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Captain Saito

Heroes Remember

Saito was not a soldier. Saito was the Chief Medical Officer for the whole area of Hong Kong. I was up at Bowen Road one time, and I was up on the second end, had a big balcony all around, Bowen Road hospital by the way. It was up above and you could see all the harbour, this was on the Island. And this Doolittle came across, well I guess everybody heard about the Doolittle raid with planes that came over and dropped some bombs and it was gone. We guys all get under “Hey!” and we told old Saito, Saito came out. And there was about 30 of us. Saito happened to be a judo expert, a karate expert and they lined us all up and he could speak English, but with an accent. “You laughed, you laughed, you laughed at the Imperial Japanese Army, You laughed!” and he worked himself up to such a level he's screaming at us, oh he was in a rage. And finally he had a big sergeant stand behind each guy and he came, chop, chop, chop and the guy was out, gone. When I came to, I was about in the middle, and here we are all lined up, the whole line of us all lined up on one another, we were all cold, everyone of us. While we were there they were putting the boots to us to make us come to. The sergeant and a couple of them guards. That was Saito.

About 50 men, including Mr. Flegg, witness one of Doolittle's bombing raids while he is a patient at Bowen Road Hospital. Their cheers enrage Captain Saito, the chief medical officer and a judo expert. He lines up the men, judo chops them all unconscious and has his guards "put the boots" to them to wake them up.

Aubrey Flegg

Aubrey Flegg was born on October 18, 1917 in Welland, Ontario. His father moved the family to Northern British Columbia when he was three. Mr. Flegg describes living on a “stump farm”, and working from a very early age. Leaving home at sixteen, he trapped in winter and felled timber during warmer months. Mr. Flegg was married with a young family when the war started, but he enlisted out of patriotic duty. He joined Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, and later reinforced the Winnipeg Grenadiers, thinking he would be going to Europe. Instead, Mr. Flegg found himself trying to defend Hong Kong from the Japanese against overwhelming odds. Imprisoned for four years, he survived the ravages of disease, starvation, abuse and forced labor in both North Point and Sham Shui Po Camps and the Oyama mines. Mr. Flegg offers an impassioned story of the Hong Kong experience.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Aubrey Flegg
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

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