During World War II, the Japanese Armed Forces captured nearly 140,000 Allied military personnel (from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States) in the Southeast Asia and Pacific areas. They were forced to engage in the hard labour of constructing railways, roads, airfields, etc. to be used by the Japanese Armed Forces in the occupied areas.
About 36,000 were transported to the Japanese Mainland to supplement the shortage of the work force, and compelled to work at the coal mines, mines, shipyards, munitions factories, etc.
By the time the war was over, a total of more than 30,000 POWs had died from starvation, diseases, and mistreatment both within and outside of the Japanese Mainland.
- POW Life
- Medical Treatment
- Guards and Punishment
- The POWs who died
- Successful escapes
- The end of the war
- The Philippines
- Formosa (modern Taiwan)
- New Guinea
- Hong Kong
The Empire of Japan, (which had never signed the Second Geneva Convention of 1929, it is, however, important to note that the Japanese Emperor had agreed to its provisions) did not treat prisoners of war under international agreements, including provisions of the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907), either during the second Sino-Japanese War or during the Pacific War.
Moreover, according to a directive ratified on 5 August 1937 by The Japanese emperor Hirohito, the constraints of the Hague Conventions were explicitly removed from prisoners of war from China, the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the Philippines held by the Japanese armed forces and these POWs were subject to murder, beatings, summary punishment, brutal treatment, forced labour, medical experimentation, starvation rations and poor medical treatment. The most notorious use of forced labour was in the construction of the Burma–Thailand 'Death Railway'.
After the war, it became clear that there existed a high command order – issued from the War Ministry in Tokyo – to kill all remaining POWs.
At the end of the war, the Japanese Armed Forces destroyed all documents related to the POW Camps. Furthermore, the Japanese Government had been very negligent in keeping records of such historical facts during the war.
In addition to the number of POWs who reached Japanese camps, approximately 11,000 POWs tragically lost their lives when allied air and submarine forces attacked the ships transporting the POWs to Japan. Cruelly & ironically the Japanese frequently painted supply ships with Red Crosses, yet did not do the same for those vessels that deserved these markings.
The organisation of POW camps in Japan was repeatedly reformed and rearranged, so the main camps, branch camps, dispatched camps and detached camps opened during the war numbered about 130. On the other hand, some were closed. Thus, in addition to the seven main camps, there were 81 branch camps and three detached camps at the end of the war. 32,418 POWs in total were detained in those camps.
Approximately 3,500 POWs died in Japan while they were imprisoned.
In General, no direct access to the POWs was provided to the International Red Cross. There is a great deal of evidence the ICRC did visit some camps which were made ‘presentable’ to them by the Japanese.
(We have a copy of ‘The Prisoner of War’ magazine from February 1943 which notes a visit to Woosung camp Near Shanghai, China and mentions 3 of the main camps in Japan proper as having had visits).
This extract courtesy of The New Zealand Historical publications branch:
Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on its activities during the Second World War, Vol,1,p.451
In their negotiations with the Japanese through neutral channels, the Allied authorities never ceased trying to obtain from the full information concerning the Allied nationals in their hands, regular facilities for the sending of relief supplies and mail, and permission for neutral inspectors to visit prisoner-of-war and internment camps. In spite of repeated requests for the regular forwarding of complete lists, not only of captures but of transfers and casualties, the Japanese never appear to have set up an organisation capable of dealing even with the notifications of the capture of the 300,000 Allied nationals in their hands. The first British lists did not come through until May 1942; by January 1943 less than a quarter had been notified and by September 1943 only 65 per cent of the British prisoners of war and only 20 per cent of them civilians. On the average New Zealand page 351 next-of-kin waited 18 months for the first news of their prisoner or internee relative; the news even then was often only a card or a message over the Japanese-controlled radio. News of those held in the Dutch East Indies seems to have been withheld the longest.
The Japanese were similarly indifferent about mail. Besides, that sent on exchange ships, mail for prisoners of war in the Far East was by July 1942 being transported across Russia to her Pacific seaboard and thence to Japan, under an agreement reached with the Soviet Government. The distribution of this mail among the prisoner-of-war and internment camps in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory was slow and haphazard. Censorship was a prime difficulty in the way of prompt delivery: piles of uncensored mail were found in some Japanese camp offices on liberation, and it seems probable that some were destroyed to avoid the work involved in censorship. The amount of mail received varied greatly and almost inexplicably. One New Zealander who worked on the Burma–Thailand railway received 126 letters, another only three. Prisoners in Japan, on the whole, fared better, especially those at Zentsuji (where one man received 80 letters), than men in the Dutch East Indies where the number seldom reached double figures. New Zealanders at Macassar received no mail at all. The average number of cards which the Japanese allowed being sent out was from four to five for the whole period of captivity, and only some of these reached their destinations. Again those at Macassar fared worst: they were each allowed to write one letter only, which was not despatched but readout, often in a mutilated fashion, during a broadcast from Radio Tokyo.
While the attitude of the Japanese authorities regarding prisoners' mail seems to have been one of indifference, their attitude regarding visits to prisoner-of-war and internment camps was much more positive. In the first place, they refused for the greater part of the war to recognise, except in Japan, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the right of representatives of the Protecting Power and the International Red Cross Committee to pay visits of inspection. The result of this was that International Red Cross Committee delegates were able to visit only 43 camps and Protecting Power representatives only, whereas there were (at the end of the war) 102 camps in Japan, Formosa, Korea, and Manchuria alone. Moreover, for most of the war period, it was estimated that some nine-tenths of the 300,000 Allied prisoners and civilians in Japanese hands were held in occupied territories, south of a line running roughly from Rangoon to the northern Philippines, in which not only were inspections of camps forbidden but no relief action of any kind could be undertaken without express permission from the Japanese authorities. Only in 1944 were the agents of the International Red Cross Committee in Singapore and the Swiss Consul in Bangkok able to work openly and effectively as distributors of Red Cross relief supplies.
Some ex-prisoners of war and internees have directly or implicitly criticised the neutral representatives who were able to visit camps because they accomplished nothing with the Japanese authorities. It should be mentioned that they had the greatest difficulty in obtaining the necessary permits for each visit, that during the visit they had to refrain from all reference to humanitarian texts in order not to anger the Japanese authorities, and that the latter always regarded them with suspicion and ill-will. The report of the International Red Cross Committee gives the best idea of how the visits were conducted:
The duration of the visit to the camps was generally restricted to two hours, made up of one for a conversation with the camp commandant, thirty minutes for visiting quarters, and thirty minutes for an interview, in the presence of the Japanese officers of the camp, with a camp leader appointed by them. No communication with the other prisoners was authorized, and negotiations undertaken with the object of altering this state of things were not successful. The camp commandants often refused to reply to questions put to them.
A camp leader who openly criticised conditions and treatment was liable to be beaten after the departure of the visitor, and recourse was had sometimes to the passing of messages while shaking hands to convey the true situation. In 1943, when the International Red Cross agent in Singapore complained to a senior military official concerning his continued non-recognition, he was arrested and interrogated by the Japanese military police as a suspected spy. These men had no assurance that the Japanese would respect the persons of neutral nationals any more than they did those of the nationals of enemy countries. By taking too aggressive a stand they would have run a great personal risk and would probably at the same time have jeopardized what scant opportunities for relief work they had.
Negotiations with the Japanese for an exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of war produced no result, but those for an exchange of civilians made possible two repatriation operations, one in 1942 and the other in 1943. As early as February 1942 proposals had been made to the Japanese by the British Commonwealth and United States governments for an exchange of civilian officials, together with a certain number of non-officials. For Japanese from various parts of the Commonwealth, there were to be exchanged Commonwealth civilians who wished to leave China, Japan, Thai-land, and Indo-China.
By July the details of the agreement with the Japanese had been finalised for the exchange to take place at Lourenço Marques, in Portuguese East Africa. In late August the Asama Maru reached Lourenço Marques with some 800 civilians from Japan, South-East Asia and the Philippines, and within the following fortnight, the Tatura Maru and the Kamakura Maru arrived with a further 1000-odd from occupied China. Besides returning with Japanese officials and other civilians, these ships carried back mail and relief supplies for Allied nationals held by the Japanese.
The Allied governments began negotiations for a second exchange almost immediately, but only the United States and Canada succeeded in reaching an agreement with the Japanese authorities. In September and October 1943 several hundred Americans and Canadians, including a number from Hong Kong, walked with relief from the Teia Maru on to the Gripsholm at Marmagao in Portuguese India. They expressed their thankfulness for having escaped from the semi-starvation of their internment camps, as well as their anxiety for the health of those they had left behind in Japanese custody. The information they provided gave urgency to the question of further exchange agreements, but in spite of unceasing negotiation, this draft was destined to be the last to be repatriated from Japanese custody until the liberation of the Philippines in February 1945.
Allied POW camps and ship-transports were sometimes accidental targets of Allied attacks. The number of deaths which occurred when Japanese "hell ships"—unmarked transport ships in which POWs were transported in harsh conditions—were attacked by US and Royal Navy submarines were particularly high.
Most main camps had sub-camps near workplaces: all POWs under Japanese control were required to work irrespective of rank- most large camps had as many as 12 subcamps.
There were three kinds of camps; branch, detached and dispatched camps. The detached camp was a branch camp of a smaller size, typically a mine or factory camp.
The big difference between the Branch Camp and Dispatched Camp is as follows: In a Branch Camp the Japanese Army supplied all the housing, food, and clothing for the POWs, In a Dispatched/detached camp food, housing, and clothing were provided by the companies and the IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) only provided the POWs and military staff.
The camps were mainly set up in mines and the industrial areas such as Keihin (Tokyo and Yokohama), and Hanshin (Osaka and Kobe). Toward the end of the war, the IJA moved many of the camps in the industrial areas inland or to areas closer to the Sea of Japan because of air raids by the U.S. Air Force and in anticipation of the invasion of Japan. In April 1945, the camp military districts were reorganized and three new POW Camps were established in Sendai, Nagoya, and Hiroshima. The Hiroshima Main Camp absorbed Zentsuji POW Camp making a total of seven main camps.
As the POW camps were established, new laws to control the POWs such as "Regulations of the Treatment of the POWs" and "Detailed Rules" were enacted. The Japanese Army was responsible for the administration of the camps, but the Japanese Navy wanted to interrogate pilots they captured in an attempt to improve their naval intelligence. As a result, the Japanese Navy established Ofuna Transitory Prison Camp in Ofuna, Kanagawa Prefecture. This was a special camp where the POWs captured by the Navy were held before they were transferred to Army control.
Not all camps had the same regime; some were far stricter than others often very much to the point of brutality so don’t be too surprised to hear of vastly differing experiences.
It was commonplace for a senior Japanese officer to strike his subordinate officers who then passed the same treatment down the chain of command to their non commissioned staff and down to the lowliest Japanese soldier who then invariably took this out on prisoners under his control.
Few POW camp buildings were new. In most cases, existing warehouses, company employee dorms, or school buildings were remodelled and used as POW camp buildings. Typically, they were two-storied wooden buildings in a compound surrounded by wooden walls topped with barbed wire. Japanese staff worked and lived in the camp's administration building, which also contained storage and toilet facilities. Inside the compound, POW quarters usually consisted of rows of two or three-storied bunk beds with either traditional Japanese Goza (woven straw mats) or tatami (straw mattresses) on the wooden bunks. Bare bulbs were used for the lights, and heat came from firepots or stoves made from shipping drums. In most camps blankets were provided by the camp, however, many POWs reported that the severe winter cold adversely affected their health.
Toilets were traditional Japanese ‘dipping style’ (open latrines), and POWs had to endure the smell and flies and POWs were used for labour to empty the latrines which usually went to fertilise crops: a common practice in Japan at this time.
In most cases, a Japanese style multiperson bathing facility was provided, but there were camps where it was unavailable due to the general shortage of fuel. In some camps, a large number of prisoners trying to bathe limited baths to one per week, and some POWs washed at laundry sinks or washstands or in the nearby bodies of water.
Generally, the Japanese guards were responsible for providing rice and other ingredients for meals, and the POWs took turns preparing the food. The basic menu was a bowl of rice, a cup of miso soup, and some pickles. In some camps, they had bread once a day. Several times a month, meat or fish was provided, but as the food situation in Japan worsened, the meat disappeared. Ordinarily, the POWs carried a lunch box to work, and in some cases, the companies provided food for the POWs.
Starvation and malnutrition were the POW's most critical problems. There are some Japanese who claim that the Japanese Army did their best to secure food for the POWs under the wartime conditions, but there is no denying that the POWs were in a poor physical condition toward the end of the war.
The POWs used the clothes that they had with them upon their arrival in Japan, and the camps provided work clothes such as tenugui (Japanese cotton towel), jikatabi (traditional work footwear), and gunte (work gloves made of cotton). Most of the POWs did not have the means to mend or repair their clothes. Some camps provided overcoats for the winter and some did not. Towards the end of the war, the lack of clothing was very serious, and POWs were dressed in rags.
In some camps, there were canteens where the POWs could buy simple daily necessities. In those camps, which had no such facilities, POWs were allowed to shop in the neighbourhoods near the camps under the supervision of the Japanese guards. Some camps even provided POWs with small amounts of tobacco.
The POWs were supposed to be able to communicate with their family at home through the International Red Cross under certain conditions. For example, they were limited to 100 letters. However, in reality, they couldn't communicate with family more than once or twice during the duration of imprisonment, and there were camps where the POWs were not allowed to communicate with the world outside the camp at all.
The standard work schedule was eight hours a day with one day a week off, but POWs were often forced to work longer. In all of the industries where POWs were assigned, their work consisted mostly of simple physical labour, such as carrying raw materials or goods, loading, unloading, construction work, and mining. A few POWs did technical work and demonstrated their excellent technical skills. The POWs were paid by Japanese Army regulations. The rate of pay was one yen per day per POW, paid to the camp by the company, out of which a Private received 10 sen a day, a non-commissioned officer 15 sen, and a warrant officer 25 sen. Officers were paid according to rank. Companies paid the total wages to the accountant officer of the Japanese Army, who gave it to a POW officer, who paid the POWs. However, the pay was in the form of account books, not in cash. When POWs wanted to spend money, they received cash from the POW officer and shopped outside the camp accompanied by a Japanese guard. They were not allowed to buy food. Some POWs testified that they had never received any pay in any form. This may have been because the wages were only on paper.
There were Japanese civilian doctors or medical officers who came around the camps, or there were the POW medical officers in each camp who conducted treatment. In each camp, there was some facility like a simple clinic, but medical supplies were as scarce as they were among Japan's civilian population. When the POWs were unable to work because of illness their food ration was cut. Due to poor sanitation, lice and fleas plagued POWs, and there was danger of spreading infectious diseases. The Tokyo and Osaka Camps had attached hospitals, Shinagawa POW Hospital, and Kobe POW Hospital, which treated seriously ill patients from each branch camp. In addition to those two hospitals, POWs were sometimes sent to nearby Army hospitals or hospitals that belonged to the companies where they worked.
In the prison camp and on the way to work, guarding the POWs was the responsibility of the Japanese Army soldiers and camp staff. Company guards were responsible for the POWs while they were at work. Sometimes those soldiers in charge of guarding the prisoners around the camp and the work site were dispatched from a nearby regiment or other units. Violence by the guards was often reported, and it was common to receive a Binta (strong slap on the face) or various kinds of beatings. Such beatings could result from simply offending the guard in some way. Punishments were severe even for slight infractions of the rules. Theft of food because of hunger was met with an especially terrible punishment. In addition to punching and slapping, the punishment could be meted out with a sword scabbard or the butt of a rifle. Sometimes POWs were forced to keep running, or to stand at attention for hours, or were kept standing with a bucket full of water on their head or were given the water punishment where a POW was forced to put his face under the flowing tap. Sometimes they were thrown into very small cells without food. POWs reported various atrocities of these types in their testimony before the War Tribunals after the war. The POWs who were accused of committing serious crimes or those who tried to escape were prosecuted at the Japanese Army Court Martial and sent to prison for Japanese criminals, many were executed in front of their fellow POWs.
The total number of POWs who died in all the camps in Japan was about 10 % of those who were transported to the home islands. This is less than the percentage for Japanese run camps as a whole and brings into stark contrast the fact that for this to be 10% officially, the other camps, notably on the Burma-Thailand railway were far higher than the ‘average’ death rate of 27%.
Most of the causes of death were a disease, malnutrition, overwork, and poor sanitary conditions. Many of the deaths happened immediately after the POWs arrived in Japan from South East Asia. The POWs were already in weak condition before embarkation, and they had to endure terrible conditions while aboard the transport ships (‘hell ships').
It is almost certain that had the war lasted even a little longer, the number of the POW deaths would have been much greater given the shortages Japan was experiencing toward the end of the war. There were also other causes of death including work accidents and bombardment by the Allied Forces.
There were also many work accidents where POWs were injured. The following are some examples of deaths that resulted from Allied military actions; 32 POWs of Kamaishi Branch Camp (Sendai No. 5) were killed when the U.S. Battleships bombarded Kamaishi City 22 were killed in Kawasaki Ogimachi Branch Camp (Tokyo No. 2) by an air raid, 31 POWs were killed in Toshiba Tsurumi Branch Camp (Tokyo No. 14) by an air raid and seven were killed by the A-Bomb in Nagasaki Mitsubishi Ship-Building Branch Camp (Fukuoka No. 14).
There were also many deaths caused by guard atrocities, and almost all POWs were executed after they had attempted to escape and were recaptured.
Most of the casualties of the infamous Burma-Siam railway are buried or commemorated in the cemeteries at Thanbyuzayat, Kanchanaburi & Chungkai with those who have no known grave remembered on the Rangoon or Singapore memorials.
Escapes among Caucasian prisoners were almost impossible because of the difficulty of men of Caucasian descent hiding in Asiatic societies, nearly all of those who attempted to escape were executed in front of their fellow POWs upon recapture, in some camps a further 10 POWs were also executed as a reprisal for the escape attempt.
There was only one successful mass escape during the war:
The only successful mass escape from a Japanese camp-
2nd Lieutenant USAF Samuel C. Grashio survived the Bataan Death March and participated in the only successful mass escape from a Japanese prison camp.
On December 8, the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor (on the other side of the International Date Line), he flew from Nichols Field to engage in aerial combat against the Japanese in his Curtis P-40E fighter aeroplane.
Along with the rest of the 24th Group, he ended up at Bataan, where he flew the last combat mission on April 8, 1942.
The Battle of Bataan ended the next day with an Allied surrender.
Grashio joined the other prisoners of war in the infamous Bataan Death March.
He was imprisoned first at Camp O'Donnell, north of Manila.
Two months later, he was transferred to a camp at Cabanatuan. Finally, in October, he was among 1000 prisoners judged fit to work; they were moved to a lumber camp on Mindanao to engage in manual labour.
Grashio and his squadron commander, Lieutenant Ed Dyess, eight other Americans, and two Filipinos escaped from a work camp in Davao Region, the Philippines into the jungle on Sunday, April 4, 1943. One of the other Americans was USMC Lt. who had organized the escape. After wandering for three days in the swamp, they contacted a band of Filipino guerrillas.
Donald the Duck kept as a pet of POWs in Siam -and brought home to the UK.
Roofs of the POW camps were marked with the letters ‘PW’ and relief supplies were dropped by parachute using US Navy fighter-bombers and US Air Force B-29 heavy bombers. They began preparing assembly areas for the POWs as soon as the Japanese surrender documents were signed on September 1, 1945.
Allied Officers were sent to oversee the transfer of the POWs from the Japanese Army. The POWs assembled at places such as Nagasaki, Nii-machi in Shizuoka Prefecture, Yokohama, Omori in Tokyo, Chitose in Hokkaido, and by the end of September, most of the POWs had returned to their home countries via Okinawa and Manila
When searching for a camp name you already know please bear in mind the names of the camps and their locations are very often mixed up within official and non-official records, therefore try to get as many names for the same place as you can or tie it down to the main camp and the type of work to find the subcamp.
POWs as of 30/10/1942 = 12,000
The Cabanatuan prison camp was named after the nearby city of 50,000 people (locals also called it Camp Pangatian, after a small nearby village).
Up to 8,000 POWs were housed in this, the largest camp in the Philippines.
After the surrender of tens of thousands of American troops during the Battle of Bataan, many were sent to a Cabanatuan prison camp following the Bataan Death March. The Japanese transferred most of the prisoners to other areas, leaving just over 500 seriously ill American and other Allied POWs and civilians in the prison. Facing brutal conditions including disease, torture, and malnourishment, the prisoners feared they would all be executed as US forces retook many islands as Japanese conquests were slowly rolled back. (Indeed, there were such orders as has been found later, to execute all POWs if invasions were feared).
In a night raid in late January 1945, under the cover of darkness and a distraction by a P-61 Black Widow, the group of US Rangers, Alamo Scouts (a US special reconnaissance unit) and Filipino guerrillas surprised the Japanese forces in and around the camp. Hundreds of Japanese troops were killed in the 30-minute coordinated attack; the Americans suffered minimal casualties. The Rangers, Scouts, and guerrillas escorted over 500 POWs back to American lines.
During the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines in World War II, Camp O'Donnell was the final stop of the Bataan Death March and was used as an internment camp for Filipino and American prisoners of war. Around 27,000 Filipinos and 2,200 Americans died at Camp O'Donnell. It was liberated by the US Army on 30 January 1945.
A rescue attempt (as per Cabanatuan) using US Rangers and Filipino guerrillas rescued 2,147 Allied servicemen and Civilians from this camp.
Santo Tomas Internment Camp
Opened in 1941, this housed 3,700 allied civilians released by US Rangers and Filipino Guerrillas on February 3rd 1945.
Bilibid new Prison opened in 1941 on the site of the former ‘old’ prison and was converted into a POW camp after the Japanese occupation.
Almost all POWs captured in the immediate area of the Philippines passed through this camp as a major transit hub.
The last days & liberation of the camp are written HERE
Puerto Princesa Prison Camp
Site of the infamous Palawan massacre where Japanese troops with Kempeitai (Military police) officers murdered 139 US POWs.
To prevent the rescue of prisoners of war by the advancing allies, on 14 December 1944, Japanese guards herded the remaining 150 POWs at Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island, into three covered trenches used as air-raid shelters which were then set on fire. As prisoners tried to escape the flames they were then bayoneted or shot down. Some escaped by going over a cliff that ran along one side of the trenches but was later hunted down and killed.
Only 11 men escaped via holes in the perimeter fence, they later testified in war crimes tribunals.
It was this incident that prompted the famous POW rescue raids later in 1945.
The senior officer of the Japanese army commanding General Tomoyuki Yamashita was executed at Bilibid Prison in 1946 after being found guilty of allowing the murder of unarmed POWs.
The chain of command responsibility that led to Yamashita's execution is now referred to under war crimes as the ‘Yamashita standard’.
Camp John Hay
About 500 civilians, the great majority of Americans, were interned by the Japanese at Camp John Hay.
About 40 per cent were missionaries from 22 different denominations, some who had recently fled China and organized a language school in Baguio. The other 60 per cent were primarily miners and businessmen. Two U.S. army nurses were among the internees. The Japanese appointed Elmer Herod as leader of the internees. Many of the Americans later attributed their relatively benign treatment, compared to internees in other camps, to the concern of Herod.
However, living conditions were difficult. All 500 internees were crowded into a single building, which had previously housed 60 soldiers, and the Japanese made little provision for food and water. The bedding was on the floor and each bed was rolled into a bundle during the day to allow for more space. After a few weeks, because of the obvious need, an additional building was obtained for male internees. The first project for the prisoners was to clean the building. Water had to be carried for one mile as the water main had been broken during the bombing. Drinking water was boiled as chemicals were not available. Lack of water, outside latrines, lack of screens for doors and windows, crowded buildings and the general lethargy of the prisoners contributed to poor sanitation. Intestinal diseases soon developed. Dysentery became so prevalent among the children, and adults as well, that a small dispensary was set up in the barracks.
On April 23, 1942, the five hundred American and Western internees were moved to Camp Holmes from Camp John Hay, a former base of the Philippine constabulary, five miles away.
They were joined there by 300 Chinese internees. Conditions at Camp Holmes were much better.
POWs as of 30/10/1942 = 2,500
Korean guards = 804
Changi (Malai 1)
There are currently no records online of roster lists, but it is often fruitful to look at other areas a POW could have been sent to locate anything.
There are some RAF Nominal Rolls from Changi which were made in 1944 from the National Archives reference AIR 40/1899, these are very fragile and seem to be falling apart, unfortunately.
CHANGI POW CAMP was opened after Singapore's fall on February 15th 1942 and was the main camp for the captured British and Commonwealth forces.
For most of the war, Changi was one of the least brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, particularly compared to those on Burma–Thailand railway.
Changi was not just one camp but up to seven prisoner-of-war (POW) and internee camps. Its name came from the peninsula on which it stood, named in turn after a village there for some time before British rule.
The Changi Peninsula had been the British Army's principal base area in Singapore. As a result, the site had a well-constructed military infrastructure, including three major barracks – Selerang, Roberts and Kitchener – as well as many other smaller camps. Singapore's civilian prison, Changi Gaol, was also on this peninsula.
After the fall of Singapore 50,000 British and other Empire troops were gathered there, but very quickly work details gathered several thousand men from Changi and these were sent to various projects on Sumatra, Burma, and Thailand and other Japanese occupied territories.
All POWs leaving Singapore did so from Singapore’s Keppel harbour which is now part of the main port authority of Singapore state.
Most were moved in groups named 'Forces' named from A to L in order of departure (see Destinations).
A -Burma left Singapore on 14/5/42 Celebes Maru & disembarked Victoria Point, in Burma,
B -Borneo, up to 1500 men left on board the Ubi Maru in July 1942 arriving 9 days later in Sandakan and marched to No 1 camp, Kuching.
C- Japan, Left Singapore on 28/11/42 and arrival was split into those that went onto Kobe (Kawasaki) camp and Naoetsu (number 4 Tokyo camp).
D- Thailand 5000 pows left Changi for Bampong in four groups between 14 and 18 March 1943
E -Borneo, Left for Sandakan on 28/3/43 1000 men strong, on the SS de Klerk.
F- Thailand 7000 in F Force, left Changi for Thailand between 16-18 April 1943.
"F" Force was not classified as a normal working group of slave labourers. The prisoners of war allocated to this force were all sick men, with Diptheria and dysentery amongst other illnesses. The men were regarded as not fit enough to be transferred to working areas but were shipped out of Changi anyway on 13 trains with no ventilation and little food or water. The 7,000 men within this unit composed of 3,444 British and nearly 3,600 Australians, the Journey took 5 days and ended at Ban Pong, although then a 200-mile march ensued towards Burma.
G-Japan left Changi and sailed from Singapore for Japan on 26 April 1943 on the Kyokko Maru. Arrived at Moji in Japan where POWs were sent onto Taisho sub-camp, one of a group of camps around Osaka and Kobe.
H-Thailand 3270 pows left 5/5/43 and disembarked Bam Pong, 1979 men were British in this party, many of which had arrived in Singapore in February from Java.
J-Japan sailed from Singapore on 16 May 43. On arrival at Mojio, the POWs were split & sent to Moji & Kobe camps.
K & L-365 men of the medical forces left Changi in June and August 1943 for Thailand and worked in the various hospitals along the railway.
The camp was in existence until May 31st 1944 when military prisoners were transferred to Changi prison, while the remaining 3500 civilians were moved to Sime Road Camp.
CHANGI PRISON (AKA Changi Gaol)
Located 4 km south (along the coast towards Singapore). This prison was built for the British by American engineers in the 1930s, using Sing-Sing (New York USA) as a model. It had 4 floors, 440 meters long X 110 yards wide, with walls and the roof made of concrete. In normal times the prison would house 800 prisoners but at one point during the war, it had ten times that.
Relatives of British POWs who were in Changi POW Camp, Singapore may like to know that The National Archives in Kew, London - have 58,000 POW index cards in 50 or so boxes. These contain basic details of each POW and in Japanese on the back additional information - that on POWs who died is particularly informative.
Changi was liberated by troops of the 5th Indian Division on 5 September 1945 and within a week troops were being repatriated. After the war, Changi Gaol once again became a civilian prison, while the Changi military area was repaired and redeveloped for use by the British garrison. Following the withdrawal of British troops in 1971 the area was taken over by the Singapore Armed Forces and still has one of the main concentrations of military facilities on the island. Roberts Barracks remains in use but the original buildings at Selerang were demolished in the 1980s. Changi Gaol was scheduled for demolition in the second half of 2004, although the original entrance gate and a section of the outer wall were preserved as a memorial.
British Army built, The Selerang Barracks were constructed between1936 - 1938 and used to house Australian POWs from 1942 onwards.
The Selerang Barracks Square Incident
In 1942, Corporal Rodney Breavington and Private Victor Gale from the Australian Imperial Force, Private Harold Waters from the East Surrey Regiment and Private Eric Fletcher from the Royal Army were recaptured after a failed escape attempt. Attempting to stop further attempts, the Japanese required all POWs to sign a pledge of non-escape.
After the Australians refused to sign any agreement the Japanese crammed some 15,000 men, including the British POWs from the Changi camp, into the Selerang Barracks which was originally intended for a maximum of 1200 men on 2 September 1942.
The barracks buildings were overcrowded and many had to live in makeshift tents in the Square.
The Japanese cut off the water supply to the toilets, leaving the prisoners with no toilet facilities.
The prisoners resorted to digging trenches in the parade grounds as latrines. Despite the heat, there were two taps to collect water from, and each prisoner was limited to one quart of water (approximately 0.95 litres) for consumption and washing each day. Colonel E. B. Holmes and other senior Allied officers were taken to Beting Kusah anti-aircraft practice ground to witness the execution of the four escapee POWs which took place at Changi Beach.
This is from a report courtesy of the National Library Board in Singapore 2006:
‘The four men were made to line up, 3 paces apart, with their backs facing the sea. The POWs declined offers to blindfold. The firing squad, consisting of four Indian National Army* soldiers stood some 50 yards away. Corporal Breavington made a plea to the Japanese officers to execute him alone but was rejected. After an exchange of salutes between the POWs and their senior officers, the firing squad opened fire. The shots wounded the four but did not kill them. Breavington asked to be finished off and more rounds of bullets were fired into the four.’
*The so-called 'INDIAN NATIONAL ARMY', was an armed force formed to secure Indian independence with Japanese assistance and was largely, at this time, composed of ex Indian (British) army soldiers captured with the other commonwealth troops.
In 1945, Lieutenant General Shimpei Fukuei (also spelt as Fukuye) was the first to be tried for war crimes. He was found guilty for ordering the execution of the four POWs and on 7th April 1946, he was executed, by shooting, at the same spot where the four POWs died.
With the lack of food, water and proper hygiene the number of cases of dysentery and diphtheria began to rise. The Japanese intensified their pressure with threats of cutting the water supply, halving rations, and threatening to move the Robert Barracks Hospital to the Selerang Barracks Square. This turned out to be the tipping point as the move would endanger the lives of gravely ill patients and also lead to the spread of diseases. To prevent the further loss of lives, Colonel E. B. Holmes ordered the POWs to sign the documents of non-escape. This was done on 5th September 1942 and many of the prisoners signed under false names. (Ned Kelly, a legendary Australian outlaw, was a popular choice!) All the prisoners were returned to their original barracks afterwards.
River Valley Camp/Havelock Road camp (Malai 3)
The two camps were only separated by a small river/canal with a bridge built across it.
At some periods up to 5,000 POWs were housed here: these camps acted as transit & despatch sites for POW work parties. Their tasks involved the cleaning up and repairing of war-torn parts of the city and the badly bombed Chinatown area. POWs who were allowed to remain at either of these camps were often from Changi Camp and still fit to work.
Ex Burma Railway POW Jack Jennings book ‘prisoner without a crime’ noted:
‘The POWs lived in huts about a hundred feet long with wooden sleeping platforms that could accommodate up to 150 POWs. There was once a Roman Catholic Chapel and also a small library consisting of books collected from some of the houses near the camps. Unknown to the Japanese, there was a radio secretly hidden by the POWs on the grounds, which provided them with news from the outside world’.
There is some evidence that POWs here received the most humane treatment from their Japanese captors and were given a significant amount of privileges not found elsewhere. Havelock Road and River Valley Road Camps also had the unusual distinction of running a Masonic Lodge but this ended when numerous POWs were sent to the infamous Burmese "Death Railway".
An island at the south of Singapore Island itself and the nearby beach was the scene of the infamous executions of those POWs who attempted escaped from Selerang POW camp in Changi province. When Singapore was attacked in February 1942 Blakang Mati became a major target and the guns of were actively engaged in fighting off the Japanese attacks, even firing overland during the last three frenzied days of battle. This was not enough to keep the Japanese at bay and the British surrendered on 15 February 1942. The gun batteries on Blakang Mati were later destroyed or deliberately broken up to prevent them from falling into Japanese hands. Once the Japanese took over Singapore, Blakang Mati was used as a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp during the Occupation. Following the Japanese surrender in 1945, these roles were reversed and the former captors of WWII became POWS on Blakang Mati and were housed in the same barracks.
Anderson School, Ipoh, Perak State, Malaya
This was a civilian only internment camp, taken over by the Japanese in 1942.
Outram Road Prison
The Japanese military police (Kempeitai) used Outram Road Gaol in Singapore as a place of punishment for all those who broke their rules – prisoners of war, internees and local people. It was a place of starvation, torture and terror, a place of madness and, for many, death. Those who survived Outram Road displayed exceptional qualities of endurance, mental and emotional fortitude.
Adam road camp (Malai 4)
This could be the Sime road Internment camp (not POW) however Adam Road camp itself was the former British Army Barracks taken over by the Japanese for accommodation nearby.
Serangoon POW camp (Malai 2)
Mostly Indian Army POWs held here.
Other camps, hospitals & working groups:
Kranji No. 2 Working Camp, Singapore
Kranji No. 1 Hospital, Singapore
Alexandra Hospital, Havelock Road working camp, Singapore
Great World Camp, Singapore
Thompson Road Camp, Singapore
Palau Damat Laut, Singapore
Gilman Barracks, Singapore
Keppel Harbour No. 7, Singapore
Seletar Camp, ( naval case ), Singapore
Buller Camp, Breucassie, Singapore
Farrer Park, Singapore
Tandjoeng Pajani, Singapore
Buket Timah, Chinese High School, Singapore
Tanjong Rhu, Singapore
Palau Ubin Island, off Singapore
Normanton Camp, Singapore
Alexandra Road, Singapore
Golf Club, Sime Road, Singapore
Fort Connaught, Blakang Mati Island, Singapore
Towner Road Camp, Singapore
Serangoon Road, Singapore
JC /150 Loyang, Singapore
JC /151 Morse Road, Singapore
JC /152 Caldecott Estate, Singapore
JC /155 Miyaru Hospital, Singapore
JC /172 Janek Merak, Jechil Road, Singapore
JC /180 Orchard Road, Singapore
JC /200 Bidadari, Singapore
JC /226 Adam Road. Singapore
JC /234 Neesoon A Camp, Singapore
JC /247 McArthur Camp, Singapore
JC /284 Pasir Panjang, Singapore
JC /304 Pulai Buhom Jaa, Singapore
JC /163 Solomon Islands
JC /7 Pangkalan Balai, Singapore
The best site to research POW records from Taiwan is Michael Hurst MBE's ‘POWTaiwan.org’, - highly recommended.
Jinguashi (Chinkuashih) in modern-day Taiwan –Kinkaseki is the Japanese name for it, ran from 1942-45.
Taihoku No. 5 Mosak (Taipei)
Taihoku No. 6 (Taipei)
There were 2 camps at Inrin, one was a temporary camp.
Maruyama evacuation camp
POWs as of 30/10/1942 = 3,700
On Borneo there were Japanese-run internment camps at Batu Lintang, Kuching, Sarawak, Jesselton (later Kota Kinabalu), Sandakan and briefly on Labuan island.
Lieutenant-Colonel Tatsuji Suga (born 22nd September 1885) was the commander of all prisoner-of-war and civilian internment camps in Borneo.
Suga was based at Batu Lintang internment camp, although he was usually elsewhere at the other POW camps under his jurisdiction.
Suga attended the official surrender of the Japanese forces in the Kuching area by their commander, Major-General Hiyoe Yamamura, onboard HMAS Kapunda on the 11th September 1945.
Later that day Suga formally surrendered to Brigadier Thomas Eastick, the commander of Kuching Force (a detachment from the Australian 9th Division) at Batu Lintang camp.
The following day Suga, together with several of his officers were flown to the Australian base on Labuan, to await their trials as war criminals. Suga committed suicide there on the 16th of September. Other officers were later tried, found guilty and executed.
As Commander of all POW and civilian internee camps, Suga was responsible for the many atrocities that took place in these camps, including the Sandakan Death Marches. Had he not committed suicide, Suga would certainly have been found guilty of war crimes and executed.
At Sandakan and Ranau and Brunei, North Borneo, batches of prisoners in fifties and sixties were marched out to dig their graves, then shot or bayoneted and pushed into the graves, many before they were dead. All over Borneo hundreds and thousands of sick, weak, weary prisoners were marched on roads and paths until they fell from exhaustion, when their heads were beaten in with rifle butts and shovels, and split open with swords, and they were left to rot unburied. On one march 2,790 POWs started, and only three survived.
Jesselton, Sandakan, Kuching, Labuan
The Weihsien Compound (Shandong) (Civilian only)
Lunghua Civilian Assembly Centre (Shanghai)
Lushun (Port Arthur) POW Camp
This was the Kempeitai (Japanese military/secret police) centre for hard labour, torture and execution.
Situated in Lushun Manchuria and built by the Russian occupation forces in the early 20th century.
Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia)
Java POW Camp Group
The Imperial Japanese Army ran all camps in the North, with the Japanese Navy controlling those in the south.
Pontianak POW camp, Pontianak (Dutch Borneo) Kalimantan
Balikpapan POW camp, Balikpapan (Dutch Borneo) Kalimantan
Tanjung Priok POW camp, Tanjung Priok (Java)
Koan School, Batavia (modern Jakarta) (Java)
Glodok Gaol, Golodok, a suburb of Batavia (modern Jakarta) (Java)
Bicycle Camp, Batavia (modern Jakarta) (Java)
Usapa Besar (Timor)
Burma –Thailand ‘death’ railway
The Thailand-Burma railway was a 258 mile (415km) track route covering the distance between Bangkok Thailand and Rangoon Burma, it was built using slave labour under the control of the Japanese army during the period 1942-45.
Up to 180,000 Asian labourers and 50,000 POWs were used in this construction, with around up to 90,000/13,000 - 16,000 respectively dying as a result.
6318 British and 2815 Australian POWs are counted within these deaths.
The railway had been surveyed in the 1900s by the British but the route was considered too difficult to construct due to the terrain of deep valleys and high mountains.
The Japanese army decided its construction was vital as it was too dangerous to ship armed forces, goods and materials by sea and run the risk of US submarines (see the Hellships section to note the very high number sunk by Allied forces submarines during this period).
The route was from Bankok to Moulmein on the Burma/Thai border and connecting then onto the mainline to Rangoon.
Starting in May 1942 battalions of men 600 strong were transported from Changi (in Singapore) via metal box cars holding up to 30 in cramped and near exhaustive heat on the railway to Thailand and the arrival station for most was Ban Pong.
The railway was started from both ends at more or less the same time with Australian POWs and Dutch internees being shipped to Burma also.
The new railway route commenced building on 22nd June 1942 and completed on 17th October 1943, the most famous part near the town Kanchanaburi spanning the river Mekhong is ‘Bridge 277’ the famous ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’. (Khwae Yai).
The first wooden bridge over the Khwae Yai was finished in February 1943, followed by a concrete and steel bridge in June 1943. The two bridges were successfully bombed on 13 February 1945 by the Royal Air Force. Repairs were carried out by POW labour and by April the wooden trestle bridge was back in operation.
On 3 April a second raid by Liberator bombers of the U.S. Army Air Forces damaged the wooden bridge once again. Repair work continued and both bridges were operational again by the end of May. A second raid by the R.A.F. on 24 June put the railway out of commission for the rest of the war.
A survey of the track had shown that it's poor construction ‘would not support commercial traffic’. However the track was sold to Thai Railways and the 130 km Ban Pong–Namtok section re-laid and is in use today."
There are no ‘nominal lists’ currently known of those who worked and died on this railway, however:
6,982 casualties are commemorated in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (also known as Don-Rak cemetery) 129Km north of Bangkok.
1,379 casualties are commemorated in the Chonk-Kai War Cemetery which is on the same spot as the previous POW camp on the railways' course 2km south of the town of Kwai Noi.
Disregard for human life and suffering built this railway, nothing else would have done so.
Burma railway work camps
Primarily a hospital POW camp it housed around 7,500 POWs mostly the US. 60 KM west of Bangkok and on the direct communication line of the Japanese Army.
Non-Pladuk II (start of Railway)
Non-Pladuk Provisioning camp
Komma 2 KM
Ban-Pong 3 KM
Rukke 13 KM
Turanoi 26 KM
Tamuan 39 KM
Aka Tha Muang, Tamoan, Tamuang
Tung Tung 41 KM
Kanchanaburi 53 KM
Aka Kanburi, Kamburi
De Brug - The Bridge on the River Kwai (Khwae-Toi)
The river was renamed the Kwai-Yai in the 1960s after the film, the rivers name in WWII was the Mae Klong.
2 bridges were constructed across the river although both were bombed successfully during the war (not sabotaged by commandos/special forces, however!).
The bridge was built on a small tributary of the larger main river at Tha Mae Kham, some miles away from the Bridge that tourists are now shown as ‘the bridge’.
Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey (later Brigadier) was the senior officer in this camp and risked his own life many times by deliberately sabotaging the bridge-building efforts, completely different from the senior officer in the film.
Tha Markam 56 KM
Chunkai 60 KM
Wang Lan 69 KM
Tapon 78 KM
Bankao 88 KM
Takilen 98 KM
Arrowhill 108 KM
Lum Sung 110 KM
Wampo (viaduct) 114 KM
Tarsau (Nam Tok) - 131 KM from Non Pladuk II, 284 KM from Thanbyuzayat.
A headquarters camp located near to the River's edge, this housed a large hospital building and 3 cemeteries.
Often used for staging POWs up and down the railways' line, the hospital was a base from November in 1942 until April in 1944.
15,029 men were treated in the hospital and 806 died and were initially buried here.
Chong Kap 121 KM
Wanyai 125 KM
Tha Sao 130 KM -Group 4 of D party from Singapore worked here.
Ton Chan 139 KM
Tampi 148 KM
Konyu 151 KM
Hellfire Pass 153 KM
Hintok 155 KM
Kinsayok 171 KM -H Force worked here.
Rin Tin 181 KM
Kuye 190 KM
Hindato 198 KM
Tharcanun/ Tha Khanun 203 KM
Brankansi 207 KM
Takanum 218 KM
Namajon 229 KM
Houthakkerskamp (Lumberjack Camp) 240 KM
Tamuran Part 244 KM
Kriankri 250 KM
Kurikonta 258 KM
Konkoita 263 KM
Taimonta 273 KM
Ni Thea 282 KM
Sonkurai 296 KM
Occupied originally by British POWs from F Force who had left Changi (Singapore) in April 1943.
1600+ British POWs arrived here on May 20th 1943 from a 300-mile march from Ban Pong.
Next to the Huai Ro Khi river it had 3 large huts up to 75 metres long originally but grew in size later.
Changaraya 301 KM
Three Pagodas Camp (border) 306.5 KM
Payatonzu 307 KM
105 Kilo camp 310 KM
Anganan 2 315 KM
Kyando 320 KM
Aparon 332 KM
Aparain 337 KM
70 Kilo camp 343 KM
Kama Mezali 349 KM
Ronshii 354 KM
Tanzum 358 KM
55 Kilo camp 360 KM
Thanbaya 365 KM
Anakwin 369 KM
Bekitan 375 KM
30 Kilo camp 385 KM
Kanakoi 391 KM
Rabao 396 KM
Tentoku 401 KM
Wagale 406 KM
Thanbuyazat 430 KM
A Kempeitai Prison rather than a fully fledged POW camp, located in Rabaul town itself.
Conditions in Korean camps were amongst the best a POW could hope for in territories under Japanese control
At the Konan camp, some of the work was physically harder, such as stoking carbide furnaces. Many prisoners, however, indicated that because of the availability of fresh vegetables in the warmer months and local fish during winter, rations were in some ways better than at Jinsen and Keijo. The worst problem for prisoners in all North-east Asian camps was enduring the extreme cold in an undernourished state. Nevertheless, the standard of living in the camps here and in the capital was better than that of most local Koreans.
As in Noguchi’s welcoming speech and subsequent addresses, it would also appear that there was a concerted effort to convince prisoners of the legitimacy of Japanese war aims and to canvass prisoner opinion about the Japanese people and the outcome of the war. This included administering an elaborate questionnaire to all prisoner of wars in Korea, interviewing prisoners and even requiring them to write essays about their attitudes towards Japan. Initially, there were Japanese language lessons for officers, at first compulsory, then voluntary.
The senior British senior officer at Keijo, Lt Col Elrington held the perception that Australians were being particularly targeted.
It may be that as a consequence, conditions in the Korean camps, and especially at Keijo, were significantly better than in most other Japanese controlled camps. This more benign regimen included better food, adequate accommodation, access to Red Cross parcels, delivery of mail (albeit slow), fewer atrocities and well-stage-managed annual inspections by International Red Cross Committee teams. Keijo, and to a lesser extent Jinsen and Mukden, were manipulated by the Japanese as "show" camps, open to the IRCC, to demonstrate to the Allied powers Japanese chivalry towards prisoners.
The IRCC delegates who inspected Keijo camp in December 1942, allegedly told Mr R. P. Phillips, an Australian Red Cross Representative held there, that it was the "best" Japanese camp he had yet seen.
In contrast, the IRCC was not given access to camps in South-East Asia where conditions were far worse and frequently appalling. The better conditions in the Korean camps were reflected in the low death rate (2.7%).
By July 1943 some POWs were transferred to the Japanese homeland camps where labour was in short supply.
Argyle Street Camp
Argyle Street Camp was a Japanese World War II Prisoner-of-war camp in Kowloon, Hong Kong which primarily held officer prisoners. Built by the Hong Kong government as a refugee camp before the war (as was North Point POW Camp), it began life as a POW camp soon after Kowloon and the New Territories were abandoned to the Japanese.
In January 1942 it was emptied, with the POWs moving to Shamshuipo, North Point, and Ma Tau Chung Camps. However, after several escapes by POW officers and Other Ranks from Shamshuipo, Argyle Street was re-opened in mid-1942 as an officers' camp. In 1944 the officers were moved instead to Camp 'N' at Shamshuipo, and the Indian POWs from Ma Tau Chung Camp took up residence. After the Japanese surrender, Argyle Street Camp became a centre for displaced people returning to Hong Kong. Later still, it was a camp for refugees reaching Hong Kong from other parts of South East Asia.
Ma Tau Chung/Chong Camp
During the Second World War Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, most of the Indian POWs captured in Hong Kong were interned at a POW Camp here. The Japanese 'encouraged' these men to join the Indian National Liberation Army, but met with little success. While hundreds of these POWs were not considered a threat by the Japanese and were used as 'guards' at Gun Club Hill Barracks and other areas, 500-600 Indian soldiers considered anti-Japanese were held at Ma Tau Chung in very unpleasant circumstances. There were many deaths, and the men were buried just outside the camp near the vegetable gardens of the Argyle Street Camp immediately on the other side of Argyle Street.
Ma Tau Wai Camp
This was a civilian internment camp.
North Point Camp
This was a civilian internment camp.
Sham Shui Po Camp
Situated in Kowloon district, this camp was the largest in Hong Kong and the main place where both professional soldiers and the Hong Kong volunteer defence corps were imprisoned during the Japanese occupation.
Stanley Internment Camp
This was a civilian internment camp.
Around 1500 servicemen & women were captured in South Sumatra and many were taken onto Singapore.
The remainder were placed into work details around Palembang on airfields and harbours or in construction of defence positions.
In 1943 a work party from Java joined the POWs mainly for the construction of new airfields near Talangbetutu, 15 Km north of Palembang.
In the North & Central areas around 3,200 men were incarcerated, with a party of 2,000 men being transported to Burma in May 1942.
Liberation came between the 24th and 30th August 1945 when the POWs were transported to Pekanbaru, although too late for the near quarter of all allied POWs who died from disease, malnutrition, starvation and brutality.
After mid-1944 most POWs on the east coast area were based at Sungeigerung camp.
An industrial area halfway between Medan and Pulo Berayan.
Used as a POW & Internment camp between April 1942 and June 1944.
It consisted of five large and three small family barracks also called ‘hongs’.
From June 1944 women and children from Poeloe Berayan were interned here & in July 1945 they were moved to Aek Pamienke II near to a rubber plantation.
The latter women’s camp was called Gloegoer II. Camp Gloegoer I was was from April until May 1942 located in former coolies’ sheds a kilometre east of the main road.
2-300 Australian & British POWs along with up to 5,000 Dutch POWs were forced to help build the road into the interior nearly 70km long between Blangkedjeren & Takengon.
They were later also forced to build a 220 km long section of railway between Pekanbaru and Muaro, with 18 POW camps along the length of the railway.
Along with up to 120,000 Indonesian slave labourers, nearly a 3rd of all POWs and 90% of the slave labourers had died by VJ Day and the line's completion.
Kampar Kanan River
Lipat Kain (South Bank of the river)
Lipat Kain (North Bank of the river)
Petai Coal Mine
Note: there may be duplicated entries for some camp descriptions as camp names and sub names are often confusing: i.e. a camp might be known both by its main (parent) camp and by that camp's location and also by its subcamp names and its location.
Most subcamps were also known by the employing industry name: i.e. Mitsubishi, Nippon express etc.
There are sources which show other camp names not listed here: however there is no further information so far sourced regarding these camps, it being likely these extra names are either civilian camps only or just a misspelling or pseudonym of the camps below.
Akabira (Hakodate 2B)
Akenobe 6B (Osaka 6B)
Amagasaki Branch Camp (Osaka 6-D)
Honami Branch Camp (Fukuoka 22-B)
Aomori (Omori, Tokyo Base Camp)
Halfway between the capital (Tokyo) and Yokohama this artificial island in the bay had barracks surrounded by a bamboo fence.
Ashio Branch Camp (Tokyo 9-B)
Ashio Detached Camp (Tokyo 9-B Detached)
Inatsuki (Yamano) Branch Camp (Fukuoka 8-B)
Omuta Miike Branch Camp (Fukuoka 17-B)
Funatsu Branch Camp (Nagoya 3-D)
Futase Branch Camp (Fukuoka 7-B)
Hakodate POW Camp
Osarisawa (Hanawa) Branch Camp (Sendai 6-B)
Harima Branch Camp (Osaka 7-D)
Hirohata Branch Camp (Osaka 12-B)
Hiraoka (Mitsushima) Branch Camp (Tokyo 12-B)
Hitachi Motoyama Branch Camp (Tokyo 8-B)
Hosokura Branch Camp (Sendai 3-B)
Ichioka POW Hospital Ward
Ikuno Branch Camp (Osaka 4-B)
Mukaijima Branch Camp (Hiroshima 4-B)
Innoshima Branch Camp (Hiroshima 5-B)
Kamioka Branch Camp (Nagoya 1-D)
Kamikita Branch Camp (Sendai 11-B)
Ofuna Naval POW Camp
Kameda Dispatched Camp (Hakodate 2-D)
Kamiiso Dispatched Camp (Hakodate 1-D)
Kamikita Branch Camp (Sendai 11-B)
Kanose Branch Camp (Tokyo 16-B)
Kumamoto Branch Camp and Fukuoka Branch Camp (Fukuoka 1-B)
Kawasaki Branch Camp (Tokyo 1-B)
Kobe Branch Camp (Osaka 2-B)
Kawasaki Ogimachi Branch Camp (Tokyo 2-B) (aka ‘The Mitsui Madhouse’)
Kobe POW Hospital
Kosaka Branch Camp (Sendai 8-B)
Koyagi Branch Camp (Fukuoka 2-B)
Maibara Branch Camp (Osaka 10-B)
Minato-ku (Osaka) POW Camp
Hiraoka (Mitsushima) Branch Camp (Tokyo 12-B)
Miyata Branch Camp (Fukuoka 9-B)
Mizumaki Branch Camp (Fukuoka 6-B)
Moji Branch Camp (Fukuoka 4-B)
Hitachi Motoyama Branch Camp (Tokyo 8-B)
Kamiiso Dispatched Camp (Hakodate 1-D)
Nakama Branch Camp (Fukuoka 21-B)
Nagasaki Mitsubishi Dockyard Branch Camp (Fukuoka 14-B)
Nagoya POW Camp
Kamioka Branch Camp (Nagoya 1-D)
Narumi Branch Camp (Nagoya 2-D)
Funatsu Branch Camp (Nagoya 3-D)
Iruka Branch Camp (Nagoya 4-D)
Yokkaichi Branch Camp (Nagoya 5-D)
Fushiki Hokkai Electro-Chemical Branch Camp (Nagoya 6-D)
Toyama Nippon Soda Branch Camp (Nagoya 7-D)
Toyama Tateyama Heavy Industry Branch Camp (Nagoya 8-D)
Toyama Nippon Express Branch Camp (Nagoya 9-D)
Fushiki Sea and Land Transportation Branch Camp (Nagoya 10-D)
Toyama Nippon Soda Iwase Ironworks Branch Camp (Nagoya 11-D)
Niigata Sea and Land Transportation Branch Camp (Tokyo 5-B)
Niihama Isoura Branch Camp (Hiroshima 2-B)
Naoetsu Branch Camp (Tokyo 4-B)
Notogawa Branch Camp (Osaka 9-B)
Oeyama Branch Camp (Osaka 3-B)
Ohashi Branch Camp (Sendai 4-B)
Omine Branch Camp (Hiroshima 6-B)
Nishi Ashibetsu Branch Camp (Hakodate 4-B)
Sakata Branch Camp (Sendai 9-B)
Sendai POW Camp (main camp)
Kamaishi Branch Camp (Sendai 5-B)
Osarisawa (Hanawa) Branch Camp (Sendai 6-B)
Hanaoka Brach Camp (Sendai 7-B)
Utashinai Branch Camp (Hakodate 3-B)
Yoshima Branch Camp (Sendai 2-B)
Yumoto Branch Camp (Sendai 1-B)
Wakasen/Wakassennin – see Wakayama
Wakayama Branch Camp (Osaka 14-D)
Wakagawa Branch Camp (Sendai 10-B)
Wakinohama (Osaka #18-B)
Kobe Wakinohama Branch Camp (Osaka 18-B)
Yakumo Detached Camp (Hakodate 1-Detached)
Yamashita Camp – see Yokohama Ship Loading Dispatched Camp (Tokyo 19-D)
Yodogawa Branch Camp (Osaka 3-D)
Yokkaichi Branch Camp (Nagoya 5-D)
Yokohama POW camps
Yokohama Branch Camp (Tokyo 3-B)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Yokohama Ship-building Dispatched Camp (Tokyo 1-D)
Nippon Steel Tube Tsurumi Ship-building Dispatched Camp (Tokyo 3-D)
Osaka Ship-building Yokohama Dispatched Camp (Tokyo 10-D)
Nippon Steel Tube Asano Ship-building Dispatched Camp (Tokyo 13-D)
Yokohama Proof-brick Dispatched Camp (Tokyo 18-D)
Yokohama Ship Loading Dispatched Camp (Tokyo 19-D)
Zentsuji Headquarters Camp & Zentsuji Subcamp 3 (Hiroshima area POW Camp)
Zentsuji Branch Camp (Hiroshima 1-B)
Known as “Japan’s Gestapo,” the kempeitai were guilty of some of the worst atrocities of World War II.
To-151 Kamioka Prison (Gummyoji) Yokohama
To-152 Kempei-Tai Headquarters (Tokyo)
To-153 Ueno Park Police Station (Tokyo)
To-154 Sugamo Penitentiary (Tokyo)
To-155 3 Cell Jail (Tokyo)
To-156 Kempeitai Headquarters (Yokohama)
To-157 Tokyo Military Prison
To-158 Kotobuki Police Station, Yokohama?
To-159 Yokohama Central Prison, Yokohama
Os-151 Kikusui Police (Kobe)
Os-152 Osaka Honmachi (Osaka Jail)
Os-153 Kobe Water Police Jail
Os-154 Sakai Penitentiary (Osaka)
Hi-151 Kure Naval Prison (Hiroshima)
Ha-151 M.P. Prison (Sapporo)
Ha-152 Sapporo- aka Northern Army Hqs
Fu-151 Miyazaki Kempeitai Headquarters.
To-201 Tokyo No.1 Military Hospital
To-202 Sagamihara Hosp. (Tokyo)
To-203 Shinagawa Hospital (Stadium Camp)
To-204 Yokosuka Naval Hospital
Os-201 Itchioka Hospital (Osaka Stadium)
Os-202 Osaka Military Hospital
Os-203 Kobe Hospital
Os-204 Kobe Military Hospital
Fu-201 Kokura Military Hospital
Fu-202 Moji Military Hospital
Hi-201 Shimonoseki Quarantine Station
Hi-202 Besshi Sumitomo Hospital, Niihama
Manpower for the Imperial Japanese armed forces became ever more critical as Allied forces closed in, rolling back the tide of Japanese territory, so the Japanese began transferring POWs by sea back towards the Japanese home Islands.
Similar to the hellish conditions on the Bataan Death March, prisoners were often crammed into cargo holds with little air, food or water for journeys that could last weeks. Many died due to asphyxia, starvation or dysentery. Some POWs in the heat, humidity, lack of oxygen, food, and water became delirious.
Unlike weapons and supply transports (which were sometimes marked as Red Cross ships), these prisoner transports were unmarked and were targeted by Allied submarines and aircraft very often the majority of these ships were sunk by the end of the war.
The list below is not definitive, however, there is some information on every ship that it was possible to find data on immediately.
The sources quoted can also supply much more specific information than it is capable of showing here.
Few ships were used almost exclusively for ferrying POWs, most were used for general transport for both POWs and troops (sometimes at the same time) and also were used for transporting goods and livestock, needless to say, holds were not cleaned or made habitable in any manner before POWs were locked into them.
It is interesting to note the suffix ‘Maru’ –this was a common addition to ships name meaning ‘beloved’ and was intended to ‘protect’ the ships from exterior harm.
Some notable hell ships-
The Oryoku Maru was a 7,363-ton passenger-cargo liner that the Japanese used to transport 1,620 survivors of the Bataan Death March, Corregidor and other battle sites. It left Manila on 13 December 1944 and over the next two days was bombed and strafed by American planes. About 270 died aboard the ship, from suffocation or dehydration or were killed in the attack or from drowning while escaping the sinking ship.
The survivors of the sinking were held for several days in an open tennis court at Olongapo Naval Base. While there, the prisoners were afforded no sanitary conditions whatsoever. Prisoners experienced severe mistreatment, and several deaths occurred. The group of prisoners was then moved to San Fernando, Pampanga. While in San Fernando, 15 weak or wounded prisoners were loaded on a truck, believing they would be taken to Bilibid for treatment. In the 1946 war crimes trial, they were reported to have been taken to a nearby cemetery, beheaded, and dumped into a mass grave. The remaining prisoners were then transported by train to La Union.
There, about 1,000 of the survivors were loaded on another Japanese ship, the Enoura Maru, while the rest boarded the smaller Brazil Maru. Both ships reached Takao harbour in Taiwan on New Year's Day, where the smaller group of prisoners was transferred from Brazil Maru to Enoura Maru, and 37 British and Dutch were taken ashore.
However, on January 9th, the Enoura Maru was bombed and disabled while in harbour, killing about 350 men. The survivors were put aboard the Brazil Maru which arrived in Moji Japan, on January 29, 1945. Only 550 of the 900+ who sailed from Taiwan were still alive; 150 more men died in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea in the coming months, leaving only 403 survivors of the original 1620 to be liberated from camps in Kyushu, Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan in August and September 1945.
Junsaburo Toshino, former Lieutenant and Guard Commandant aboard the hell ship were found guilty of murdering and supervising the murder of at least 16 men and sentenced to death as a Class B war criminal at Yokohama.
Shuske Wada, whose charges paralleled those of Toshino, was the official interpreter for the guard group. (Both Toshino and Wada had supervised the San Fernando murders.) Wada was found guilty of causing the deaths of numerous American and Allied prisoners of war by neglecting to transmit to his superiors requests for adequate quarters, food, drinking water, and medical attention. Wada was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labour. All the other guards received long prison sentences. The captain of the ship, Shin Kajiyama, was acquitted, "as he had no chance to prevent any atrocities"
The case of the Oryoku Maru collectively covers the seven-week voyages and fate of Allied POWs held in the Philippines, who survived the sinking of that ship in Subic Bay in December 1944, and the bombing of a second ship the Enoura Maru, in the harbour of Takao, January 1945, and the Brazil Maru which transported the last surviving Allied POWs to Moji, Japan. There the Japanese medics are said to have been shocked at the wasted condition of the POWs and used triage to divide them. The 110 most severe cases were taken to a primitive military hospital in Kokura where 73 died within a month. Four other groups were sent to Fukuoka POW camps 1, 3, 4, and 17. Of 549 men alive when the ship docked, only 372 survived the war. Some eventually went to a POW camp in Jinsen (Inchon), Korea, where they were given light duties, mainly sewing garments for the Japanese Army.
On September 7, 1944, the hell ship SS Shinyo Maru was attacked by the submarine USS Paddle. Two torpedoes hit the hull of the ship which sank, killing several hundred American, Dutch and Filipino servicemen. At the same time, the Japanese guarding the prisoners opened fire on them while they were trying to abandon ship or swim to the nearby island of Mindanao. In the end, 687 Allied prisoners were killed along with forty-seven Japanese, only eighty-two Americans survived.
On September 18th, 1944, when sailing from Tangjung Priok, Java to Padang, Sumatra, Junyo Maru was torpedoed west off Sumatra, Mukomuko by the British submarine HMS Tradewind.
The Junyo Maru had the worst death toll, 5,640 out of 6,520 POWs dying after the ship was sunk.
It displaced 5,065 tons, was 405 ft (123 m) long, 53 ft (16 m) wide, and 27.2 ft (8.3 m) deep. The engines were rated at 475 hp (354 kW).
The ship was built for Lang & Fulton of Greenock as SS Ardgorm. In 1917 she was sold to the Norfolk & North American Steamship Company (part of Furness Withy), London, and renamed Hartland Point. In 1918 she was acquired by the Johnstone Line of Liverpool, who renamed her Hartmore in 1920 and sold her in 1921 to the Anglo-Oriental Navigation Company (part of Yule Catto), Liverpool, who renamed her Sureway. In 1926 she was sold to a Japanese company and renamed Junyo Maru, and taken over by the Japanese Government in 1938.
To transport prisoners, it was fitted out with extra decks constructed of bamboo subdivided into cages of the same material. Deck space was also used for the prisoners. When it was attacked and sunk on September 18, 1944, by Tradewind, the Junyo Maru was packed with 1,377 Dutch, 64 British and Australian, and 8 American prisoners of war along with 4,200 Javanese slave labourers (Romushas) bound for work on the railway line being built between Pakan Baru and Muaro in Sumatra. It was the world's greatest sea disaster at the time with 5,640 dead. 723 survivors were rescued only to be put to work in conditions similar to those of the Burma Railway where death was commonplace.
Note: Hellships were frequently renamed or known by other names -AKA in these listings means 'also known as'
Sailed from Wewak, New Guinea on 17th March 1943 to Kavieng, New Ireland/Rabaul.
Arrived on 18th March with 60 POWs. Akikase was later torpedoed and sunk on 03/11/44 by the US submarine USS Pintado.
Sailed from Surabaya, Java 22/04/43 to Ambon/ Ceram/ Haruku arriving 04/5/43 with 1071 POWs.
Sunk on 05/02/44 by USS Tantalus
Sailed from Singapore on 01/05/43 carrying Indian POWs.
Sailed from Guam 10/1/42 to an unspecified port in Japan arriving on 15/1/42 carrying 800 POWs.
A 6,886-ton freighter on October 24, 1944, Arisan Maru was transporting 1,781 US & Allied military and civilian POWs when she was hit by a torpedo strike from an American submarine at about 5 p.m. she finally sank about 7 p.m. Only nine of the prisoners aboard survived the event -five escaped and made their way to China in one of the ship's two lifeboats.
They were reunited with U.S. Forces and returned to the United States.
The four others were recaptured by Imperial Japanese naval vessels, where one died shortly after reaching land.
The ship then sailed from Manila on 11/10/44 to an unspecified port in Japan with 1800 Pows.
Each prisoner was fed about one teacup of cooked rice twice daily and given a canteen full of dirty water once a day. Sanitary facilities consisted of four 5-gallon buckets which were grossly inadequate.
On October 24th 1944 Commander E. N. Blakely spotted the unmarked Arisan Maru through his periscope on the USS Shark submarine. He and his crew sent two torpedoes speeding through the icy waters of the South China Sea toward the ship, striking it on the starboard number three hold and the stern.
Sources 1 & 8
Aramis (AKA Teia Maru)
An armed merchant cruiser, converted from a civilian merchant ship in 1941.
The Asaka carried 709 British & Australian POWs from Singapore to Japan but was sunk by USN aircraft off Taiwan on 13/8/44, 690 survived.
Sources 4,13 & 18.
Designed as a civilian cruise liner, in 1941 the ship became a troop transport for the Japanese Navy
On November 1, 1944, Asama Maru was torpedoed and sunk by the US Submarine ‘Atule’ 100 miles (160 km) south of the island of Pratas.
Carried 1,000 prisoners from Makassar, Celebes to Nagasaki, Japan beginning October 10th, 1942 and arriving 13 days later.
It then carried 20 prisoners from Wake Island to Yokohama, Japan beginning November 1st, 1942 and later carried 71 prisoners from Singapore to Moki, Japan beginning September 21st, 1943.
Aki Maru (AKA Mishima Maru)
Carried 74 officers and government officials of the Dutch East Indies from Singapore to Formosa departing January 10th & taking 26 days in 1943.
Sources 7, 13 & 18.
Left Singapore carrying 525 POWs 23/12/44 and arrived Moji Japan 13/01/45.
Sunk by USS Queenfish (SS-393) 1 April 1945
Sources 13 & 18
Benjo Maru (AKA Hokusen Maru)
Carried 1,100 prisoners from Manila to Hong Kong, beginning October 3, 1944, then from Hong Kong to Formosa, arriving October 24, 1944.
Nicknamed the Benjo Maru as Benjo means ‘toilet’ -due to the number of POWs suffering dysentery on board.
Sailed from Singapore to Taiwan departed 5/6/44 with 800 POWs.
POWs were then transferred to the Tamahoko Maru which was sunk 24/6/44 in Nagasaki bay with only 212 survivors.
The Brazil Maru travelling with the Enoura Maru carried all surviving POWs of Oryoku Maru, Later Brazil would also carry the survivors from the Enoura Maru when she too was sunk. POWs died at a rate of up to fifty per day. Brazil arrived at Moji, Japan with approximately 425 of 1,619 POWs that began the trip on Oryoku Maru on December 13, 1944.
Sailed from Sandakan Borneo to Labuan Island 0n 30th august 1943 arriving 3rd September with 8 POWs.
Sailed from Hong Kong to Osaka on 15/8/43 with 501 POWs.
Canadian Inventor (Mati Mati Maru/ Sekiho Maru)
Mati –Mati =’wait, wait’ a nickname for this hell ship that zigzagged across the Pacific carrying POWs so much it was always a delayed journey.
Carried 500 prisoners from Cabanatuan to Cebu City, then Cebu City to Manila beginning July 4, 1944; same POWs sailed from Manila to Takao, Formosa beginning July 16, 1944; same POWs sailed from Takao to Keelung, Formosa beginning August 4, 1944; same POWs sailed from Keelung to Naha, Okinawa beginning August 17, 1944; POWs finally arrived in Moji, Japan on September 1, 1944. POWs never left the ship until September 2, 1944.
Sources 11 & 13
Canadian Prince (AKA Rashin maru)
Departed Singapore with 1065 POWs on board bound for Moji (JAPAN) via Manila (Philippines) on 4/7/1944 and arrived in Japan on 9/8/44, the main body of POWs were ex Burma railway and this was the only ship in the 3 ship convoy to carry Australians.
Took over 1000 Australian POWs from Changi POW camp Singapore (probably Selerang barracks as that was the Australian camp) sailing on 15th May 1942 for Belawan/Medan in northern Sumatra.
The ship was later sunk by US aircraft whilst carrying IJN personnel near Mindoro Island in the Philippines.
Chichibu Maru (AKA Kamakura Maru)
A 17,000-ton transport ship sunk by the submarine USS Gudgeon 28 April 1943 at 10-18N, 121-44E
Cho Saki Maru
Ship sunk by USS Sailfish (SS-192) 4 December 1943
Clyde Maru (AKA Toro Maru)
Left Manila the Philippine capital on 23/7/43 taking 501 US prisoners to Japan and was torpedoed and sunk by the submarine USS Picuda (SS-382) in the Taiwan straits.
A complete roster for POWs transported on this ship can be found on the website www.lindavdahl.com
Coral/Corral maru (AKA Taga Maru)
Used for many POW voyages in 1943/4, on 10th June 1945 USS Flying Fish (Commander R.D. Risser) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese army cargo ship Taga Maru (2220 GRT) off Seishin, northwestern Korea in position 41º42'N, 129º34'E.
This ship was used for several POW voyages including the delivery of Fepows to Fukuoka camp via the port of Moji in 1942/3.
One of which was the transportation of 900 British POWs from Singapore on 28/10/42 to Takao, Taiwan.
Dainichi was torpedoed on 08/10/43 by USS Gurnard, along with another Japanese ship, she was carrying a troop transport of over 2000 at this time.
DeKlerk (AKA Imbari Maru/Imaji maru, De Clerk)
A Dutch-built ship of 2071 tonnes, launched in 1900.
She was deliberately scuttled by the Dutch to prevent her from falling into enemy hands but the Japanese refloated and salvaged her in 1942.
This was when the Japanese renamed her ‘Imbari maru’.
The ship left Singapore on the 5th September 1944 en route to Manila via Borneo, arriving in Miri on the 11th picking up supplies and human cargo and leaving again on the 15th. In the early hours of the 16th September, she hit a mine north of Labuan, listed quickly to port and sank. Of the 1210 people on board, a total of 339 were lost that night, 308 workers (including POW’s), 26 prostitutes and 5 Japanese soldiers.
Dai Moji Maru (AKA Moji Maru)
Sailed from Celebes to Kendari on 10/1/44 with 9 POWs on board.
See "Death on the Hellships" (pp. 273-274) re the beheading of the PBY aircrew members
15/5/42 Some 2000 Dutch & British POWs from Sumatra were transported to Mergui, Burma.
25/10/42 1100 British POWs taken to Takao, Taiwan from Singapore.
Enoura Maru (AKA Enuri maru)
The survivors of the sinking of the Oruku maru (see above) were held for several days in an open tennis court at Olongapo Naval Base. While there, the prisoners were afforded no sanitary conditions whatsoever. Prisoners experienced severe mistreatment, and several deaths occurred. The group of prisoners was then moved to San Fernando, Pampanga. While in San Fernando, 15 weak or wounded prisoners were loaded on a truck, believing they would be taken to Bilibid for treatment. In the 1946 war crimes trial, they were reported to have been taken to a nearby cemetery, beheaded, and dumped into a mass grave. The remaining prisoners were then transported by train to San Fernando, La Union. There, about 1,000 of the survivors were loaded on another Japanese ship, the Enoura Maru, while the rest boarded the smaller Brazil Maru. Both ships reached Takao (Kaohsiung) harbour in Taiwan on New Year's Day, where the smaller group of prisoners was transferred from Brazil Maru to Enoura Maru, and 37 British and Dutch were taken ashore. However, on January 9, the Enoura Maru was bombed and disabled while in harbour, killing about 350 men. The survivors were put aboard the Brazil Maru which arrived in Moji, Japan, on January 29, 1945. Only 550 of the 900+ who sailed from Taiwan were still alive; 150 more men died in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea in the coming months, leaving only 403 survivors of the original 1620 to be liberated from camps in Kyushu, Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan in August and September 1945.
Fuji Maru (AKA Hofuku maru)
Fukkai Maru (AKA Fuku/Fukai Maru)
Fukuji Maru (AKA Fukuju Maru)
Sailed from Takao Taiwan on 22/8/44 bound for Japan (Unspecified port)arriving 8 days later with 707 POWs on board.
Ship sunk by USS Flier 4 June 1944
Hakushika Maru (AKA Hakuroku Maru)
Sailed from Singapore on 04/7/44 to Moji, Japan via Manila (Phillipines) arriving on 13/8/44 with 609 POWs.
Sunk by USS Bluegill on 18/10/44
Harugiku Maru (AKA Van Waerwijck)
Sailed from Singapore to Moji (Japan):
Departed 6/11/43 with 1229 POWs.
Departed 3/6/44 with up to 1003 POWs.
Sunk by US submarine USS Whale (SS-329) on 17/2/43 on a voyage from Saipan to Truk with 900 POWs aboard. None survived.
Sailed from Singapore to Nagasaki (Japan) via Takao (Taiwan) and Manila (Philippines) departed 3/6/44 arrived finally on 21/6/44 with 450 POWs.
Exact departure dates are confusing since some sources state 3rd June and some 5th June 1944.
A set of 3 ships carried around 2200 POWs to Moji however.
Sailed from Singapore to Manila on 04/7/44 with 1287 POWs on board arriving 15 days later.
Sailed back from Manila to Japan on 20/9/44 with 1289 POWs.
Ship sunk 21 September 1944 by an unidentified US submarine.
Hokko Maru (AKA Hioki Maru)
Departed from manila on 1/10/42 destination and cargo unknown.
Hokusen Maru (AKA Haro Maru, Haru Mary, Benjo Maru, Horror Maru)
Sailed from Manila to Takao, Taiwan via Hong Kong on 3/10/44 arriving on 11/11/44 with 1100 POWs on board.
Sailed from Singapore to Moji, Japan departing on 6/9/44 and arriving in Japan with 900 POWs on board.
Sunk by USS Redfin on 23/11/44.
Sailed from Palau to New Guniea on 20/1/44 with 611 POWs on board.
Torpedoed by USS Seahorse the next day on 21/1/44.
Listed as an Imperial Japanese Navy gunboat and also as a freighter by different sources: sunk on 12/1/44.
Sailed from Manila to Davao departing on 1/7/42 the journey lasted 8 days and had 200 POWs on board.
See De Klerk
Kachidoki Maru (AKA Kakko maru/President Harrison)
Left Singapore on 4/9/44 bound for Japan with 950 British & Australian POWs from D party group 4, sunk in the same incident on 12/9/44as the Rakuyo maru and 520 were rescued by the Japanese and a few others by US submarines.
Kalgan Maru (AKA Nishi Maru)
Sailed from Singapore to Japan (Moji) on 28/11/42 with 557 POWs, some reports show the ship terminating at Nagasaki however on this voyage.
Sailed from Ambon to java departing on 31/8/44 and going via Makassar and to Surabaya with 300 pows on board, arriving in Java on 29/9/44.
King Kong Maru (AKA Kenkon Maru)
Used to ferry some of the party of 2200 British, Dutch & Australian POWs including RAF from Singapore to Moji (Japan) leaving 5th June 1944
Kunimata Maru (often misspelled Kurimata)
Kyokko Maru (AKA Kyoko Maru)
Sailed from Singapore to Moji (Japan) with 1500 POWs on 25/4/43.
Lisbon Maru/Risubon Maru
A harrowing account of the sinking and murder of many POWs is found in the book ‘Ships from Hell: Japanese War Crimes on the High Seas in World War II’ By Raymond Lamont-Brown.
Sailed from Hong Kong to Japan on 17/9/42 but sunk in the south china sea on 2/10/42 with 977 survivors from the original 1816 POWs.
Maebashi Maru (AKA Maybashi/Maebassi maru)
Maru No. 760
Maru Roku (AKA Pacific Maru)
Maru Shichi (AKA Hawaii maru)
Mati Mati Maru (AKA Matti Matti Maru, Canadian Inventor)
See ‘Canadian inventor
Sailed from Singapore to Moji (Japan) departed 21/10/43 with 1155 POWs.
Mishima Maru (AKA Aki Maru)
See Dai Moji maru
Montevideo Maru(AKA Montebideo Maru)
Nagata Maru (AKA Nagato Maru)
Natoru Maru (AKA Naruto Maru)
10/1/43 1000 Dutch transported from Java to Moulmein but sunk 15/1/43 in the Andaman sea with 961 survivors.
(Other reports state 548 POWs and no survivors.)
Nishi Maru (AKA Kalgan Maru)
Nitimei Maru (AKA Nichimei Maru)
No. 1 Yoshida Maru
No. 2 Hikawa Maru
No. 6 Kotobuki Maru
No. 7 Hoshi Maru
No. 17 Nanshin Maru
No. 86 (AKA Tateishi Maru)
No. 824 (AKA Teiryu maru, Kakakusen, Northwestern Miller, Augsberg)
Op ten Noort (AKA Suzuya Maru)
Otaro Maru (AKA Suzuya maru)
President Harrison (AKA Kachidoki/Kakko maru)
On the 12th of September 1944 the convoy the Rakoyu was in was attacked by US submarines and the ship was hit by a torpedo from the US submarine Sealion.
US submarines picked up some 63 POWs in the sea after the sinkings, The Japanese 136 others, however, 1159 POWs died.
Rashin Maru (AKA Canadian Prince/Potomac)
Carried 1065 POWs from Thailand in July 1944.
Rendsberg (AKA Toendjoek/Tango Maru)
Rio de Janeiro Maru
Sekiho Maru (AKA Canadian Inventor)
Singapore Maru (AKA Shonan Maru)
Carried 1100 POWs from Singapore to Moji (Japan) on 30/10/42.
Singoto Maru (AKA Teiryu Maru)
Suzuya Maru (AKA Otaro Maru/Op ten Noort)
20/10/42 1600 Dutch POWs transported to Moulmein from Java
Tamahoko Maru (AKA Yone Maru/Tamahoko Maru)
Sailed from Hong Kong to Nagasaki with 1200 POWs on 19/1/43.
Used to ferry some of the party of 2200 British, Dutch & Australian POWs including RAF from Singapore to Moji (Japan) leaving 5th June 1944.
Tiensen (AKA Tenshin Maru)
Toendjoek (AKA Tango Maru/Rendsberg)
Sailed from Singapore to Japan (Moji) 27/10/42 with 1205 POWs.
Toro Maru (AKA Clyde Maru)
Tottori Maru (AKA Tottori)
Sailed from Hong Kong to Japan (Moji) via Taiwan in December 1943 carrying 500 POWs.
Toyofuku Maru (AKA Hofuku Maru/Fuji Maru)
Used to ferry 1287 British, Dutch & Australian POWs including RAF from Singapore leaving on 4th July 1944.
Sunk off Manila having broken down and remained stranded for 2 months, 383 survivors only.
Ume Maru (AKA Ube Maru)
Sailed from Singapore to Moji (Japan) departed 20/9/43 with 507 POWs.
Van Waerwijck (AKA Harugiku Maru)
Left Belawan Sumatra on 25/6/44 bound for Pakanbaroe Sumatra and was sunk by Submarine HMS Truculent the next day, 180 of 720 POW and 27 of 55 Japanese troops killed.
Wales Maru (AKA Weills Maru and Byoki Maru)
Sailed from Singapore on 15/05/43 to Moji, Japan with 900 POWs on board.
Winchester Maru (AKA Taiko Maru)
Wolverine State (AKA Kachidoki maru)
Sailed from Singapore on 06/09/44 to Japan with 900 POWs on board.
Kachidoki was torpedoed on 09/12/44 by USS Pampanito, 244 POWs died, the rest were eventually picked up by a Japanese whaling ship and landed ashore mainland Japan.
Yamagata Maru (AKA Yinagata Maru)
Yone Maru (AKA Tamahoko Maru)
Left Bugu, Mindanao on 3rd October 1942 for Manila carrying 268 POWs from Camp Casisang, they were then transferred to Bilibid prison.
The ship was later part of a convoy sailing on 3rd June 1944 from Batavia, Java towards Japan with 772 Australian, British and American prisoners of war on board. With the lights of Japan in sight on 26th June 1944 one of the ships in the convoy exploded after being torpedoed by the US submarine USS Tang.
The Tamahoko Maru was then almost blown apart and water poured in through a gaping hole in her side. On top of the main hatch cover, 80 men were sleeping. Not one of them survived. As the Tamahoko (6,780 tons) settled in the water, hundreds of prisoners jumped into the sea and soon a Japanese whale-chaser appeared and started picking up survivors.
560 POW's died. Of the 267 Australians onboard only 72 survived. Fifteen US soldiers and sailors were killed as well as thirteen merchant seamen rescued from the sunk freighter American Leader.
The 212 survivors of the Tamahoko Maru were brought into the harbour at Nagasaki and onto the POW camp, Fukuoka 13.
Some details from source 5
Yoshida Maru (AKA No.1/Yoseda Maru)
Sailed from Java to Singapore 28/10/42 carrying 500 POWs which were then transferred to the Dainichi Maru for travel to Moji, Japan.
Yubi Maru (AKA Ume Maru)
Yuzan Maru (AKA SS Marne)
The Yuzan Maru was a US-made freighter. It was torpedoed and sunk 30 July 1945 by USS Sennet (SS-408) off Hokkaido.
There are many incidents of particular barbarity within the 3 years+ of Japanese captivity, here are a few of the more infamous.
After a battle lasting nearly 3 months in the Bataan region of the Philippines the US garrison surrendered.
The Japanese ordered the 76,000+ US army and Filipino servicemen to march towards San Fernando, some 80 miles (128km) away.
The entire march was judged later to be a ‘war crime’ and started with many atrocities such as the summary execution of some 400 Filipino officers immediately after the surrender.
Anyone who fell behind the march was shot or bayoneted to death, their comrades forced to bury them or be executed themselves.
No water and very little food were provided for the majority of this journey.
There is no accurate total number for the number of deaths on this march although estimates range from 5,000-10,000 Filipinos and 650 US troops.
After surrendering to Imperial Japanese Army forces in a revenge act for the sinking of a Japanese minesweeper they rounded up 300 Dutch and Australian POWs at random and executed them at Laha airfield in the Dutch East Indies (Now Timor). The surviving POWs then suffered treatment on a par with the worst of all the POW camps.
The Japanese minesweeper had struck a Dutch laid mine off the coast and sunk with most hands, along with damage to 2 other Japanese minesweepers.
These horrific incidents following the fall of Ambon became the subject of one of the largest ever war crimes trials: 93 Japanese personnel were tried by an Australian military tribunal at Ambon.
Rear Admiral Hatakeyama was found to have ordered the Laha massacres, however, he died before he could be tried.
Commander Kunito Hatakeyama, who was in direct command of the massacres, was sentenced to execution by hanging. Lieutenant Kenichi Nakagawa was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
Three other Japanese officers were executed for mistreatment of POWs and/or civilians on other occasions, during 1942–45 and General Ito was sentenced to death that same year for war crimes committed in other parts of the Pacific.
The Bangka Island massacre took place on 16 February 1942, when Japanese soldiers machine-gunned 22 Australian military nurses to death with only one survivor.
On 12 February 1942, the merchant ship Vyner Brooke left Singapore just before the city fell to the Imperial Japanese Army. The ship contained many injured service personnel and 64 Australian nurses of the 2/13th Australian General Hospital.
The ship was bombed by Japanese aircraft and sank.
Two nurses were killed in the bombing, nine were last seen drifting away from the ship on a raft and were never heard from again, and the rest reached the shore at Bangka Island, in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).
These nurses joined up with a group of men and injured personnel from the ship. Once it was discovered that the island was held by the Japanese, an officer of the Vyner Brooke went to surrender the group to the authorities in Muntok.
At mid-morning, the ship’s officer returned with about twenty Japanese soldiers. They ordered all the wounded men capable of walking to travel around a headland. The nurses heard a quick succession of shots before the Japanese soldiers came back, sat down in front of the women and cleaned their bayonets and rifles.
A Japanese officer ordered the remaining twenty-two nurses and one civilian woman to walk into the surf. A machine gun was set up on the beach and when the women were waist deep, they were machine-gunned. All but Sister Lt Vivian Bullwinkel were killed.
Sister Bullwinkel was later captured again and spent the rest of the war in captivity.
Notes on this tutorial and our database.
This list contains camp names which were only for Civilian Internees and these are noted wherever possible - however our database only lists those who had Military ranks and are of British, Canadian, Australian, South African, Rhodesian, New Zealanders and other Commonwealth nationalities where we have managed to find a source, our database lists only those who are military internees, not civilians or merchant marine for the most part.
Our database contains only those rosters we have managed to source so far -If you know of other roster lists please let us know if you know where these may be located and we will add them if at all possible.
Many camps were re-designated during their lifetime hence some camp names may be worded differently or even have several versions.
We apologise unreservedly for any omissions or errors found. If you find an error or omission we would be pleased to hear from you and we'll correct or add any detail as necessary.
Our sources of data for this collection
We have recently added data from the national archives nominal rosters for those held by the Japanese under reference WO392 (returning Pow information).
These listings include the following specifics for each person:
Name, first names, rank, serial number, date of capture, date of liberation, branch of the services & camp* -we will continue to add more information as we source it.
It should be noted that only in the case of Japan ‘proper’ (i.e. the Home Islands of Japan) are regional camps listed in this source, even then it will be the main area camp listed, smaller branch camps are not listed individually.
Japanese Registers of POWs WWII - The records are contained in Japanese Registers of Allied Prisoners of War (PoWs) and civilian internees held in camps in Singapore, Second World War.This series comprises three registers which record the names of over 13,000 allied Prisoners of War and civilian internees of British and other nationalities during the Second World War. The registers give minimal information about each prisoner which may include registration card number and dispersal information. Although Japanese registers the majority of the information is given in English. The registers refer to camps numbered 1-4, the identity of these had not previously been established but it is now believed that these refer to: No 1 PoW camp - Changi, No 2 PoW camp - Serangoon Road Camp, No 3 PoW camp - River Valley Road Camp and No 4 PoW camp - Adam Road Camp.
Other data sources:
Record of Management of Prisoners of War, Japan Prisoner of War Bureau.
The Japanese Army and POW Policies: White and Asian POWs by Aiko Utsumi, 2005
In our historic documents library:
Cofepow.org.uk is now making images of some original documentation and prisoner release/questionnaire forms.
The National Archive has a large number (56,000 –not a complete set) of:
‘Japanese POW index cards 1942-1945 within its collections (not digital) these are held in Catalogue WO345.
These will contain the following sections:
Camp, name, nationality, place of capture, fathers name, place of origin, next of kin and address, POW number, date of birth, unit and service number, date captured, mothers name, occupation and some other remarks.
Some of this is in English however many significant parts are in Japanese.
Diagonal red lines drawn across the card means the serviceman died in captivity.
WO356 and WO357 both cover war crimes by the Imperial Japanese army and navy.
The more interesting material is often the returning POW questionnaires found within WO392/23 (A-D) WO392/26 (R-Z), these were collated by MI9, the British secret service department responsible for escape and evasion.
Please bear in mind returning POWs were so traumatised these questionnaires were not completed in many instances.
Changi POW camps: TNA index reference & location: WO 367
The TNA register lists camps by number:
River Valley Road Camp No3
Adam Road No4
Relatives of British Malayan civilian internees can, by appointment, visit the Imperial War Museum Reading Room to view similar details of Changi Gaol internees in the Changi Register and view other short details in the 1940 Malayan Directory.
There are also several records of the civilian internees kept at the Changi Museum's website.
The following sites are all very highly recommended for further specific research.
Taiwan camp specialist site: very accurate rosters and painstakingly researched data
The POW research network Japan
Japanese site - Covers Japanese camps only, accurate camp descriptions and a great deal of background information.
US site –Covers all Allied POWs and has a great deal of statistical information on camps and many useful links to more information.
The paperless archive (has detailed reports of many camps):
An excellent resource of specific hell ship information, including voyage dates and number of POWs, carried.
Thailand-Burma Railway Centre
Extensive data sources for those enslaved on the Burma-Siam 'death' Railway, highly recommended!
73 Jaokunnen Rd, Ban Nua, Kanchanaburi 71000 Thailand
WO356 index numbers for specific camps within the National Archives
These are unfortunately not as yet digitised and available online –they require a visit from either the person searching or a researcher on your behalf, some spellings are incorrect, however, these are the listings directly from the National Archives register.
JC/69 Bicycle Camp Gang, Ambon, Amboina, Ambon Group
JC/75 Amahi, Ambon, Amboina, Beram Is, Ambon Group
JC/111 Ambon, Ambon Group, Haroekoe Isle, Ambon Group
JC/219 Kalid Jati, Ambon Group
JC /57 Sandekan Borneo
JC /115 Kuching, Sarawak, ( Sawmill/Jetty) Borneo
JC /233 Jesselton, Borneo
JC /239 Dakan, Seria, Sarawak, Borneo
JC /321 Seria, Sarawak, Borneo
JC /17 Mergui, Kirikhan Road, (jungle road) Burma
JC /93 Longi, Ronsu, 62-kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /97 35 kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /100 Anankurin, Anaquin, Amankwin, Burma Railway, Burma
JC /101 18 kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /123 Apalon, Umbron, 83-kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /139 Tavoy, Burma
JC /142 55 kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /160 Hle Pauk, Burma
JC /169 84 kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /184 26 kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /191 30 kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /192 Moulmein Gaol, Burma
JC /199 Kunbuitkway, 25-kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /206 Three Pagodas Pass, Burma
JC /230 Wagele, 8-kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /231 Massale, 70-kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /232 108 kilo railway camp, Burma ( on the border with Siam )
JC /250 105 kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /260 Maynyo, Burma
JC /271 Mezali, 75-kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /283 68 kilo railway camp, Burma
JC /307 Kalaw Camp, Burma
JC /324 Labau Camp, Burma
JC /327 Kando, Kandaw, Hospital Transit Camp, Burma
JC /76 Macassar, Celebes
JC /235 Pamalae, Celebes
JC /6 Haiphong Road, Woosung, China
JC /258 Tientsin Camp, China
JC /259 Weinsen Internment Camp, Shantung Province, China
JC /272 Avenue Petain, Shanghai,China
JC /37 Saigon, Saigon Docks, French Indo China
JC /68 Fumi, Phumy, Saigon Camp, French Indo China
JC /91 Lienkhang, Saigon, French Indo China
JC /161 Tourchan, French Indo China
JC /168 Fumi Camp, No.1 Camp Fumi, nr Saigon, French Indo China
JC /224 Song Long Song Camp, French Indo China
JC /225 Muong Man, French Indo China
JC /241 Phnom Penn, French Indo China
JC /256 Hanoi, French Indo China
JC /43 Kinkaseki, No. 1 Camp, Copper mine, Taiwan, Formosa
JC /58 Heito, No. 4 Camp, Taiwan, Formosa
JC /59 Taihoku West, Mountain Camp, Taiwan, Formosa
JC /60 Taihoku & Indin, No 6 Camp, Jungle Camp, Taiwan, Formosa
JC /117 Karenko, Taiwan, Formosa
JC /24 Argyle Street, Shamshuipo, "N" Camp, "S" Camp, Hong Kong
JC /30 Bowen Road, Hong Kong
JC /55 Daihe, Kawasaki, Japan
JC /74 Sumidagawa, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /88 Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5 Camps, Hiroshima, also Fukuoka 7 &12, Zentsuji 2, Japan
JC /131 Motoyama, Hiroshima Group, Japan
JC /174 Wakayama, Japan
JC /175 Orio Camp, Fukuoka, Japan
JC /176 Ube, Ube Camp Mines, Higarshimizome,Hakon Shu 2 Camp, Japan
JC /179 Omin, Fukuoka, Japan
JC /181 Mororan, Muroran, Musoyan, Mussian, Hakodate Group, Japan
JC /182 Nisi Asibetsu Camp, Hakodate Group, Japan
JC /183 Akahera Camp, Hakodate Group, Japan
JC /188 Fukuoka 25, Omuta, Japan
JC /189 Yokohama, Mitsubishi, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /194 Shinhama, Osaka Group, Japan
JC /197 Miata, Fukuoka No. 9, Japan
JC /201 Seida P.W. Camp, Hosokura, Hakodate Group, Japan
JC /207 Nishin, Nishiro, Tokyo Group,Kawasaki, Japan
JC /209 Shinagawa Camp, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /221 Yawata No. 3, Fukuoka Camp, ( steel works ), Japan
JC /222 Mukaishima Camp, Hiroshima Group, Japan
JC /227 Kawanami, Fukuoka Group, Japan
JC /229 Kumamota No. 1 Sub Camp, Fukuoka Group, Najima, Kashii PoW Camp, Japan
JC /244 Sendai Camp, Sendai Group, Japan
JC /248 Neawitz Camp,Omori Camp, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /249 Mogi Camp, Hiroshima, Japan
JC /251 Kanose Camp D16, Hiroshima Group, Japan
JC /252 Mitsushima, Tokyo Area, Japan
JC /253 Fukuoka No. 18, Uniki, Japan
JC /254 Yokohama No. 1,(shipyard), Tokyo, Japan
JC /257 Kobi, (steelworks), Kawasaki, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /262 Hakodate Camp, Hakodate Group, Japan
JC /263 Osaka HQ Camp, Osaka Group, Japan
JC /265 Kamo Camp, Fukuoka Group, Kyushu Island, Japan
JC /266 Tamano Camp, Sendai Group, Japan
JC /267 Amagasaki Camp, Osaka Camp, Otani Camp, Japan
JC /275 Ofuna Camp, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /277 Kamaishi Camp, Sendai Group, Japan
JC /278 Asano, Garden Yama, Yokohama 13D,Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /282 Narumi 11th Sub Group, Nagoya Group, ( loco factory ), Japan
JC /284 Yokohama, Japan
JC /285 Tsumori, Osaka Group, Japan
JC /286 Noetsu No. 4 Camp, Japan
JC /287 Nagasaki 17, Omuta, Nagasaki Camp, Fukuoka Group, Japan
JC /289 Kamiso, Asano, ( cement factory ), Japan
JC /290 Oyama Camp, Osaka Group, Japan
JC /291 Notogawa, Osaka Group, Japan
JC /292 Yakoma Camp, Hakodate Group, Japan
JC /297 Ohama Camp, Hiroshima Group, Japan
JC /298 Funatsa 3rd Sub Group, Nagoya Group, Japan
JC /300 Kawasaki IID, Yokohama, Japan
JC /303 Shigahamyama Hospital, Sendai Group, Japan
JC /305 Nagoya 8B, Narumi, Nagoya Area, Japan
JC /306 Iruka Camp, Nagoya, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /308 Sakarajima Camp, Osaka Group, Japan
JC /309 Hanawa Camp 6, Sendai Group, Japan
JC /312 Kamyoka Prison, Yokohama, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /314 Chico Camp, Osaka, Japan
JC /315 Ichioka Stadium, PoW Hospital, Osaka Group, Japan
JC /318 Mitsui Camp, Kawasaki, tokyo Group, Japan
JC /319 Sakata Camp, ( Sakota), Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /320 Toyama Camp, Nagoya Group, Japan
JC /322 Ohashi Camp, Hakodate Group, Japan
JC /328 Fukushima, Sendai Group, Japan
JC /330 Bibai Camp, Hokkadio, Japan
JC /331 Military Police Station, Sapporo, Hokkadio, Japan
JC /332 Nigata Camp, Tokyo Group, Japan
JC /334 Wakasena Camp 10D, Sendai Group, Japan
JC /335 Nagasaki Camp, Fukuoka Group, Japan
JC /336 Kosaka Camp, Sendai Group 8B, Japan
JC /337 Fukuoka 6D, Tanoura, Japan
JC /338 Fukuoka No. 2 Japan
JC /339 Kosei Hospital, Gumichi, Hiroshima
JC /340 Kokura Army Hospital, Japan
JC /341 Sendai 1B, Yumoto, Japan
JC /23 Glodok Prison, Gloocock Gaol, Batavia, Java
JC /69 Bicycle Battalion Barracks, Batavia, Java
JC /73 Kampong Macassar Batavia, Java
JC /78 Soekolilo, Madura, off Java
JC /79 Tandjoeng, Madura, off Java
JC /80 Perak Docks, Soerabaja, Java
JC/ 103 Kloet St., Sing Arari, Malang, Java
JC /105 10th Battalion Barracks, Malang, Java
JC /112 Tjilatjas Barracks Depot Camp, Java
JC /113 Bandoeng ( includes Depot Camp),LOG Kangsayo Camp, 13 Pow, 3 Camp, Java
JC /114 Jaarmarkt, Jacomantu, Soerabaya, Java
JC /119 Tasikmalaja, Java
JC /120 St. Vincent's Hospital, Batavia, Java
JC /141 Koan Pentekoan School, Kampong Mocassa, Java
JC /162 Lyceum, Soerabaya, Java
JC /177 Aalgemene Middelbaar Schoole, Batavia, Java
JC /186 Samerang, Semarang, Java
JC /196 Searang Gaol, Java
JC /208 Tjimali L-OG Camp,Tjimahi, Bandoeng, Java
JC /211 Adek Building, Batavia, Java
JC /212 No. 13 & 3 Camp, Cherison, Bandoeng, Java
JC /215 Soekaboemi, Java
JC /217 Semplack Kalid Jati, Java
JC /246 Dornp, Soerabaya, Java
JC /255 1 Allied Group Hospital, Lyceum, Bandoeng, Java
JC /280 H.B.S. School, Djokjakarta, Java
JC /310 Banjermasin, Java
JC /323 Kempeitai HQ, Soerabaya, Java
JC /326 Banjoebiroe, Java
JC /329 Soekamiskin Prison, Java
JC /38 Johore Bahru, Malaya
JC /156 Taiping Jail Perak ( amalgamated with ) Ipoh, Malaya
JC /157 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya
JC /193 Jitra, Malaya
JC /203 Seremban, Malaya
JC /237 Alor Star, Malaya
JC /269 Grik Road, Perak, Malaya
JC /270 Sapi Perak, Malaya
JC /273 Malacca Jail, Malaya
JC /276 Port Dickson, Malaya
JC /288 Ipoh ( amalagamated with JC /156 ), Malaya
JC /296 Sungei Bulow, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya
JC /153 Mukden, Hoten, Manchuria
JC /173 Cheng Chia Tung, Manchuria
JC /311 Harbin, Manchuria
JC /316 Oesapa Bezar, Timor, Netherlands East Indies
JC /295 Kokopo, Wide Bay, New Britain
JC /325 Camorta, Nicobar Islands
JC /313 Los Banos and Santo Tomas Camps, Manila, Philippines
JC /1 Kanburi, Kanchanaburi, Khan Buri, Siam
JC /2 Pungyisho ( south of Tarsao ), Siam
JC /4 Sonkrai, Siam
JC /5 152 kilo railway camp, Hintock River Camp, Siam
JC /13 Nakom Nyak, Nakom Nie, Siam
JC /17 Mergui Aerodrome, Takuri, Siam
JC /18 Tonchon, Tonchan, Siam
JC /22 Bampong, Siam
JC /26 Tamuang,Taenvang, Tam Wang, Siam
JC /27 Wanyei, North Tarsao, 125 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /28 Tanbaya, Siam
JC /31 Nompredai, Siam
JC /32 Nong Pladuk, Siam
JC /33 Chungkai, Siam
JC /34 Takelin, 101 kiol railway camp, Siam
JC /35 Tamakan, Siam
JC /36 Kinsayok, Kinsao, Siam
JC /40 Linson, 202.5 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /41 206 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /42 Kanyu, 140 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /48 Pran Kashi, 208 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /49 Tarkenun, 203 kilo railway camp and 211 kilo, Swinton's Camp, Siam
JC /50 Tampii, Arrahill, Jungle Camp, Siam
JC /52 Bangkok, Siam
JC /53 227 kilo railway camp and 245 kilo, Siam
JC /54 246 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /55 Vajiravugh College, Bangkok, Siam
JC /56 Takanon, 228 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /61 Klikrie, Klien Kli, Tarkenum, 240 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /62 Ladya Railway Suppy Camp, Kanburi to Tarsao Road, Siam
JC /63 Lopburi, Siam
JC /66 Wun Takien, Siam
JC /67 Ontei Road Camp, Siam
JC /70 Bankow, Bangkao, 96 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /71 Wampo South, 110 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /72 245 kilo railway camp and 227 kilo, Siam
JC /81 Rin Tin, 82 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /83 Bam Luang Camp, Siam
JC /84 Tarkilin, Siam
JC /85 Hintock Valley, Siam
JC /86 Tampii Camp, 147 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /87 Wan Lung, Siam
JC /90 Taimonta, Siam
JC /92 Prachai Camp, Siam
JC /94 Nakpm Pathom, Siam
JC /96 North Wamps, Wamps, 114 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /99 Lampoe, 32 kilo north of Chieng-Mai, Siam
JC /104 Tardan, Siam
JC /108 Ubon, Siam
JC /110 Martona, Siam
JC /118 Hindato, East Jidato, Siam
JC /121 Kaorin, Siam
JC /122 Konkriho, Conquita, Siam
JC /126 230 kilo railway camp and 245 kilo, Siam
JC /128 Kui, Siam
JC /129 Pech Buri, Siam
JC /133 Tamajo, 229 kilo railway camp, and 234, and 239 kilo, Siam
JC /134 Bang Wai, Siam
JC /135 Kuichi, Siam
JC /136 Chungkai, Kangari, Siam
JC /137 Kachu Lu, Katchu Mountain Camp, Siam
JC /138 Petburi, Siam
JC /143 Bangan Camp, 9 kilo north of Brencasi, Siam
JC /145 Lang Saun, Siam
JC /149 250 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /152 Klong Joi Port, Bangkok, Siam
JC /154 247 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /159 Tarkenun,Swinton's Camp, 230 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /164 Tarrua, 102 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /170 191 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /171 Bangkin, Siam
JC /178 Tagerry ( Burma/Siam border ), Siam
JC /185 128 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /190 Bontilon Camp, ( on Wampo to Tavoy Rd ), Bonti, Siam
JC /198 Chumphon, Siam
JC /202 238 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /204 221 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /210 Ahran Pretet, Siam
JC /218 243 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /220 Chieng Mai, Siam
JC /232 108 kilo railway camp, Siam
JC /236 Malaya Hamlet, Siam
JC /240 Tameron Pak, Siam
JC /245 Pukr Ali, Siam
JC /279 East Hindain, Siam
JC /281 Rajburi, Siam
JC /3 Kranji No. 2 Working Camp, Singapore
JC /8 Changi, Singapore
JC /9 Kranji No. 1 Hospital, Singapore
JC /10 Alexandra Hospital, Havelock Road working camp, Singapore
JC /11 Great World Camp, Singapore
JC /12 Selerang Barracks, Singapore
JC /14 Thompson Road Camp, Singapore
JC /16 Palau Damat Laut, Singapore
JC /19 Outram Road Gaol, Singapore
JC /20 Gilman Barracks, Singapore
JC /21 Keppel Harbour No. 7, Singapore
JC /39 Seletar Camp, ( naval case ), Singapore
JC /46 Buller Camp, Breucassie, Singapore
JC /47 Farrer Park, Singapore
JC /51 River Valley Road, Singapore
JC /77 Tandjoeng Pajani, Singapore
JC /89 Buket Timah, Chinese High School, Singapore
JC /106 Tanjong Rhu, Singapore
JC /107 Havelock Road, Singapore
JC /124 Palau Ubin Island, off Singapore
JC /125 Normanton Camp, Singapore
JC /127 Alexandra Road, Singapore
JC /132 Golf Club, Sime Road, Singapore
JC /140 Fort Connaught, Blakang Mati Island, Singapore
JC /144 Towner Road Camp, Singapore
JC /147 Serangoon Road, Singapore
JC /150 Loyang, Singapore
JC /151 Morse Road, Singapore
JC /152 Caldecott Estate, Singapore
JC /155 Miyaru Hospital, Singapore
JC /172 Janek Merak, Jechil Road, Singapore
JC /180 Orchard Road, Singapore
JC /200 Bidadari, Singapore
JC /226 Adam Road. Singapore
JC /234 Neesoon A Camp, Singapore
JC /247 McArthur Camp, Singapore
JC /284 Pasir Panjang, Singapore
JC /304 Pulai Buhom Jaa, Singapore
JC /163 Solomon Islands
JC /7 Pangkalan Balai, Singapore
JC /15 Pakanbaroe, Sumatra
JC /25 Palembang, Sumatra
JC /45 Medan Quarantine Station and Gloeger, Sumatra
JC /82 Tanjong Balai, Sumatra
JC /116 Sungei Row, Palambang, Sumatra
JC /130 Siantar, Sumatra
JC /146 Pemantang Siantak, Sumatra
JC /148 Muntok, Bangka Island, off Sumatra
JC /167 Aek Ramienke Estate Camp 1, Sumatra
JC /168 Chungwan, Palembang, Sumatra
JC /205 Kent Jaren, Sumatra
JC /213 Kota Baroe, Sumatra
JC /214 Logas Camp, Sumatra
JC /216 Moearo, Atjeh, Sumatra
JC /238 Bankinang, Sumatra
JC /242 Leberkind, Sumatra
JC /264 Bindiji Native Prison, Sumatra
JC /268 Petai, Sumatra
JC /274 Perboengan, Sumatra
JC /301 Beristagi Kaban, Djane, Sumatra
JC /302 Si Rengo Rengo, Ranthauparapat, Sumatra
JC /317 Christmas Island, off Sumatra
JC /326 Djambi, Sumatra
This Tutorial's sources:
Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from
Which are all released under the terms of Creativecommons.org/licenses/by-s/3.0/.
Except for items marked:
*2 -American POW information Bureau 1945
*3 –Australian war memorial archives https://www.awm.gov.au/events/conference/2002/degroen.asp
*4-‘The worlds merchant fleets’ by Roger Jordan 1999.
*6 the forgotten highlander –Alistair Urquhart 2010
*7 Australian 2/26 Battalion website
*8 Waterloo daily courier (Australia) February 16, 1945
*9 Combinedfleet.com website
*10 US NARA archives ‘prologue magazine’ 2003.
*11 westpoint.org website hell ships sailing information
*12 - history.navy.mil/library online
*13 – wvculture.org
*16 Labuans wrecks by bob Horton
*17 Death on the hell ships -Michno
*18 Unsung heroes of the RAF –Stubbs