Use of Satellite Images to
View Sites of POW Camps and Related Locations
Updated: December 28, 2010 - Revised Korea page to show exact location of Konan POW Camp as provided by Bill Streifer (See sub-paragraph E below under "Credits for Sources of Information").
This page is intended to assist people that want to see
satellite images of the sites of Japanese POW camps and
related sites of interest. Using the instructions below you can download the necessary free software. Also, you can
use the coordinates given in the charts of POW Sites and "Fly To" the locations of many POW camps just like you see
done on TV news with satellite images. Work on this web page is far from complete. As additional information is
obtained, this page will be revised to include the additional data.
The chart shows POW Camp locations and some other related sites. For camps that were in one location and then moved to
another location, each site is listed as a different entry. The "Date Camp Opened" and "Date Camp Closed" columns show when
each location was used (if the information is available). Note that the chart is wide, so you will have to scroll right to see some of
Credits for Sources of Information:
A. The list of POW Camps in Japan was developed from several sources. First, the list of camp locations (plus dates the camps were opened and closed) was developed from POW Camps in Japan Proper by Toru Fukubayashi as posted on the "POW Research Network Japan" web site. Next, geographic coordinates of these locations were obtained from Wes Injerdís "All-Japan POW Camp Group History Chart" that is part of his "Prisoner of War Camp #1 Fukuoka, Japan" web site. Note: the update on November 15, 2006 gives refined coordinates of almost all POW camps in Japan. Wes Injerd has worked very hard to obtain these coordinates. If you correspond with Wes, be sure to thank him for his work. Some of the information concerning the camps in Japan has been modified by using Roger Mansellís "Center of Research, Allied POWs under the Japanese" web site. All of these references contain a vast amount of information about Japanese POW Camps. Viewers should refer to these sites for further information.
B. The list of POW Camps and other sites in Formosa (now Taiwan) came from Michael Hurstís "Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society" web site. The last update was on February 6, 2010. Our thanks and appreciation go to Michael Hurst and the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society for all of this detailed information.
C. The list of POW Camps the Philippine Islands is being developed with assistance of Fred Baldasarre and others. During December 2007, Fred provided additional information for sites in the Las Pinas/Nichols Field area on the south side on Manila.
D. The list of POW Camps in Manchuria (now part of China) was started from Cynthia B. Caples' "Mukden (Hoten) Timeline" as
posted on Roger Mansell's "Center for Research, Allied POWS under the Japanese" web site and as modified by information from
several people including Fred Baldasarre and Ao Wang. Kinue Tokudome introduced me to Yang Jing, a Historian in Shenyang, who provided the precise coordinates and information about the companies for which POWs worked. Yang Jing used Google Earth plus his knowledge of the Mukden area camps to get the exact coordinates of the sites in Manchuria.
E. Locations of POW Camps in Korea are approximate (at best) and came from a "Basic Plan for `Blacklist' Operations to Occupy Japan Proper and Korea" document as prepared by General Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific on 8 August 1945. The document was originally marked TOP SECRET and was later downgraded to UNCLASSIFIED. A copy of the document is in the Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Portions of this document can be seen on-line in PDF format. For an extract from the Operation Blacklist plan containing a list of POW camps in Japan and Korea, click on this link - Blacklist 5f. The list of POW camps begins on page 6 and the camps in Korea begin on page 23.
Using Google Earth to view a Site:
You will need to have a computer using Windows 2000 (or later), Linux or Mac as its operating system and broadband internet
To download Google Earth (Free), click on http://earth.google.com/index.html. Before you start the download, "un-check" the box to the left of "Include Google Chrome..." unless you want the new web browser.
After you have the software downloaded, you are ready to start viewing satellite images. Keep this (Japanese-pow Home Page) web page open and open Google Earth - you will want to keep both running so you can get coordinates from the chart below and copy the coordinates to Google Earth. Notice the top section of the left panel ("Sidebar") on the Google Earth screen. It is labeled "Search". There are three tabs in the top row of that box - be sure the "Fly To" tab is selected. The next line will have an example of the format for coordinates. Below that is a box where you will enter the coordinates. At the right of that line is a button to press when you are ready to "Fly To" the location you have entered. NOTE: If your screen does not have a left panel displayed, you can open the panel by clicking on "View" in the menu at the top of the screen and then clicking on "Sidebar". The sidebar (or "panel") is not needed if you only want to "Fly to" a location although the sidebar. When the Sidebar is not open, there is an entry box at the left of the line immediately above the satellite image. You can enter locations (coordinates or place name) in that box and then click on the button (has a picture of a magnifying glass) to the right of the entry box.
To view one of the POW Sites listed in the chart below, you must enter the coordinates of that site in the box in the left panel of the Google Earth. You can type in the coordinates exactly as they appear in the chart column labeled Google Earth "Fly To" Entry, but it may be easier to use "Ctrl-C" (hold down the "Ctrl" key while you press the "C" key) to get the coordinates from the chart pasted into your computer's notepad. Then you can switch to the Google Earth screen. Be sure the flashing cursor is in the box for the coordinates and the box is blank. Then use "Ctrl-V" (hold down the "Ctrl" key while you press the "V" key) to copy the coordinates from your notepad into the box. Now you are ready to press the button at the right side of the box containing the coordinates and you will "Fly To" the POW Site.
The satellite view you see will include a target symbol on the POW Site you selected. The "Eye Altitude" (shown at the lower right corner of the satellite image) can be changed (zoom in or out) by using the controls at the upper right of the image. When those controls are not in use, they are very dim. When you move your mouse pointer over the controls, they will become bright. You can use the controls to zoom in, zoom out, rotate or tilt to vary the image.
To view a different POW Site, just go back to the left panel on Google Earth,
delete the contents of the entry box, insert the
coordinates of the next site you want to see and press the button to "Fly To" the next site..
NOTE: Some locations have much better images available than others.
For example, the images in the Manila area are fairly good,
but the images of Corregidor are "fuzzy".
TIP: If you "Fly To" an image and get a
"blurred" or "fuzzy" picture, zoom out until the image
gets clear. Although the images of Corregidor are
not good quality, you can see the location
of the 92nd Garage POW Camp (looks like a beach area on the south side of the
and you can see
the area where Malinta Tunnel is located. Google Earth will update images
sometimes, so it may be worth the effort
to check again
if a site you want to see does not have good coverage now. The current
image of Mt. Samat was taken early in the
shadow made by the cross on Mt. Samat makes a great sight. Also, you can
see the memorial area and the road up
Tilt the image when you have the cross on Mt. Samat at the center and get an
Charts of POW Camps and Related Sites:
Table of Contents
Line # Sites in: Click this link for the chart:
1 Philippines Philippines
81 Formosa (Taiwan) Formosa
103 Korea Korea
116 Japan Japan
288 Manchuria Manchuria
301 Singapore Singapore
305 Thai-Burma RR * TBR
315 At Sea At Sea
* Also called the Burma-Siam RR, Death Railway and other names.