Woo Sung POW Camp

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The following illustrations are from the Allan O'Guinn Collection, Hoover Institute Archives at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. These copyrighted sketches, created in 1945, were by contractor Gurdon H. Wattles. The following information is courtesy of author Bonnie Gilbert: "Gurdon H. Wattles was one of the civilian contractors from Wake, a civil engineer hired as a draftsman 1st class for the Wake job (a trade that explains his nicely detailed drawings). Born May 24, 1910 in California, died Jan. 22, 1985 in Orange Co., CA. He was living in Glendale, CA, when hired for Wake and arrived in August 1941. The Wake survivors group has some of those drawings. I will attach his prewar photo from the “Blue Book.” Hope this helps! I have a database of the Wake civilians if you ever need additional info on any of them."

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Plot plan of the POW Camp at Woo Sung, China.

Captured from Chiang Kai Shek at the cost of 40,000 Japanese lives.
The most important department in the whole camp. Although its output was limited, it held the spotlight for interest. Even the rats were constant visitors.
Hand made dental office equipment wrought from scraps around the camp. Services rendered by the Dental Branch of the Navy Medical Corps, brought into camp with the U.S. Marines who had been serving in North China, were of inestimable value.
Water pumped to a wood box on top of a wood tower was the only means of pressure to all the wash racks — that is, as long as the pump pumped. Of course the box leaked enough to make a good shower below — and in the winter it made a beautiful show of icicles.
The crew of this department was the busiest in camp. Comfort was not the first consideration, but with the prohibition of individual razor sets, this service was most welcome.
Monument erected to the memory of 40,000 Jap soldiers killed in conquest of the Woo Sung area. Graves of Japanese officers unearthed around here yielded their loot of Chinese jade and silver jewelry.