Interview With James S. Rutherford

From the interview with James S. Rutherford of Los Altos, CA conducted by Patience Rogge by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on May 27, 2004.  Mr. Rutherford’s father, Captain Dorsey J. Rutherford was stationed at Fort Worden in the 1920’s in the 63rd Coast Artillery.  Later in his career, at the age of 54, he was stationed at Corregidor, Philippines when it fell to the Japanese at the beginning of World War II. He was taken prisoner  and interned throughout the war.

“A month after Bataan fell, the Japanese took Corregidor. Those people who were on Corregidor after it fell were transported to Manila and then to various prisoner of war camps. The officers finally went to Formosa, then up to China.”

At the end of the war, Mr. Rutherford and his brother, Robert D. Rutherford, who was stationed in an anti-aircraft unit in New Guinea, went to Luzon to meet their father.

“He was pretty skinny.  He was a big man, over six feet tall.  The skin was just loose on him.  The Japanese never treated anybody easy and their food was so lacking in anything nutritious that everyone lost weight.  Dad never shared his stories. He lived to be 86.”

James S. Rutherford served in the US Army for 20 years, and will be the subject of another interview excerpt in the future.

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