Gibbs Reports on Prisoner of War Camps in Kyushu

Camp #1,
Camp #2,
Camp #3,
Camp #7,
Camp #8,
Camp #17,
Camp #22,



By John M. Gibbs

31 July 1946



This camp was located on the east side of Koyagi Shima about 5 miles out in the harbor from Nagasaki in the midwestern section of Kyushu Island. It was in a small cove on the water's edge and was about 1/2 mile south of the Kawanami Shipbuilding plant. To the west and south of the camp was a village, name unknown, but it was inhabited by the dockyard workers. Koyagi Shima is very hilly and it was necessary to cut a place out of the side of the hill in order to build the camp, even then it was very close to the edge of the water. Size of prison compound was 50' x 500' surrounded by a bamboo fence.


Maj. (later Lt. Col.) William K Horrigan, captured in Java was Senior officer, and with a detail of 160 Americans, reached Fukuoka Camp No. 2 on 7 Dec. 1942. Other officers in this detail were Maj. James A. Rinaman, Army Medical Corps who succeeded Maj. Horrigan, Maj. John W. Farley, Army Dental Corps; Lt. R.E. Michie and Lt. M.H. Straughan. There were 1290 Americans prisoners at this camp when this detail arrived. Later some Australian prisoners arrived. Upon the departure of Cal. Horrigan in Apr. 1945, the prisoner personnel was 1422.


The Japanese camp officials were:

Maj. Kotano, Camp Commandant.

Capt. Nasaki, Camp Commandant succeeding Kotano.

Lt. Matsumura, head of Japanese medical staff.

Sgt. Marina Hancho, Guard, Cruel. (This man fled the camp when it was liberated.)

Sgt. Estake, Guard, Cruel.

Supply Sgt. Yamakawa, crafty and thieving.

Interpreters: C. Haruyama and Akiyama.


(a) Housing Conditions: The American prisoners were housed in 2 large stucco on frame barracks partitioned off into rooms about 30'x 60': Roofs, cement tile. Floor, cement. On either side of the rooms were double sleeping decks, 6' wide, the lower one 11/2' above the floor, and the upper with 51/2' elevation. Upright studding divided each deck into 7 bays. The floor width between decks was 8'. Ceiling elevation 10'. From 56 to 60 enlisted men were assigned to a single room. The rooms occupied by the officers also were 30' long but occupied by a smaller number of men. The barracks were not heated, and ventilation was very poor.

(b) Latrines: Were installed in a separate building adjoining the barracks, of oriental squatting type, afforded semiprivacy. Cement tanks were underneath and they were allowed to overflow constantly. The latrine facilities were adequate, but for lack of attention the building was extremely foul all the time.

(c) Bathing: No special arrangement for bathing was made during the first year of occupancy. Later a steam bath (pool 15' x 30' x 4' located) in the boiler house was provided which improved conditions very materially. Water, which always was scarce, was brought from Nagasaki by a tanker and because of the uncertainty of maintaining an adequate supply, the water was piped to the camp from Nagasaki during the 2nd year. It was necessary to boil it before consumption.

(d) Mess Hall: Food was drawn from kitchen in buckets by prisoner couriers and carried to each room in the barracks.

(e) Food: The food situation at this camp was comparatively good up to Oct. 1943. Fish, rice, vegetables and meat, on occasions, were well prepared by the Japanese cooks, and served each day in fair quantity. In Oct. 1943 the ration was drastically reduced both in quantity and variety. To illustrate:

(1) Prisoners performing hard labor in the shipyard were given 780 grams of rice per day.

(2) Light workers & convalescents were given 530 grams of rice per day.

(3) Officers not performing physical labor were given 350 grams of rice per day.

The food was allocated in bulk and usually was equally shared by the prisoners, officers and enlisted men alike. During the first 11/2 years each prisoner was issued one canteen cup of water per day, however, this was increased after installation of the pipeline. The camp diet was not supplemented by Red Cross issue although the prisoners working at the shipyard were able to obtain additional items of food occasionally. For a while bread was served at the noon meal but usually it was sour. However, goaded by hunger, it was eaten by the prisoners. Generally the quality of the mess was poor after October 1943.

(f) Medical Facilities: Two large rooms had been set aside for hospital cases. When the detail of 160 men reached this camp in Dec. 1942 there were 1 English and 3 Dutch doctors to care for the sick prisoners.

The American doctors and medical orderlies in this detail handled all of the American hospital cases. During the first winter the death rate was extremely high, averaging about 11/2 deaths per day with 3 as the maximum for the entire camp. The principal causes of death were pneumonia, dysentery, beriberi and infections, and even then, if medicines had been available, the death rate would not have been as high. All surgery was performed by the Japanese doctors based on diagnoses of the American doctors. The Japanese doctor was pronounced to be responsible for the death of several men because of his unreasonable policies and reluctance to use remedies at hand.

(g) Supplies: (1) Red Cross, YMCA, other Relief: As usual the Japanese camp officials were hoarding the supplies received from the American and British Red Cross societies. To illustrate, small quantities of medical supplies were issued in April 1943 and was duplicated about one year later. The commandant refused to release additional medical supplies after April 1944 notwithstanding a considerable supply in store. For a period of 21/2 years the prisoners received 31/2 Red Cross food parcels each year. The Japanese camp officials expropriated Red Cross supplies quite openly.

(2) Japanese Issue: The officers were fairly well clothed in badly worn Japanese Military Uniforms but the enlisted men working in the shipyard were very inadequately clad and suffered greatly from the cold. Many cases of pneumonia developed. Particularly lacking were such items as sweaters, coveralls, wool shirts, socks & handkerchiefs. The issue of medicine & medical supplies was niggardly & Red Cross supplies were hoarded.

(h) Mail: (1) Incoming: A small quantity of mail was received in 1944 and 1945. Next of kin parcels, a few in number, were received but were rifled. Articles were removed before delivery to the prisoners and the parcels were so badly repacked by the Japanese examiner that much waste occurred. Many of the items were in such shape that they were destroyed by the prisoners.

(2) Outgoing: The prisoners could not send letter mail but were permitted to use cards occasionally.

(i) Work: The type of work carried on in this camp was ship building and ship repairs. The prisoners performed such services as caulking, riveting, welding and gas cutting and composing hammer gangs. Officers below the rank of major were compelled to work until about 1 June 1944, after which time they were compelled to work in the garden. The American detail of prisoners at first totaled about 120 prisoners, but by reason of weakness and other forms of debility the number soon dropped to about 70. The working personnel was arbitrarily determined by the Japanese medical officer whose selections were often made against the advice of the American medical officers. Working conditions were dangerous due to lack of safety measures. Many prisoners were killed and a large number were seriously injured which could have been prevented through even rudimentary precautions upon the part of the ship building company. The work hours were long and very few holidays were given.

(j) Treatment: The prisoners were forced to work under any weather conditions although inadequately clothed and under nourished. Fever in excess of 102° was the only excuse for release from work provided the prisoners could move around. Beatings were numerous and 2 guards named Hancho and Estaki were particularly cruel. To illustrate, a civilian about 50 years of age taken prisoner on Wake Island, who refused to work on account of sickness was beaten into unconsciousness with clubs on 3 occasions during the same day. The guards would revive him by the inhuman water treatment, and the beatings would be renewed. The prisoner died the same day as a direct result of this treatment. The Japanese medical officer pronounced the cause as heart failure and the American medical officer was compelled to enter in his report "death by heart failure." In this camp, as in the most of the other Japanese prison camps, the prisoners, through malnutrition were suffering from beriberi, dysentery, diarrhea and general debility.

The camp commandant took but little interest in the administration of this camp. He and his medical officer were charged by the prisoner personnel of condoning individual beatings and mass punishment. Thievery by his staff and refusal to take steps to provide adequate food, clothing and medical supplies.

(k) Pay: (1) Officers: The same as Japanese officers of comparable rank, were paid 20 yen per month and the remainder in postal savings.

(2) Enlisted men: 10 to 20 sen per day.

(I) Recreation: There were two phonographs in prisoners quarters. Through the YMCA, a supply of baseballs, gloves, basketballs, volleyballs, ping pong and all accessories had been provided but none of this equipment could be used without consent of the Japanese camp administration.

(m) Religious Activities: None until the summer of 1943 when, upon arrival of an Australian Catholic Priest, mass was said twice monthly. No Protestant services were conducted.

(n) Morale: Poor


A group of 6 men in leaving #2 on 25 April 1945 passed through Nagasaki and Fukuoka, thence by steamer to Fusan, Korea, and then by train to Hoten No. 2 at Mukden Manchuria. Camp was liberated 13 Sept. 1945.


Fukuoka No. 2, Nagasaki, Kyushu

The following are orders issued to the room-chiefs, and to me as Camp C.O., by the Japanese Camp Commander and/or officer or non-commissioned officer of the week (SHUBAN) thru the Japanese interpreter. They are stated practically verbatim; explanation and elucidation consisted of merely repeating the order:

Monday July 5, 1943

In accident at dock yard, the man did not help in boat accident. Two Dutch officers ran away. They are unfaithful and we are disappointed in them.

You must salute from the heart.

Do not say Nip or Jap. It is just as bad as saying Yank.

No reading after 9 P.M.

Sept. 4

The Sgt. Major is the N.C.O. of the week. There will be no mistakes.

Men will stop sleeping in the latrine.

All men are responsible for all men.

Watch and check each other.

Drillers are very good, the under ship are very lazy.

POW No. 341 is no good at picking up iron.

The Sgt. Major really expects you not to happen.

You may bath when the water is fired.

You have a new galley hancho (mess sergeant) make him good.

Salute from the heart.

Use water sparingly.

Try not to have fire.

Dec. 31

Unnecessary things are going on at the docks - there will be heavy, heavy punishment.

Officers and room-chiefs are responsible.

All men receive food as well as lunch - why should 6 or 7 be hungry. They are smuggling time from watchmen to bake food. Therefore they are lazy.

All buying and selling is forbidden.

New Year tomorrow so nothing filthy - live happily in the camp.

The galley hancho (mess sergeant) feels very bad because people try to improve upon his cooking.

Our camp is the talk of the town of Nagasaki on the food-proposition. Don't let it happen from any view point. The supply sergeant says keep your brooms dry.

Jan. 19

Camp authorities want everybody to be happy.

To keep happy very much responsibility of room chiefs at dock yard and camp from any view point.

Salute from the heart.

Gargle twice daily.

Navy officers at dockyard say many things have been going on recently. You must swear not to do it again.



By John M. Gibbs

31 July 1946



Fukuoka Camp No. 3 was first located in a suburban section of the city YAWATA [Yahata], known as Yauhea [?], on the Island of Kyushu. Yawata was one of Japan's major steel producing areas, and the camp there was first occupied by American civilians in September 1942, who were captured by the Japanese on Wake Island. Later in that year the American personnel at this camp was supplemented by prisoners of other nationalities, mainly British and Australian captured at Singapore.

A large steam electric plant was located within 500 yards of the camp installation, and surrounding it were steel mills and steel rolling mills, all producing Japanese war essentials, and relying, substantially, on prisoner labor to operate them.

To protect the prisoner personnel, as far as possible, from anticipated bombing raids, a new camp was erected in a suburb of Tobata [Kokura] about 300 yards from the bay, just west of the city. Tobata is located at the north central tip of the island about 6 miles from Yawata in a northeasterly direction, and its coordinates are 33°56'N. 130°49'E. The terrain at Tobata was flat. The tallest mountain in that area bounded the camp area on the north. Travel time from camp to the Yawata plants was about 30 minutes. The prisoners of war continued to work in the Yawata plants throughout the war and were transported from and to the new camp in open flat cars even during the bitterly cold winter weather. As a result of the exposure many of the prisoners contracted pneumonia and more than a few deaths among them resulted.

About 500 yards from the new camp at Tobata was an enormous power plant standing at an elevation of 300 feet. The furnaces were equipped with 6 smokestacks about 100 feet high from base. Steam turbines furnished power to the most of the plant. It evidently served as a landmark for American bombers because it was not bombed and remained undamaged to the war's end.

There was no distinguishing mark to denote that the new installation was a prisoner of war camp. In order to identify it as housing prisoners of war, the senior American officer requested the Japanese camp commandant to, at least, label the hospital with a red cross which request was curtly denied.


The total prisoner personnel was approximately 1,200 of which 500 were Americans. This figure included 75 civilians taken on Wake Island and 45 Marine and 30 Navy personnel. The remaining American personnel belonged to the Army. Prisoners of nationalities other than American were, English 130; Australians 3; Indians 150; Javanese & Dutch 325 and 20 Chinese. The remaining 72 were Arabian, Malayan and Portuguese.

Col. Ovid W. Wilson was the Senior American Officer. Lt. Col. Paul D. Philipps, the Adjutant for the American officer group, and Lt. Col. William Dorris, the permanent camp commander of the enlisted men.


The Japanese camp officials were:

Maj. Yaichi Rikitake, Commander, crafty and cruel.

Lt. Hata, camp doctor, non-cooperative, cruel.

Lt. Ogomi, camp doctor.

Cadet officer, Murada, camp doctor.

Sgt. Major Kita.

Sgt. Kawasaki, pay roll and commissary.

Cpl. Nagakura, stores and clothing.

Private Fukuda, medical orderly, inconsiderate, cruel.

Mr. Manins, civilian guard, cruel.

Mr. Osano, civilian interpreter, non-cooperative, indifferent.


(a) Housing Facilities: Inasmuch as the camp remained at Yawata for a relatively short period, a description of the housing facilities is omitted. Therefore the following is a description of the camp buildings at Tobata: Ten barracks of very light frame construction, capacity 150 men each, surrounded by a wood fence, comprised the housing facilities. Each building had 2 decks running the length of both sides, making a row of upper and lower bays to a side, the lower tier about 6" off the floor, top tier about 6' off the floor reached by ladders, into which were fitted typical Japanese mats for sleeping. There was a shelf located at the head of each bay where the prisoners could place their accessories. The floors were of concrete, the roof of a Japanese type of tile. There was no artificial heat except that generated by small round stoves standing on legs about 31/2 feet high, over-all, charcoal burner type. Coal furnished for fuel was of inferior quality and was inadequate in quantity. Fires were not maintained during the night. Even with fire in the stove during the day from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M., the barracks were continually cold. All buildings were electrically lighted; in addition there were special blackout lights, as well as blackout curtains for air raids. Windows (2 per bay both upper and lower) were of multi-glass sliding type.

The hospital, classed as a good building for this type of camp, had steam pipes installed, but heat was turned on only part of the night during the winter. This building was continually overcrowded and undermanned. A second hospital had been erected, however, the use of the facility was denied the prisoners, and it remained unoccupied until Oct. 1944. The patients were bedded in bunks equipped with straw mats. The original hospital, according to American standards, would normally have accommodated from 50 to 60 patients as against 120 patients of occupancy. Ambulatory patients were compelled to wear heavy overcoats during the day to keep reasonably warm. The rear of each barracks contained a washroom equipped with concrete sinks and contaminated running cold water. The men were warned against drinking this water.

(b) Latrines: In each of the barracks, and to the rear in a separate room, were located a cement urinal and 4 sinks with cold running water. Soap was always inadequate. The latrines, merely 6 wood stalls which afforded semi privacy, were in a separate room and were of usual oriental squatting type. The large tank underneath, which often ran over, was neglected although supposed to be emptied periodically by Japanese laborers. During the spring and summer seasons the sick prisoners were compelled to dip out these tanks and pour the contents on the camp gardens between the barracks. A foul odor always permeated the camp.

(c) Bathing: There was a separate building for hot water bathing. It was equipped with two large cement tanks approximately 10 feet square and 3 feet deep. Before getting into the tanks the prisoners were required to dip enough water out of the tanks to take a cleansing preliminary bath before soaking out in the tanks. During the winter months the prisoners were allowed to use the hot water baths daily. After bathing they immediately went to bed under their blankets in an effort to store up heat against several hours ahead in a cold building. During the summer months they were allowed to bathe every second day.

(d) Mess Hall: This was a large building of wood construction containing ample rice pots, also tanks for making tea, all steam operated. The floor of the mess hall was of concrete. Each barracks appointed representatives to draw food from the kitchen and take it to the barracks in buckets to be served. The American prisoners did the cooking under the supervision of Japanese mess sergeants.

(e) Food: The daily ration consisted of about 550 grams of mixed and steamed grain such as rice, barley, maize and red beans, and soup. The soup usually was fairly good. It contained vegetable tops, and frequently carrots, dried fish, bean curd, flour and a type of Japanese radish. In general the food was good except very short in protein and fats. The quantity was insufficient; consequently the men were hungry all the time and gradually became more and more gaunt. They were driven by hunger to stealing and eating anything that ever had any relation to food, such as garbage and other refuse. Because of insufficient food, the majority of the hospital patients were suffering from beriberi, amoebic dysentery and tuberculosis, as the result of malnutrition. Flour was given to the prisoners from time to time with which they baked bread and noodles. Sugar issue was fair. During Feb. 1945 all milk furnished by the Red Cross was given to the hospital patients. There was general complaint concerning the lack of salt. Whenever Red Cross canned meat was issued it was mixed and served with rice. Small amounts of Red Cross food was issued occasionally totaling about 11/2 boxes per man during a 3-month's period. The Japanese retained for themselves the rest of the Red Cross supplies.

(f) Medical Facilities: The Japanese medical officer was Lt. Hata who was later replaced by Lt. Ogomi who in turn was replaced by Cadet Officer Murada. Capt. Vetales V. Anderson, M.C. & Capt. William A. Blueher, M.C. aided by other doctors brought from the Philippines, administered treatment to the sick prisoners as fully as equipment and medical supplies permitted. The Japanese furnished some adulterated medicines, about 5 types, none of which were vital drugs, except Glucose and sulfa drugs. It was common knowledge to the prisoners that the Japanese had Red Cross medical supplies, both medicines and surgical instruments, in the camp at all times which they refused to allow to be used until after the surrender.

There were a number of deaths from pneumonia because of withheld medicines and oxygen. Although repeatedly requested by the prisoner doctors, the Japanese maintained that oxygen could not be obtained, yet as soon as the war ended, oxygen was made available. One example is given as follows: After a bombing raid in Aug. 1945, two American doctors performed an arm amputation with a hack saw, two old scalpels and few hemostats, although there was a complete chest of Red Cross surgical equipment unopened in the camp. The Japanese themselves made free use of Red Cross food, clothing and medicine. Dr. Hata was outstanding in this abuse. He was personally responsible because of these actions for the death of quite a few prisoners. Some of the doctors brought surgical instruments with them from the Philippines. Other instruments were made by the medical force in camp.

(g) Supplies: (1) Red Cross, YMCA, other Relief: As stated in the preceding paragraph it was known that Red Cross supplies, such as food, clothing, medicines and surgical instruments were in the camp and that the Japanese would not release them. On Christmas day, 1944 the prisoners were issued a full meal of Red Cross food and a good portion of regular Japanese rations, and thereafter for a few weeks, small daily portions of Red Cross food. After 1 May 1945 no shipments of Red Cross supplies were received. Three shipments of books by the YMCA were received after 1 May 1945.

(2) Japanese issue: Overcoats were issued to the prisoners. Few men had a change of clothing. They were shod in worn out foot apparel or canvas sneakers. Most of the men had no underwear. Each prisoner was issued six wool blankets. Cigarettes were issued weekly through the commissary, 10 to officers and 30 to enlisted men. Later the Japanese issued to the prisoners, 1 pair of shoes, 1 very light weight Japanese uniform and 1 suit of underwear. The prisoners were able to buy oranges, tangerines and cigarettes at the commissary.

(h) Mail: (1) Incoming: None was received by those that arrived in the Jan. 1945 detail of 97 officers and 3 Navy enlisted men. Several hundred letters (dated a year or more previously) were distributed to the permanent personnel. Some news of the war's progress trickled in through underground channels.

(2) Outgoing: The officers in Jan. 1945 were allowed personally to send 1 radiogram. All prisoners also were allowed to send one 40-word radiogram for each 30 men. A card or letter of no more than 50 words could be sent once every several months.

(i) Work: The Japanese medical authorities determined which patients were able to work and their only acceptance of illness was fever. Any patient was required to work who registered fever under 102 so long as his debility was not too severe to permit him to move around. Officers were not compelled to perform manual labor, however, doctors and interpreters were compelled to practice their respective professions. The directing camp officials employed a coercive measure to induce the able-bodied officers to volunteer to work -- namely -- refusal meant a decrease in the already inadequate ration, and when they did work and draw full Japanese rations, many who were then too weak to work continued to suffer a cut in their basic ration. The working day was 9 to 10 hours, and types of work were: stevedores, mechanics and machinists. Considering the physical condition of the men, and their ration, they endured cruel hardships. The working prisoners were classified as "outside (factory) workers," "inside workers (those working in the camp)", "sick in quarters," and "hospital." Outside workers received a substantially larger ration than the others. Some of the prisoners were kept busy many months building air raid shelters, however, when raids came over, very few prisoners were allowed in them. The mental strain on the prisoners knowing that the raids were coming, and having no adequate shelter, cannot be described.

(j) Treatment: Upon the slightest provocation both the officers and the enlisted prisoners were beaten by the guards with clubs and fists. The prisoners were further tormented by lice, fleas and bedbugs. Clothing was filled with lice which could not be eradicated except by boiling the garments. This privilege was denied. The treatment was consistently inhuman.

(k) Pay: (1) Officers were paid 50 yen per month and were permitted to spend about 10 yen of it in commissary purchases.

(2) Enlisted men were paid when they worked. Generally they were given from 10 to 50 sen a day.

(I) Recreation: Those physically able to work were not particularly concerned about recreation because there was little time left after working hours. Also they were completely exhausted after each days work. However the prisoners usually were given 2 or 3 holidays per month. A small library was installed with books donated by the YMCA. These were printed in English principally, but a few of them were in Dutch and other languages. There were no movies or athletic facilities and very few vegetable gardens. Smoking was permitted at certain hours when a courier from headquarters would carry the "official light" from building to building. Matches and other fire making articles were strictly forbidden. An orchestra of 5 pieces played occasionally in the evening during warm months.

(m) Religious Activities: The prisoners were not allowed to have orthodox religious services except upon the occasion of a burial, when the chaplain prisoners were allowed to perform brief ceremonies.

(n) Morale: Fair

(o) Movements: 97 officers and 3 Navy medical corpsmen were on the Japanese ship ORYOKU MARU which was bombarded while in Subic Bay, the Philippines. They were rescued and taken to Takao, Formosa on a leg of their journey to Fukuoka Camp No. 3, leaving this camp in April 1945 for Hoten Camp No. 1 in Manchuria. Of the 103 officers and corpsmen, 24 of the officers died in Camp No. 3, mainly from dysentery, beriberi and pneumonia superinduced and aggravated by malnutrition and gross neglect suffered while aboard ship from Takao to Moji. Of this group of prisoners only 71 officers including the 3 corpsmen were able to move on to Manchuria. Five of this officer group were too weak to be moved. This detail joined another detail of approximately 500 American prisoners from other camps in the Fukuoka area 24 April 1945. When the prisoners reached Korea the group was divided, 264 of them remained in Korea, 236 moved to the Hoten No. 1, Mukden, from which place they and other prisoners were liberated on 16 Oct. 1945. Fukuoka Camp No. 3 was liberated on 13 Sept. 1945.


All of the buildings in this camp were adequate. The facilities, if allowed to be used, also would have contributed greatly to the comfort and health of the men, referring particularly to heating equipment. The food from the standpoint of quality would have been acceptable. Tubs for bathing and hot water were plentiful and were made use of daily during the winter months.

The perverse Japanese officers, however, would not keep steam heat on the hospital long enough each day to do much good. Fires in the barracks stoves were only allowed from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. These deprivations plus such brutalities as:

(a) Withholding medicines and surgical instruments.

(b) Severe beatings with fists and clubs.

(c) Compelling men to work who were too weak to stand any physical strain.

(d) Scarcity of food causing slow starvation.

(e) Disallowing distribution of Red Cross food and other supplies but pilfering them for their own use,

leaves only the conclusion that the camp could not be rated otherwise than VERY POOR.




31 July 1946



This camp, on the crest of an ancient slag and rock pile, was located between the villages of Futase & Iizuka, approximately 50 miles from Moji on the north and 45 miles from Fukuoka on the west. Nakatsu, on the Inland Sea, was approximately 35 miles northeast of Futase. The coordinates of the latter are 33°26'N., 131°05'E.

Size of compound was 300' x 300' and was surrounded by a 10' wood fence. Bamboo pilings sharp ends up and pointing inward, had been fastened into the barricade at the top. An alarm system had been fastened in the fence.

The project was mining coal in the mines of Honko & Shinko Mining Company. It was a typical mining town. The power plant of the Mining Co. was located here and was topped by 4 smoke stacks said to be about 100 feet high.


A detail of 200 American prisoners from the Philippines reached this camp on 4 August 1944, the Senior Officer being Capt. (now Lt. Colonel) Roscoe Price. A Capt. Corrigan was of the officer detail, and Capt. Barshop, Army Medical Corps was the Camp Surgeon whose associate was Capt. Sidney Vernon, Army Med. Corps. The American personnel was divided among the service groups as follows: Army 75; Navy 65 and Marines 60.

This installation was first occupied by 350 Dutch and 2 British prisoners in 1942. The total of 552 reached after the arrival of the American contingent remained about the same until the camp was liberated.


The first commandant was 1st Lt. Seijiro Yashitsugu who was succeeded by Tsuyoshi Sakai. Camp doctor was Yoshiwaka Suenaga whose assistant was Sugi Horibumu. Two guards merely indicated by nicknames as "Gorilla" and "Blackjack", along with the medical assistant, were extremely cruel in their beatings of the prisoners, and in the most of the cases the prisoners themselves did not know the cause. See further under the sub-heading of "Treatment."


(a) HOUSING FACILITIES: There were 2 barracks, light frame structures, unheated and very poor lighting. One barracks, rectangular in shape, was 120' long by 40' wide. The camp hospital and a latrine were located in this building, which also contained prisoner sleeping quarters divided into 3 rooms with double deck bays for sleeping. The larger barracks, divided into 14 rooms, was built in the shape of the letter "U". Each wing was 120' x 40'. The enclosed end of this building also was 120' x 40'. This structure was divided into 15 rooms, each holding from 20 to 40 prisoners and was equipped with 2 elevated sleeping platforms, one being 8" from the floor and the other at an elevation of about 6'. Neither of these barracks was insulated. The floor in the larger building was concrete. The smaller building was floored with wood. The roofs were of leaky tile. The barracks were filthy and infested with vermin of every kind. The other buildings for the prisoners in addition to the barracks were 3 for storage; 1 bath house; 1 combined mess hall and kitchen and 1 carpenter shop. A covered outside latrine had been erected.

(b) LATRINES: A single latrine was in the smaller barracks and at the end thereof. Two were in the larger building and a separate latrine had been provided in a disconnected structure. Holes were cut into and flush with the floors with receiving pits underneath. Straddle type. The latrines were emptied by the prisoners, equipped with buckets, at least twice weekly. Concrete urinals had been installed in the latrines.

(c) BATHING: A separate bath building had been erected and it was entirely inadequate. The bath was equipped with 3 concrete tubs, 2 of which were 7' x 10' x 4' and one was 4' x 7' x 4'. The water was heated by steam but the building was not heated.

(d) MESS HALL: A rectangu1ar building with 2 ells making out from one corner and one end. It was equipped with tables, benches and dishes for feeding the prisoners. The size and equipment of this structure enabled the seating of 400 prisoners at a time. The two ells evidently contained the kitchen and a store room. The building was constantly filthy, and was unheated and unlighted. Because of leaky roof the building could not be used when it was raining.

(e) FOOD: Rice, as usual, was the staple item of diet ranging in amount per man per day of 260 to 350 grams. Soup made from vegetable tops and vines and sea weed, poorly prepared, was also served as well as small portions of fish, both of which were consistently putrid. The cooking was done by Dutch prisoners using steam heat. No meat was served. The rice was of good quality. The menu was varied from time to time but the quantity of food in these words: "hunger will drive one to eat most anything."

(f) MEDICAL FACILITIES: Capt. Barshop, Army Med. Corps, was the Camp Surgeon, but worked under the direction of a Japanese Army officer who willingly shifted his responsibility upon the shoulders of the American officer who by temperament and medical skill is credited with saving many lives and boosting morale under disheartening conditions. Little or no medicines could be obtained. There were no hospital facilities. Capt. Barshop also protected the prisoners against the imposition of work decrees issued by the Japanese camp physician when they were too weak to stand on their feet for even a brief period.

The sick prisoners were bedded on filthy bags in sick bays located in the smaller barracks. Proper food could not be obtained and no cooperation could be obtained from the Japanese officers.

(g) SUPPLIES: (1) Red Cross - Y.M.C.A. - Other relief. Three 10-pound Red Cross food parcels were issued, one at Christmas 1944, one in Feb. 1945 and the third one after surrender. These parcels constituted the entire issue by the Japanese from Red Cross supplies.

(2) Japanese Issue: The Japanese issued to the American prisoners shortly after their arrival 1 cotton summer uniform, shorts and shirts made of flour sacks and one coverall suit. Canvas shoes were given to the prisoners. Winter clothing issued in Nov. 1944. After Nov. 1944 no further clothing was given out.

(h) MAIL: (1) Incoming: None.

(2) Outgoing: On 2 occasions the prisoners were allowed to write 25-word cards. Letters varying in length was a privilege extended to a few of the prisoners.

(i) WORK: The job was mining coal in the mines of the Honko & Shinko Mining Co. From the time of leaving the barracks in the morning until the return of the enlisted prisoners at night, the working period was 11 to 14 hours. The officers were assigned to work in the camp such as mess detail, service in the library, morning muster and physical drill. Enlisted men too sick to work in the mines were assigned to emptying latrines and other menial forms of work. Working conditions were very bad. The mines were wet and the air was suffocating. One mine was 3,800 feet deep and the other had an inclined shaft 200 yards long set at an angle of 45°. No safety measures had been installed. Inadequacy of food and frequency of mistreatment by Japanese soldiers and civilian mine workers impelled one prisoner to state that "this life is possible only with the knowledge that to tough it out would some day mean freedom."

(j) TREATMENT: Proclaimed to have been brutal with variation. While no charges of cruelty were lodged against the commandant, it is apparent that he condoned the constant beatings. The officer medical assistant is charged with doing the "dirty work" of the Japanese medical officer in engineering some of the punishments to which the prisoners were subjected. Reference is made to the medical assistant and 2 guards under the sub-heading "Guard Personnel". The testimony of 4 prisoners of the U.S.M.C., 2 of the Navy, and 1 of the Army declare that the beating of the prisoners, frequently into insensibility, were administered for the slightest cause, generally unknown to the offender, and that they were so cruel and damaging as to require hospitalization.

(k) PAY: (1) Officers: From 20 to 50 yen per month.

(2) Enlisted Men: 15 sen per day. Sergeants and Master Sergeants 20 and 25 sen per day respectively.

(l) RECREATION: None provided. Even had facilities been furnished the prisoners, by reason of their weakened condition, could not have indulged in any forms of physical exercise beyond that imposed by their work detail. Incidental mention is made to a library probably furnished by the Y.M.C.A.

(m) RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES: The first camp commandant would not permit religious services. As the time of American victory approached some limited religious services were conducted. There were no chaplains in the camp.

(n) MORALE: Fluctuating according to food and "grapevine" news.


This camp was liberated 16 September 1945. The prisoners in several groups were taken by train to Nagasaki from which port they embarked on American steamers via various routes to the United States.




31 July 1946



A small unidentified mining town 40 to 50 miles due south of Moji and approximately 40 miles east of Fukuoka, the coordinates of which are 33°36'N, 130°44'E. The original size of the camp compound was 200' x 200' surrounded by a 10' wood fence with a charged wire near the top. To accommodate the increasing prisoner personnel the camp confines were doubled before the surrender of Japan.


A detail of 69 American prisoners from a camp at Tanagawa, near Osaka on Honshu reached this camp in March 1945, the Sr. Officer for the American contingent being 1st Lt. (later Capt.) Alfred E. Fobes. Other American officers were Capt. (later Maj.) James A. Grider, U.S. Public Health Service, Medical Officer for the American detail & Maj. Stockton D. Bruns, C.A.C.

251 British prisoners were the first occupants of this camp, and they reached there 13 Oct. 1943. On 25 Dec. 1943, 270 Dutch prisoners arrived. British and Dutch Army medical personnel were present in both groups. Capt. Peter Williams, Royal Artillery, was overall prisoner camp commander. As of March 1945 the total number of prisoners was 590, which was the peak.

A group of five American officers left this camp on 25 April 1945 for Hoten camp #1 at Mukden, Manchuria.


1st Lt. Toda was commandant from Nov. 1944 to April 1945. He was pronounced to be gentlemanly toward and personally considerate of the prisoners, but unfortunately the operation of the camp was left largely in the hands of a Sgt. Maj. who was cruel, cunning, thieving and vindictive. The names of other officers, i.e., Haito, Goto, Stresaki and Sakata, have been mentioned but rank and duties were not indicated -- merely "officers".


(a) Housing: The barracks, 12 in number, 10' x 100', overall height 20' to 25' were constructed of wood in some cases and of clay with cement finish in other cases. The roofs were of tile, shingles and clay but not used in combination of two or more of these materials. The floors were of dirt. Some of these buildings were insulated on the inside with plaster, others with plywood. Still others were not insulated at all. Two additional barracks were constructed later. All barracks equipped with paper windows. No heating. Prisoners were bedded on individual straw mats or bays. Closets were provided for storing clothing. The barracks were infested with lice.

(b) Latrines: The latrines were located as follows: two in that number of hospital buildings; three in one end of that number of barracks and two in combination with bath and wash rooms. The most of them were of cement, individual trench, oriental-type with holes cut flush with floor. A few were of conventional seat-type. Urinal and excreta wastes were caught in cement-closed containers and the offal was used to fertilize the camp gardens.

(c) Bathing: A separate bath building 20' x 40' had been erected with a latrine in one end. It was equipped with a tub 15' x 6' x 4', two showers and a clothes closet. Hot water was always available. The bath was stated to be the best aspect of the camp, alleged to have been a life saving facility and a morale booster.

(d) Mess Hall: It was a separate frame building with kitchen ell making off from one side of building. The bakery was a small, detached building near the kitchen. The prisoners ate in the mess hall in three shifts each 24 hours.

(e) Food: The staple diet was between 550 & 750 grams of rice per day divided into three meals plus thin vegetable soup with fish added about once a month. There was no variation in this diet. Prisoners did the cooking. There were no facilities to sterilize the dishes and sanitary conditions generally were non-existent. The food was boiled in large iron cauldrons.

(f) Medical Facilities: One of the barracks was first used as a hospital, but subsequently a separate building for this purpose was erected. The American Army Med. officer for the American prisoners and a Dutch medical officer made their services available to all the prisoners. Medical supplies were very inadequate until Nov. 1944 when a supply came in from the Red Cross. These supplies were liberated in ample quantities to the prisoner officers, and their use, according to the American officer, prevented many deaths from pneumonia during the winter of 1944-45. No facilities or remedies were available for the treatment of fractures, or weakness or dizziness. There was not a dental officer in the camp but some extractions were made at a local hospital. Several prisoners were given surgical treatment in the civilian hospital and some outside optical treatment was accorded the prisoners. All medical treatment was rendered under the supervision of Japanese officers.

(g) Supplies: (1) Up to Nov. 1944, Red Cross packages were so scarce that one parcel would be shared by six men. After that date the parcels increased gradually until a complete package was given to an individual just before the dose of the war. However, the prisoners averaged no better than 31/2 parcels per man for the two-year period. Shoes, overcoats and blankets were issued from Red Cross supplies.

(2) Japanese Issue: Each prisoner was given two thin blankets and, in the winter, heavier clothing and overcoats but the latter could not be worn in the mines. The working garb consisted of canvas shoes, pants, shirts and underwear.

(h) Mail: (1) Incoming: The American and Dutch prisoners received no mail. The British prisoners received some old mail (re-dated) mostly from Java.

(2) Outgoing: From March 1944 to Aug. 1945 the American prisoners were allowed to send a total of four cards.

(i) Work: The officers were assigned to camp administrative work and gardening. The enlisted men were assigned to work in and about the coat mines in three shifts of eight hours each. Two hours may be added to the eight because of the walking distance from camp to mines and back to the camp. The prisoners were allowed three rest days per month. The medical officers performed medical duties and supervised the gardening.

(j) Treatment: The Japanese supervisory personnel was pretty generally cruel and the beatings were frequent. An officer, in expressing himself, said, "poor for me, rotten for the enlisted men". The mines were not equipped with safety devices. Cave-ins were common and several deaths were caused by these stoppages. The prisoners were constantly aware of this danger, and their nervous anxiety was a greater menace to their health than the actual work according to the camp surgeon.

One of the American prisoners said. "The treatment by the Japanese Military personnel and the coal mining personnel was sadistically harsh especially toward the American prisoners."

(k) Pay: (1) Officers: Same as Japanese Officers of comparable grades.

(2) Enlisted Men: 10 to 25 sen per day.

(l) Recreation: None

(m) Religious Activities: None. Prisoners compelled to work every Sunday.

(n) Morale: Poor.


On 25 April 1945 a group of five American officers were started on their way to Mukden, Manchuria. They traveled by train to Fukuoka which city showed many signs of bombing raids. The population was being evacuated. To minimize fire hazards many of the wood buildings were being razed.




31 July 1946



Omuta, on the bay, about 17 miles northwest of Kumamoto and 40 miles south of the city of Fukuoka, opened on 7 Aug. 1943. The coordinates are 33°N, 130°25'E. Terrain level, well drained and filled in with slag from a coal mine at Omuta. Dimension of original camp site, 200 yards square which by April 1945 had been enlarged to 200 yards wide by 1,000 yards long. The site is a reclaimed grove and the buildings thereon were formerly laborers quarters constructed by Mitsui Coal Mining Co. and operated by Japanese Army. A wood fence approximately 12 feet high with 3 heavy gauge wires (first wire approximately 6 feet off the ground) enclosed the compound. The grounds were kept as clean as possible at all times. Some fir trees adorned the compound. The Japanese officials were stationed in the enclosure.


Maj. A. C. Tisdell, spokesman; Maj. Thomas H. Hewlett, camp surgeon and Maj. John R. Mamerow, medical officer.

Camp first occupied 10 Aug. 1943 by 10 officers, 133 NCO's and 358 privates, a total of 501, all Americans, from the Philippines. 497 American prisoners from the Philippines reaching the port of Moji, Kyushu on 29 Jan. 1945, were divided among the Fukuoka area installations as follows:

100 to camp #3 located at Tobata

193 to camp #1 located at Kashii

110 to the Japanese Military Hospital at Moji

95 to camp #17

Only 34 of the hospital prisoners, later transferred to No. 22 survived. The death of the 76 prisoners while in the hospital was due to the horrible conditions of travel from the Philippines to Moji, and extreme malnutrition.

An earlier group of 200 American prisoners from the Philippines reached Moji on 3 Sept. 1944 all of whom were assigned to camp #17, making a total of 814 American prisoners, which was the maximum. The camp was liberated on 2 Sept. 1945. There were 1721 prisoners in the camp toward the closing of it on 2 Sept. 1945. British, Australian, Dutch and American prisoners evacuated the last minute from the Philippines and Siam were in desperate physical condition when they arrived.


Asao Fukuhara, Camp Commandant

Camp surgeon, an unnamed Japanese Army man

Civilian guards, 2 pseudo named as the "sailor" & "one arm bandit", both Japanese.

There were Japanese orderlies who worked as hospital attendants, number and names unknown.


(a) Housing Facilities: The barracks comprised 33 one story buildings 120' x 16' with 10 rooms to a barracks, of wood construction with tight tar paper roofs, and windows with panes. Ventilation satisfactory. Three to 4 officers were billeted in one room 9' x 10' and 4 to 6 enlisted men in room of same size. No heating facilities, and while the climate was mild, it must be remembered that the men were sensitive to temperatures around 40° Fahrenheit, and because of their weakened condition due to malnutrition the dampness and cold was very penetrating. The barracks were light enough during the day without artificial illumination. Each room had one 15-watt light bulb.

Air raid shelters were dug into the earth about 6 feet deep and 8 feet wide, 120 feet in length, timbered in similar manner, to coal mines, covered with 3 feet of slag and an adequate splinter-proof roof.

The beds consisted of tissue paper and cotton batting covered with a cotton pad 5'8" long and 2½' wide. Three heavy cotton blankets were issued by the Japanese in addition to a comforter made of tissue paper, scrap rags and scrap cotton.

(b) Latrines: In each of the 33 buildings, and at the end thereof, were 3 stools raised from the floor about 1½' on a hollow brick pedestal, each being covered with a detachable wood seat, and 1 urinal. A concrete tank was underneath each stool. The prisoners made wood covers for each of the stools, thereby reducing the fly nuisance. The offal in the tanks was removed by Japanese laborers twice each week.

(c) Bathing: The bathing facilities were in a separate building equipped with 2 tanks approximately 30' x 10' x 4' deep, with very hot steam heated water. The American camp spokesman would not permit the men to immerse themselves during the summer months on account of skin diseases. In the winter the tubs were used but not until the men had taken a preliminary bath before entering the tubs. The men were required to watch each other to see that none "passed out" because of the heat and their weakened condition. After bathing the men would dress in all the clothing they had and go to bed for the night. Even then the prisoners would fill their canteens with hot water and place them beneath the covers. With these precautions the men slept comfortably through the cold nights.

Each 2 barracks had an outside wash rack, 16 cold water faucets and 16 wood tubs with drainboard. Prisoners washed their cloths by scrubbing with brushes on the drainboard and rinsing them in the tubs. There was a constant shortage of soap.

(d) Mess Hall: There was 1 unit mess with 11 cauldrons and 2 electric cooking ovens for baking bread, 2 kitchen ranges, 4 store rooms and 1 ice box. Cooking was done by 15 prisoners of war of whom 7 were professional cooks, all working under the supervision of a Japanese mess sergeant. The men working in the coal mines were given 3 buns every 2nd day to take with them for their lunch when they did not return to the camp to eat. Other days they were given an American mess-kit level with rice. Prisoners ate in the mess hall in which was placed tables and benches.

(e) Food: Usually consisted of steamed rice and vegetable soup made from anything that could be obtained, 3 times a day. Upon occasion of a visit to this camp by a representative of the Red Cross in April 1944 a splendid variety of fats, cereals, fish and vegetables were served, which naturally impressed the representative and in his report to headquarters, he called particular attention to the menu. It is known that the spread was to impress the Red Cross man, and that it was the only decent meal served in 2 years. Rice and soup made from radishes, mostly water, remained the diet throughout. The men working in the mines were given 700 grams of rice, camp workers 450 and officers 300. Our American camp doctors stated that such scant ration was insufficient to support life in a bed patient. All of the prisoners were skeletons having lost in weight an average of around 60 pounds per man. The city water was drinkable.

(f) Medical Facilities: Medical section and surgical section of infirmary had 10 rooms each with capacity of 30 men each. Isolation ward could accommodate 15 men. Daily medical and dental inspections by American officers, but they had but little to work with in the way of medicines and instruments. The dentist had no instruments and could only perform extractions, and without anesthesia. For dysentery the Japanese furnished a powder which they concocted, the use of which produced nausea and diarrhea when administered to the American patients. There were no American hospital corpsmen in this camp until April 1944 when 10 men were added to the hospital corps with 2 doctors and 1 dentist. After Oct. 1944 medical supplies were provided and an operating room installed. Prior to Oct. 1944 the camp was practically without medical supplies. The Japanese doctor was entirely disinterested.

(g) Supplies: (1) Red Cross, Y.M.C.A., other Relief: The first Red Cross and Y.M.C.A. supplies were received early in 1944 on the Japanese ship TEIA MARU. The items in the food parcels were doled out to the men sparingly provided he had a consistent work record in the coal mine and was not guilty of infractions of rules. In the aggregate each man was given the equivalent of about 1 complete parcel during the full period of his confinement. The favoritism shown the mine workers in the distribution of parcel items defeated the intention of the Red Cross because it tended to give protein foods to the more healthy rather than to the weak. The 1944 Red Cross shipment contained medicines, surgical instruments and other supplies which the Japanese refused to make available for the benefit of the invalided men, but helped themselves to them. The Y.M.C.A. furnished several hundred books. (2) Japanese Issue: The clothing (cotton) was issued by the coal mine company and was adequate. British overcoats were given out by the Japanese Army. Each prisoner was given 3 heavy cotton blankets and a comforter made of tissue paper and scrap rags and scrap cotton. The canteen was practically bare. From it the men received regularly 5 cigarettes per day. Canned salmon could be bought about each 2 months, 1 can per man.

(h) Mail: (1) Incoming: First incoming mail was received in March 1944, thereafter each 60 days.

(2) Outgoing: Prisoners were allowed to write a card about each 6 to 8 weeks.

(i) Work: In coal mines and zinc smelters 3 shifts per day of approximately 100 men per shift. Conditions in the mines were pronounced dangerous although only 3 men were killed outright during the period of confinement of 22 months. Many men received painful injuries from falling rocks and other causes. Fortunately for the prisoner there was among the group an experienced coal miner who gave the men safety talks and pointed out some of the dangers of coal mining which were not apparent to novice workers. The coal mines were operated largely by American prisoners, the smelters by the British and Australian prisoners. Coal mines were approximately 1 kilometer from camp. Hours of work 12 hours per day, 30 minutes lunch time. The men were given one day off every 10 days.

(k) Treatment: From time to time the men were beaten without cause with fists, clubs and sandals. Failure to salute or bow to the Japanese was an offense which usually was followed by compelling the prisoners to stand at attention in front of the guard house for hours at a time. Some men were beaten daily and others harassed by guards while trying to sleep during their rest time.

(l) Pay: (1) Officers: Were paid 20 yen per month until June 1944 when it was increased to 40 yen less 18 yen per month for mess. Each prisoner received 5 cigarettes per day regularly except for about 1 day per month. Postal savings accounts for officers deposited with Protecting Power amounted to 7,688.26 yen. Prisoner of War Headquarters ran its own destitute welfare.

(2) Enlisted Men: NCO's were paid 14 sen per day and privates 10 sen per day. No postal savings were deposited with Protecting Power.

(m) Recreation: The Y.M.C.A. provided equipment for such out-door games as football, volleyball and tennis, but the prisoners, at the close of work periods, were too tired and weak to play. There were no indoor sports except those made by the prisoners. There was a rotating library of about 300 volumes provided by the Y.M.C.A. A vegetable garden was planted and maintained by the prisoners, and some live stock was raised, but the Japanese ate the live stock and none of it was made available to the prisoners.

(n) Religious Activities: In July 1944 a protestant Dutch Army Chaplain arrived as one of a prisoner detail. Until his arrival the camp was without a chaplain. From July 1944 protestant services were held each Sunday.

(o) Morale: Was low primarily because of inadequate food, long and hard working hours which left no time except for work and sleep. There was no laughter, no singing, nothing but depression which condition was made worse by beatings and the harassing activities of the Japanese guards during the sleeping hours.


Of the group of 501 officers and enlisted men which reached this camp in August 1943, 15 died. The remainder left for Mukden, Manchuria on 25 April 1945. Other American prisoners, approximately 340 remained at Camp No. 17 until liberated on 2 Sept. 1945.




31 July 1946



The geographical distances of this camp from Moji (30 miles southwest) and Fukuoka (40 miles east) thence 5 miles southeast of the City of Iizuka place it near the town of Aokuma [Okuma, Honami]. The coordinates are 33°33'N., 130°44'E. To reach Fukuoka No. 22 the prisoners, 29 in number, were taken by ambulance to the train. After a trip lasting several hours, which embraced a transfer from one train to another enroute, they finally detrained and laboriously covered the remaining distance on foot up the mountainside to Fukuoka #22. The prison compound was 300' x 400' surrounded by a wood fence 12' high.


Capt. Moore, Australian, was Dr. Officer, ranking officer was Capt. Flynn, Australian. Dr. Versol, Australian was head camp physician, and an American Medical Corpsmen by the name of Rogers was assistant to Dr. Versol. The senior ranking American officer was Capt. C.M. Smith, U.S. Navy Medical Corps. Of the 34 survivors of the 110 prisoners placed in the military hospital at Moji after rescue from the Hell Ship ORYOKU MARU and the succeeding Hell Ship starting with 1619 American prisoners of war from the Philippines on 13 Dec. 1944, 19 American Military Officers, 1 American Navy Officer, 1 American Marine Corps Officer and 8 enlisted men of the American Army and Navy were sent to Fukuoka #22 on 22 Feb. 1945 and 14 March 1945. Five prisoners of this detail of 34 men remained in Moji because of their physical condition. 29 of these prisoners left Fukuoka #22 on 26 April 1945 for Mukden Manchuria, and remained there until they were liberated by the Russians on 17 Aug. 1945. This camp was first occupied in Jan. 1943 by 104 Australian prisoners, 1 Dutch and 1 American. When the American prisoner left this location for Mukden the total prisoner personnel was 130 including the departing prisoners.


The Japanese Camp Commandant, the Japanese Camp doctor, his attendants and the guards have been referred in connection with their assignments, but not by name. There was no mention of beatings and other forms of cruelty.


(a) HOUSING FACILITIES: The following buildings constituted a part of the housing facilities:

(1) Six barracks 15' x 75' sub-divided into 5 sections each about 15' x 15' each section had sliding windows along the entire back. Double door openings onto a boardwalk were in the front. There was a 30' space between each row of barracks.

(2) Covered boardwalks about 10' wide were in front of each row of barracks leading to all other buildings in the compound.

(3) Basket making workhouse communicating with bath house also housed the camp barber shop.

(4) There were 2 air raid shelters 30' x 10' covered with 4' of dirt. All of the above buildings were of frame construction with tile roofs and wood floors except the bath room and that had a tile floor. The buildings were electrically lighted. Prisoners were bedded on mats placed on floors, about 10 prisoners to each room.

(b) LATRINES: There were 3 concrete deck latrines 15' x 15' straddle type adjacent to and communicating with the barracks by the covered board walks described in the preceding paragraph. Concrete pits were under the floor. Also there was a small latrine back of the hospital, 10' x 10'. Each latrine contained a urinal about 12' x 6'. No complaint of overflowing.

(c) BATHING: The bathing facilities were in a separate building. In it were 2 concrete vats 15' x 15', plenty of hot water and a smaller hot water vat for washing clothing. Concrete floor and frame building. About 10 prisoners at a time would sit in the baths under the voluntary watch care of the Australian workers. Each prisoner was allowed one bath per week. The Australian prisoners, by reason of the debilitated condition of the American prisoners, washed their clothing for them and also deloused their garments.

(d) MESS HALL: a separate frame building 24' x 60' with tile roof and concrete floor contained 4 long tables for the enlisted men and 3 smaller tables for officers. Identical mess was prepared for all prisoners. The prisoners able to walk had their meals in the mess hall. Food for bed-ridden prisoners was taken to them by Japanese ward attendants. The kitchen, which communicated with the mess hall, occupied space at the end of the mess hall. It was equipped with cooking cauldrons. A store room adjoined the kitchen. Australian prisoners did the cooking under Japanese supervision.

(e) FOOD: Basic daily ration was: mine workers, 705 grams of rice; maintenance personnel, 500 grams; hospital patients, 400 grams. Evening meal usually contained a small amount of thin watery vegetable soup and, about once a week, a little fish. Quality of the rice and soup was good, the fish occasionally had reached an advanced stage of decomposition. While the quality of the food was generally good, the quantity was entirely inadequate. The prisoners were hungry continually and could not build up their weight, which was under 100 pounds per man.

(f) MEDICAL FACILITIES: Hospital building was piped for steam heat but was pronounced to be cold. It was a frame structure 24' x 50', total bed capacity 25 patients. The beds were placed together which meant that 3 or 4 patients were occupying a space equivalent to one bed. Medical care was administered by a Japanese doctor and attendant assisted by a Dutch doctor. Capt. Smith, U.S. Navy medical officer, later on assisted in looking after the sick. All medicine was under control of the Japanese doctor. Adequate Red Cross medicines and medical supplies were in the camp but as usual they were doled out inadequately to meet the real needs of the patients. Again reference is made to the kind ministrations of the Australians who performed the most menial services for the American prisoners. The hospital patients were bedded on mattresses about 2 inches thick placed on platforms made of wood. The Japanese doctor would visit the hospital about twice weekly and usually would remain all day. He would call at the convalescent ward once weekly.

(g) SUPPLIES: (1) The Red Cross had provided food parcels, medicines and medical supplies but, as usual, these articles had been stored in the camp storehouse upon the claim of the commandant that they would be held for an emergency. That foreseeable emergency was anticipated air raids. 125 Red Cross parcels, both food and medicine were received during April 1945 none of which had been made available when the detail of 20 prisoners left the camp on 25 April 1945 for Mukden, Manchuria. The Australian prisoners divided with the Americans some of their allotments from the British Red Cross.

(2) JAPANESE ISSUE: The special detail of 16 prisoners reaching Fukuoka #22 in Feb. 1945 were given an overcoat, green Japanese military uniform, underwear, shoes, towels & blankets. The remaining 13 prisoners of this special detail reaching #22 in March 1945, received no clothing. This detail was given 5 cigarettes per man per week.

(h) MAIL: (1) Incoming: None.

(2) Outgoing: None.

(i) WORK: None of the American prisoners were able to work in the coal mines. That work was performed by the Australian prisoners. The American officers able to walk did administrative work and gardening 6 hours per day. The coal mines were operated on 2 shifts of 12 hours each. Each prisoner was required to perform a certain task each day -- namely to mine a given number of cars. It was a hard job, especially on inadequate rations, under dangerous working conditions, with no safety measures. There was no elevator in the mines and the prisoners were made to walk down and up 382 steps each day.

(j) TREATMENT: In comparison with other Japanese camps in which the Americans had been prisoners, the treatment was good, except the prisoners suffered from lack of heat and inadequate food. During air raids, which were becoming more and more frequent, the guards were confused as to the safest thing to do. Some of the guards opened wide the windows. Others would order the windows to be closed and the shades pulled down. At night there were opposite actions in regard to lights, some guards would let them stay on, others would not. Eating and smoking were not allowed during raids. The air raid shelters belied their name, they were traps, and all prisoners who could walk were made to go there and stand for hours in the cold. Thoughtfully the camp commandant suggested to the Sr. American officer that a memorial service in memory of the late President of the United States be arranged. The service was arranged and conducted by the camp Chaplain. When the 29 prisoners of the special detail of 34 prisoners left #22 in April 1945, they were compelled to give up the Japanese issue of clothing except the uniform. These prisoners still suffered from beriberi and dysentery and their weight varied from 88 to 94 pounds.

(k) PAY: (1) Officers: Some officers were paid 95 yen per month. For the most part the pay was a book transaction. The savings were supposed to be deposited in Japanese Postal Savings, but no recovery was accomplished by the officers. The money paid the officers upon their departure from Moji was, with the exception of 10 pesos, taken from them upon arrival at #22, and there is no report that it was recovered.

(2) Enlisted Men: 10 to 15 sen daily.

(l) RECREATION: No forms of amusement was provided. Even so the American prisoners were too weak to engage in any sports that required physical effort. The YMCA had provided a library of 200 books.

(m) RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES: Brief religious services were held weekly by Australian and American Chaplains. Special services were held in the hospital and the mine workers were afforded the opportunity of attending religious services which had been arranged for them.

(n) MORALE: Excellent as underground reports carried news of the favorable progress of the war.


The group of 29 American prisoners sent from Moji to Fukuoka #22 were taken to the City of Fukuoka on 25 April 1945, where they were joined, but without being allowed to intermingle, by other American prisoners from other camps in the Fukuoka district. They were transported by steamer to Pusan, Korea, and thence by train to Mukden arriving on 29 April 1945.

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