Japanese-pow Home Page

Most Recent Updates:  March 6, 2020 (Updated state for Leland L Keeton ); February 5, 2018 (Removed missing links on Publication and Memorial pages, added Chaplain Earl Ray Bewster to Memorial page, and cleaned up outdated information from home page); April 5, 2017 (Corrected name on the 4th Marine Regiment Roster); July 29, 2015 (Added a link to the "Sumatra Railway" web site); June 7, 2015 (Added two new books, one by former POW Warren Jorgenson and one by Kent Holmes about Wendell Fertig and the 10th Military District - See "Search Aids" below, then "References"); April 23, 2015 (New Philippines Tour - See "Philippines World War II History Tour" below); March 19, 2015 (Added a link to the "Changi POW Art" web site - See "Search Aids" and "Internet Sites"); February 10, 2015 (Added a roster of Senior American Officers, including their aides and orderlies - See "Search Aids" and "POW Rosters" below); January 18, 2015 (Added links to four Hellship rosters and two POW camp rosters - See "Search Aids" and "POW Rosters" below); January 14, 2015 (Added a Taikoku Maru Roster - See "Search Aids" and "POW Rosters" below); November 26, 2014 (Added a memorial for Bob Whitecotton's father - see "Memorial Pages" below)

    This web site is dedicated to (1) the MEMORY of those who were Prisoners of War of the Japanese during World War II and who died while they were POWs, and (2) the HONOR of those who were Prisoners of War of the Japanese during World War II and survived those terrible times.  They suffered such unbelievably difficult conditions and inhumane treatment by their Japanese captors it is a wonder that any survived.

    The purpose of this web site is to assist the many descendants who want to learn more about their relative that was a POW of the Japanese.  We hope that all of these descendants will document the details and pass this information on to future generations of their families so they may know and understand this horrible tragedy.

Search Aids:
    There are many ways to search for information concerning POWs of the Japanese.  The following links lead to additional pages of this web site that provide information to assist in your search.
    Recommendations for Searching
    Internet Sites
    POW Rosters
    Research Facilities
Japanese-pow List (Updated on April 22, 2014)

Lists of POW Camps, Hellship Voyages and Alias Names for Hellships:
    These lists are made available primarily for members of the Japanese-pow Listserv; however, all persons are welcome to view the lists.  Code numbers in the left column of the List of POW Camps and the List of Hellship Voyages are reference numbers that explain numerical abbreviations on the "roster" that is sent to members of the Japanese-pow Listserv.  To view a list, click on a link below.
    List of POW Camps
    List of Hellship Voyages
List of Alias Names for Hellships

Guerrillas in the Philippines
    This page contains information about guerrillas and guerrilla organizations in the Philippine Islands.  I plan to continue searching for more information and to update this page whenever significant additional data becomes available.  So, I will continue to say this page is "Under Construction".
    To see the information that is currently available (last update was on January 31, 2014), click on Guerrillas.  If you have suggestions for improvement of this page, please contact me at the e-mail link shown at the bottom of this main page.

Viewing Satellite Images of POW Camps and Related Sites:
If you would like to view satellite images of locations of Japanese POW Camps and some related sites just like the TV News shows a view moving around the world and then zooming in on a location, click this link - POW Sites.

BACEPOW (Bay Area Civilian EX-Prisoners of War):
   Although the name has not been changed, BACEPOW has become a nationwide organization.  Click here to go to their web site.  On that web site, click on "Newsletters" to see articles that you may find interesting.
    Note:  The term "Ex-Prisoners of War" refers to "Civilian Internees", not "Prisoners of War".  Even though they suffered significantly at the hands of the Japanese, they were not "Prisoners of War".

Air Drops to POWs & Civilian Internees and Liberation Plans for them:
    Long before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, United States Army Forces, Pacific created plans for air drops to provide emergency supplies of medicines, subsistence & clothing and then liberation of all Allied Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees.  The primary planning document was within "Basic Plan for Operation Blacklist" which was the plan for the occupation of Japan and Korea following the surrender of Japan, whenever that would be.  Click here to see portions of this plan including what the U.S. knew of POW camp locations and strengths.

Hellship Information and Photographs:
    Click the following link for Hellship Information and Photographs:  Hellships.  Outstanding paintings of some of the Hellships were added to this link on December 5, 2003 and on January 4, 2004. To see a November 1945 series of articles by George Weller about the voyages of the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru and Brazil Maru, click on this link - "Death Ships".

Hellships Memorial Information:
      The Hellships Memorial (located at Olongapo on the shores of Subic Bay, Luzon) was dedicated on January 22, 2006.  This beautiful memorial honors all Prisoners of War that were transported by the Japanese on ships that became collectively known as the "Hellships".  Thus, the memorial honors ALL POWs of ALL nations that were transported on these ships - both those that died during transport and those that survived the horrors of the "Hellships". On September 7, 1944 the last POWs being removed from Mindanao were aboard the Shinyo Maru, which was moving along the western coast of Mindanao heading for Manila when it was torpedoed and sunk by USS Paddle.  Of the 750 POWs on board, only 82 survived.

Documentary Films about POWs of the Japanese:
    Jan Thompson, daughter of surviving POW Robert E. Thompson, has produced two outstanding documentary films about Prisoners of War of the Japanese.  The first is a 30-minute DVD about the Fall of Bataan and the subsequent Bataan Death March.  To see more about this documentary, click
Tragedy of Bataan {external link}.  Her second documentary is a full-length film featuring many well-known Hollywood stars and entitled
NEVER THE SAME: The Prisoner of War Experience {external link}.  Click the title to see more information about this film.

POW Photos:
    The purpose of this page is to show photographs that may assist descendants that are searching for information about their relative that was a POW of the Japanese.  If you have a photograph that could be helpful to others, send it to the site author by using the link in the last item on this page (attach a good quality scan of the photo).  Be sure to include a suggested caption that includes all known identification of POWs in the photo as well as the date and location.  If you do not have exact information, tell what you do know about the photo.  To see items that have been posted, click here: POW PHOTOS 

Memorial Pages:
    Click the following link for a list of memorial sites that have been prepared by Descendants in honor of a relative that was a POW of the Japanese during World War II:  Memorials

Memorial Day Photos:
    Click on Photos to see a group of photos taken in the beautiful Manila American Cemetery on May 25, 2009.

    Michael Hurst, who lives on Taiwan and runs the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society web site (http://www.powtaiwan.org/), informed us about a new proposal for an FEPOW Day to be celebrated on August 15th of each year and requesting our support.  For information about this project, go to http://www.fepow-day.org:80/index.htm.  As you will see, the site says that it has "been set up to promote August 15th as a day of remembrance for all those who were held as Japanese Prisoners of War during World War II, whatever nationality, colour or religion, whether service personnel,
civilian or romusha."  The main web site of the FEPOW Community is ustp://www.fepow-community.org.uk/.

Comments and Suggestions:
    Please send whatever comments and suggestions you may have for the improvement of this web site to the author (Bob R. Whitecotton).  To send an e-mail, click on Contact the author.