[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

NEWS -POW Plaque Replaced at River

Subject: NEWS -POW Plaque Replaced at River Kwai

POW Plaque Replaced at River Kwai

KANCHANABURI, Thailand (AP) - A defaced plaque commemorating American
POWs who died while building the so-called ``Death Railway'' during
War II was replaced Sunday during a ceremony for the war dead.

The new plaque, which is located next to the bridge over the River Kwai,
replaces one that was unveiled in September 1997 and subsequently
vandalized by
souvenir-seekers who pried pieces off it.

U.S. Ambassador Richard Hecklinger unveiled the new plaque during a
ceremony that followed a memorial service hosted by the New Zealand
Embassy at
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, where the remains of almost 7,000 Allied POWs
are buried.

Most of the Americans who died while building the 250-mile railway came
from a U.S. warship, the USS Houston, which was sunk by the Japanese
navy off
the coast of Indonesia.

The survivors were taken prisoner and sent to Thailand as slave laborers
to build the railway to Burma. They worked under cruel and inhumane
and many died.

Their suffering was portrayed in the 1957 Oscar-winning film, ``The
Bridge on the River Kwai.''

Along with the American POWs, the railway was built by veterans from
Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands. But the
U.S. troops
suffered the highest proportion of fatalities: Of the 688 American
servicemen who labored on the railway, 356 died.