American Valor Quarterly Issue 3 - Summer 2008 - Page 21
purchased by the commissary officer. During eighteen months in
that position, Johnson spent a million and a half pesos to procure
fruits and vegetables, sugar, oil, lard, rice and eggs. Only a third
of the total, half a million pesos, came from “legitimate” prisoner
pay. The rest was money the men had concealed, money they had
obtained by selling watches and rings to their guards, and money
smuggled in from outside.
survive. At one point Johnson himself was down to 92 pounds
from his customary 180, and an American physician said there
was “no medical reason why he should have been alive.” But
Johnson survived, and did so with his spirit and self-respect intact.