Sendai POW Camp #2-B
Yoshima, Fukushima

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Time Line:
30 Mar 1944: Camp established as Tok-14D-Yoshima
14 Apr 1944: Jurisdictional control transferred from TOKYO POW CAMP 14-D to Sendai POW Command and established as 2-B.
2 Sep 1945: Food drop kills American [S/Sgt Joseph F.Sarata]
4 Sep 1945: B-29 Food drop plane crashes near camp - MACR details
7 September 1945: Rescue effected

Satellite view
Aerial (1947; courtesy of Japan Map Archives)
Aerial (2003)

Camp reported to be the former dormitories of a coal mining company located about 30 miles southeast of Koriyama near the coast of Taira.

Per 15 August 1945 summary given to MacArthur:
Name: Yuwaki [Iwaki] Coal Mine
Strength: approx 1000
[Actual number: 246 (101 British, 67 Portuguese, 46 Canadians, 17 Americans, 15 other) plus unknown number of other Korean and Chinese slaves in adjacent barracks]

Geoffrey Monument- "Angel On My Shoulder" - excellent description of this camp

Japanese Staff:
Guard: Sgt Ozawa- delighted in beating men on sick-call
Dr. Hironaka - Camp Japanese doctor
Naura Maru
known to have sailed 29 Apr 1944 with 47 Canadians plus 173 other men from Hong Kong- sent to Sendai #2.
Dainichi Maru from Taiwan ex Singapore; arrived Japan 25 Nov 1942.

Total = 246 (101 British, 67 Portuguese, 46 Canadian, 17 American, 15 other)
AWM 144/14/46 courtesy of Jonathan Moffett, Historian of the A&SH:
The Americans arrived from Yokohama Camp 1D in May 1945 (most previously on Taiwan). The Commonwealth men were already present at that time. About 100 mixed nationalities arrived around 13 June 1945 from Tokyo #1 Yokohama after the fire bombing of Tokyo.
Rescue roster located and cross checked NARA Record Group 407 Boxes 11 and 12; Deceased noted in Brown.
Americans, Australians, Portuguese & Others

Roster Aug. 15, 1945 (RG 389 Box 2070)
Liberation roster with NOK (RG 389 Box 2071) - US, British, Portuguese, Canadian

POW Strengths Summary

Affidavits or Interviews:
Remarks by British Sgt Rakusen
Memoir on a blog for Irish soldier Bernard "Barney" Byrne. Go to Feb 17, 2005 entry. (Byrne is listed under the "other nationalities)
Bernard W. Givens: Hometown newspaper notices.
McGrath Affidavit: describes dangers of mine and conduct of Takao Karino, Japanese in charge of rations.
Bio of Cpl. Derek Rix, Winnipeg Grenadiers, C Force 1st Battalion (see also bio of Grenadiers' Pte. John MacPherson, TOK-3D Tsurumi, Yokohama; chart of Grenadiers C Force POW Movements 1941-45. Files courtesy of Vincent Lopata)

Photographs of Camp:
See picture of the Winnipeg Grenadiers at this camp
Australian War Memorial: Scene at delousing of POWs during rescue; three officers
The Telegraph article in 2008: "Japanese try to identify British POWs in secret pictures" (PDF with enlarged images)

Yoshima Mine

These photos courtesy of Chris Rocha:

Group photo taken shortly before repatriation was my dad,
3rd row 9th from the left (with the hat).
C. E. Rocha, on his right, later to be my uncle, F.L Rocha.
Front row, 4th from the left, also later to be my uncle, E. S Marques.

Front row: 4th from left C. E. Rocha, 5th from left F. L. Rocha

Christmas – year ????

Hong Kong Volunteers

Entrance to coal face

Christmas, staged managed scene for the Red Cross, year ????

Improvised dormitory in hangar of HMS Colossus
bound for Manila for R&R before repatriation to Hong Kong

"Iwaki Coal Mine Camp" photo dated August 28, 1945, courtesy of Peter Somerville, whose father was a naval aviator during WWII flying Helldivers off the USS Hancock. "Planes from the Hancock were sent on missions to locate and drop supplies to POW camps before they were liberated on the ground."