American Soldier Kills 500 Japanese Soldiers Singlehandedly?!?

What’s the straight dope on David Rubitsky?

It seems legit to me. Below is a link to a story aired on NPR in 1989 and includes in the interview other men who witnessed the aftermath (piles of dead Japanese) and only Mr. Rubitsky to account for it all.


Mr. Rubitsky seemed decidedly unhappy about the whole thing and I can’t imagine what it must be like to kill so many in such a close and personal fashion (not like dropping a bomb on someone).

War sucks…nothing new aboput that.

:eek: I mean, :eek:!!!

Corporal Joseph Vittori performed a similar feat in the Korean war, although he did not live to tell the story:

He had to have been devistated after the fight, but then, after the fact, after all he’d done, that slap in his face! :mad:

The story didn’t specify which small southern Wisconsin town he came from, but I grew up there in Monroe, where all the local guys had been sent to the South Pacific. One of them always took ribbings from his buddies at the VFW because his mom had been so horrified at the bags of gold teeth that they all brought back, that she snuck his bag away and buried it someplace. Maybe because southern Wisconsin has the US’s greatest extremes between hot, humid summers and upper midwestern winters, but people from those hills can be pretty dog-mean.

Does anyone have a skeptical viewpoint to share?

Yep. I find it hard to believe that some low level officer, let alone a Corporal, could promise someone the Congressional Medal of Honor and be believed. I also find it hard to believe that another low level officer would have the authority to deny the medal. I would find it more plausible that the chain of command would indicate their reasons for their recommendations the award be denied. But that’s just my skepticism from hearing years and years and years of fake military happenings. My favorite was the guy who swore he was carrying a M60A1 all by himself. Kind of neat trick, I’d think, to be slinging that freaking big tank over one’s shoulder.

See, based upon my knowledge of human nature, I am immediately skeptical of a story like this.

Also, while I am willing to concede that anti-semitism would have been a big impediment back in 1942, my understanding is that the military revisited the case in the late 1980s and decided against awarding any medal. It seems to me that by the 1980s, antisemitism would have been much less of an impediment.

Further, I did a couple searches and it seems the guy claims to have gone on another killing spree at a later date - this time it was a mere 200. It just seems more likely to me that the guy is a liar.

In addition, the guy apparently claims that the Japanese officer involved committed seppuku upon learning that 500 of his men had been killed by one American.

I don’t know, but the whole thing is kinda sketchy.

But I’d love to hear some more thoughts from people with knowledge/experience/etc.

I just did another web search, and found the following article:

Yeah, do a search on the guy’s name, and read all the previous posts and links. I think most everyone here has provided a skeptical viewpoint. At least those know know what “skeptical” really means.

What a horrid situation for this poor man to be in… I’m not sure I could do what he did and not suffer the nihgtmares he’s lived. What a true hero.

On the skeptical side, there is also this message board entry by a Robert E. Nordlander who seems to take Mr. Rubitsky’s claims as a personal affront, but who has marshalled quite a few statements that, if fact, would cast serious doubt on Mr. Rubitsky’s claim.

Of particular interest is the statement that Col. Mott, whom Rubitsky’s tale indicates was relieved of command on December 2, was relieved because he was perceived to have been too lax in confronting the Japanese–a claim that a 600 death battle would have gone far to refute–and references to Rubitsky’s claim to have killed 200 more Japanese and taken out seven machine guns in a later battle, (emerging unscathed), that is simply not credible under any circumstances.

This is a difficult issue to comment on: the very nature of the claim makes it difficult to trust, but, of the two sites found so far that talk about, one is run by noted British anti-Semitist David Irving, which instantly makes all claims made by it about this issue suspecious, and, with the second link, several of the messages there have an anti-Semitist taint as well.

What corporal? Corporal Basta? Colonel Smith and Colonel Mott seemed to be the two top start it and Colonel Mott seemed to put the kibosh on it. Decades later it was two generals…now Smith and Stehling…who reintroduced the idea. As to stopping it it would seem the paperwork was never started by (I’m guessing) Colonel Mott.

The battle was finished on December 2. If the decision to relieve Col. Mott was made it was made before that time and to me it seems he just hadn’t gotten word of it yet himself. What Rubitsky did would thus have no bearing on him being relieved. Further, I don’t think the story would have helped after the fact. Mott’s superiors would not be happy to learn that one man was left to dangle out in the wind for two days by himself to defend a position of some importance. That the man performed an almost superhuman feat (if true) is beside the point. I would think Mott would still be in trouble.

The link I provided above to the NPR story makes no mention of the other 200 men and one would think that if he did it would have come up. Not proof of anything one way or the other but I have to wonder about where that 200 man story came from.

The NPR stopry does mention better proof than these mens’ words.

I apologise for getting rather cranked at some of you, but the US Army Review Board, Time Magazine, and dozens and dozens of other precious links have vetted this story. The man killed 500-600 Jap soldiers in WW2. What do you want, testimony and bodies? An electron microscope image of Occam’s razor?

This seems to be turning into a debate, so I’ll move this thread to GD.

moderator GQ

I was referring to Basta, one of the purported witnesses to the event, Whack.

Do you have a citation where the US Army Review Board confirmed the action? I was under the impression they took the opposite tack.

As written, the NPR story has a hole in it large enough to float the Yamato.

The story says that among the dead found in front of Rubitsky’s position was the body of a Japanese officer who had commited ritual suicide after detailing the massacre, right up to the point of giving the number of dead. So, if the officer was among the dead, when did he have time to write his memo and then commit suicide (rather than being shot down by Rubitsky). If he chanced upon the scene after the action was over, why was he not shot by Rubitsky or one of the men who relieved Rubitsky as he took the time to prepare himself for ritual suicide in what was, by then, daylight? Japanese ritual suicide was not an off the cuff action such as the stunt of Fetterman and his doctor; it is a ritual of great importance. Why did he commit suicide amid the blood and the bodies and the swamp, leaving the note in his clothing, rather back at his CP where an orderly could take the message back to his family?

Regarding the anti-semitic nature of some of the catcalls from the peanut gallery: Any time someone steps up and declares “anti-semitism” or “racism” or “sexism” on an open forum, there will be jeers from anti-semites, racists, and sexists. We can see the same thing on many threads on the SDMB. I have already noted that Nordlander seems to have a personal grudge against Rubitsky. Actual evidence that Nordlander has fabricated information or has lied is useful; noting that his claims got uninvited support from cranks is not.

Note: I have not yet decided to accept either version of the story. I would be interested in more and better evidence. However, I am no more inclined to believe it than to disbelieve it based on what has been presented.

I can’t begin to speculate on how the Japanese soldier’s death/suicide occurred but the Secret Service seemed to think it was authentic. What ‘authentic’ means to them I also can’t say but I’m unsure how you would get more proof than this at tthis point.

What I would like to see is (1) the interview statements of Rubitsky’s fellow soldiers; (2) the suicide note of the Japanese officer; and (3) whatever evidence the ADL reviewed (assuming the ADL quote from above is legit).

I would also like to know if Rubitsky has in fact claimed to have singlehandedly killed another 200 Japanese soldiers at a later date.

I would also like to know whether and why the military concluded in the late 80s that Rubitsky’s claim was unfounded.