DENTIST RECALLS DRILLING
"TOJO'S" DENTURES (8/16/95)
SACREMENTO (AP) -- As the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender this week, E.J. "Jack" Mallory (Amateur Radio Operator) was remembering Gen. Hideki Tojo's dentures.
The retired Chico dentist was a draftee stationed in occupied Japan when, in a youthful prank tinged with post-war revenge, he drilled a morse code message into the imprisoned Japanese Prime Minister's dentures. "Remember Pearl Harbor" was literally chewed on by the man who approved the surprise attack that drew th U.S. into World War II. The secret message remained in Tojo's mouth for three months.
"It wasn't anything done in anger," said Mallory, who made full upper and lower dentures for the prime minister before Tojo was hanged as a war criminal in late 1948. "It's just not that many people that had a chance to get those words into his mouth." Mallory, then 22, knew that drilling "Remember Pearl Harbor" in English could lead to a court martial.
An Amateur Radio Operator, he decided to inscribe the letters in the dots and dashes of Morse code with a round end drill. "The only ones in on this were my dentist room-mates and myself, all sworn to secrecy lest (room-mate) George and I find ourselves in deep trouble," he said.
George Foster, who hailed from Iowa (now deceased) was assigned to provide dental services at Sugama Prison, where he extracted Tojo's teeth and sought Mallory's help in making the dentures. "I was naturally excited to be able to see and meet one of the world's then most famous (or infamous) person's - second only to Adolp Hitler."
Mallory wrote in a memoir at his children's urging. "But the man I met was not the ferocious-looking "Tojo the Razor" we had seen for so many years in photos and caricatures, but rather a tired, grndfatherly looking older man." After many visits over several weeks, Mallory finished the dentures in the fall of 1946. In February, 1947, two classmates of one of Mallory's dental service buddies arrived and were let in on the secret - "We took them on an excursion to the prison to show them our Master-Piece," Mallory said. The Message in international Morse code that dentist Jack Mallory, drilled into Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo's dentures -
._. . _ _ . _ _ _... . ._. REMEMBER
._ _. . ._ ._. ._.. PEARL
.... ._ ._. _... _ _ _ ._. HARBOR