720th
~ Battalion Commander ~
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LTC Aubry S. Kenworthy  (COL retired)

Commanding Officer of the 720th Military Police Battalion
17 January 1949 to 20 February 1951, Tokyo, Occupied Japan

8th US Army

      LTC Kenworthy received command of the Battalion on 17 January 1949 from MAJ William C. Smith.

    He came to the Battalion after commanding the MP Detachment detailed to the International Military (War Crimes) Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), in Tokyo, Japan. During his tour the Battalion assets were stationed in the Tokyo metropolitan area performing discipline, law and order and occupational security duties.

    On 20 February 1951 he passed command to LTC Alvin B. Welsch.

Photographs

      This remarkable man’s history of military service started with GEN John J. “Blackjack” Pershing in the Mexican War of 1916, following Pancho Villa’s raid into New Mexico, when U.S. troops marched into Vera Cruz in retaliation. In that force were two other young officers, LT George S. Patton and a pipe-smoking CPT Douglas MacArthur.

      In World War I, Kenworthy served for three years in Europe. About twenty years later, in the early months of World War II, he played an active role in the North African campaign. From 1943 onwards, he served in Australia and New Guinea, and he remained in the Far East until the end of his assignment as the Battalion Commander in Tokyo, in 1951.

     When Imperial Japan surrendered aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Kenworthy was the U.S. military official responsible for handling the surrender of GEN Tomayuki Yamashita, at Baguio, Luzon. In 1945 and 1946, he attended the trials of GEN’s Yamashita and Homma in the Philippines, and from March 1946, until November 1948, he was responsible for the security of the International Military tribunal of the far East, in Tokyo. It was before this court, involving eleven nations, that GEN Hideki Tojo and twenty-seven other leaders were tried. The trials began May 3, 1946, lasted 417 days, and cost ten million dollars.

LTC Kenworthy with GEN Hideki Tojo.
    Upon his return state-side he served in several additional commands as a Provost Marshal until retirement. From his close association with GEN Yamashita, COL Kenworthy wrote a book, “The Tiger of Malaya: The Inside Story of the Japanese Atrocities.
    The colonel passed from our ranks on 21 November 1963, 71 years of age, at letterman Hospital, San Francisco, California.
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