The capital city of Guam, located on the central west coast of the island. Guam was given the name Omiya Jima by the Japanese occupation forces.

Indonesian island off the southwest coast of Ceram in southern Maluku [Moluccas] Islands. As part of the Netherlands East Indies [Nederlands Indië], it was called Amboyna. It was defended by 1,100 Australians, 400 Dutchmen and about 5,000 native troops. Upon capture by the Japanese forces, Imperial Naval Forces murdered over 200 prisoners by beheading. The massacre occurred on or about 24 February 1942. Other prisoners were retained for slave labor in the building of two airfields at Lahang and Laha. On 25 October 1942, 263 Australians and 245 Dutch sailed on the Taikio Maru and, after 11 days at sea, landed at Hashow on the island of Hainan on 5th November.

Areas of POW Commands
Areas of POW Commands within Japan proper were located in the following cities: Hakodate, Sendai, Nagoya, Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. In each location, a central or main camp was responsible for the administration of up to 30 or more camps during the war. Camps were frequently moved and renamed, particularly in the last 10 months due to the damage of the air raids. For a detail of all the camps, refer to the Wes Injerd Chart of Camps.

Arisan Maru
Japanese freighter, 6686 tons, was torpedoed by US submarine USS Snook about 200 miles off the southeast China coast on 24 October 1944. The Arisan Maru departed Manila on 11 October 1944 with 1800 POWs on board and anchored for a few days near Palawan. After returning to Manila for more provisions, it set sail again with 1777 prisoners. So far, 23 prisoners had already died. After the sinking, a group of 5 prisoners was rescued by Chinese fishermen. It is known that two others were rescued by the Japanese and one other man made it to shore and was rescued.

Bagac (West)-Orion (East) Line
The second major line of defense established after the Americans pulled back from the Abucay-Mauban Defense line on 26 January 1942, to the new defensive line, the Bagac-Orion Line, placed across the entire width of the peninsula north of Mount Bataan. Forces were able to repulse a series of early Japanese attacks and some attempted amphibious landings [Battle of the Points - Quinauan and Agloma Points on the west side of lower Bataan] until early March when the Japanese forces stopped for rest and replenishment. The attacks resumed on 3 April 1942 and the defense line collapsed on 7 April 1942. General King, now commander of all forces on Bataan, surrendered his army on 9 April 1942.

Japanese term for “counting off” in numerical sequence while taking a roll call [tenko]

Bataan Death March
Term used to describe the forced march of an estimated 70,000 captured American and Filipino prisoners on the south end of the Bataan Peninsula to a rail station at San Fernando, some sixty miles to the north. After their surrender on 9 April 1942, an estimated 1200 American and 10,000 Filipino soldiers, already weak from malaria and severely reduced rations, perished from abuse and deliberate murder. Prisoners were force marched with little or no rest for up to six days from their point of capture. Denied food or water, men collapsed from exhaustion and were shot, bayoneted or beheaded where they dropped. Prisoners suffered under very high temperatures and high humidity. At San Fernando, they were packed into hot metal boxcars and delivered to Capas. The boxcars were packed so densely that if a man died, he remained standing until arrival.                                   

Bataan Peninsula
Peninsula on the north side of Manila Harbor entrance. American and Filipino troops held out here for over four months against the forces of Japanese General Masaharu Homma. The American, forces, led by General Edward P. King, surrendered on 9 April 1942.

Dutch name for the current city of Jakarta. This was the capital of the NEI.

Battle of Midway
First major defeat for the Japanese Navy when their invasion fleet was ambushed by three carriers (Enterprise, Yorktown and Hornet) while preparing to attack and invade Midway Island. Four Japanese aircraft carriers, the Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu, were sunk along with a battle cruiser, the Mikuma. The American Navy lost one carrier, the USS Hornet. American intelligence had broken the Japanese codes which enabled the ambush.

Slang Japanese for toilet or bathroom.

Bicycle Camp
POW Camp located on the outskirts of Batavia was the home of the Tenth Battalion Bicycle Force of the Netherlands East Indies Army. Most of the prisoners were subsequently sent to work on the Burma-Thailand Death Railway. Notable amongst the detainees were the survivors of the USS Houston, the 131st Field Artillery [The Lost Battalion], remnants of the RAF and major Dutch forces.

Civilian prison in south-east central Manila used by the Japanese to house Allied POWs during the war. The prison was also used as a “way point” for POWS in transit through Manila for transport to Japan and Manchuria. The camp was liberated in 4 February 1945 by elements of 1st Cav. Div. Under Brig. Gen. William Chase.

Brazil Maru
[Second ship known as Brazil Maru. First ship sunk 29 July1942 near Truk by submarine USS Greenling] One of two Hell Ships [Enoura Maru was the other] that carried many of the survivors of the Oryoku Maru from Luzon via Taiwan to Moji, Japan. The Brazil Maru departed Manila on 27 December 1944 with 250 POW and five died in transit. At Takao, the survivors of the Enoura Maru were transferred to the Brazil Maru which departed Takao on 14 January 1945 and arrived at Moji on 29 January 1945.

Thailand Death Railway- Railroad built by prisoner and conscripted native laborers [Romushas] to cross the Malay peninsular, connecting the port of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand (Siam) to the port of Moulmein on the Gulf of Martaban. The railway was intended to cut thousands of miles in shipping to supply the Japanese forces in the Rangoon-Burma theater by cutting across the top of the Malay Peninsular. It is estimated that over 200,000 men died in the building of the railway. It is said that, “one man died for every sleeper laid.”

Site of two partially constructed Philippine Army training camps that was used as a POW Camp. The first site was abandoned within a month as the facilities were unlivable and the men were transferred to Cabanatuan #3, some eight miles east of Capas. Prisoners were transferred here directly from Corregidor and, a few weeks later when relocated to #3, from Camp O’Donnell.

Camp Murphy
Camp Murphy was the site of the Philippine Infantry School in Rizal, approximately 20 kilometers each of Manila. The Japanese expanded the runway at Zabalan Field with slave labor. Most of the men were transferred here from the Lipa detail. In September of 1944, the remaining men were transferred to Bilibid for transport to Japan.

Rail station used to transfer POWS to and from O’Donnell and Cabanatuan POW Camps.

City, peninsular and Naval station on the south side of Manila Bay, directly south of Corregidor Island.

Indonesian islands directly south of the Philippines, now known as Sulawesi. Major POW and civilian internment camps were located at Makassar. Most of the Allied POWS were survivors of the Java sea battles in March of 1942.

Changi Prison
Area designated at a major prison camp for survivors of the battle for Malaya and Signapore. Prison was also used as transit point for men sent to the Death Railway and other labor camps in the NEI and Japan.

Coral Sea
Site of first carriers versus carriers battle between American and Japanese forces, fought in the waters southwest of the Solomon Islands and eastward from New Guinea. The Japanese fleet was in transit for an attack and seizure of the Port Moresby area. Although the Americans lost a carrier [USS Lexington CV-2], the battle on 7,8,9 May 1942, was considered a victory since it slowed the Japanese advance against Australia and severely damaged two Japanese carriers that were thence unable to participate in the Midway attack.

Fortress island guarding the entrance to Manila Bay. Under continuous bombardment after the surrender of the Bataan peninsula [9 April 1942], the island was surrendered by General Wainright on 6 May 1942. Although the city of Manila was seized by the Japanese on 25 December 1941, the port was not usable until Corregidor was taken.

Abbreviation for “Davao Penal Colony”, a POW farm labor camp.

Small port city on southeast coast of Mindanao. The POW camp was located some ten miles northwest of the port.

Doolittle Raid
Sixteen Army bombers, under the command of Lt. Colonel Doolittle, took off from the deck of the USS Hornet and bombed the cities of Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka. All but one crew escaped Japanese imprisonment. Three of the flyers were executed. The raid severely embarrassed the military and forced a change of Japanese strategy. The decision was then made to seize Midway rather than invade Australia.

Enoura Maru
One of two Hell Ships that carried the survivors of the Oryoku Maru from Luzon via Taiwan to Moji, Japan. The Enoura Maru departed on 27 December 1944 with some 1070 POW and 316 died in transit or during the attack by fighter and bomber planes in Takao on 9 January 1945. Survivors were transferred to the Brazil Maru.

Fort Drum
Also known as “El Fraile” was a reinforced concrete battleship-shaped structure that measured 350 feet by 144 feet.

Fort Frank
Fortress island north of Cavite and south of Corregidor in Manila Bay entrance.

Southern island in the Solomon Islands. American forces invaded on 7 August 1942 in order to prevent the establishment of a Japanese airfield that threatened the supply routes to Australia. After months of heavy fighting, the Japanese Army withdrew Japanese to be evacuated from Cape Esperance on 8 February 1943. American forces, with over 1750 men killed in action, declared victory the following day. The Japanese lost over 27,000 soldiers and airmen.

Southernmost island in the Mariana Island chain. Shaped like a footprint, it was almost 22 miles long and 7 miles at the widest. Over 5500 Japanese forces attacked before dawn on 10 December 1941, quickly overwhelming the less than 250 US Marines and some 300 Navy men. An estimated 200 Japanese soldiers died in the assault that killed under 20 Americans and Guam natives. American forces returned to liberate Guam in 1945.

Hell Ships
Name given to the Japanese ships used to carry prisoners between places of capture and labor camps throughout the Japanese Empire. The Japanese refused to mark the ships as carrying POWS hence many were sunk with massive loss of lives.

Northern Island of Japan and center for the Hakodate POW Camps. Main camps were in Muroran, Sapporo and Asahigawa areas. Separated from Honshu by the Tsugaru Strait.

Homma, Masasharu
Known as the “Poet General”, General Homma was convicted by an Allied Military Tribunal of war crimes, particularly the atrocities of the Bataan Death March and subsequent atrocities at the POW camps in O'Donnell and Cabanatuan. General Homma was executed on 3 April 1946 in Manila.

Hoten (Mukden) POW Camp
Hoten (Mukden) POW Camp was an existing machinery manufacturing plant in what is now known as Shenyang, approximately 400 miles northeast from Beijing. The first American prisoners arrived on the Tottori Maru in November 1942. Major project were machine tools manufacturing (MKK) but three additional camps employed the men in cloth production and at a tannery. During the first year, the men were housed in unheated buildings and hundreds perished as a result of neglect by employees of the MKK Company.

Insular Patrol
Term used for the Marines serving as the constabulary on Guam. Of the 25 men, twelve were deployed in outlying villages, living in a two-story house along with a Navy medic. Together, they were the police and medical service for the entire island. The Marines received extra pay and the assignment was considered the choicest assignment in the Marines. Most of these men participated in the short battle on 10 December 1941 when the island was attacked by over 5000 Japanese assault Marines.

Central island in Indonesia. Invaded by Japan in first week of March 1942. Major POW camps established at Batavia, Semarang and Surabaja areas. Most Americans were from the 131st Field Artillery (The Lost Battalion), survivors of sunken ships from sea battles in the Java and Coral Seas, Commonwealth refugees from Malaya and the NEI Armed Forces.

Junyo Maru
A 5065-ton freighter carrying prisoners from Java to Sumatra. The ship left Tanjong Priok, the harbor of Batavia (Jakarta) on 16 Sep 1944 The ship carried 5620 Dutch, English, Australian and American POWs along with Javanese slave laborers [romushas]. At 1551 hours, of 18 September 1944, the ship was struck by two of the four torpedoes form the British submarine, H.M. S. Tradewind. The Japanese crew seized all the lifeboats. Only 680 POWs and 200 romushas survived. Estimated position was 2 degs. 49 min. S., 101 degs. 12 mins. E.

Port city west of Osaka on the Inland Sea of Japan. A number of camps were located within the city and POWs were used for various labor details including ship building.

Island in the Philippine Archipelago that was invaded by Allied Forces under MacArthur on 9 January 1945. Efforts by the Japanese fleet to counter the attack were defeated as the Japanese fleet entered Leyte Gulf from the Surigao Strait.

Lingayen Gulf
Lingayen Gulf is on the northwest side of Luzon. Invaded by Japanese forces on 22 December1941. The IJA advanced south toward Manila. With the consent of President Quezon, General MacArthur declared Manila an open city on December 25, 1941 and moved to Corregidor. It was also the site for the second major invasion of the Philippines by Allied Forces (after Leyte) on 9 January 1945.

Lipa POW Camp
Lipa POW Camp in Batangas Province, was opened in late January, 1943 when prisoners were transferred here from Cabanatuan POW Camp. The primary purpose was the building of a runway for the Japanese. Working on reduced rations and severe brutality by the guards. Most of the men were transferred from here in March of 1944 to construct another runway at Camp Murphy. The few remaining were transferred to Bilibid in September of 1944 for transport to Japan.

Los Bańos Internment Camp
Civilian POW camp approximately 68 Km south of Manila on the southern shore of the inland lake, Laguna de Bay. First established 14 May 1944, it eventually held 2147 civilians internees. On 23 February 1945, in a daring rescue far behind the Japanese lines, Army Ranger, Airborne troops and guerillas attacked simultaneously and rescued all internees.

Abucay and Mauban Defense line
On the north end of Bataan, was the first defensive line along the east and west slopes of Mount Natib, ten miles south of Layac bridge. The heights of Mount Natib were considered impassable and left undefended. The western side (Mauban) was held by General Wainwright’s forces and the eastern side (Abucay) by General Parker’s forces. On 9 January 1942, Japanese forces, under Lt. General Masaharu Homma with his14th Army, began their attack against this line. American and Philippine forces held until 22 January when the Japanese penetrated through the supposedly impassable Mount Natib.

Central island and location of capital, Manila, in the Philippine archipelago.

Makin Island
Southern island in the Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, now Kirabati. First occupied by Japanese forces on 9 December 1941. Site of commando raid on 17/18 August 1942 when 19 raiders were left behind by mistake. When Japanese re-occupied the island, the 19 men were massacred. American forces under Major General Ralph Smith, US Army, recaptured the island on 20 November 1943 in under 20 hours and minimum casualties. His radiogram, “Makin is taken- Smith” electrified the country but infuriated the Marine Corps observer, General “Howling Mad” Smith. A day later, Tarawa was invaded by USMC forces.

Peninsular extending southward from Thailand with Singapore on the southern end. Bordered on the east bu the Gulf of Thailand and by the Andaman Sea on the west. Attacked by Japanese Forces in December 1941. IJA forces, under Command of General Yamashita, “The Tiger of Malaya”, swept down from the north and finally captured Singapore on 15 February 1942.

Malinta Tunnel
A tunnel complex created for defense on the island of Corregidor. Headquarters of MacArthur and the Philippine government was moved here after Manila was declared an open city on 25 December 1941. The main tunnel was about 830 feet long by 24 feet wide and 18 feet high. Twenty four lateral tunnels, 15 feet wide and high extended over 150 long, from each side of the main tunnel.

Capital city of the Philippines. In 1945, Japanese forces went on a rampage of destruction and murder rather than obey orders from General Yamahita that the city be evacuated and declared an open city. Almost 80% of the city was destroyed and over 100,000 civilians murdered.

Marcus Island
First air carrier strike on 4 March 1942 against the Japanese airstrip under construction on Marcus Island, less than 750 miles from Tokyo. One American SBD dive bomber from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) was lost and survivors were taken as POWs to Japan. Earlier, the Enterprise had attacked the Marshall Islands on February 1, 1942 and Wake Island on February 24th.

Small beach port on the southern tip of the Bataan Peninsular, directly across from Corregidor Island.

Island in the central north Pacific that was one of the overnight stops for the fable Pan American Clippers that flew from San Francisco to Hong Kong. The Japanese invasion of Midway in early May 1942 was turned back when the IJN was ambushed by American carrier, causing the loss of four Japanese carriers and one heavy cruiser. No further attempt was made to seize the island.

Major industrial city on the north end of Ise Bay that is approximately one third of the distance from Osaka to Tokyo. One of the major POW Command areas with 11 POW camps in operation. It was one of the targets for the Doolittle Raid in April of 1942.

Nichols Field
US Army airbase south of Manila. As a POW camp, the detail was known as the Pasay School-Nichols Field detail. The Japanese expanded the runways using slave labor under the notorious Japanese Naval Lieutenant Sato, the Camp commander called “The White Angel”. This brutal and sadistic officer always appeared in a spotless white uniform.

Nong Pladuc
Southern terminus of the Burma-Thailand Death Railway

O’Donnell POW Camp
O’Donnell POW Camp was established a the site of a Philippine Army Training camp that was under construction when the war started. After the surrender of Bataan, the survivors arrived here starting on April 9th, 1942. Only one water spigot provided water for the entire camp. The camp was divided into two main enclaves, one for the Americans and one for the Philippine soldiers. Without medical care and medicines, some 1200 American prisoners died within two months. An estimated 25,000 Philippine soldiers perished in the same period.

US Naval station in Subic Bay. Before the war, this was the headquarters of the Asiatic Fleet.

Omuta POW Camp
Omuta POW Camp was designated as Fukuoka Branch Camp #17, was one of the largest POW Camps in Japan. Located on the bay, about 17 miles northwest of Kumamoto and 40 miles south of the city of Fukuoka, the camp opened on 7 August 1943. Over 1700 Allied POWS were used to operate an obsolete coal mine owned by the Mitsui Mine Company. The prisoners were extensively abused by employees of the Mitsui Mine Company.

Oryoku Maru
One of the “December Hell Ships” used to transport some 1620 POWs from Manila to Japan. The Oryoku Maru was attacked by fighters and bombers near the port of Olongapo in Subic Bay on the northern coast of the Bataan Peninsula. First attacked on 14 December 1944, the Japanese personnel were evacuated to the shore. The following morning, more fighters attacked the ship and over 300 POWs were killed in this attack. Surviving prisoners were forced to swim to shore and survivors were crowded into the tennis courts at Olongapo, site of a US Naval station. The wounded were carried off and massacred. The remaining men were transferred to the Lingayen Gulf shore town of San Fernando and loaded on the Enoura Maru, [1069 men] [which was attacked by bombers at Takao, Taiwan on 9 January 1945], and the Brazil Maru [estimated 236 men]. Survivors of the Enoura Maru were finally transferred to the Brazil Maru which departed Takao on 14 January 1945. By the time the Brazil Maru arrived in Moji on 29 January 1945, only some 450 of the original 1620 prisoners had survived.

Major port city on the south central coast of Honshu Island. Osaka was the location for a major POW Command Center under Colonel Murata, and contained numerous POW labor camps serving the Japanese military requirements.

Palawan Island
Palawan Island, west of Luzon, was the site of the Puerta Princesa POW Camp. Upwards of 500 American POWS were used as slaves to construct an expanded runway. By early December, 1944, the labor detail had been reduced to 150 prisoners. After sighting a passing American battle fleet, the Japanese camp commandant decided to execute the remaining 150 prisoners. On December 14, 1944, using the ruse of an air raid, the men were herded into a below ground trench used as a bomb shelter. Gasoline was poured over the top and into the ends of the shelter then ignited. The men not immediately burned to death attempted to flee but were cut down with machine gun fire or hunted down and shot. Eleven men were able to escape and survived to give testimony. The Japanese Commander of the prison detail was tried, convicted and hanged.

Pasig River
River that bisects the city of Manila. The river drains from the fresh water lake called Laguna de Bay.

Japanese term applied to conscripted native laborers, especially applied to Indonesians and Malays

San Fernando
Rail center approximately 40 miles north from the southern end of Bataan Peninsula and 35 miles northwest of Manila. The Bataan Death March ended at this railway yard and the men were placed in boxcars for transit to Capas and then marched to Camp O’Donnell.

Site of a major POW camp and one of the worst massacres of Allied prisoners. During 1942 and 1943, 750 British and 1650 Australian POWS were sent from Singapore to this cap in northern Borneo. When the Japanese realized defeat was imminent, they forced the men to march in late January 1945 to Ranau, a jungle camp 250 km distant. If one dropped out, they were shot or bayoneted on the spot. Marched in three separate groups, the survivors were then forced to carry supplies for the Japanese army. Only the six men who escaped, survived the ordeal.

Santo Tomas Internment Camp (STIC)
Civilian Internment camp just east of downtown Manila. Formerly the home of the Dominica University of Santo Tomas, the Japanese selected the campus as the place to intern enemy civilians. Opened on 4 January 1945, over 7000 civilians passed through or were permanently interned in this camp. Over 4000 were present at the rescue on 3 February 1945.

Port city on north central coast of Japan. Headquarters for the Sendai POW Command. Twelve POW camps were in operation at the end of the war.

Shinyo Maru
One of the small Japanese “Hell Ships” (2600 tons) used to transport Allied Prisoners to Japan. Prisoners came from port near Lasang (Freighter “86") and were transferred to the Shinyo Maru at Zamboanga. Departed Zamboanga on 7 December 1944 and sunk same day by the submarine USS Paddle near Sindangan Point, Mindanao. POWS attempting to escape the sinking ship were machine gunned by the Japanese crew. Only 82 men survived by swimming to the shore where they were rescued by natives.

Fortress city on Singapore Island across the from the southern end of the Malay Peninsula. Forces under British General Percival surrendered to Japanese forces on 9 February, 1942. Myth is perpetuated that the guns could not fire to the north but they could easily be traversed in all directions. The problem was that the shells were armor piercing and simply dug into the ground rather than explode on contact. Over 100,000 Commonwealth troops were taken captive in the Malay campaign.

Term used by Japanese supervisors (honchos) to force men to work at a faster pace. Most notorious “Speedo” period was the period of August and September of 1943 when the Japanese command decided to move the completion date of the Burma-Thailand Death Railway from December 1943 to October 1943. The Japanese forced the prisoners to work around the clock for days on end in the construction. With a Japanese policy of "no work, no food", even the sick crawled to work in order to get a ration of food. The death rate skyrocketed.

Sternberg Hospital
Army military hospital located in Manila, mainly used to serve the military headquarters command and major medical services. Staff was moved to Bataan when Manila was declared an open city.

Sunda Strait
Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra. The American heavy cruiser, USS Houston(CA 30) and the Australian HMAS Perth were attempting to escape from Surabayavia the Sunda Strait when they ran into a Japanese invasion force near the north entrance at Banten Bay. Both ships were lost and survivors taken as POWs.

Major naval port on the eastern end of Java.

POW Camp north about 90 Km north of Manila used by the Japanese to hold high ranking officers captured in the Philippines until transfer to Taiwan (Formosa). General King and General Wainright were the ranking officers. Camp was approximately 20 km north of the Cabanatuan camp area.

Japanese term for the taking of a roll call. Prisoners were required to stand at rigid attention until the count was completed and order given for dismissal. Frequent beating were the standard at most tenkos. A tenko was taken in the morning and evening and whenever a movement of prisoners was completed.

Northern end of the Burma-Thailand death railway. Mainly used for transit and for desperately sick men. The base hospital was headquarters for Brig. General Varley's and for Lt Col Nagatoma, in charge No 3 Group. Camp was also Headquarters for the 5th Railway Regiment. An Allied bombing raid in June 1943 killed 12 POWs.

Capital city of Japan and home of the Emperor Hirohito.

Wake Island
Central Pacific Island midway between Guam and Midway. Wake was one of the overnight stops for the Pan American Clippers that flew from San Francisco to Hong Kong. First attacked on 8 December by Japanese aircraft from the airstrip at Roi in the Marshalls. The first Japanese invasion force was repelled on December 11, 1941 but the second invasion on 23 December was successful, and within 4 hours the Americans surrendered. Over 1500 men were taken captive, most of them civilian contract workers. Over 5000 Japanese soldiers and sailors were killed during the actions. The Japanese renamed the island as follows: Wake Islet became Otori-shima, Wilkes Islet became Ashi-shima, Peale Islet became Hani-shima and Peacock Point became Kubi-saki. The prisoners were moved to Japan and Shanghai on the Nitta Maru. The wounded were removed in May of 1942 on the Asama Maru. On 7 October 1943, the remaining 98 civilians held captive were machine gunned to death. The island commander was tried for war crimes and executed.

White Angel
Term applied to the notorious Japanese Naval Lieutenant Camp commander at the Nichols Field POW Camp. Called “The White Angel”, this brutal and sadistic officer always appeared in a spotless white uniform at all times.

Yamamoto Isoroku
The brilliant Japanese Admiral and icon in command of the Imperial Japanese Navy at the start of the Pacific War. He had no authority over the assignment of command officers and was plagued by officers of inferior abilities. He was shot down over Bouganville on 18 April 1943 by a flight of P-38's from the 339th Fighter Squadron after the Americans broke the code for his schedule.