STORIES THE PENTAGON WOULD RATHER YOU
© 2013 MilitaryCorruption.com
Staff Sergeant Judson Smith was one mean son-of-a-bitch.
The provost NCO at Lichfield Prison, located in Staffordshire, in England's Midlands north of Birmingham, was as lucky as he was brutal. More about that later.
The sadistic sergeant worked for another no-good bastard, the sociopathic facility commander, COL James A. Kilian.
Promoted well beyond his abilities, the arrogant and obnoxious bird colonel gave "a wink and a nod" to his bully-boy staff who proceeded to beat the hell out of G.I.'s unfortunate enough to have gone AWOL, talked back to an officer, or been busted for even mild misbehavior.
WOUNDED GI'S - A SPECIAL TARGET
The staff were so cruel, they targeted recently-wounded soldiers and smashed their shins and back of their heads with billy clubs. A favorite torture was making a prisoner "double-time" in place, while standing with his nose and boots to the wall.
Sadist Smith loved to force GI's to wash cement floors with cold water, then have them stand "at attention" with arms straight out until they collapsed from sheer exhaustion.
Racism was common. Black prisoners in the mess hall were made to crawl on the floor and bark like dogs before they were fed.
Eventually, word of the horrors at Lichfield leaked out, and when a reporter from STARS and STRIPES inquired, a court-martial was convened. Actually, it was a whitewash.
AN AMERICAN "CONCENTRATION CAMP"
A STRIPES reporter described the goings-on at Lichfield this way: "A concentration camp run by Americans for American soldiers."
COL Kilian indignantly huffed and puffed in the witness stand and claimed he was "unaware" of the common brutality going on under his command. Instead of a bust in rank, or the end of a career, he got off with the proverbial "slap-on-the-wrist." Just a $500 fine and letter of reprimand. The colonel was allowed to return to the States and eventually collect a fat pension
SSGT Smith was given three years in prison at hard labor and a dishonorable discharge, but he completed only six months of his sentence. The sicko sarge's prison sentence was vacated on appeal and he was allowed to leave the Army with an honorable discharge.
The many men he had beaten and brutalized were outraged. The brass just wanted the memory of the scandal to "go away." Who cares about a few GIs who got their heads busted in? What do they matter?
FINALLY GOT WHAT WAS COMING TO HIM
Judson Smith went back to the hills of Kentucky and the coal mines he'd left behind to join the Army and get into the war.
Fate had something else in store for him. He suddenly cashed in his ticket to hell.
On March 19, 1954, Smith was crushed like a bug when he got caught between a shuttle car and ceiling beam in a coal mine. He was 40 years old.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: -- For more on the horrors at Lichfield, contact www.uakron.edu/uapress - The University of Akron Press. LICHFIELD; THE U.S.ARMY ON TRIAL by Jack Gieck gets four stars from our book review department here at MilitaryCorruption.com. Please buy it. A riveting read indeed.]