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POW Camp #1 - Page 2

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III. General Description of Camp #1

A. Gibbs Report

31 July 1946


This camp had 3 locations within a period of 10 months, namely, from March 1944 to Jan. 1945. It was first situated at Kashii, said to be a suburb of and 5 miles north of the city of Fukuoka on the Island of Kyushu, Japan. About 17 April 1944 it was moved to an airport [Mushiroda] between Kashii & Fukuoka. In Jan. 1945 the 3rd location placed the camp in a grove of pine trees [Hakozaki] slightly north of and inland from Fukuoka, about 1,000 feet from a mainline railway very close to a new Japanese military installation, and within a few miles of coal mines. From the pine trees on the land this new installation took the name of Pine Tree Camp. Its coordinates are 33 36'N., 130 23'E. The size of the compound was 1000' x 300'. The soil was sandy & level. The compound was surrounded by a wood fence topped by electrified barbed wires. Drainage and sanitation were satisfactory.

There were no markings to indicate the installation to be a prisoner of war camp.


This camp was first occupied by British (300 prisoners) Dutch (10 prisoners) and American civilians taken on Wake Island (4 prisoners). More than 100 deaths in the group occurred in 1943.

A detail of 200 American Medical Officers from Cabanatuan reached Fukuoka #1 on 17 March 1943. On 25 April 1944 100 civilian prisoners captured on Wake Island arrived and a month later a group of 100 prisoners from Netherlands, E.I., was interned at this location. On 30 Jan. 1945 193 American prisoners starting from Manila 13 Dec. 1944 on the ill-fated Hell Ship, ORYOKU MARU, reached the camp. The total prisoner personnel listed was: American 493 divided as follows, Army 293, Navy 30, Marines 20 & civilians 150, British 150, Dutch 250, Australians 20, making a total of 913.

Col. Curtis L. Beecher, USMC was the Sr. Officer; Col. Arthur Schreve, G.S.C.; Lt. Col. Karl H. Houghton, M.C.; Maj. Raymond McWilliams, A.M.C. & Maj. Walter Kostecki, A.M.C.


Commandant: Yuichi Sakamato, 1st Lt. Japanese Imperial Army, sadistic, conniving & brutal.

Medical Officer: Matsato Hata, incompetent, inconsiderate and brutal. Interpreters: Mr. Kitiyoka and Mr. Katsura.

Guard: Mr. Honda, cruel who administered many beatings without cause to sick men as well as to those able to discharge assigned work.

4. GENERAL CONDITIONS [at Hakozaki site]:

709K aerial photo (c. Sept. 14, 1945) showing POW barracks amongst pine trees, PW sign and parachutes delivering relief supplies in field; Sketch of Camp #1, Hakozaki (58K); See also Fitch sketch (28K), Johnson sketch (30K), Maupin sketch (34K)

(a) HOUSING FACILITIES: This camp was comprised of 12 unheated barracks 22'x60',10' ceiling of very light frame construction set in excavations of 4' into the ground with tar paper roofs & sand or dirt floors. To enter these barracks the prisoners stepped down to a sand-floored aisle. On either aide were the sleeping bays single deck about 3' off the ground running full length of the buildings. The conventional Japanese sleeping mats were fitted into the bays and the men slept with their heads to the wall in a space 2 x 7'. The parts of the superstructure of the barracks above the ground were covered with mud plaster to protect them against the weather. 48 to 60 prisoners occupied each building and there was 1 small central light in each structure which was not allowed to be turned on during the day, therefore the barracks were in semi-darkness. No washing or toilet facilities other than 1 wood tub at either end of the barracks. The window openings, 6 on either side, had slat shutters. The Japanese headquarters buildings (2) and guard house were located in the prison compound.

A hospital building, dimensions same as the barracks, had been erected in front of the barracks, about 50' away, and close to this building was a small dispensary. The hospital did not contain any beds, therefore patients were allotted floor space, about 2' wide and about 6' long. Four Japanese army blankets and a pillow bag filled with rice husks constituted the bedding. Ventilation was very poor. There were 2 windows at either end of the hospital, no roof vent, and no side windows. The bath house & kitchen were behind the barracks.

(b) LATRINES: Four latrines in separate wood buildings were located within 50' of and back of the barracks, straddle type, aperture in wood floor over separate concrete septic tanks, each with about 12 cubicles. Bacterial action prevented any overflow. A urinal trough was located in each latrine. There were no urinals or bedpans in the hospital.

(c) BATHING: A separate bath building, unheated and with concrete floors, had been erected convenient to all the barracks. The equipment was 5 large square vats made of wood with metal bottom 10' long 4' wide and 4' deep, with a facility under each tub to heat these tubs. The water in them was changed once weekly and would become so foul that many of the prisoners would not bathe, furthermore, during the winter months it was hazardous to bathe in the unheated building.

Soap was not furnished except on rare occasions. For one period of 11 months no soap was issued and then only 1 small cake for 4 men. It was known that soap was available which, plus the Red Cross soap, gave the Japanese a surplus quantity. There were no separate bathing facilities for the prisoners in the hospital.

(d) MESS HALL: A separate building had been erected for a kitchen, but no mess hall. Buckets of food, consisting of rice and watery soup, were given out at the kitchen to a prisoner representative from each of the barracks which representative divided the food in his barracks to the best of his ability and his moral integrity.

The kitchen was equipped with wood burning stoves, constructed of brick, and the cooking was done in flat iron cauldrons.

(e) FOOD: The basic ration per prisoner per day was 300 grams of a mixture of rice, kafir corn and rolled barley, 100 grams of greens and 10 grams of fish, all boiled. The food generally was inferior in quality due in large part to pilferage by Japanese camp officials of better quality camp rations, and articles removed from Red Cross parcels on a selective basis. In American measurement of this ration, the equivalent is approximately 3/4 of a canteen cup of steamed rice and 1/2 of a canteen cup of soup. One small bun was added occasionally. This ration equaled 1500 calories. The food was prepared by British prisoner of war cooks. The diet was supplemented at long intervals by such perishable food as meat, fresh fish and vegetables, and on such occasions the regular Japanese ration was reduced. Usually some surplus of rice, dried fish and seaweed resulted when the supplemental food came into the camp. The surplus was pilfered, evidently with the knowledge of the commandant and converted into profit by and for the schemers.

(f) MEDICAL FACILITIES: Very inadequate medicines and medical supplies of all kinds made it impossible to efficaciously treat the sick prisoners in the hospital and in the barracks. Many of the Army doctors were themselves sick in the hospital and were too ill, due to diseases caused by malnutrition, to administer to the comfort and relief of other sick prisoners. The burden of looking after the sick devolved upon any Army medical officer, supported by 2 Dutch doctors who worked to the best of their ability, all under the supervision of a Japanese medical officer. A British Army officer was in charge. The Army medical officer highly praised one of the Dutch doctors for his efforts in behalf of the American prisoners. The hospital, which was inadequately heated and poorly equipped, was used largely for pneumonia cases. There were as many seriously sick prisoners in the barracks as in the hospital. Actually there was no difference between the hospital and the barracks. The capacity of the hospital was 15 patients. There was no operating room. Upon arrival of the 193 survivors of the ORYOKU MARU at this camp 30 Jan. 1945, many of them were seriously ill. Medicines and dressings were obtained in very limited quantity and after much persuasion. A supply of Red Cross medicines and surgical supplies were in the camp, but it was next to an impossibility to obtain them from the controlling Japanese medical officer. From April 1943 to Jan. 1945, an American Army medical officer who was in Fukuoka # 1 at all 3 of its locations states that during this time, he lost by deaths approximately 100 Americans, British, Australian and Dutch prisoners in his care due to lack of medicines. The root of death, was malnutrition, and secondary to the slow starvation, was pneumonia, diarrhea or dysentery and brutal beatings of the prisoners by Japanese guards. This officer states that the camp commandant was definitely responsible for many of the deaths because of his concurrence in the brutal beatings. The hospital was badly crowded at all times.

(g) SUPPLIES: (1) Red Cross, YMCA, and other relief: There were adequate Red Cross medical supplies stored in a Japanese headquarters building in the camp compound, but they were made available to the doctors in such niggardly amount that the use of them was frequently too late. Death had taken over. Red Cross food parcels were issued on 29 Jan. 1945 to be divided 1 parcel among 3 men and again in the same ratio, parcels were issued on 1 March 1945. There is no record of later Red Cross issues. An Army Medical Officer who was interned in this camp in March 1943 and who remained there for more than 2 years states that during this period the prisoners received only 2 issues of Red Cross food-stuffs which were parceled out 1 item (not package) at a time.

(2) Japanese Issue: During the 2 years prior to January 1945 there is no reference to the Japanese issue of clothing. It is taken for granted that the issue was reasonably adequate. When the detail of 193 from the ORYOKU MARU reached this camp in Jan. 1945 they were each given one heavy overcoat, full-length cotton underwear, clean top-clothing, and 6 blankets. This distribution followed the bestowal of other clothing upon leaving the ship at Moji [248K aerial photo] and before starting the short trip to No. 1.

(h) WORK: Enlisted prisoners worked 10 hours per day at hard labor outside of camp compound in construction of air field bomb shelters and in coal mining. They were exposed to bombing raids and were very inadequately fed for manual labor. These prisoners also did such work as grave digging, carrying coffins to burial sites and other work in the cemetery. Numerous prisoners with malaria and suffering from intermittent fever were compelled to work. Outside details took lunch with them and on some days hot soup was delivered to them at noon. Officers were not compelled to work. Those who were able were allowed to work in the garden. This was not unpleasant work and the officers were willing to undertake it. Although many were too sick to work at all.

(i) MAIL: (1) Incoming: None. (2) Outgoing: Prisoners were allowed to write 1 or 2 letters and 2 cards during their internment, however these communications never reached the U.S. On 2 occasions the prisoners were permitted to send radiograms through amateur network.

(j) TREATMENT: The American army officers in Fukuoka No. 1 are unanimous in their condemnation of the Camp Commandant, the Medical Officers and other camp command. The prisoners were subjected to frequent beatings by the guards and stoning by the civilian population. In addition to deprivations of all kinds and the confinement of prisoners in unheated guard houses in zero weather the prisoners were poorly treated at all times and one officer among the ORYOKU MARU detail said "a healthy pig would have died." Words out of the mouth of an Army Medical Officer interned here are expressive and they are quoted as follows:

"I would like to emphasize that the Fukuokan camp was without question, excepting the hell ships, the worst experience of all which was probably partly due to the fact that we arrived in a very distressful physical and mental condition after having been bombed and sunk on two ships and having narrowly escaped being torpedoed on the third ship, and without food or water sufficient to sustain life for many days. Contrary to expectation, we did not receive adequate food or medical attention and I personally had approximately 23 streptococcic infections on my legs and body which were running with pus and blood and I was refused any form of gauze or cloth to cover them. There is no question but what many who died here, died from mental distress in a defeated attitude, as we had about reached our rope's end in hopes. There was no excuse whatsoever for our buildings not being heated as there were coal mines nearby and we were willing even to mine the coal if necessary, that is, those of us who were able to provide such fuel. Unsanitary conditions and body lice, added to the discomfort and ultimate death of many of the prisoners there. I feel that the Camp Commander of this camp is directly responsible for not having taken action to save the lives of these men. I feel sure that their lives could have definitely been saved by just a little effort. Many men left this camp who were hardly strong enough to stand alone.

I furthermore would like to emphasize strongly that the Japanese doctors in this camp are not worthy of any consideration whatsoever, that they were very neglectful in their duties and at times refused to supply medicine to the American Officers who were dying of pneumonia and whose lives could have been otherwise saved."

Out of 193 American prisoners who were interned here 30 January 1945 fifty-three or 28% died before this detail moved out to Jinsen, Korea [near Inchon; POW roster here] on 25 April 1945. The emasculated Japanese version of the Geneva Treaty seemed to suggest the imposition of all forms of brutality.

(k) PAY: Officers: Were paid 50 yen per month less an unspecified deduction for mess. There was no opportunity for the officers to spend the money they were allowed to retain.

Enlisted Men: Were paid 10 to 15 sen per day with no outlet for spending any portion of it.

(l) RECREATION: No recreational facilities were provided. No library. A garden had been started by the officers and was maintained by them. Inasmuch as the officers volunteered for this work it may be assumed that they regarded gardening as a form of recreation.

(m) RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES: A chapel had not been erected in this camp, however British Army Chaplains conducting periodic services in the barracks for small groups of prisoners. A special commemorative service was arranged in honor of our late President shortly after his passing.

(n) MORALE: Due to malnutrition and the diseases caused by slow starvation, brutal treatment, very inadequate rations, the loss of prisoner friends by death and the heavy infestation of vermin, morale was low and a large number of the prisoners had practically given up hope of brighter days. The transfers from Fukuoka # 1 to Jinsen, Korea, and the quiet comfortable travel conditions by boat and train, brought hope to the prisoners.


The remainder of the detail of 193 prisoners surviving the ORYOKU MARU tragedy, and which were sent to Fukuoka #1 on 30 Jan. 1945, were started on their way about 25 April 1945 to Jinsen, Korea. 53 prisoners out of this detail died while at Fukuoka No. 1, therefore it had dwindled to 140. They traveled by boat under fair conditions from Moji to Fusan, Korea, thence to Jinsen by train in chair cars. The prisoners were well fed on the train.

B.Summary of Investigation of POW Camp 1

MEMORANDUM: 8 January, 1946

SUBJECT: Summary of Investigation of POW Camp 1, of the Fukuoka POW Base Camp Headquarters

TO: Lt.-Col. Richard E. Rudisill, Chief, Investigation Division

1. Investigation of POW Camp 1 to date has revealed that there were three locations of the camp. The first was at Kumamoto, exact location as yet undetermined. The second was at Mushiroda Airfield, near Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan, where POW were used principally on airfield construction. The third was at Hakozaki-cho Shindate, on the outskirts of Fukuoka. POW at this camp worked mainly at a lumberyard near the camp, although some of them were used as mechanics on planes at Mushiroda airfield, and, on trucks used by the Japs to haul building supplies. Conflicting statements regarding furation of the camp at each of the above three sites, made it impossible to ascertain their exact dates.

2. Little evidence was obtainable at the camp site at Mushiroda Airfield, as that area had been stripped completely with the exception of three latrines. These latrines consisted of a number of stalls with mere holes in the floor. These were uncovered. These latrines were situated on the slope behind the camp, and probably polluted the camp water, which was obtained from surface wells, the nearest of which was only about fifty feet from the nearest latrine.

3. Investigation of the Hakozaki site, showed that place to be in a very low location, even lower than the elevation of the roadbed of the Kagoshima railway, which went past the camp. It was situated very close to the bank of the Ubi [Umi] River, any many sloughs of that river were close to the camp. The camp itself was heavily forested with an overgrowth of pine trees. It was very dark, even at midday. The odor is overpowering, even at this late date.

4. A more complete description of these camps is in the progress report submitted with this report.

5. Investigation of the camp site when it was in Kumamoto is now in progress. However, the lack of evidence at the camp site at Mushiroda, which followed the camp site at Kumamoto, and antedated that of Hakozaki, indicates that evidence at Kumamoto will be very sparse, if existent at all. A subsequent report covering this camp site will be made when Lt. Humphreys returns to Fukuoka.

6. Hospital facilities for the POW at Fukuoka were practically non-existent. During the course of the war, only eleven POW from both of the camp sites near Fukuoka were treated at a regular hospital in town. 0f these men, two died. Most of the medical facilities available to the POW were furnished by the POW doctors at the camp itself. Transcripts of medical records of the 1st Fukuoka Army Hospital [NOTE: Located behind Western Army HQ in Jonai.] where the 11 men were treated, were made at our insistence. These are enclosed as evidence, Exhibit 15. After the cessation of hostilities, some POW were treated at the Kyushu Imperial University Hospital, but that was the only other hospital used for POW patients. Photographs were made of both of these hospitals, and are shown as pictures in Exhibits 6-a, and 14-a.

7. The bodies of the POW were cremated principally at a crematory in the foothills behind the camp at Mushiroda. This crematory handled disposition of the bodies of all POW in Fukuoka, from both camps, with the exception of the period from December, 1944, until February 1945, a period of three months, during which the POW dead were cremated at the Fukuoka City crematory, outside of Fukuoka. The main crematory was the Shime Crematory, at Shime-machi, Kasuya-gun, Fukuoka-ken. [NOTE: Now Shime Municipal Waste Incineration Plant.]

8. No evidence of heating facilities existed at Mushiroda. No evidence of heating facilities existed at Hakozaki in the POW barracks. No lighting facilities existed at Mushiroda, but did exist at Hakozaki.

9. Submitted herewith is a list of the exhibits pertaining to the above camps [Note: Sadly I have NOT been able to find any of these photos or maps. Any ideas on how these may be obtained would be greatly appreciated.]:


1) Roster of Camp Dead
2) Roster of camp POW personnel
3) Statement of RYUZU ONO
5) Statement of SHIGEMI KIYOHARA
6-a) Photographs of the camp site at Hakozaki, the Fukuoka City Crematory, the lumber mill where most of the POW from that site worked, Fujisaki cemetery, etc.
b) List of Captions of the above pictures
7) Statement of Captain Harm Ensing, a Dutchman, which was used to vindicate common burial of the POW ashes
8) Sick list found in the camp dispensary at Hakozaki
9) POW smoking regulations, Hakozaki
10) Labels from box of pills found in the dispensary at Hakozaki
11) Sketches of the camp site at Hakozaki
12) List of the barracks assigned to two of the POW medics at Hakozaki
13) Map, indicating the positions of the POW camps, the crematory, the cemetery, the 1st Fukuoka Army Hosp.
14-a) Pictures taken at the 1st. Fukuoka Army Hospital, and the Shime-machi crematory.
b) List of captions of the above pictures
15) Case records of the POW treated at the 1st Fukuoka Army Hospital. Content unknown, except that two of the POW died.

Investigating Officer
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP

C. Progress Report Re Investigation of Camp Number 1


MEMORANDUM: 6 January 1946

SUBJECT: Progress Report, Re Investigation of Camp Number 1, of the Fukuoka POW Base Camp Headquarters

TO: Lt. Col. RICHARD E. RUDISILL, Chief, Investigation Division.

1. By the direction of the Chief, Investigation Division, 1st Lt. Charles V. Ramey, and 2nd Lt. Robert E. Humphreys, accompanied by T/4 Taro Shimomura as interpreter, proceeded to Fukuoka, Japan, and made an investigation of POW Camp No. 1, between the 20th of December, 1945, and the 6th of January, 1946.

A) Location

There were two locations of POW Camp 1 near Fukuoka, and another location as yet not investigated in Kumamoto. The locations of the camp chronologically were: Kumamoto, Mushiroda Airfield (near Fukuoka), and Hakozaki-Cho, Shindate, in the city of Fukuoka. POW were liberated from the last camp at the cessation of hostilities. Exact locations as near as could be determined, are indicated on the map listed as Exhibit 13. The POW camp was beside the airfield of Mushiroda, not actually on it. There were no military objectives at Hakozaki, and the strip at Mushiroda was very small, and hence a minor objective.

B) Description


The camp site at Hakozaki is situated along the bank of the UBI [Umi] River and immediately below the roadbed of the KAGOSHIMA Railway. Many sloughs in the immediate vicinity of the camp, and stagnant pools of water in the camp area promote the culture of mosquitoes. Flies breed freely in the camp area itself, due to the unsanitary conditions around the latrines, the open cesspool by the kitchen, and the human feces still evident in and around the guardhouse. 14 buildings existed in the campsite itself for the use of the prisoners, but some of them may have been used as hospital barracks for convalescent patients. No heating facilities were evident in any of the barracks. Each barracks was constructed of strips of lath, plastered with clay, and were gabled with the ends of the gables about four and a half feet above the ground. The interior of the buildings had been stripped to the ground, but enough evidence remained to indicate that there was a low corridor down the center of the buildings, with a raised floor on either side, the amount of this rise being about one foot. Prisoners in general did not have beds, but slept on the floor on straw mattresses. See KIYOHARA'S statement. No lighting facilities were evident in the POW barracks, although they were evident throughout the rest of camps. A layout sketch of the camp is shown in Exhibit 11. The measurements on these sketches are approximate.

C) Description


The camp site at Mushiroda airfield, has been completely wiped out with the exception of three latrines. It is located at the foot of the hills surrounding the airfield, and outside of the boundaries of that airfield. This field has been renamed "Itazuke Airfield", and is now being enlarged by American Engineer units, although now it is in use as a base for liaison planes of the 5th Fighter Command. No drainage facilities were evident at the camp site, and large pools of stagnant water in gravel borrow pits in the hills immediately behind the camp probably aggravated the propagation of mosquitoes. Conditions prevalent at the camp as regards heating are mentioned in the statements of MASARU MINO, in the Tokashiki file sent to your office. Lack of ashes at the camp site indicated that there was no large scale attempt at heating the barracks. There was no evidence of lighting facilities at the camp whatsoever.

D) Utilization


About twenty of the POW at Hakozaki were used as mechanics at the Mushiroda Airfield. Another group of undetermined number worked as mechanics on the repair of trucks used by the Japs to haul building supplies. The rest of the POW were used in the operation of a lumber mill near the camp site. Clothing and equipment seen in the camp site was of Japanese origin, and included split toed sneakers, bamboo sandals, and a hodge-podge of parts of the Japanese uniform. Nothing indicated whether or not this was the clothing used by the POW or the Jap guards.


Prisoners at the Mushiroda camp site were used exclusively at the airfield itself, in its construction, and in the repair of Jap airplanes. Clothing and equipment remaining in the area, was very scattered and entirely Japanese in origin.

E) POW Personnel


The POW at Hakozaki were generally those in a weakened state, and included prisoners from the PHILIPPINES, and civilians transferred from Camp 18, at Yunoki, near Sasebo, and the list of POW liberated from the camp at the cessation of hostilities is shown in Exhibit 2. Also present at the Camp were some Dutch troops, some English, and Australian. See Exhibit 2.


The POW at Mushiroda, which anteceded Hakozaki, included them and others who were later transferred to other POW camps or died. The civilians captured at Wake and Guam were first transferred to the POW Camp 1 when it was at Mushiroda, sometime around October of 1943.

F) Guards


The only roster of guards available was the one obtained in Tokyo, from the Prosecution Section, Legal Section. None of the key men could be located in Fukuoka.


Ditto above.

G) Work and Recreation

Hakozaki and Mushiroda

No evidence was obtainable in either campsite as to: Hours and days off, Election of spokesmen, Procedure for Red Cross distribution, Canteen.

Religious freedom was certainly curtailed as the only worship allowed was a religious service held by an English lieutenant. See statement of RYUZU ONO.

H) Food

The prisoners at both Mushiroda and Hakozaki were given 705 grams of food. At Hakozaki, an attempt at enlarging on the basic diet was evidenced by the presence of the garden there. Rice was the basic food, and was supplemented by vegetable products. See statement of Kunimatsu, Exhibit 4.

I) Deaths

See Roster of Deaths, Exhibit 1.

J) Sanitation


In general no attempt seemed to have been made at sanitation. This appears to be justified by the fact that most of the deaths listed on the death roster were for intestinal disorders. Further more the sketches in Exhibit 11, show the consistent close proximity of all water sources to latrines.


Insufficient evidence existed at Mushiroda to determine the sanitation of the camp, with the exception of the fact that the latrines still present at the camp site had uncovered pits, and uncovered latrines, simply consisting of stalls in the building with merely a hole in the floor.

K) Safety measure employed


There were insufficient air raid shelters in the camp area to house 400 people. Such air raid shelters as existed were around guard posts and the Camp Office building, which indicated that they were to be used solely by the Japs at the camp.

Mushiroda---no evidence of air raid shelters whatsoever.

L) Punishment and Discipline


A guard house was present at Hakozaki, just inside the main gate. It was divided into three sections, and the prison section was sub-divided into four solitary confinement cells, which were unheated, had no furniture, had merely a hole in the floor to take care of sanitary requirements, and were only about five feet high.

Mushiroda---no evidence obtainable.

M) Discussions and Comment

Inasmuch as this camp was built by the Jap army, and the POW used on Jap army installations, there exists nothing in the way of collateral records that could serve to supplement that evidence given by statements of POW themselves, and the Jap POW Information Bureau. Key personnel that had been at the camp are unobtainable, and diligent endeavor to ascertain their whereabouts has been fruitless.

LESLIE HARRISON (British), escaped from the camp and came to the city of Fukuoka sometime in May 1945. He was picked up by the Japanese authorities and returned to the camp where he remained in solitary confinement for six weeks or two months, before he was removed to the main army hospital in Fukuoka. At the hospital he jumped out of the window and finally died sometime in September. See picture number 1, the same cell that HARRISON was kept in. (Hakozaki)

The prisoners were buried in a common grave evidently with their own consent. See Exhibit 7-- statement of Captain Harm Ensing.

N) General---

Erroneous information given to this team by Captain ISHO TOKASHIKI, formerly adjutant of the POW camps in the Fukuoka area necessitated reinvestigation of several points concerning Camp 1. A very cursory investigation of this man revealed the fact that he knew something of the illegal distribution of Red Cross supplies to Base Camp Hqs. personnel and his position as chief source of information (Jap) on POW camps in this area, indicated that that point at least should be clarified. A file on this man has been sent to your Headquarters, which though incomplete still will offer a basis of interrogation by your headquarters, if you are interested in him. A good scare, if nothing else might expedite the investigation of POW camps by this and future teams operating in this area. This man's present whereabouts is discussed in the file concerning him.

Enclosed in this report of progress, is a summary of the investigation to date. It is sent in at this time because this team does not believe any information of great value will turn up in the investigation of the first site of Camp 1, at Kumamoto.



Investigating Officer Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP

Investigating Officer Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP

D. Metcalf Affidavit

Kumamoto location:


ROBERT METCALF, On his Oath Saith :-

I am a grocery warehouseman and reside at 10, Brook Street, Fulwood, Preston.

I was a L/Bombardier No. 1674981 in the 69th. Battery, 21st. Light A.A. Regt. After the capitulation I was taken prisoner and along with other prisoners of war I was taken to KUMAMOTO CAMP. I arrived there on the 28th. November, 1942, after disembarking from the "DINICHI-MARU" on the previous day. The number sent to this Camp was 266, including 24 Officers. We were taken by train from Moji. On the journey the windows were kept shuttered so that we could not see out. It took about seven hours and we were provided with two meals, consisting of cold rice and vegetables.

We arrived at the Camp in the afternoon, after walking from the railway station. Those who were not fit to walk were taken by truck.

On our arrival we were searched and addressed by the Commandant, (name not known) who only stayed about one month. Before entering the billets we were told that we were to be provided with four blankets, two sheets, pillow and case. These articles were in the hut for each man.

FOOD AND CLOTHING. Food provided was of poor quality and insufficient. For breakfast we had boiled rice and tea, for dinner, rice and soup (often cold) and at tea time we had rice soup and tea. The sick were given the same food. Meat, fish and vegetables were almost non-existent. We received a little bread. The Camp cookhouse and cooking were controlled by the Japanese, our own men doing the actual cooking.

Each man was issued with a suit in which to work. This was made of sacking, dyed green. We were also given another suit of slightly better quality. This, however, had only to be used on rest days and on roll call. We were also issued with a pair of long underpants, socks, small cap and overcoat.

HYGIENE AND SANITATION. This was fairly reasonable. There was a good supply of water in the ablution place which was in the open. There was a bathroom in the Camp and a daily bath could be obtained. Latrines were of the Asiatic type, consisting of a kind of pit arrangement, partitioned off. These were emptied by people brought in from outside, but kept clean by the P.O.W.s.

CAMPS AND QUARTERS. This Camp was made for 800 men, but there were only 266 there during my stay. It consisted of wooden huts with windows at each end. There would be about 80 men in each hut, including 6 Officers. These huts had earthen floors, and the beds were on a platform arrangement covered with straw matting. They were of the two-tier type without any safety device for those sleeping in the top tiers. After a time the Officers were moved into a hut by themselves. Rain cane through the roof in places and bedding had to be moved. Lice and fleas were very prevalent. A fire was provided in the evening for the first few days only -- afterwards none.

MEDICAL SUPPLIES. There was a small camp hospital, sufficient for about 20 patients. The medical facilities left much to be desired, very little being supplied by the Japanese. In the first place the Japanese doctor was called MARKEETA, and in the hospital was a Sergeant Major HENDO. Our own medical Orderlies also worked in the hospital under the direction of Captain Wallace. Supplies of special drugs from Japanese sources were almost non-existent.

RED CROSS SUPPLIES. In March 1943 most men received a pair of Red Cross boots, but the Commandant at that time (SACHAMOTO [Sakamoto]) by name, would not allow them to be worn, except in camp at night and on rest days. At the same time we got a red cross parcel which was decided between two. On one other occasion whilst at this camp we received a Red Cross parcel, but this was divided between four; these parcels contained food. We did not receive any Red Cross clothing. There was a small amount of "bulk supplies."

WORKING CONDITIONS. Most of the men were employed on the construction of an aerodrome. For the first six months I was engaged in the cookhouse. After that I was in hospital for a month suffering from sceptic sores. When I had recovered I was sent to work on the Aerodrome. We went to work about 7 a.m. returning to Camp' about 5 p.m. We had a break of about an hour for dinner. As the weather got warmer we went to work about 3.30 a.m. returning about noon. It was heavy labouring work and guards were there all the time as well as Japanese civilians. So much work was allotted to each man every day and it had to be done. If it was thought that any P.O.W. was not working hard enough he would be hit by a guard with a stick or the butt end of a rifle. Owing to a deficiency in large size boots, some P.O.W.s who took large size boots were made to work in their bare feet and included diggings. They had to walk in their bare feet to and from the camp which was about a mile and a half away.

SAFETY OF PRISONERS. There were no markings to show that this was a P.O.W. Camp and there were no air raid shelters.

TREATMENT BY CAPTURER (INCLUDING DEATHS, BEATINGS, Etc.). During our stay at this Camp there were beatings of P.O.W.s. Whilst in hospital we were issued with a ration of Red Cross corned beef; this was later recalled by the camp Interpreter (KATSURA). P.O.W. Albert Cleave did not return his ration. His kit was searched and the corn beef was found. KATSURA obtained a long bamboo stick with which he struck Cleave about 30 times whilst he was lying in bed. He was severely bruised about the head and body.

One P.O.W. named David Adams was severely beaten by the Camp Commandant (SACHAMOTO [Sakamoto]) and given five days in the cells for taking a corn cob whilst working on the Aerodrome.

In the early morning of the day we left this camp (20th. November, 1943) we were packing blankets. Some were having breakfast, whilst others were carrying on with the work. Gunner W. Fern was waiting for a relief, when he asked some of us to give him a hand. The Camp Interpreter (KATSURA) who was a soldier, heard Fern speak, knocked him down and kicked him unmercifully. There was blood all over the place. This was very brutal treatment.

I did not see any ill-treatment by civilians.

During our stay at this camp, 35 P.O.W.s died, chiefly from dysentery and pneumonia.

CONDITIONS EN ROUTE TO OTHER CAMPS. There is nothing I can say in regard to this.

OTHER VIOLATIONS. We were always made to number off in Japanese language. Some P.O.W.s could not properly grasp this and were often hit in the face for saying a wrong number.

CAMP REGULATIONS. General conditions were fairly reasonable as judged by Japanese standards. Face slappings often took place, but this was probably similar to the punishment of their own soldiers. The usual P.O.W. camp regulations had to be strictly adhered to. Smoking was confined to half an hour after breakfast, a quarter of an hour in the morning break, one hour at dinner time and a quarter of an hour in the afternoon. We had roll call night and morning. No smoking was permitted after night roll call. Matches and pencils were prohibited.

SWORN BEFORE ME THIS 4th day of March 1947.

(signed) Robert Metcalf
(signed) Richd. T. Easterby
A Justice of the Peace for the County of Lancaster.

Kashii location:


ROBERT METCALF, On His Oath Saith:-

I am a Grocery warehouseman and reside at 10 Brook Street, Fulwood, Preston.

On the 20th. November, 1943, along with all the other P.O.W. we left Kumamoto Camp and went by train to Kashi Camp. This was situated in the centre of an Ordnance Depot in course or construction. We were joined by other P.O.W. making a total of 300 including about 25 Officers. We were all accommodated in one large building. The Hospital and the Officers quarters were partitioned off.

FOOD AND CLOTHING. Again the food which was provided was of poor quality and insufficient. It was similar to that provided at KUMAMOTO Camp, except that these was very little bread issued. Clothing was the same as we brought from the previous Camp. The better suit issued to us at KUMAMOTO was taken from us and we were issued with a suit of very inferior quality.

HYGIENE AND SANITATION. This again was fairly reasonable judged by Japanese standards. There was a plentiful supply of water for ablution and other purposes. There were three baths provided in the Camp. Latrines were of the Asiatic type, similar to those at KUMAMOTO CAMP. CAMPS AND QUARTERS. Although there was no heating the living accommodation was much better here, as the building had a wooden roof and concrete floor. Beds were only of the single deck type. Altogether the condition here were an improvement on those at KUMAMOTO.

MEDICAL SUPPLIES. There was a small hospital, capable of accommodating 20/30 patients. The medical facilities were inadequate, the supply of drugs from Japanese sources being very limited. Special drugs were almost non-existent.

RED CROSS SUPPLIES. Red Cross parcels did arrive at this Camp, but there was no bulk supply. We also received some clothing. It was at this camp that I received my first letter on 12.2.44. When Red Cross parcels did arrive, one was divided between 4 of us and sometimes between six. The Commandant ordered that Red Cross food had to be opened up on the camp square and emptied out of the tins.

WORKING CONDITIONS. Nearly all P.O.W. were engaged on road making and the erection of buildings, but the work was not strenuous as the construction of the aerodrome near KUMAMOTO CAMP. Some of the P.O.W. were still without shoes and worked outside in bare feet. Quite a number were suffering from BERIBERI.

SAFETY OF PRISONERS. This Camp was not marked in any way to show that it was a prisoner of War Camp.

TREATMENT BY CAPTURER (INCLUDING DEATHS, BEATINGS, ETC) For no apparent reason there were frequent face slappings and holding the box of water, for an hour. Not many deaths occurred here.

TREATMENT BY CIVILIANS. On the whole good.


SWORN BEFORE ME THIS 4th day of March 1947.

(signed) Robert Metcalf
(signed) Richd. T. Easterby
A Justice of the Peace for the County of Lancaster.

Mushiroda location:


ROBERT METCALF, On his Oath Saith :-

I am a grocery warehouseman and reside at 10, Brook Street, Fulwood, Preston.

On the 16th. April, 1944, along with other P.O.W.'s I was moved to MUSHIRODA CAMP, near Fukuoka. This camp would be about 6 miles away from Kashi [Kashii] Prisoner of War Camp. We walked this distance, our kit being taken by truck.

FOOD AND CLOTHING. Food was poor in quality and most insufficient, millet being included in the rice. Bread was only occasionally issued, and for hospital patients only. Meat and fish were almost non-existent. The Camp cookhouse and food was controlled by the Japanese, our own men doing the cooking. A very poor quality of clothing was supplied. but none was issued.

CAMPS AND QUARTERS. This camp was situated a short distance from an aerodrome in course of construction. There was 600 P.O.W. stationed here. There were 10 huts made from the bark of trees for walls, with straw roofs and earthen floors. We had straw matting for beds, these were slightly raised from the ground. We had 4 blankets, the sheets and pillow cases having been taken away from us at KUMAMOTO. We were dreadfully overcrowded and conditions here were deplorable. This was considered to be a camp for summer time only. We remained there until the winter when it was continually raining in through the roof, beds being soaking wet, consequently men had to sleep on the tables in an effort to keep out of the water.

MEDICAL SUPPLIES. There was a small camp hospital, constructed on the same lines as the other huts. Medical facilities were very inadequate. Again the supply of medicines and drugs from Japanese sources was very limited.

RED CROSS SUPPLIES. British Red Cross supplies reached us once or twice only in this camp; there was one parcel to four prisoners. We did receive letters here.

WORKING CONDITIONS. Most of the P.O.W. were engaged on the construction of an Aerodrome. It was labouring work, the conditions being much the same as they were at KUMAMOTO. P.O.W.'s wore a poor quality of Japanese rubber shoes; a large number of men were walking and working almost in their bare feet, the soles of the shoes being worn completely through. Replacements were almost non-existent. We had not been provided with any socks since we were at KUMAMOTO.

SAFETY OF PRISONERS. This camp was not marked to show it as a prisoner of War camp. Air raids commenced whilst we were here; air raid shelters were not provided for P.O.W.

TREATMENT BY CAPTURER (INCLUDING DEATHS, BEATINGS, ETC.) On one occasion two American civilian P.O.W.s from Wake Island, were put in the cells for taking same food in some part of the camp. All 600 P.O.W. were brought out on parade. The two men were brought out of the cells in front of us and unmercifully beaten up with a pole, used by one of the guards (name unknown). Several more received punishment at times. If a P.O.W. was round smoking at the wrong time, he was taken out and made to hold in the palm of his hands (arms outstretched) a 'box' full of water, for half an hour at a time. It was really torture. The guards were standing over them all the time. We still had the same Commandant, SACHAMOTO [Sakamoto] by name, and the same interpreter, KATSARA [Katsura], by name. We also had another interpreter who was a civilian. I witnessed many beatings for almost nothing, such as bad saluting, or even saying a wrong number, these numbers had to be called out in the Japanese language. There were not many deaths in this camp.

TREATMENT BY CIVILIANS. Treatment, by the civilian population was on the whole quite good.


SWORN BEFORE ME THIS 4th day of March 1947.

(signed) Robert Metcalf
Richd. T. Easterby
A Justice of the Peace for the County of Lancaster.

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