Tokyo #4B

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Naoetsu camp
Tokyo #4 Branch Camp
Satellite map (current city of Joetsu)
Area map

7 Dec 1942:
Established; first located at NAOETSU-machi, KOJO
Feb 1943: Moved to NIIGATA-ken, NAKAKUBIKI-gun, ARITA-mura
Jul 1944: moved-exact location in Arita unknown
Sep 1945: Rescue effected

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).
Nippon Stainless steel mill labor (now Nippon Steel East Japan Steel Works, Naoetsu) - 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" aka "Mr. Brown," was one of the notorious guards at Naoetsu (see the book Unbroken below). Some important archival documents regarding POW Louis Zamperini:

300 Australians in this camp, of whom 60 perished. Some 50+ Americans- ex Wake and China arrived 16 May 1945. Full known roster (XLS) - more details of Americans in email from Mr John Powers of the China Marines.
Roster of men transferred from Osaka #13 (TXT - XLS - Original)
Rosters for Tokyo #4 and #5 (RG 407 Box 115) - Roster of Troops, Tokyo POW Camp, 1945; Rosters of American and British POWs leaving Tokyo Camp. Rosters of sick Dutch, American, British, Australian and New Zealander POWs in Morioka Army Hospital.

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:

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! A more complete story of his life after he became a Christian can be found in his first book, Devil At My Heels (1956); later re-published in 2003. A movie based on Hillebrand's book was produced in 2014, and another in 2018 entitled, Unbroken: Path to Redemption.

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.