
this would have made earlier in his life, but, if it weren't
for Roger, Dad would never have thought to ask for what he was
due. More than the money, however, the belated recognition of
a lifetime of PTSD, was very important to him and his family.
Our family is very appreciative for all the help Roger was to
Our sincerest condolences,
January 7, 2011
I am sorry to hear of your father's passing. I hope that
your happy memories ease your loss.
I "met" your father when he emailed me to correct an
error about the POW camp name in my history of Navy Medicine
on Guam. I enjoyed emailing him over the years, and appreciated
the information he had collected on the Guam POWs. I look forward
to seeing his book on them.
January 5, 2011
man whose hard work for us Civilian and Military POWS was much
Sascha Jean Jansen
Ex-Santo Tomas Civilian POW-
Vice Commander- BACEPOW
January 5, 2011
So sad to read of his death. He read my father's account
of the Fall of Hong Kong and was really helpful with lots of
pieces of information. It still amazes me that despite all Roger's
hard work Japanese POWs are still somewhat forgotten.
Daughter of David Henry Davidson
January 4, 2011
My father Seigel
Thomas Lewis was captured at Wake Island 23 Dec 41 and endured
44 months as a pow in China first and then in Japan at Niigata's
Camp 5. I wrote a book about all this entitled Wake Island: The Story of a
civilian POW at Niigata, Japan, 1941-45 (c)
2006. I was 12 when he was captured and am now 81 1/2. Roger
was ever courteous and helpful to me. Busy as he was he almost
always wrote me right back, usually by snail-mail. I am saddened
by his passing. The surviving members of the POW's of the Japanese
have lost a dedicated friend.
Cal Lewis, M.D.
Emeritus Assistant Clinical Professor of Family and Community
Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
PFC USMC 1948-50
January 1, 2011
I wanted to leave a post on Roger's Guest Book. I had not been
out to his website for the past couple of months and missed his
passing. I knew he was very sick, and hoped this day would never
Roger will be profoundly missed. Before Roger started his website,
he and I compared notes on how to research POWs and shared with
each other information that we found. He quickly surpassed the
research I had done and started putting together the website
with data he obtained from the National Archives. I sent scans
of some of the original POW photos and documents I obtained which
he posted on the website.
He will be truly missed. He did so much to gather and record
the history of POWs in the Pacific in WWII, that it will be hard
for anyone to fill his shoes.
Rest in peace my friend,
December 18th, 2010
Mansell and Family,
I was so
sorry to hear that Roger died in October 2010, and send my sincere
father was a Japanese POW from 1942 - 45 with the 1st Battalion,
Manchester Regiment of the British Army.
last three years, I have been writing a book about his life.
During my research, I eventually came across Roger's website,
and he kindly made great efforts to try and trace my father's
diary which had been passed over to the Americans in Manila,
has never been found but my search continues, and Roger was really
helpful in pointing me in various directions.
gave me some general information that I have included in my book,
and I am only sorry that I was not able to complete the book
before Roger died.
be very proud of Roger, and I am grateful I was able to share
some interesting emails with him. He encouraged me to keep writing,
and reminded me that my father will never be forgotten. Neither
will Roger Mansell.
Daughter of Thomas Fanahan Finn 1915 - 2000.
December 17, 2010
did much to help the untold story of the people from my reservation.
Because of all his knowledge and investigative skills I learned
the truth about the POW experience of my uncle Augustine Quevas.
Roger made it possible through all his connections, that I met
others that survived the bombing of the POW ship he was on.
Due to those meetings my uncle was given the many awards he was
Thank you Roger for the connections you made with all souls that
crossed your path. Thanks for giving a voice to the many dead
relatives we have all lost.
Much love from the Kumeyaay tribe and the Santa Ysabel reservation.
Vigneault - MLIS
Santa Ysabel Tribal Library
PO Box 130
Santa Ysabel, Ca. 92070
Kumeyaay Historical Society
Nations of the 4 Directions (LGBT Native organization)
December 13, 2010
Roger was an
amazing man. Smart, quick wit, kind, loving husband and father.
Life is made up of memories of good times and great people you
meet along the way. Roger Mansell is a man that I loved and will
December 1, 2010
two hours reading all the worthy letters and your very respectful
information about Roger and cannot add anything more except,
I appreciate what you and your mother have done to give Roger
the love and support to do
the job he did supporting POWS and their families.
they were not treated as well as the local American/Japanese
were treated by us.
fires burning, Catherine.
November 30, 2010
just finished Laura Hillenbrand's book, Unbroken, and
in reading the credits, came across Roger Mansell's name. I do
not know if my husband's family is related to Roger Mansell,
but the facial features look very familiar. I will make sure
my husband sees this site.
November 30, 2010
To the Mansell
Upon learning of the tremendous effort that Roger Mansell put
into his research and delving into his personal life and commitments
in business and family, I extend condolences to your family on
behalf of the Wellington C. Mepham High School Association in
Bellmore, N.Y. We here recognize those alumni who have achieved
a high degree of success and contributed to community and society
in an unselfish manner. Roger has been selected as an awardee
of the 2011 Mepham High School Who's Who Award.
Dr. David H. Krinsky, Mepham HS '67
On behalf of the Mepham HS Alumni Association
So sad to hear of the loss of Roger. He was a wonderful man
and patriot. He brought the story of the 4th Marines to life
for me so I could understand the journey my uncle took during
his time in Japan's captivity.
God Bless you all, and Peace be brought to your hearts.
Roger was the most generous of researchers and it was a pleasure
to do transcription in return. I cant think of completing
any of my work without thinking of Roger and the gift he has
given to those who served this country in a way that the future
may never fully understand. If it does, it will primarily be
because Roger took the time to make sure the record was known.
It now falls to us to make sure it is read and understood.
Roger for your friendship, your guidance and your leadership.
I am so
sorry to hear of your loss. I know what a profound one it is.
I send a huge hug and look forward to talking
On the other
hand, I feel so lucky to know more about your father. I now understand
even more why you are such an amazing human being. What a wonderful
and passionate and dedicated man! His research and accomplishment
is astounding. What a gift he has given to so many in a concrete
waywith news of their loved ones and friendsand to
all of us in terms of history and a model of devoted work. I
wish I had heard him tell his stories, but then I see that they
are coming through to us all via his genetic connection to you.
I am so sorry, Catherine, and am also so glad that you had such
a lovely father.
November 25, 2010
the heart and soul of those he met. It was not only a privilege
to know him but fun and enlightening. He lived life with passion
and compassion. He will be missed but also remembered by those
who knew him and you.
Brockway and Robert Healy
November 10, 2010
To the Mansell
I am so
sorry to hear the sad news. My condolences to you all. In my
search for my father's footsteps as a POW in the Pacific I very
often looked up Mr. Mansell's website which was so well documented.
When I asked him about the camp in Manchuria he immediately send
me some photos. I just want you to know how important it is that
there are people who are so fascinated about something and want
to share that with others. He will be missed greatly.
November 9, 2010
Dear Mrs. Mansell
It is with a heavy heart that I write you today. I have heard
about Roger's passing away. I not only lost a great friend but
a fantastic fellow researcher. This saddens me and my colleagues
so badly, as we could still vividly recall the happy hours we
had together at the seminar in my school in 2008 when Roger visited
us and gave a speech on Mr. Mellilo's DVD on Bataan. Roger accepted
my invitation to be our honorary adviser during this visit. I
had known Roger for about 8 years since 2002 when I was working
on my research book about Mukden POW Camp. Since then he gave
a lot help to me no matter what and when I asked for. Please
accept my deepest condolences over Roger's passing, and we will
always miss him. May he rest in peace.
Mukden Allied POW Camp Studies
No. 21, South Wanghua Street
Shenyang, China 110044
November 5, 2010
the person who helped me find where my father had been held as
a Prisoner of the Japanese so I owe him a debt of gratitude.
I met Roger twice in the UK and I was impressed with both his
friendliness and his knowledge. The one message that Roger will
always be remembered for is that of "To remember them is
to honour them" and I for one will remember Roger always.
November 3, 2010
To Mr. Mansell
I met Mr. Mansell in 1988 when I was seven years old. My father
Manuel and I maintained the yard at the Mansell residence for
many years. My father continues to do so. I helped my father
work until my first year of college. Mr. Mansell helped my father
establish his career as a Landscaper and always made sure my
father was taken care of. During these years Mr. Mansell spoke
to me about life, work, and the value and importance of an education.
He made sure I graduated high school and always focused in school.
I remember Mr. Mansell telling me to continue my education and
attend a university. I took every piece of advice he ever game
me and ran with it. I hold a Bachelor's of Science in Administration
of Justice, a Minor in Sociology of Criminology, and a Masters
in Public Administration from San Jose State University. I would
have never accomplished any of this without the help, tenacity
and wisdom given to me by Mr. Mansell. I remember visiting him
a couple years ago very briefly and seeing the "extremely
proud" look on his face when he saw me. I will always remember
him as a friend, mentor, and as a father figure. I have endless
memories of his smile, humor, and warm character. God bless.
Victor Manuel Aguilar
Deputy Probation Officer III
San Mateo County Probation Department
San Mateo, CA
Estoy muy triste por la muerte de Mr. Mansell. Pero a la ves
agradecido de todo corazón por haberlo conocido por muchos
años y haber convivido mucho tiempo con el. El para mi
fue más que un cliente y patron. Mr. Mansell fue una persona
cariñosa y dedicada a la humanidad. El siempre brindaba
su sonrisa y ayuda al prójimo. Su jardín se mantenerá
luciendo bello y lleno de color y armonia porque se que el lo
va estar viendo desde el cielo. Gracias Mr. Mansell por haber
sido un gran amigo para mi y para mi familia. Nunca te olvidaré
y llevaré tu memoria en mi corazón. Que Dios te
tenga en su gloria.
Manuel Aguilar Medina
Redwood City, CA
Dear Catherine I'm so sorry for your loss
and am thinking of you and your family during this difficult
time. Much love... xoxox
Not sure what anyone can say with Roger's passing. Though I only
knew him briefly over the past few years....what a wonderful
We are all so sorry for his passing and the loss to you, Alice,
November 1, 2010
To the Mansell Family
As a member of the UK Researching FEPOW History Group I would
like to send our condolences to you all.
I have been corresponding with Roger since 2001 when I was researching
my books about my father's FEPOW diaries. Dad (a British Army
officer) had been held at Zentsuji in Japan and this was a camp
that Roger knew a great deal about. He was so supportive and
encouraging and helped me in so many ways.
In April 2003 I had the pleasure of meeting Roger at a reunion
of the Zentsujians in Kansas City.
When the Researching FEPOW History Group was formed in September
2005 Roger was one of the first speakers we invited to present
a paper and we were thrilled when he accepted our invitation
by return. He was a compelling speaker as well as a knowledgeable
and generous researcher.
It is typical of the man that when ill health prevented his return
visit to the UK to speak at this year's conference just three
weeks ago, he recorded his talk on video for the benefit of us
He has enriched the lives of so many and preserved the memory
of thousands more what a remarkable legacy.
With kind regards at this very sad time,
To the Mansell Family,
I did not
know Roger well. It was always a pleasure to see him and have
a brief conversation with him at the conventions. All descendants
of Prisoners of War of Japan owe him an enormous debt of gratitude
for the doors he opened for us. It was a joy to see him in Reno
in April at the first Descendants convention. I am very sorry
for your loss, it is a loss for many.
Son of Maj. Collin B. Whitehurst, Jr. 1914-1944, perished in
the sinking of the Arisan Maru
October 29, 2010
To the Mansell family, Roger was a colossus; I find it hard
to accept his passing, he was an inspiration for me in my ongoing
research and in life in general.
came into contact with Roger in 2001 when I was cruising the
Internet, searching for information on my father's POW experience
in Zentsuji POW camp. Roger at that time was doing research for
his book on the Guam POWs, many of whom ended up in that POW
camp. So we were able to exchange information it was very heavily weighted
towards Roger providing me with details; however I do like to
think that I was able to give him some valuable leads and contacts
From that time on I stayed in regular contact with him and finally
in 2006 I met him during a stopover in San Francisco. We discussed
so many things about life in such a short time. The Roger that
I knew was a passionate person. What you saw is what you got.
Politically we were opposites, but this did not matter as politics
is a small thing at the end of the day and we had many similarities,
especially in our upbringings, which we sometimes discussed.
last year as his death approached it was sometimes like Roger
was holding my hand and helping me through. He seemed so strong
against my inability to know what to do in this situation.
my condolences. He was my friend.
I know Roger
will be missed by many, but even more so by myself as I take
over his massive work. What a privilege it was to be just an
email away from an answer or a confirmation to a piece of information
about POWs or WWII in general. I am still often awed by just
how much detailed work he has done, and how much he has left
for us from which we may receive great benefit. May his love
of sharing continue on in the lives of many others who are doing
research in this vast field of treasures, fulfilling those great
words spoken long ago, "It is more blessed to give than
Center for Research Allied POWs Under the Japanese
With the authors' permission, here are some quotes from a
longer, personal letter sent to me (Catherine).
your Dad did was half way. Politics, research, love of and pride
in his family, and I suspect fighting cancer. I was so
shocked when he had to write me and assure me that he was NOT
(his all caps) going to survive it. I couldn't imagine he wasn't
stronger than cancer.
I am so
glad that he enjoyed the trip to China. He did have a grin on
his face much of the time, and everyone fell in love with him.
He did mention that he was having surgery once he got home, but
he didn't seem too sick, and the gravity of it went right over
One of the
things I most admired about Roger was his willingness, no
eagerness, to share his research. He gave us dumps of his files
and it was like going through our own National Archives.
love and hugs to all three of you.
and Ao Wang
profundamente el fallecimiento de tu padre, una persona realmente
única y admirable. Te envío un abrazo con toda
mi solidaridad y cariño para ti y tu familia.
We are so
sorry for your loss.
Bob and Philippa O'Keefe
Mr. Roger Mansell,
We are so
sad to know about your passing away and regret we should have
learnt many more researching skills from you. You were always
helping us giving any small information on POWs who were brought
to inland of Japan during the WWII.
We first met you in 2001 at ADBC [American Defenders of Bataan
and Corregidor] Convention in Hampton, VA, we were astonished
to see you bringing a big amount of paper materials of POWs on
the two-wheeled cart from your house.
Later you did not bring any papers, but you gave us some Flash
Memories which were full of precious information on POWs. We
have no words to thank you enough. In computer, you sent us many
jokes to make us laugh even recently, we dont forget. In
2009, we had the last ADBC Convention in San Antonio, we missed
you so much. However, we will remember and thank you for your
generous kindness, forever.
Ms. Nori Nagasawa
POW Research Network Japan
October 28, 2010
I was sad to learn about your father's passing. You're in my
I was saddened
to hear of Rogers passing. I shared with him my
tribute site to my father an ex POW of the Japanese Allen Jones
1919-1959. I will always remember the excellent work Roger
has done in researching the POW's and how they suffered.
Dear Catherine and Agustin,
learned with great sorrow of the passing of your father Roger
Mansell. Please accept our deepest sympathy.
life will stay with us thanks to his work, and yours.
Tracy and Ani, from Seattle
I was saddened to hear of Mr Mansell's passing. When I started
looking for the camp in Japan where my dad had been imprisoned,
Roger's website gave me the information that was unavailable
elsewhere. Most people who responded to my pleas for help cited
the website as a reference work. Armed with the knowledge, we
arranged for dad to return to the camp in 2005, and were made
most welcome by the locals, see [BBC
story here] for further details.
Thank you Roger Mansell for all your knowledge and research into
the plight of the FEPOWs which made my information gathering
exercise that much easier. You, your knowledge and your humanity
will be missed.
proud son of Stanley William Topham (13/5/1919 -
18/9/2010), Lance Corporal, 4th Bn Royal Norfolk Regiment, ex
FEPOW in Mitsushima (Tokyo No 12) POW Camp
With the author's permission, here are some quotes from a
longer, personal letter sent to me (Catherine).
came into contact with Roger when I was researching my Grandfather's
Japanese war history and stumbled across a reference to his POW
camp, where he died, on your Dad's website. That was about eight
years ago. . .
help, advice and encouragement was a tremendous help to me. It
transpired that he had done a load of research on behalf of a
New Zealand war widow (Mrs. Macintosh from Invercargill) whose
NZRAF husband was in the same POW camp as my Grandfather. He
sent me a copy of the book he had published for them and copies
of all his notes on a CD including photo scans! My mother, who
was only a toddler when her Dad died, was completely overcome
with this sudden wealth of information about her father's last
days. . . .
It was a great privilege to meet him when he came over to England
to speak at the Researching FEPOW Conference in Staffordshire
a few years ago. . .
I emailed him a few times in recent months and his good humour
and peaceful demeanour shone through his gentle replies.
He was a truly great man. Respected greatly by everyone who I
ever heard mention him and his work.
community has lost a precious treasure and I have lost a good
Solihull, Nr Birmingham, UK.
passion inspired countless people to learn more about their family
members who were Japanese POWs. He was so thorough. There
is no way we can fully take in all that he contributed to the
POW descendant community. He will live on in our hearts and in
Cousin of Dr. Gordon K Lambert, LT jg lost on the Brazil Maru
and will always remain quite a guy. We shared many good emails,
some phone conversations and enjoyed an occasional cigar when
rare opportunity allowed us to discuss History and more at Veterans'
of Man he was might best be summed in a comment he made while
sharing information about the POWs back on 20 September 2007.
The world of POW researchers knows the value of cooperation.
It's the standard we set when we started. We're not some college
professor types who hoards information. What you are doing makes
it a better world and we're all proud to help. Let' see how it
goes. You mentioned you obtained a number of films from NARA.
We'd love to see them sometime. Warmest regards," Rog
And in that
statement he basically said... "Above all else, it is the
Story and Legacy of the Veterans that matter most." In some
unfortunate sense, that made Roger a rare and Beautiful soul
I will always
remember Roger as a Man of Integrity and Mission... a Good Man
who did his best to make things better for those he loved, and
through love, studied and helped.
I am deeply
sorry to learn of his passing. I am fortunate and honoured to
have known him.
Godspeed to you his Family,
We had very
much hoped that Roger would be with us in the UK earlier in the
month. Although I had known him, and his famous generosity, for
several years through the Internet, I had never had the chance
to thank him in person for all his help. A great man indeed.
Over the years
communicating with Roger on the history of the Far East PoW's
has been beneficial to us both and the FEPOW cause. I have looked
on Roger as a friend although we never met in person. It was
a great shock to hear of his death, but Roger leaves an important
legacy, his FEPOW research, which will live on.
I hope you don't mind me adding Roger to the Site Memorial within
the Roll of Honour using your text:-
He will be sincerely missed.
Keep the candle burning
Like so many
others, I too have a great debt to Roger for his sage wisdom,
advice and flat out encouragement in my own pursuit of Japanese
POW history. Roger never laughed (at least not on-line) to my
naive questions and whenever I would hit a stumbling block, as
often as not, he had some bit of advice on what to do next. One
piece of wisdom I will never forget is his telling me that even
if I don't find something specific on my Uncle Zeke, the simple
act of searching, of discovering what others like him experienced
and what they had to say would tell me reams about my uncle.
It was, and is, completely true. I will miss that advice and
his warm presence in our world. He has left a legacy in this
world. My heartfelt aloha nui loa to his family and friends.
Steven D. Hobbs
Nephew of Gordon "Zeke" H. Alton, USA
To the Family
of Roger Mansell,
I am so
sorry to hear the news that Roger passed away. My condolences
to your family. He was a very special person and made a difference
in so many lives.
a great help to me in researching my father's experience at Omori
POW camp. I knew very little of the story because my dad would
not talk about it. Until I corresponded with Roger, I thought
that no records existed that could help me piece together a history
of my dad's ordeal as a POW in Japan. He was so helpful in providing
information and giving me leads and contacts to keep my research
I was so
impressed by his dedication. I thought at first that he had been
a POW himself, as he put so much of himself into his work. I
was even more impressed when I learned that he had not been a
POW, but was doing this because he wanted to honor the POWs by
keeping their memories alive.
thing that was so special about him was that he put all his information
together on a website so that others could find it. If he had
not done that, I may never had started my research. He was so
generous with his time, information, and resources.
I will always
remember that he was the first person to tell me that my dad
was an American hero. It meant a lot to me to have him tell me
that, because I now know that my dad really suffered as a POW.
Roger made a big impact on my life, and I will always remember
Daughter of Melvin Johnston
October 27, 2010
I only met
Roger once, at the convention held a few years ago in the Washington,
DC, area, but I have been so impressed by the work he has done.
What a loss to the community of WWII survivors. God bless you
and your family for all the support youve provided for
his work and for your own endeavors. My prayers are with you.
Catherine and Agustin,
I am so
saddened by the news of Roger's passing. Without a doubt, he
was a very special man. Please accept my condolences.
so inadequate when describing Roger's dedication to documenting
the stories of the Japanese prisoners of war and the POW camps
in Japan. Because of him, our family now has the story of what
happened to our WWII POW and when we knew the details of what
he went through we were able to better understand the stranger
that came home to the family.
know where to begin and Roger was the person who gave me the
guidance on how to find the documents and facts I needed for
the research. His time, generosity and encouragement enabled
me to keep going with this terrible harrowing story which sickened
me at times.
it "Remember These Stories" (because these were the
words our POW would say each time he wanted to talk); I wrote
an acknowledgment in the book to Roger for his invaluable assistance
dear Roger for the legacy you have left; these brave men will
never be forgotten because of your efforts.
To the Mansell
Please accept my sympathies on Roger's passing. I had pleasure
of corresponding with him while working on my book, Escape
From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break
of the Pacific War, and his invaluable assistance was
greatly appreciated. As I mentioned in my acknowledgements, Roger's
Center for Research, Allied POWs of the Japanese, was "an
invaluable resource." The same could be said of Roger. May
he rest in peace.
John D. Lukacs
To the Mansell
I wanted to extend my deepest sympathy on Roger's passing.
Last Voyage of the Arisan Maru
Dear Mansell Family,
I did not
really know how to do research on any, let alone my Grand Uncle.
Roger,was a man that would take someone like me under his wing
and lead us through the steps that we needed to do, to find our
relative or friend in the lost jumble of records. I only emailed
him a few
times, but I will always remember him as the one that got me
started on doing my genealogy of my family, by helping me find
my Grand Uncle.
Roger, you will be missed here, but will be welcomed in Heaven
by St Peter and all those POWs that were guests of the Imperial
Japanese Army and Navy.
Grand Niece of Cpl Italo "Frank" Franceschi
POW in camp Osaka 3B
Your Dad was a great man for what he started and I know
in my heart that his work will continue until everyone of our
men and women are accounted for and the relatives if they want
can have a closing to their wondering what happened.
Roger was a
wonderful person. He was willing to share any and all info he
had and he did research to help others. He also had a delightful
sense of humor and we often shared emailings of things
that made our days a little lighter. I shall miss him and my
heart goes out to his family.
my heartfelt sorrow at the loss of such a wonderful person.
of the Reno Convention last April was being able to sit down
with Roger and discuss POW issues. After years of exchanging
messages, I greatly enjoyed meeting him face-to-face. His service
POW research is immeasurable.
Author of Brothers
From Bataan and Operation
Carolyn, Alice, Catherine and Augustin,
What a sad
day it is after learning of Rogers passing. I too was one
of the hundreds of POW Descendants who sought Rogers expertise.
He was a very special human being. Roger was also
a character with a great sense of humor. I am so glad that I
had the privilege of knowing such an honorable man. I commend
you, the family, for being gracious enough in allowing him to
share his time with the rest of us.
is oer the battle done
Catherine, family & friends,
childrens librarian once taught her 6th grade students
the neglected history of the POWs. The students were so moved
they wanted to know more, write the veterans letters, etc. Where
to start? And there was my answer my guide and mentor, Roger
Mansell. Not only did he guide me on my research, supporting
(financially as a single mom he knew I could not do it alone
he encouraged me to set up a donations link) but he showed incredible
patience as I learned the path of a researcher in
this area, swamping him with questions.
It was Roger who told me I needed to be in DC, for my first ADBC
[American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor] convention in 2007.
And when I felt overwhelmed by all the other researchers with
their degrees, PhDs, etc., it was Roger who pulled me aside
for a drink and told me my heart and dedication to my work is
more important than any degree. He often signed his e-mails this
up the great work my friend,
gave me one of the best gifts I will ever receive
his encouragement and his friendship
WWII - Fukuoka 17- Omuta POW History Project Manager
who was new to researching a family member who was a former POW
not so long ago, Roger's help was tremendous. By sharing his
time and information and putting me in touch with people who
could help, I was able to share my great uncle's story with our
family. A story that my great uncle never told. I could never
thank him enough for his time and generosity. Beyond the research
he and I became friends. We would talk about anything and everything
under the sun. I will always treasure the time I was able to
spend with such a remarkable human being. Your family will be
in our thoughts and prayers. He will be missed by all.
Va Con Dios
no words to define the sorrow that is felt around the world caused
by Rogers passing. We are all thankful for his invaluable
gifts to the history of WWII and the POWs of Japan and their
families. He is at peace with our Lord. I pray that you find
comfort in your memories as you celebrate his wonderful life.
I was honored to welcome him at the registration table at the
Descendants Group convention in Reno this past April. We were
privileged to have him attend.
give you rest during these sad days.
Daughter of William J. Ellis, Jr., 1906-1945
POW of the Japanese, 1942-1945
family and friends,
and many photographs in my recent book, Ghosts
of Canopus, about the USS Canopus (AS 9) at Bataan and
Corregidor and her crew as Prisoners of War of the Japanese came
from Roger Mansell. With his credited data on this ship I have
been able to more completely answer the many inquiries from those
who had fathers, uncles, and grandfathers on the USS Canopus.
Roger was always my friend and fellow researcher frequently in
the National Archives. His presence will be sorely missed. I
know he will have smooth sailing in his new assignment.
Catherine & family,
As one who Roger talked to on many occasions, I am saddened at
the news of his death. He truly was a man of many talents, a
man of commitments and a man who loved what he was doing, whatever
it was he was doing he loved doing it. The world is a better
place because of Roger Mansell. We will all miss him.
(Les) Tenney, Past National Commander ADBC
(American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor)
To the Mansell
As a budding
researcher, five years ago, I contacted Roger because my father
was a Bataan veteran. Roger was patient with me for I literally
knew nothing about my father's war experiences. When I finally
found someone who could help, I wanted to know everything right
away. Roger told me to research all Philippine defenders and
I would eventually know everything about my father. He was right.
He put me on the path to where I am today and not only do I know
my father's experiences but have been able to help so many others.
All this from Roger Mansell. If there exists a Heavenly Philippine
defenders organization, I know where Roger is now.
I am happy to be able to call Roger Mansell my friend. He is,
without a doubt, the leading researcher of POWs of the Japanese.
More importantly, he has been willing to devote himself to helping
descendants of POWs of the Japanese learn information about their
POW relative. His web site and other information that he has
made public are priceless.
All that knew Roger will miss him greatly. Now my wish is that
he may rest in peace.
John B. Lewis