Tokyo-04B-Naoetsu

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Naoetsu camp
Tokyo-04-Branch Camp
NIIGATA-ken, NAKAKUBIKI-gun, ARITA-mura
MAP - near current city of JOETSU
Timeline
7 Dec 1942:
Established; first located at NAOETSU-machi, KOJO
(SHINETSU KAGAKU)
Feb 1943: Moved to NIIGATA-ken, NAKAKUBIKI-gun, ARITA-mura
Jul 1944: moved-exact location in Arita unknown
Sep 1945: Rescue effected

Summary: Opened in December 1942 at Naoetsu in the salt warehouse of Shin-etsu Chemical Co. First men were some 300 Australian from Singapore. In March of 1943, the prisoners were moved to new "temporary" quarters in the nearby village of Arita.
In October of 1943, the camp was moved to another building from the temporary building. It was a two-story warehouse of galvanized iron. By spring, 60 of the men perished.

Australian War Museum Notation:
C Force, including 563 Australians under Lieutenant Colonel A. E. Robertson left Singapore on 28 November 1942. The force was sub divided: Captain J. Paterson’s group (about 250) was sent to Kobe Kawasaki camp, and Robertson’s (about 300) went to Naoetsu camp (No. 4 Branch Tokyo Camp).
Labor:
Steel Mill labor- men were forced to run about one mile each way and were regularly beaten by guards during this time.
Hell Ship:
Kamakura Maru
- Singapore to Moji. Departed Singapore 28 Nov and arrived 7 Dec 1942. Of the 2213 men, 10 perished en route
War Crimes:
More guards (15) were tried and executed (8) than any other POW Camp in Japan. Mutsuhiro Watanabe, aka "The Bird," was one of the notorious guards at Naoetsu (see the book Unbroken below).

Rosters:
300 Australians in this camp, of whom 60 perished. Some 50+ Americans- ex Wake and China arrived 16 May 1945. Full known roster--- more details of Americans in email from Mr John Powers of the China Marines.

Roster of men transferred from Osaka #13

Extracts from the Diary of Don Fraser (deceased) of the Australian 8th Division Signals. Story by Peter Winstanley, noted Australian historian and researcher of POW history.

Japanese Staff
Pending


Books

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - story of Louis Zamperini, who spent the final months of his captivity in Japan at Naoetsu, from Mar. 1945 until liberation in Sept. 1945. This book is a must-read!

Wall, Don, Singapore and Beyond: The Story of the men of the 2/20 Bn A.I.F., 2/20 Battalion Association, Cowra, NSW, 2000 (revised edition of 1985 first). The story of the 2/20 Battalion from Enlistment, through the fall of Singapore and captivity to the end of the war.

Lyon, Alan B., Japanese War Crimes- The Trials of the Naoetsu Camp Guards, Australian History Publications, Loftus, 2000. Trials conducted of 14 staff and civilian guards for savage brutality. Only eight were executed.

Roger Maynard, “Hell's heroes : the forgotten story of the worst P.O.W. camp in Japan”. Publisher HarperCollins, 2009. Pymble, N.S.W. Australia 359 p., [8] p. of plates: ill., maps, ports. ; 24 cm. ISBN 9780732285234

Kit ClayFootprints of an Irish Soldier, June 2011. Biography of Thomas Fanahan Finn, 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment. Paperback or PDF available from the author, see COFEPOW webpage for details.