Lt. William J. Lang (1919-1944)

A more personal look at the Arisan Maru‘Hell ship’.

Texas History Notebook

Bill Lang was an aviator in WWII.  Bill was the son of prominent Dallas architect William J. Lang, Sr. and the grandson of Otto H. Lang, both of whom were well known in the area.  The Lang name had long been associated with the architectural firm Lang and Witchell, a company that designed many of the buildings that still stand in Dallas.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 18, 2017, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. It really is hard to comprehend man’s inhumanity to man, even in these circumstances as prisoners of war, no doubt there were atrocities on both sides, some recorded others just memories.
    War plays games with the minds and emotions of the participants.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Though I am familiar with the prison ships the British employed during the American Revolution, I had not heard of the Japanese hell ships. Over 11,000 American prisoners of war died on sixteen British ships which included the Falmouth, Scorpion, and Jersey. Most remains were never interred. Bodies were simply thrown overboard or buried in graves so shallow and close to shore that they were often uncovered by the tide. A simple monument now stands in Fort. Greene Park, Brooklyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Keep bringing the information to light, GP. They never covered stories like this in school.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for posting this. As you wrote, Lang’s story needs to be remembered. The Japanese routinely did not report ships carrying POWs as having POWs on board. U.S. subs, then, would assume the Japanese ships were carrying war supplies. This also happened in September, 1944, when U.S.S. Pampanito and other subs operating in 2 wolf packs sank most of a large convoy in the South China Sea.. More than 2,000 Australian, British and New Zealand POWs were onboard 2 of those ships. Pampanito and several other U.S. subs returned to the same area 3 days later looking for another convoy and discovered survivors in the oil-soaked sea. Our subs rescued a little over 150 of these men. More here: https://maritime.org/pamphist/rescuevideo.htm

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had heard the story but did not know there was video of it. I thank you very much for bring us the link!! Contributing to this site with data helps to make it a group effort to incorporate Allied information here. Much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story but so sad for all the prisonners in the sunking ship.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t help but think what a terrible waste war is.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing my story, GP. Bill Lang was a cousin on my wife’s side of the family. We still don’t know how or exactly when he was captured by the Japanese.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A personal story of one victim of that tragic sinking. It seems unlikely that many would have survived further imprisonment at the hands of the Japanese even had the ship not been sunk. But that is no consolation to those who lost their loved ones in this action.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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