From the book UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand
…..The aftermath of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, August 3, 1945. Clearly, something, catastrophic had happened, but Japan had not given in.
For the POWs, time had all but run out. It was now approaching mid-August, and the kill-all policy loomed. Even if Japan surrendered, many POWs believed that the guards would kill them anyway, either out of vengeance or to prevent them from testifying to what had been done to them. Indeed, an Omori interrogator had told Commander Fitzgerald that the Japanese had plans to kill the POWs in the event that they lost the war.
With officials talking about taking them to a new camp in the hills, the POWs believed that the Japanese planned to dump their bodies in a mountain forest, where no one would ever find them. They discussed defending themselves, but they had no answers to twenty-five guards with rifles. Escape, too, was impossible; the camp was cornered against the sea and two rivers, and with no way to get boats for seven hundred prisoners, the only route out was toward the village, where the sickly, weak men would be caught easily. They were fish in a barrel.
Louie lingered in his bunk, fading, praying. In his nightmares, he and the Bird fought death matches, the Bird trying to beat him to death, Louie trying to strangle the life from the sergeant. He'd been staying as far as he could from the Bird, who had been whipping about camp like a severed power line, but the sergeant always hunted him down.
Then, abruptly, the violence stopped. The Bird had left camp. The guards said that he had gone to the mountains to ready the promised new camp for the POW officers. The August 22 and kill-all death date was one week away……
At the factories, at half past one, the guards reappeared and told the POWs to get back to their stations. As Ken Marvin returned to his station, he found his overseers sitting down. One of the Japanese told him that there was no work. Looking around, Marvin spotted Bad Eye, the one-eyed civilian guard he'd been teaching incorrect English, and asked him why there was no work. Bad Eye replied that there was no electricity. Marvin looked up; all of the light bulbs were burning. He turned quizzically to Bad Eye and told him that the lights were on. Bad Eye said something in Japanese, and Marvin wasn't sure he understood. Marvin found a friend fluent in Japanese, pulled him into the room, and asked Bad Eye to repeat what he'd said.
"The war is over."………
The rock still sat at the foot of the barracks window, Louie's rope tied around it. But the conspirators were too late; the Bird was nowhere be found. Sometime that day, or perhaps the day before, he had taken off his uniform, picked up a sack of rice, slipped into the Naoetsu countryside, and vanished.