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. =