(ASO KOGYO YOSHIKUMA TANKO)
Yoshikuma Coal Company, owned by the ASO family
FUKUOKA-ken, KAHO-gun, KEISEN-machi
POWS arrived at the Usui railroad station, just south of the camp.
Location Map - show relationship to other nearby camps
Detailed Location Map
Above data courtesy of Wes Injerd
Camp sits on a rise surrounded by a 10 ft fence. Six barracks, slate rooks, each with five 12 mat rooms with hallway running length of each building (sliding door access).
10 May 1945: camp established as Fukuoka Branch #26
Sept 1945: Rescue effected
From Japanese mine historical collection
Overall view of camp
Train loading station
1. Group Photograph of Australians: (after Surrender) - ask for scan.
2. Group picture of Aussies approx. six weeks after surrender. Most still appear emaciated. Caption indicates "Usui" which was the nearby railroad station. From Ken Gregson: "My late father, Robert George Gregson, (known as George), is the chap seated on the very left."
News Story: From the Japan Times- proof of slave labor being used at Aso Mines. In post war report, Aso mines denied responsibility for the two deaths even though they happened over two months after arrival. Both died from effects of severe malnutrition. Underwood article in the Asia-Pacific Journal, and this article; Shukan Gendai Article with English translation.
First group arrived on the Asama Maru. Many men transferred here from Fukuoka #2 Nagasaki. A large number of the men British definitely came up on the WALES MARU (Weills) which departed Singapore 16 May 1943. (per diary of Wilkie and contacts from John H. Byrnes- Source: Robin Lim). A number of these men were transferred here from Kobe House (camp 2B). Known that most of the Aussies came up on the Awa Maru.
Jorgenson, William Victor- short affidavit
Hill, Athol George - short affidavit
Smith McNab" - based upon camp note book & diary.
Written by his granson, Brian Coutts.
300 Survivors; Australian roster prepared by Neil MacPherson and Morris Casey of Australia now revised per actual rescue rosters