Fukuoka POW Camp #23
Keisen (Hirayama)

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Fukuoka 23 Branch Camp
FUKUOKA-ken, KAHO-gun, KEISEN-machi

Satellite map
Aerial (Apr. 1947; courtesy of Japan Map Archives)

4 Aug 1944: Camp opened and established as Branch #23
Sept 1945: Rescue effected

Photographs of coal mine by Japanese Kyushu Mine History Society. Excellent images.

Postcard from Wesley Wood Wilson - Front - Back (courtesy of Dee La Garde):
"My father was captured on Corregidor. His story is a bit unusual as he was a USN sailor on shore duty stationed on the USS Mary-Anne. The boat was a pleasure craft that was taken by the USN. My father was a USN signalman and it was his duty along with three other sailors to keep the pass between Corregidor and Bataan clear of mines. Of course that did not go well [May 10, 1942 telegram declaring Wilson missing]. He was shipped to Bilibid and then transferred to Cabanatuan. On 5 August 1944 his hellship, Nissyo Maru, landed in Japan. He was interned in Keisen #23. I recently found the scrapbook my grandmother kept. It has his original letters, the message from USN that he was missing and again that he was a POW. There are 3 Red Cross postcards from Daddy while he was a POW."
POWS used as slaves at Hirayama coal mine by Meiji Mining Company.
Meiji Mining Report 1945-11-13

Hell Ship:
POW's arrived approximate 5 Aug 1944 from the Nissyo Maru. Camp opened specifically for POW labor. Twenty Wake Island civilians were transferred here at same time from other camps in Japan.

Total = 194 POWs
All Americans- 6 Officers, 168 Enlisted and 20 Civilians; 5 deaths
Original roster

FUK-23 Rosters 1946-02-16

Death Certificates - Jacks, James; Bender, George; Huskell, Jannese; Fichtenmeyer (Huitittin Meyer), Fred; Steck, Rudolph (original documents)

Japanese Staff:
Ando, Tetsuo - Medical Orderly- tried for war crimes. Sentenced to 5 years hard labor.
Odeishi, Shigemaru, Medical Orderly - tried for war crimes at Fukuoka POW Camp 23. Sentenced to 10 years hard labor.

The Harry V. Johnson Story - Johnson was with the 27th Pursuit Sqdn on Bataan. Article courtesy of The Heritage of Vermilion County, Illinois, Autumn 1982.