Upon arrival in the C.C.C. we were all required to have our heads shaved like the Japanese soldiers.
Many of us developed colds, including myself.
What was more annoying than our mucus dripping slowly from our noses as we held our meat can with one hand and our canteen cup with the other to get our rice and coffee was the swarm of BIG green flies that made our shaved heads their “landing fields” as we lined up to get our share of the food and ration.
With both hands holding something, we couldn’t wipe our mucus nor drive away the flies crawling on our shaved heads! Frustrating!
As our hairs started to grow, the itchy sensation and scratching action went together.
We were shaved once a month!
Those who scratched their itchy heads with unclean hands developed skin disease on their heads that attracted more flies!
It was a hair-raising experience to see swarms of green, big flies on a bald head full of sores, and the sick person could hardly move to drive the flies away as he is about to die!
We saw this sight everywhere inside the Camp, where as many of 500 POWs were dying every day.
Shaved heads had some advantages, such as saving time for shampooing and combing the hair. It also eliminated the landing place for head lice or other hair infestation.
But above all, the Japs shaved us in order to easily identify us as POWs once we attempted to escape!
The Japs are smart!