SCAP Investigation Report

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22 March 1946

SUBJECT: Further investigation of the Fukuoka Branch Camp Number Six

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

By the direction of the Chief, Investigation Division, Robert E. Humphreys, 2nd Lt. Infantry, and Melvin S. Cohn, 2nd Lt. Infantry, accompanied by Sgt. Jack Oda made a further investigation of Prisoner of War Camp Number Six between 19 March and 22 March 1946.

1. For pictures, blueprints, summary, and further affidavits or general camp conditions on POW Camp Number Six, please refer to investigation report made by this investigation officer 14 February 1946.

2. In August, 1943, an Australian private named GEORGE ALFRED IRWIN, age 25, escaped from FUKUOKA BRANCH CAMP NUMBER SIX at ORIO SHI [Mizumaki], Fukuoka ken and made his way to YAHATA SHI, FUKUOKA KEN where he was apprehended by the Japanese prefectual police on 21 August 1943. Camp Six at ORIO SHI was notified and two cars set out to retrieve the escaped prisoner. Lt. KAZUMO SUEMATSU, then camp commander of Camp Number Six (See Exhibit A) Sgt. MATSUKATSU HOZUMI (See exhibit B) and several guards were present in the party. After having picked up the prisoner, the car started back to the camp. On the way, the cars turned off onto a side road adjacent to the police sration in Orio-shi. About 500 meters down this road, GEORGE IRWIN was permitted to leave the car to urinate. (See exhibit 6) GEORGE IRWIN was then alleged to have tried to escape whereupon MASAKATSU HOZUMI seized him and strangled him into unconsciousness. As soon as IRWIN regained consciousness, Sgt. Maj. TSUGUO IWANUMA shot him once in the back, with a model 38 Japanese rifle.
[Note: Irwin was murdered on 21 August 1943. Rank-Private, VX50024, 4th Reserve Motor Transport, home town: Cockatoo, Vistoria, Australia; His brother Joseph Ronald Irwin died on Death Railway at Little Nikki on 18 Nov 1943.]

3. KASUMOTEO SUEMATSU according to his own testimony (see exhibit A0 admits that GEORGE ALFRED IRWIN was shot in the back by SGT. MAJ. TSUGUO IWANUMA on 21 August 1943. Due to the excitement he cannot remember whether or not he gave the order to do so or not. He states howe3ver, that it was his intent to kill the prisoner of war before they got back to the camp in compliance with orders from higher-ups.

MASAKATSU HOZUMI admits in his testimony (see exhibit B.) That after the prisoner supposedly tried to escape again under the pretext of having to urinate, he strangled him into unconsciousness.

4. MITSUYOSHI WAKIZAKA, age 41, was a foreman over the POWs from May 1943 to August 14, 1945. He admits in his testimony (see Exhibit D) that on numerous occasions he used strong arm methods on the PWs to make them work. He abused the prisoners on different occasions using his hands, feet, and various instruments. He states that he was not ordered to beat the prisoners to make them work, but did so on his own volition. In other instances, he punished the prisoners for careless acts which were in reality a result of his own negligence.

Investigation Officer
War Crimes Investigation Div.

MELVIN S. COHN 2nd LT., Inf.
Investigation Officer
War Crimes Investigation Div.