Osaka POW Camp #4-B

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Tanagawa POW Camp

Osaka Section 4-B in Tanagawa
Tanagawa Machi, Itsunami Gun, Osaka-fu
22 Nov 1942: Established as Tanagawa 19 Feb 43: Designated 4-B
20 Mar 1945: camp closed, POWs known to have been transferred to Fukuoka 11-D and Tok-07-Omi.
Satellite map
Area map
Port detail map

Time Line: limited based upon two diaries and two memoirs.

Japanese Camp Staff
List of staff with dates at camp

Books Describing Life at Tanagawa:
Laughter in Hell
by S. Marek (Out of print) Worth finding. A completely different look at a remarkable experience.
"Triumphs and Tragedies Corregidor and Its Aftermath" by Arthur B. Baker

Description per 2nd Lt Morin:
26 Nov 1942: [ex-Nagato Maru]
We marched into Tanagawa at nightfall. There were five new barracks very flimsily constructed with dirt floors and paper-thin walls coming to six inches off the floor. The barracks were very cold. There were two decks of bunks with a ladder going up every twenty feet to the second deck which was 8 to 10 feet off the ground. Shoes had to be taken off at the foot of the ladder. At the foot of each bunk were five synthetic blankets made out of peanut shell fiber and a rigid pillow in the shape of a small cylinder packed with rice husks. The barracks had no heat and with temperatures falling below freezing, the conditions were pretty tough. After coming from the tropics, this was quite a shock to your system.
Primary Labor Use:
All men used to manually tear down a mountain side to build a breakwater for a primitive dry-dock and submarine base. Camp noted for severe malnutrition and excessive death rate.
Company: Tobishima Group (see The POW and the Interpreter)

Hell Ship:
Nagato Maru
- Manila to Moji. 400 of its 1600 POWS arrived at Tanagawa on 27 Nov 1942. Twenty men died en route.

Camp Roster before Liberation:
Partial Interim Roster - Camp closed prior to end of war. POWs dispersed. Camp appears to have closed on 13 Apr 1945 per staff roster. 106 men were sent to Omi (see full roster)

List of deceased at Tanagawa:
Listed alpha and by Date of Death
List of officers transfered 3 Sep 1943
List from Meyers Medical Journal

Death rosters and Maj. Galbraith affidavit, with pic of guard (Tsuda, "The Emperor") and memo by Magdon (RG 24 Box 6)

Read extract of the murder of Pvt Tyler.
Bio of Marcus Lawson including interview (discusses death of Elzie Arness)
Discussion of Camp (with pictures of men) by Japanese interpreter and now a noted POW historian, K. Kobayashi

Read 2nd Lt Morin's Memoir
Forbes' Diary - description of camp and trip on hell ship
Emerson memoir "Guest of the Emperor"