Osaka POW Camp #12-B

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HIROHATA Branch Camp
25 Sep 1943: First Established
16 Jul 1944: Terminated; POWs transferred to 1-D
Osaka 12-B HIROHATA (2nd location)

Satellite map (1st location)
Satellite map (2nd location)
Aerial (Oct. 1947; courtesy of Japan Map Archives)
Area map

Per Initial Japanese Report to MacArthur:
Osaka Command, Hyogo Ken (Prefecture)
Designated by CINPAC, 1 Feb 1945 as "Hemeji [sic] Camp #27," also known as Harima or "O" Camp or Hirohata Divisional Camp.
Coordinates 34 degrees, 47 minutes north, 134 degrees, 28 min west
Designation revised: 15 Jun 1945 as Hirohata Divisional Camp (Alternate names: Harima, Himeji Camp-Osaka Divisional Camp #26, Himeji Camp #27

(See also Guam time line)
5 Oct 1942: Established as KOBE Branch Camp HIROHATA Detached Camp; first located at HIROHATA-machi, 325-banchi
18 Feb 1943: Renamed 1-D
15 Sep 1943: Moved to HIROHATA-mura, KOSAKA 381
06 Oct 1943: Hirohata- 408 Americans arrive from the Philippines from the Koho Maru
19 Oct 1943: Hirohata- POWs begin work at mill [Reed Memoir]
9 April 1944: British medic, Wallace Hastings ex Hong Kong, arrives from Itchioka.
Aug 1944: Renamed 12-B
Sep 1945:
Rescue effected

Camp Layout:
Rough sketch of camp
Aerial photographs

Japanese Camp Staff:

Roster of Hirohata Guards and civilian supervisors at the Seitetsu Steel Mill (courtesy of Smith L. Green)

Gibbs Report on Hirohata Camp
Gage description of camp (American Ex-POW Association)
Primary Labor Use:
All men used at the Nippon Seitetsu Steel Mill, unloading cargo and ore ships, machine shops, blast furnaces, clearing slag, and as stevedores on docks.
Nippon Steel (Nippon Seitetsu aka Nittetsu), now Nippon Steel Setonai Steel Works, Hirohata.

Hell Ship:
The bulk of the men (excluding the men from Guam who arrived earlier) came on the
Koho Maru (also known as the Coral Maru).The Koho Maru departed Manila on 19 September 1943 with 850 prisoners. Seventy men died during the 15 day voyage to Moji via Taiwan.

Total = 302 (300 Americans, 1 British, 1 Australian)
Camp Roster at Liberation: Roster at liberation, Sep 1945 - does not include the 182 men who were transferred to other camps or those who perished at Hirohata. Links for individual men.
List of deceased at Hirohata: Includes date of death.
OSA-12 Roster (WO 361-1963) - American, British, Australian
OSA-12 Rosters (RG 407 Box 111) - Sick and wounded Americans at Hirohata Sub-Camp, unknown rosters, and train loading schedules (including Dutch?)

Nichols Describes attack on Guam plus brutality at Hirohata
Clemens A. Kathman- Why I was not on the rescue roster
HOWARD, Edward Neal

OSA-12 Ercanbrack camp history 1945-08-30
Marine Corps History Vol V OSA-12 Hirohata Ercanbrack
Brill Diary (RG 407 Box 127)
Smith L. Green commendation (1945-03-01; Ercanbrack)

Books Describing Life at Hirohata
Recommendation of "The Eighty Thieves" by John Iannarelli, son of a POW from Guam;
"Girocho" by John Poncio (one of the three best POW books written
"Bataan Diary" by James Rand
Ed Hale's "First Captured, Last Freed"- Well done & well illustrated. He was on the USS Penguin.
"I Was There Charley" by "Clem" Clemens A. Kathman

Liberation Photos - Raising of flags

hastings_group_picture.hirohataGroup photograph
Only known man is Joe F. Martinez, far left in first row (kneeling) with the light colored shirt and dark trousers.

Note: We have other images of the port; ask for the Mosher scans