Steve April 6, 2021
post-suggests-american-ww2-prisoners-were-british-soldiers

6 April 2021

What was claimed

A photo of two emaciated men strongly implies they were British soldiers.

Our verdict

This is a famous photograph of two American civilians after the liberation of a Japanese POW camp in 1945.

A black and white photo of two emaciated men has been circulating in a post on Facebook that has been shared 22,000 times. The post strongly implies they were British soldiers. This is not true.

The post states: “The idiots who hate everything British , look at these men . 2 men amongst thousands who were willing to die for the Freedoms you scum enjoy today . When you burn the Flag , deface the cenetaph [sic] think of these men . You’re not fit to polish their shoes . If UK is so bad Leave .”

This strongly implies both men were British soldiers.  

However, neither of these men were British or in the military. 

In fact, this is a famous image of two American civilians, Lee Rogers and John C. Todd. Rogers was a retired navy yard employee and Todd a miner. 

The photo, shot by journalist Carl Mydans in 1945, was taken after Allied forces liberated a Japanese prison camp called Santo Tomas in the Philippines. The account of these men’s imprisonment was published in US photography magazine Life. 

Mydans had also been prisoner at Santo Tomas earlier in the war and returned in 1945 to document its liberation.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as missing context because while the post doesn’t explicitly claim either of the men was a British soldier, this is the strong implication and neither of the men in the photo were British or in the military when they were imprisoned.

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