Hiroshima POW Camp #9-B
Onoda Ohama, Yamaguchi

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Hiroshima #9-B Onoda Ohama

Aerial (1948; courtesy of Japan Map Archives)

Satellite location
Aerial map - relation to Motoyama and Okinoyama
Relief map - relation to other camps

Brief History:
26 Nov 1942: Established as YAHATA Provisional POW CAMP UBE Branch Camp OHAMA Detached Camp
27 Nov 1942: men arrived from the Singapore Maru
Special thanks to: Ken Coldwell, formerly A/C1, 84 Squadron RAF

This was group #4 of 167 British, Australian and New Zealand aviators plus British soldiers who were experienced miners from the coal mining districts of Wales and Northumberland. Their expertise and leadership made vital contributions to safety and confidence underground. These men came under command of Wing Commander Francis George Frow, RAF, Wing Cmdr (Became Camp CO) per Chenery papers, IWM. He died 1 Dec 1942 of pneumonia & acute dysentery. Frow is buried at the Sudney Memorial Cemetery, grave D.1
1 Jan 1943: Renamed FUKUOKA POW CAMP UBE Branch Camp OHAMA Detached Camp
1 Mar 1943: Renamed Fukuoka 9-B
1 Dec 1943: Renamed Fukuoka 4-D
24 March 1944: American Medics arrive in camp
8 Sep 1944: Large group of Australians arrive ex Rashin Maru
14 Apr 1945: Renamed 7-D and Jurisdictional control transferred to HIROSHIMA POW CAMP 7-D
Aug 1945: Renamed HIROSHIMA 9-B
Sept 1945: Rescue effected


Special thanks to Kathleen Booth for supplying the below photos:

On occasion of Red Cross propaganda visit, March 16, 1943 ("...a series of photos relating to a visit by the Red Cross rep. Dr Paravicini, a Swiss national, on 16th March 1943. They were all taken for propaganda purposes, and we think it was the only time the prisoners were let out of the camp, apart from going to work at the mine.")

Kenneth H. Holmes on right, lying down

Gunner Harry Hamer (L) recovering from
broken leg. Man on right not known.

"This photo was taken at exactly the same location as a number of other photos on 2 Sept 1945. My father, William Richard Davies, is on far right second row. He was with the 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion, captured in Java, worked on the Thai-Burma railway line, and then sent to Japan." --Rick Davies

Photos courtesy of Dennis McDonald:

"My father, Donald McDonald WX7044, is in the photo, back row 3rd from the left. He was with the AIF 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion in WW2. Taken prisoner in Java, he worked on the Thai-Burma Railway then sent to Japan on the Raskin Maru, working in a coal mine near Ohama Hiroshima Camp 9. All those in the photo are West Australians (list of names). All but seven are from the 2/3rd MG Bn. The seven are from the 2/4th MG Bn."
Coal mining operation (Ube Kosan Ohama Coal Mining Company)

Hells Ships:
Singapore Maru
- 27 Nov 1942
Rashin Maru [Bioki (Byoki) Maru] 8 Sep 1944 - this was the sister ship of the Canadian Inventor. The "Byoki" (which means "sick") had its superstructure destroyed in earlier bombings and strafings. [Special thanks to Jim Erickson, noted researcher on the
Hell Ship rosters]

Camp Report:
Extract of the
Lt. Rogers Report on Ohama, Motoyama ans Ikinoyoma Camps. Extracted by Lt. Col. Rudisill

Major article on the Singapore Maru voyage by A.George James (PDF files, quite well written)

Medical Staff:

Photograph and identity of the six man medical staff. Photo courtesy of Charles Edwards and Kathleen Booth.


390 Total: (3) Americans; (1) Dutch; 142 British; 244 Australians at rescue
Americans: (3)
Custer, Edwin Morton,CPhM,2907307,US Naval Hospital, Guam
Bullock, Odell,Cpl,14021632, US Army Med Corps
Perilman, William,1st Lt,O&357422, US Army Med Corps
Australians only departed Java, 1 Jul 1944 and arrived 8 Sep 1944. Research and authenication courtesy of noted historian and former POW, Neil MacPherson, Perth, Australia.
Partial British roster including all British dead. The deceased British men arrived on the Singapore Maru on 27 Nov 1942. Source: Stubbs- "Heroes of the RAF" and Kathleen (nee Hamer) Booth
Original rosters
Roster Aug. 15, 1945 (RG 389 Box 2070)

Death lists for Hiroshima camps

McEwan, James, "The Remorseless Road", Airlife Publ, Shrewsbury UK 1997- not reviewed

Best Book on this camp:
Parkin, Ray, "Wartime Trilogy - The Sword and the Blossom", [Publishers Link] University of Melbourne Press, 1999. Parkin writes of the sinking of the HMAS Perth, slavery on the "Death Railway", a hellship voyage and life in the mines at Ohama. Beautifully illustrated with his original drawings while a POW and writings taken from his diaries while imprisoned. See FULL REVIEW by Center for Research.

Pantomime Christmas Show, Snow White, 1943

Ohama Camp Officers, Sept. 2, 1945

Group of mates, Sept. 2, 1945 (Hamer, front row rhs)

Group of NCO's, Sept. 2, 1945

Ohama relief supply drop, Sept. 8, 1945

Group at Motoyama, Sept. 9, 1945 (Hamer from Ohama, back row lhs; "As far as we know, Motoyama didn't get its own air-drop and so the Ohama POWs took some supplies over.")

Motoyama Mine, Sept. 9, 1945 (Hamer from Ohama, front row 2nd from left)