| Fukuoka 6-D TANOURA
(TOKAI DENKYO TANOURA KOJO)
[Tokai Carbon] see company site
(Near Higo Tanoura train station)
KUMAMOTO-ken, ASHIKITA-gun, TANOURA
Aerial (Sept.1948; courtesy Japan Map Archives)
Area Map- relation to other camps
13 Oct 1942: Established
12 Oct 1943: Aussie group arrives from Batavia
departed Batavia approx 10 Sep 1943, (unknown ship) arrived Singapore 14 Sep 1943.
Reloaded in Singapore on 21 Sep 1943
22 Sep 1943: departed on Seishin Maru
29 Sep 1943: arrive Manila bay
8 Oct 1943: arrive Takao Formosa
12 Oct 1943: Arrive Moji- transferred to Tanoura
30 Jun 1945: Camp closed- 100 remaining POWs transferred to Fuk-25B (shows roster)
Brit: 4 officers, 383 other ranks
Source: diary & affidavit of New Zealand pilot William James Nesbit "Jim" MacIntosh. He described the camp as "Tanoura in the Fukuoka District- our camp being No. 6 Hakenjo.
Lt. Yanaru- first commandant- gave other guards a free hand to beat POWs at any time and for no reason
Kibabau Kihu- Also known as "Bullhead"- extremely brutal- carried a pick axe handle and relentlessly beat the men on detail #3. Directly responsible for death of Sgt William Heard. First Officer Jones of the ship Empire Dawn mentally collapsed under Kihu. Kihu was transferred to an ack-ack unit and disappeared.
Sarudai Hoshima- Also known as "Freckles" - well built, about 5 ft 8 in- beat every man at least twice, favoring ju jitsu throws, fists and stomping with boots.
Lt Fulsho- replaced Yanaru in summer of 1944- considered good compared to other guards
POWs used as slave laborers in a carbon plant. Approximately 100 men in 5 labor groups. W/O Jim MacIntosh was in group 3 filling and emptying the kilns.
Company still at same location 2008
Seishin Maru- departed Singapore 22 Sep 1943 with some 1500 men on board
British roster (survivors) posted on Fukuoka #25B-Omuta (Kohama)
Photos of British POW's (courtesy of Richard Brooker; see remarks below)
Three (3) British Dead:
Thomas, Wilson David; #1119334 died 15 Mar 1944 of cardiac beri beri; 137th Field Artillery
Burrows, William Leonard; #1721779, died 30 Apr 1944 of "right wet pleurisy"; 71st AA (L) 240 Btry
Herd, William John, Sgt; #1073490; died 11 Mar 1944 of "right wet pleurisy" per Japanese. Affidavits claim he was beaten to death; 6th AA (H) 12 Btry
Note: we have an extensive diary and some photographs regarding this camp. When time permits, we shall post further information.
From Richard Brooker, grandson of Willson D. Thomas:
I've recently received some amazing photographs of all the POWs in my grandfather's camp, taken whilst they were there! They are not pleasant to look at and I don't even recognise my grandfather, his face is so marred, with very little hair. I think the years in Malaya, Java, Changi and then Fukuoka had taken their toll - he sadly died in the camp.
I understand my friend got the photos from another research friend of his who knew the son of one of the former workers at the carbon factory where the men worked. It's unclear whether these pics were from the camp or the factory records. The original factory worker is long since deceased, but his son clearly knew where the records were, got them, and translated the names into English as best he could.
As there is no record of other camps having POW photos, I do wonder if these were in fact factory photos of their POW labour.
The local residents of Tanoura along with the local government folk are wanting to erect a memorial to the camp and the POWs who died there! Plans are underway and I wondered if I could ask you to post my email address on the site for anyone having relatives incarcerated there to please get in touch with me so I can tell them more about the plans and include as many folk as we can in the commemorative event next year.
Email address: richbrooker(at)hotmail.co.uk