| Tokyo POW Camp #15
Niigata Tekkojo (Steel Mill)
NIIGATA-shi, YAMANOSHITA AKIBADORI
Additonal Research by Netherlands researcher, John Slootmaekers regarding Red Cross records:
Intl Red Cross Committee: states on 8 Aug 1945 address as: 2 Momoyama-dori, Yamanoshita, Niigata-shi
Camp Commandant: Takeo Nomoto, per IRCC
Satellite -- Aerial (courtesy of Japan Map Archives)
Area map - shows relation to other camps, camp at top of page
1 Apr 1944 Established as 15-D
Aug 1945: Renamed 15-B
Sep 1945: Rescue effected
Scans and text courtesy of Pat (Romero) Fero, niece of Louis G. Romero:
I met with my Aunt Sue. She pulled out an old box hand sewn with twine and enclosed was with a stack of 40? pictures:
TO-05B or TOK-15D POW photos unknown
Please help us in identifying these men.
I wrote to Fred at ADBC, who wrote back this message:
The picture taking took place in one of the Japan camps. That was a common practice there because they rotated the prison guards from one camp to another, so they would use those pictures with the POW's prison number to identify each man. Also the heavier coat is a give away, as Japan is in northern Asia where it gets very cold.
He was in: (most dates are approximate within a few days)
Camp O'Donnell: Approximately April 14 to June 2, 1942 (dates are approximate, because they all did not arrive and depart exactly on the same day.
Cabanatuan: June 2, 1942 to September 20, 1943 (I don't show him on any of the larger, long term "Work Detail," but he could have been in one of the short term details.)
Taga Maru (aka: Coral Maru): September 20, 1943 to October 7, 1943. Stop over in Takao, Formosa and then Moji, Japan. (Also, prior to boarding the Taga Maru, he must have been in Bilibid for a short period of time. Bilibid was where the men were processed, prior to being shipped off to other parts of Asia.)
Tokyo 05B Niigata: October 7, 1943 to April 1944 (Camp was shut down and they were moved to another, nearby camp.)
Tokyo 15D later renamed 15B: April 1944 until he was liberated September 1945.
29th Replacement Camp (Manila): September 1945 to October 21, 1945
Repatriated from Manila on October 21, 1945 on board the USS Simon Bolivar, which took him to San Francisco.
Hellships: Taga Maru
Rosters located at NARA RG 407 Box 188; Mansell Nara 7 (Pending transcription and cross check); source of POWS currently unknown.
TOK-15_Rosters.pdf - Mix of American, Canadian, Dutch, British and Australian rosters
Bio of Angus F. Wilbur, Royal Rifles of Canada, C Force (see also chart of Grenadiers C Force POW Movements 1941-45. Files courtesy of Vincent Lopata.)
NARA Records for this camp will be found in RG 389 Box 2133; RG 407 Box 188. No affidavits or investigation reports secured yet at NARA.
Scans and PDF courtesy of Ryan Marston, grandson of Geoffrey C. Marston:
Memoirs of a Prisoner of War 1941-1945 by Geoffrey C Marston, TOK-15 Niigata (PDF)
Assorted scans (PDF), with annotations as follows:
Project 1- taken 1941 is that of Geoffrey C Marston.
Project 2- right is Geoffrey C Marston. He went to Signal School. My guess is they are on the way to Hong Kong in his picture.
Project 7- taken after the liberation the man second from the left, was a very close friend of my grandfathers who I had met a few times when I was really young. His nick name was cookie.
Project 8- not sure where my grandfather got this from but an artist sketch of Shamshuipo POW camp.
Project 9- prisoners shown sitting on concrete blocks matching the sunset. POWs worked 12 hours a day doing slave labour duties.
Project 12- outside wash-up stalls Shamshuipo POW camp Hong Kong.
Project 13- Shamshuipo POW camp. Bed bugs were everywhere, in beds, stalls, chairs clothing furniture etc. one couldn’t sit peacefully on a stool or sleep quietly in one’s bed. Some experimented with bug traps without success. The best remedy was to acquire immunity.
Project 14- cookhouse prisoners were only allowed 600 calories a day. Were forced to do hard manual labour on these meager rations.
Project 15- end of the war 1945 Canadian officer jack price, shown greeting a crewman from the destroyer prince Robert. Hong Kong 1945.
Project 16- I believe this was taken sometime in 1941 before they left for Hong Kong. My grandfather is the one in the very back second from the left. Notice how happy they are.
Project 18- taken august 1941 in Saint John nb. Signal School. My grandfather is back row 3rd from the left (the crooked helmet).
The image is that of a pipe that was given to my grandfather from a marine after the liberation.