Fukuoka POW Camp #14
Saiwai, Nagasaki

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Fukuoka 14-B "Nagasaki"

Camp was 1850 meters (1.15 miles) from ground zero and was completely destroyed by the A-bomb.
Map Courtesy of US Merchant Marine Assn

Satellite map (small memorial plaque on roadside; site of new memorial)
Aerial (Nov. 1947; courtesy of Japan Map Archives)
Area map - relation to other Fukuoka area POW camps

Employer of slave laborers:

22 Apr 1943:
Established as Fukuoka 14B
Sept 1945: Rescue effected

Time Line:
Source: Henk Beekhuis - Dutch POW
25 April 1943: Group arrived (about 300 Dutch)
15 May 1943: Group arrived (two Dutch nurses) ex Fukuoka #2. Included the Dutch medics, Dr Huisman and nurses Charles Alexander Denkelaar and Schenkhuizen.
28 August 1943: Group arrived (12 men coming from Moekden/Mukden?)
4 Dec 1943: British known to have arrived ex Singapore per Bryer affidavit - Hawaii Maru (Maru Shichi (7) per Michno's book, "Death on the Hellships")
24 March 1944: Group arrived (2 Americans, Lowe and Van Allen, liberated at FUK-05) from the Kenwa Maru
25 June 1944
: Group arrived (about 200 survivors of the Tamahoko Maru)

Known facts:
Survivors of Tamahoko Maru, sunk 24 June 1944, taken to this camp; not all survived. Tamahoko Maru carried 772 POWs, 560 perished.
Report of British & Australian survivors ref the sinking of the Tamahoko Maru
British POW Ronald Edwin Bryer: article #1, #2

George Duffy's Camp Description
Iron Foundry, Mitsubishi Steel Works
The POWs were used by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Company.
For full PDF report in Japanese, see here under 長崎三菱造船分所. (Special thanks to the POW Research Network of Japan)

Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works target report (USSBS) - Note that the aerial photo shows the camp buildings but it was unknown to our military at the time (see below for photo, camp site circled in red). Note also this excerpt of the intel we had in late 1944 regarding POW camps in the Nagasaki area via interrogations of Japanese POWs.

Dutch arrived from Singapore on the Hawaii Maru, landing in Moji per Ronald Scholte.

Total = 195 POWs (152 Dutch, 24 Australian and 19 British; 113 deaths, 7 of whom were killed by atomic bomb)
FUK-14 Rosters 1946-02-16
See also Henk Beekhuis' website (in Dutch) for info on #14 including rosters (Naamlijsten, per camp and alphabetical).

POW Research Network

Eye Witness Report: Javanese/Dutch POW excellent description of atom blast and camp.

Memorial monument - Completed on May 4, 2021 (YouTube video). See Foundation Monument Nagasaki for more information (site is in Dutch).

The Forgotten Highlander by Allistair Urquhart
A Doctor's Sword by Bob Jackson

Nagasaki: The Forgotten Prisoners by John Willis (2022)
At 11.02am on 9 August 1945, America dropped the most powerful atomic bomb yet developed on the Japanese port city of Nagasaki. The most European city in Japan was flattened to the ground "as if it had been swept aside by a broom." More than 70,000 Japanese were killed. As the bomb dropped, hundreds of British, Australian, American, and Dutch prisoners were working as forced labourers close to the weapon's detonation point. This is their hidden history.

The men had already endured an extraordinary lottery of life and death. They had lived through nearly four years of malnutrition, disease, and brutality. In one of the greatest survival stories of the Second World War, the book traces the remarkable experiences of the prisoners back to the bloody battles in the Malayan jungle, before the dramatic fall of Fortress Singapore, the mighty symbol of the British Empire ,and then surrender in Java.

Their lives grew ever more perilous when thousands were shipped off to build the infamous Thai-Burma Railway, including the Bridge on the River Kwai. If that was not enough, many were transported to Nagasaki and elsewhere in Japan in what were called hell ships. These ancient, hugely overcrowded vessels were regularly sunk by Allied submarines, leaving thousands of survivors adrift in the ocean for days. Then, some still had to endure their final supreme test, the world's second atomic bomb.

Despite the horrors they faced, this is a story of resilience, comradeship, and hope. Using unpublished and rarely seen notes, interviews and memoirs, this unique book weaves together a powerful chorus of voices to paint a vivid picture of endurance and survival against terrifying odds.

Air Raids and Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki
長崎市の空襲 原爆投下

First A-bomb targets listed, July 24, 1945 - Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kokura, Niigata
Colonel John Stone message to commanding General of Army Air Forces, Henry H. “Hap” Arnold.

Pres. Truman note about A-bomb use, Potsdam Conference, 1945-07-25
"This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop this terrible bomb on the old Capitol or the new.
He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I'm sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler's crowd or Stalin's did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful."

Secretary of War Henry Stimson and the Least Abhorrent Choice
An excerpt from TIME Magazine, Feb. 3, 1947,

...The committee [a panel of four scientists set up to keep the President advised] considered giving the Japanese a demonstration "in some uninhabited area" in the hopes of frightening them out of the war. The idea was rejected. The demonstration might be a dud. "Nothing would have been more damaging to our effort to obtain surrender." The scientists agreed: "We see no acceptable alternative to direct military use."

Henry Stimson searched his soul. Japan "must be administered a tremendous shock." Otherwise, "only the complete destruction of her military power could open the way to lasting peace." He compiled a tally of debits and credits in property and in human relationships and human lives:

The Allies were faced with the task of destroying an armed force of 5,000,000 men and 5,000 suicide aircraft. Without the atomic bombs, a total of 5,000,000 Americans would have to be committed to a Japanese invasion. "Operations might be expected to cost over a million casualties to American forces alone... Enemy casualties would be much larger."

Resistance would be fanatical. It would be necessary to leave the Japanese Islands "even more thoroughly destroyed" than Germany. Continued B-29 fire raids would wreak more damage than any atomic raids. But "the atomic bomb was more than a weapon of terrible destruction; it was a psychological weapon."

It was Harry Truman who had to make the final, terrible decision. But "the ultimate responsibility for the recommendation to the President rested upon me, and I have no desire to veil it."

..."As I look back over the five years of my service as Secretary of War, I see too many stern and heart-rending decisions to be willing to pretend that war is anything else than what it is. The face of war is the face of death... This deliberate premeditated destruction was our least abhorrent choice."

A-bomb targets and authorization, July 25, 1945
"Letter received from General Thomas T. Handy to General Carl Spaatz authorising the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Japan" - United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS)

Air raids on Nagasaki before the Atomic Bomb raid
Records nearly 20 air raids (over 210 aircraft) by the 20th (B-29's), 7th, 5th Air Forces and Navy planes, from August 1944 until Aug. 9, 1945. Included is a list of some of the American B-29 airmen captured by the Japanese on Aug. 20, 1944, on Iki Island in Nagasaki Pref. (see Japan POW Research Network PDF under "Seibu Kyushu District"; for full report, see MACR 42-24474). Air strikes continued on Japan even after the A-bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

Were the Japanese warned?
On Aug. 1, 1945, some 1 million leaflets were dropped on 30+ cities (including Nagasaki) telling them to flee the cities before bombs rained on them. By Aug. 9, The number of leaflets dropped over major cities in Japan warning them about the A-bomb had reached some 5 million. - Williams Info War in Pacific
Nagasaki warned to evacuate (leaflet in Japanese with English translation, Aug. 6, 1945)

Ground zero BEFORE atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan
Ground zero AFTER atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan
"Ground zero is the spot directly below the explosion of the bomb." (USSBS)

Nagasaki Targets Reports, Oct. 26, 1945
Begins with list of targets on Kyushu island; assorted reports pre- and post-attack, with many aerial images (contains duplicate reports)

Nagasaki Urban Industrial Area Damage Assessment, Sept. 4, 1945

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945) - Report by The Manhattan Engineer District, includes damage, injury and casualty data, selection of target, effects, eyewitness account by Prof. Siemes (Hiroshima)

Miscellaneous Targets: Atomic Bombs, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Article 1, Medical Effects, Dec. 15, 1945 - Report by U.S. Naval Technical Mission to Japan; general aspects, effects of radiation on humans, etc. (NOTE: Nuclear physics research in Japan section is missing.)

Photographs of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945 (Manhattan Engineer District)

List of names and addresses of Japanese investigators of A-bombings (USSBS)

Effects of A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Captions and narration for a movie on the A-bombings; Nagasaki starts on page 39. Note that the air raid alarm and alert warning continued for several hours prior to the explosion at 11:02AM.

Urakami, Nagasaki
"A panoramic view around ground zero at Nagasaki, Japan. This picture was taken from the platform of the Urakami Railroad Station. The buildings on the right are the remains of the Nagasaki Medical College. 14 October 1945." (USSBS)

The Outline History of Nagasaki City by Kiuchi and Sonoike, Imperial Univ. of Tokyo
"To present a general topographical description of the City of Nagasaki which has become more world famous since it was made the second target of the atomic bomb." Of note: "...the descendants of the Uragami villagers... remained faithful Christians, gave up 30,000 of their lives... for the atonement of crimes by the Japanese militarists."

Nagasaki Trend of People's Morale by Jukichi Okada, Mayor of Nagasaki City (English and Japanese) - Changes in attitudes of the Japanese in their "fighting spirit" during WWII. Of note: "...the workers [including students, women and girls]... did not lose their fighting spirit to the very last, and stuck to their posts." See also Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Morale (USSBS, June 1947).

Nagasaki Special Interviews, Nov. to Dec. 1945
USSBS Morale Division conducted interviews with the following: Jukichi Okada, Mayor of Nagasaki; Eisuke Negishi, Nagasaki College of Industrial Management; Kiyoshi Takese, Nagasaki Medical College; Nagasaki Pref. police; Takejiro Nishioka, president of Nagasaki News; Sadao Urakami, Nagasaki ration officer; Masayoshi Yokoyama, mayor of Tokitsu village; Eiji Nozawa, principal of Tokitsu Youth School; Moto, principal of Nagasaki Methodist Middle School for Girls; Nishioka bio

RELATED INTERVIEWS - contain attitudes of Japanese people about bombings and other topics:
Index Cards for Interrogations Typical Answers Report No 14h(42)(b) - wartime morale and attitudes re war, defeat, Emperor, bombing, Americans, work, propaganda, fighting spirit
Index Cards for Interrogations Colorful Answers Report No 14h(42)(c) - worries, war leaders, defeat, changes, spirituality
Index Cards for Interrogations Unusual Answers Report No 14h(42)(d) - changes, defeat, worries, greatest weakness, war leaders, doubts about victory, certainty of defeat, Emperor, bombings, Americans

Continuing the resistance for a hundred years

Foreign Population Statistics for Nagasaki Prefecture, Nov. 19, 1945

There were some who feared the 3rd city to be bombed would be Tokyo on Aug. 12th:
"On the afternoon of the 12th, San Francisco broadcasted that the Japanese reply [re surrender] was very late and intimated that as a result it might be necessary to bomb Tokyo. (Meanwhile we had heard from a prisoner of war, a B-29 pilot, that your government planned to use the atomic bomb on Tokyo on the 12th.)" - Hisatsune Sakomizu, Chief Secretary, Suzuki Cabinet
Indeed a third A-bomb was ready for use, with possible targets having already been listed earlier in April 1945. Perhaps the next target would have been Yokohama or Tokyo Bay. See this interesting phone conversation between War Dept. Gen. Hull and Goves associate Col. Seeman on Aug. 13, 1945, while waiting for Tokyo's reply:
Seeman: "There is one of them that is ready to be shipped right now. The order was given Thursday and it should be ready the 19th... the 19th it would be dropped... Then there will be another one the first part of September... probably three in October..."
Hull: "...making a total possibility of seven. That is the information I want."

Japanese scientists working to create a new and secret weapon

See this news article re Truman's warning to Japan (Aug. 10, 1945), and this one on page 2. Note that both articles tell of Japan saying it has its own similar A-bomb and will use it in kamikaze planes to decimate US invading forces. To our intel experts, this was not something to be laughed at, for Japan in fact was preparing a huge number of secret weapons (see OUTLINE OF NAVAL ARMAMENT PREPARATIONS FOR WAR). More alarming, it was conducting research into its own A-bomb (see below for more information on the Japanese quest for that super weapon).

The war started with Mitsuo Fuchida leading the attack on Pearl Harbor, and it ended with the Nagasaki A-bomb. Here's what Fuchida had to say to Enola Gay pilot Capt. Tibbets:
"You did the right thing. You know the Japanese attitude at that time, how fanatic they were, they'd die for the Emperor. Every man, woman, and child would have resisted that invasion with sticks and stones if necessary. Can you imagine what a slaughter it would be to invade Japan? It would have been terrible. The Japanese people know more about it than the American public will ever know." - This Token of Freedom by Helminiak

Pres. Truman's views on the use of the atomic bomb
A compilation of messages from Aug. 9, 1945, to Aug. 4, 1954, regarding justification for using the A-bombs against Japan.
"Nobody is more disturbed over the use of Atomic bombs than I am but I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war."

Excerpts from
MacArthur's ULTRA: Codebreaking and the
War against Japan, 1942-1945

by Edward J. Drea (1992)

Page 204:

Historians have offered myriad motivations -- from the altruistic to the sinister -- for the controversial decision to wage atomic warfare against Japan. One strongly argued view holds that because Japan was already defeated, the needless and senseless atomic destruction of humanity was done for political ends. Such arguments rest on well-explored political and diplomatic dimensions of strategic decisionmaking concerning the use of the atomic bomb but ignore the military side of that process. ULTRA-derived knowledge of the massive buildup for a gigantic battle on Kyushu did influence American policymakers and strategists. To ignore that factor assumes that the Japanese were defeated and, more important, that they were prepared to surrender before the atomic bomb was dropped.

ULTRA did portray a Japan in extremity, but it also showed that its military leaders were blind to defeat and were bending all remaining national energy to smash an invasion of their divine islands. From that perspective, the Imperial Army was as defeated and in as hopeless a situation as Adachi was at the Driniumor, as Yamashita on Luzon, as Suzuki on Leyte, and as Kuzume on Biak. Everywhere in the Pacific, cut-off, outnumbered, and defeated Japanese garrisons had continued fighting to the death. Given that bitter legacy, it was not difficult for American military planners and political decisionmakers to believe that the Japanese stood ready to defend their sacred homeland with equal or greater suicidal ardor than the emperor's soldiers throughout the Pacific war.

Page 214:

There were also peace overtures. The first hint of such sentiment in Japan itself appeared in an April message deciphered in early July (July 7). Earlier decryptions of Japanese Foreign Ministry telegrams exposed Japanese peace initiatives through Sweden, Switzerland, and the Soviet Union (July 28). As far as Allied military intelligence was concerned, the Japanese civil authorities might be considering peace, but Japan's military leaders, who American decisionmakers believed had total control of the nation, were preparing for war to the knife. ULTRA testified that from mid-July, the number of troops in Kyushu had skyrocketed.

Page 224:

The next atomic bomb attack against Nagasaki in western Kyushu on August 9, 1945, passed unnoticed in ULTRA channels. Hiroshima monopolized attention, and the war had not ended. Despite the two atomic attacks, American intelligence's study of Japanese naval radio messages for August 15 left the impression that the Japanese were still planning and executing wartime operations with air, surface, and underwater suicide units (August 15). Willoughby was more generous. He argued that there was nothing contradictory in Japanese field commanders urging their troops to greater efforts as Japanese diplomats scurried about seeking peace. Such confusion, Willoughby believed, was a natural outgrowth of the disorder involved in preliminary peace negotiations (August 15/16). Furthermore, broken codes illuminated the emperor's indispensable role in compelling Japan's armed forces to lay down their weapons of war.

ULTRA picked up the navy minister's account of the Imperial Council where the final problem of peace or war was submitted to the emperor. "'His and only his' decision was to accept the Potsdam Declaration, 'on the condition that the structure of the nation be left intact'" (August 18). Deciphered message after deciphered message testified to the force of the Imperial Rescript (shosho) of August 14, 1945, as radio messages of compliance poured into Tokyo from units strewn from Java to North China.

Southern Army's case exemplified the emperor's unique position in Japanese society. On August 15 Southern Army informed all its subordinate units, which stretched from Rabaul to Burma, that although an imperial statement accepting the Potsdam Declaration had been issued, all Japanese forces would continue to fight. "So long as the Southern Army has no orders, you are not to enter into any negotiations with the enemy, but are to continue to repel him" (August 15/17). Late the next day, after receiving imperial orders, Southern Army instructed all units to obey the emperor's edict. Officers and men were ordered "to observe strict discipline and obey orders to the last, thus proving to the world their fidelity to the Emperor." Other combat formations signaled that "the only road to follow now is united obedience to the Emperor" (August 18/19).

This impressive display of authority surely made an indelible impression not only on MacArthur but also on leaders in Washington. One may speculate that it was instrumental in the later American decision to retain the emperor and imperial institution as symbols of the Japanese state despite vociferous calls from other Allies for his indictment as a war criminal.

Assorted A-bomb-related documents:
Objectives in using A-bomb - Harrison-Bundy Papers p5262.jpg
Objectives in using A-bomb - Harrison-Bundy Papers p5263.jpg

Where to use first A-bomb Groves Policy Meeting 1943-05-05.jpg

A-bomb to be used against Japan with warning 1944-09-18 - Harrison-Bundy Papers p1940.jpg
A-bomb to be used against Japan with warning FDR-Churchill 1944-09-19 - Harrison-Bundy Papers p2653.jpg

Memo from a Manhattan Project scientist Evan Young 1945-07-14.jpg

Gov Takano Proclamation re Hiroshima 1945-08-07.jpg
Gov Takano Proclamation re Hiroshima 1945-08-07 JAPANESE -  Report No 3c-15 USSBS Index Section 2.jpg

Stimson cover letter re A-bomb and surrender article 1946-12-10 - Harrison-Bundy Papers p3068.jpg
Stimson re use of A-bomb - Harrison-Bundy Papers p3081.jpg
Stimson re Japans strength and determination to fight - Harrison-Bundy Papers p3082.jpg
Stimson re Japans strength and determination to fight - Harrison-Bundy Papers p3083.jpg
Stimson re Japans strength and determination to fight - Harrison-Bundy Papers p3084.jpg
Stimson re sparing Kyoto from A-bomb - Harrison-Bundy Papers p3092.jpg
Stimson re sparing Kyoto from A-bomb REVISION - Harrison-Bundy Papers p3111.jpg

No need for A-bombs Intelligence Summary Nos 3189 - 3191 1951-06-05 p212 8341837.jpg

Japanese Atomic Bomb Report for Hiroshima (Source: Governor Takano 21 August 1945, Japanese English Report No. 3c(15) USSBS Index Section 2) - "People of Hiroshima Prefecture: although damage is great we must remember that this is war. We must feel absolutely no fear... We must not rest a single day in our war effort... we must bear firmly in mind that the annihilation of the stubborn enemy is our road to revenge. I am confident that with persistence ours will be the eventual victory, but we must subjugate all difficulties and pain and go forward to battle for our Emperor. - Aug. 7, 1945"

Re the ethics of using the A-bomb, from a report by Brig. Gen. R. C. Wilson:

Source: Manhattan Project History, R1-B1-V4-C6, Investigation of the After Effects of the Bombing in Japan, Ground Accounts

Was the A-bomb necessary or not? Reading the final chapter, "The Atomic Bombs," from the book, Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb by George Feifer (1992), will help clarify the answer to that question.

For more insight into Japan's atomic research, read:

Dwight Rider on the reason why Japan surrendered: "The Japanese government was definitely concerned about the growth of a communist movement inside Japan at that time and the future of the Japanese Emperor system, and that is why they surrendered. Again, it was because of the bomb, not the Soviet invasion, and the potentially growing threat of communism inside Japan in wake of a total collapse, that prompted them to do that. Finally, in the Emperor's own statement, he credits the bomb as being a terrible new weapon which could lead to the destruction of humanity as his reason to surrender, not the USSR. The USSR was only part of the deteriorating events that contributed."

To remind future generations of the value of the atomic bomb in restoring world peace