Containing Information about
Prisoners of War of the Japanese in World War II

Note: Many of these publications are available in the libraries of any large city or county and the libraries of many Universities.  It is a good idea to search the library's on-line catalog to learn what they have and to record the library call numbers before going to the library.  If the library close to you does not have a book you want, request that they obtain the book via interlibrary loan.  You may be able to do that without having to go to the library if you have checked the library's on-line catalog and find they do not have the book on their shelves.  This could save you much time and expense.

Special Note: For people especially interested in the USS Houston and the POW Camps on the Burma-Siam Railroad, see the grouping of books after the main list.  These books have been recommended by Betty Batchelor, sister of William Charles Batchelor, Jr. who was a crew member on the USS Houston.  He became a POW when the USS Houston was sunk on February 28, 1942 in Sunda Strait at the southeast end of Java.  He was held in Changi POW Camp and then in the POW Camps of the "Death Railway" until his death on October 1, 1943.  Betty donated a copy of most of these books to the University of Houston Library.


Abraham, Abie, Ghost of Bataan Speaks, Vantage Press, 1971. Comments: Abie Abraham was one of the POWs liberated at Cabanatuan POW Camp by the "Great Raid" conducted by the 6th Rangers.  He was later assigned the task of recovering remains of POWs that died in combat on Bataan and during the Bataan Death March.  People on Bataan who had thought Abie was dead referred to him as the "Ghost of Bataan."  See Abie's web site at

Abraham, Abie, Oh, God, Where are You, Vantage Press, 1997, ISBN:0533119871.

Alexander, Irvin (as edited by Dominic J. Caraccilo), Surviving Bataan and Beyond, Stackpole Books, 1999, ISBN: 0811715965.

Allen, Oliver Craig, Abandoned on Bataan: One Man's Story of Survival, Crimson Horse Ent. & Pub. Co., 2002, ISBN: 0971318417Comments: This is a very well written first person account (written with his wife Mildred's help) of a POW's experiences during the Bataan Death March and in subsequent POW Camps.  Allen spent most of the war in a POW camp in Mukden..

Ancheta, Celedonia A., The Wainwright Papers, New Day, 1980, ISBN:

Archer, Bernice, The Internment of Western Civilians under the Japanese 1941-1945, RoutledgeCurzon, 2004, ISBN: 0714655929.  Comments: This book contains information based on many sources including personal interviews and research documents.  It includes information about civilian internees throughout the Pacific area.  Click here to see the book on-line.  Thanks to Dwight Rider for the PDF.

Ashton, Paul, Bataan Diary, Ashton Publications, Santa Barbara, CA, 1984, ISBN: 096271643X.

Bank, Bertram, Back from the Living Dead: an original story describing the infamous March of Death, 33 months in a Japanese prison and liberation by the Rangers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1945.

Barker, Robert A., Philippine Diary: a journal of life as a Japanese prisoner of war, R. A. Barker Foundation, 1989, ISBN: 0962499919.

Bartsch, William H., Doomed at the Start: American pursuit pilots in the Philippines, 1941-1942, Texas A&M University Press, 1992, ISBN: 0890966796.

Belote, James H., Corregidor: the saga of a fortress, Harper & Row, 1967.  Comments:  Eugene Nielsen, assigned to the 59th CA Regiment on Corregidor and a survivor of the Palawan Massacre, read this book and described it as amazingly accurate.  It covers the basics of how Corregidor functioned, its purpose, a little bit of its ancient history, the war-time history and the surrender.

Berry, William A., Prisoner of the Rising Sun, University of Oklahoma Press, 1993, ISBN: 0806125098.

Binkowski, Edna, Code Name: High Pockets: True Story of Claire Phillips, an American Mata Hari and the WW II Resistance Movement in the Philippines, Valor Press, 2006, ISBN: 978-971-93607-0-4.  Comments:  The story of Claire Phillips whose code name was "High Pockets".  It tells about her valiant deeds in obtaining secrets from the Japanese, conveying those secrets and money to the guerrilla forces operating in the Philippines against the Japanese.  Also, it describes the efforts of Claire and others to smuggle medicine and food to the POWs at Cabanatuan.  To order a copy contact the author, Edna Binkowski, at or at  To read more about this book, click here: Flyer

Blankman, Candie, Forged by War: A Daughter Shaped by a World War II POW Story, Available on, November 2011, ISBN: 9781463676100.  Comments: The author's father, T/Sgt. Kenneth Earl Davis, fought in the 31st Infantry Regiment (US) on Bataan, was captured by the Japanese, suffered through the Bataan Death March, was in Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan POW Camps before being sent to Japan on the Hellship Noto Maru and then was in Hanawa POW Camp until he was liberated.  This book tells how the strength and character of Kenneth Davis helped him through his difficult time as a POW and how this shaped the life of his daughter.  See this link for more information about this book - flyer.

Bodine, Roy L., No Place for Kindness: the prisoner of war diary of Roy L. Bodine, Fort Sam Houston Museum, 1983.  Comments:  This book is based on the diary of Dr. Roy L. Bodine (Lt. Col, U.S. Army Dental Corps).  It chronicles his life from October 1944 in Cabanatuan through the voyages of the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru and Brazil Maru to Japan and on to his liberation in Jinsen, Korea.

Boyt, Eugene P., Bataan: a survivor's story, University of Oklahoma Press, 2004, ISBN: 0806135824Comments:  Lt. Boyt, 201st Engr. Bn. (PA), was stationed at Clark Field at the beginning of the war.  It tells of his time during the defensive campaign on Bataan, his participation in the Death March and conditions at all the POW Camps he was at in the Philippines (Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan) and Japan (Tanagawa, Zentsuji and Roku Roshi).  In November 1942 he went from Manila to Japan aboard the Nagato Maru.  It also goes into his eventual rescue by American Forces and his trip home.  Many names are mentioned in the story itself along with several different POW camps.

Bradley, John H., Remind Me to Tell You, Reutel Press, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-578-07176-3. Comments: This book is a history of Major Harry J. Fleeger, 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts), that is factual and based on three diaries written by Maj. Fleeger.  When he left Cabanatuan (for shipment on the Arisan Maru - which he did not survive) he gave the diaries to a friend for delivery to Fleeger's family.  That person later buried the diaries.  They were dug up after the war and delivered to Fleeger's family.  Click Remind Me for information on ordering this book.

Braly, William C., The Hard Way Home, Infantry Journal Press, 1947.  Comments:  Col. Braly's book begins with the surrender on Corregidor and follows the movements of the senior officers (Generals and Colonels) and some enlisted orderlies to Bilibid Prison, Tarlac, Formosa and then Mukden.  He tells incidents about many personnel including their names.  The book includes rosters from Tarlac (Luzon), Karenko (Formosa) and Shirakawa (Formosa).  An index will help to locate passages about individuals named in the narrative.

Brereton, Lewis H., The Brereton Diaries, W. Morrow and Company, 1946.

Breuer, William B., The Great Raid on Cabanatuan: Rescuing the Doomed Ghosts of Bataan and Corregidor, John Wiley & Sons, 1994, ISBN: 0471037427.

Brougher, W. E., South to Bataan, north to Mukden: the prison diary of Brigadier General W. E. Brougher, University of Georgia Press, 1971.

Bumgarner, John R., Parade of the Dead: A U.S. Army Physician's Memoir of Imprisonment by the Japanese, 1942 - 1945, McFarland & Co., 1995, ISBN: 0786401311.

Bunker, Paul D., Bunker's War: The World War II Diary of Col. Paul D. Bunker, Presidio Press, 1996, ISBN: 0891415386Comments: Col. Bunker was the Commanding Officer of the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment with its headquarters on Corregidor Island.  This is his diary beginning in January 1942.  He died as a POW in September 1943.

Cave, Dorothy, Beyond Courage: one regiment against Japan, 1941-1945, Yucca Tree Press, 1992, ISBN: 0865345597.

Chunn, Calvin Ellsworth, Of Rice and Men, Veteran's Publishing Company, 1946.

Coleman, John S., Bataan and Beyond: memories of an American P.O.W., Texas A&M University Press, 1978, ISBN: 0890964912.

Cowling, Anthony, My Life with the Samurai, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst 1996, ISBN: 0864178123.  Comments: Anthony Cowling was a POW of the Japanese captured in Indonesia and held in a POW camp on Ambon Island.  For information go to

Daws, Gavan, Prisoners of the Japanese: POWs of World War II in the Pacific, William Morrow and Company, 1994, 1994, ISBN: 0688143709Comments:  This well-documented and researched book (be sure to read the "Sources" and "Notes" at the end of the book) includes information about all Allied POWs of the Japanese and is based on interviews with many former POWs.  It gives insight into life in POW Camps and on the Hellships.

de Jong, Ronny Herman, Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy,, 2011.  Comments: A story of survival of a Dutch mother and her two daughters in Japanese internment camps on Java - Additional Information

Dyess, William E., The Dyess Story, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1944; also published by Longmans, Green & Co. Toronto, Canada May 1944. Comments: this book was published before World War II was over; hence, most names and details about the escape route and methods are omitted for military reasons. It does contain some information about Japanese brutalities.

Emerson, K. C., Guest of the Emperor, Arlington, VA, 1977 and Quintella Printing Co., 1983.  Comments:  This book can be read on line by clicking on "Center for Research, Allied POWS under the Japanese" link on the "Internet Sites" page of this web site.  Then click on the word "links" in the top line of that page to get a list of POW camps.  Scroll down to "Os-24 Rokuroshi" and click on the underlined portion.  On the next page, click on "Camp Rosters,"  scroll down to "Emerson, Kary Cromus" and click again.  This will give a "PDF" format of the book that will be a bit slow to load, but the names, sketches and photos at the end will be worth it.

Evans, William R., Kora!, Atwood Publishing Co., 1986, ISBN: 0961758503. Comments: Author's experiences as a POW - he was held at Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan, Las Pinas, transported on the Haro (Hokusen is the correct name) Maru to Formosa, then to Japan on another ship (Melbourne Maru) where he went to the POW Camp at Kosaka (Sendai Camp #8).  The index includes names on many of the men he knew during his 42 months as a POW. 

Falk, Stanley L., Bataan: the March of Death, Norton, 1962, ISBN: 0515089184.

Fessler, Diane, No Time for Fear: Voices of American Military Nurses in World War II, Michigan State University Press, 1996, ISBN: 0870134167. Comments: This book contains oral histories of Army and Navy nurses who served overseas, including several who were prisoners in the Philippines.

Gause, Damon "Rocky", The War Journal of Major Damon "Rocky" Gause, Hyperion, 1999, ISBN: 0786884215Comments: This book tells the story of Lt. Gause's escape from the Bataan Death March and subsequent six months of almost unbelievable events that enabled him to reach Australia and "Report for Duty" to Gen. MacArthur.

Glusman, John, Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941 - 1945, Random House, 2005, ISBN: 0670034088Note: For more information about this book, go to  Be sure to click on the "Gallery" link (as well as the other links) to see some very interesting rosters, maps and other items

Graham, Clarence M., Under The Samurai Sword, The Author, 1998.  Note: Originally, this book was available only from the author.  Copies may now be found on or

Grashio, Sam & Bernard Norling, Return to Freedom: The War Memoirs of Colonel Samuel C. Grashio, U.S.A.F., MCN Press, 1982, ISBN: 0912958200.

Gruenzner, Norman, Postal History of American POWs: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, American Philatelic Society, 1979, ISBN: 0933580002.  Comments: Chapters 7 - 11 of this book give information about Japanese POW Camps and general information in the first two chapters may be of interest.

Haggerty, James Edward, Guerrilla Padre in Mindanao, Longman, Green and Co., 1946.  Comments:  Haggerty was a Jesuit priest running the atenyo (boys school) at Cagayan at the outbreak of the war.  Though a  non-combatant, Haggerty went far beyond the role of chaplain.  He traveled through much of Mindanao getting the support of a number of tribes, assisting in organizing the guerrilla effort.

Hamilton, Weldon, Late Summer of 1941 and My War with Japan, Xlibris Corporation, 2001,
ISBN: 0738868264Comments:  The author (who was in the 34th Pursuit Squadron) describes his experiences in a simplistic way including the defense of Bataan and life in POW camps at Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan and Omuta (Fukuoka #17).  He was on the Matti Matti Maru (real name = Canadian Inventor) for the trip to Moji, Japan.

Harmuth, Robert K., Battlin' Bastards and Pigboats: The POW and Submarine Interface During WWII, Xlibis Corporation, 2001, ISBN: 0738852740Comments: This book is about POWs of Bataan & Corregidor and about related submarine activities.  It includes stories about Mansfield R. Young (194th Tank Bn.) and Manuel A. Eneriz (31st Inf. Regt.).

Hawkins, Jack, Never Say Die, Dorrance & Co., 1961, ISBN: 0880000147.

Hayes, Thomas (as edited by A. B. Feuer), Bilibid Diary: the secret notebooks of Commander Thomas Hayes, POW the Philippines 1942-45, Archon Books, 1987, ISBN: 0208021698 Comments: From dust cover: "...a matter-of-fact portrait of the deprivation and chaos surrounding the transient population of Bilibid, clearinghouse for all the prison camps in the Philippines"

Heimbuch, Raymond C., I'm One of the Lucky Ones - I Came Home Alive, Dageforde Publishing, Inc., 2003, ISBN: 1886225877Comments The author was in the 5th Air Base Group on Mindanao.  His story tells of life in POW Camps at Camp Casisang and Davao Penal Colony on Mindanao and Yokkaichi and Toyama in Japan.  He was on the Yashu Maru, Singoto Maru and Canadian Inventor for the trip from Mindanao to Moji, Japan.

Heisinger, Duane, Father Found, Xulon Press, 2003, ISBN: 1591604974 Comments:  Col. Melvin H. Rosen wrote "I am a former POW, survivor of the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru, and Brazil Maru Japanese ship journey from Manila to Moji, Japan December 1944 to January 1945.  Duane has provided in his impressive research the most complete and accurate account of these events I have read."  The same can be said of the remainder of the book which includes events at the three Cabanatuan POW Camps and Davao Penal Colony as well as the Hellship trips from Manila to Davao in 1942 and the return trip in June 1944.

Hibbs, Ralph Emerson, Tell MacArthur to Wait, Carlton Press, 1988, ISBN: 0806231246 Comments:  The author was a medical officer at Cabanatuan.  The book discusses life in Cabanatuan and the rescue of the POWs by the 6th Rangers.

Holmes, Kent, Wendell Fertig and His Guerrilla Forces in the Philippines: Fighting the Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945, McFarland & Co. Inc, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-7864-9425-3.  Comments: This book gives the story of Wendell Fertig's creation of a consolidated and well-coordinated guerrilla force on Mindanao.  It discusses Fertig's leadership style and his unique ability to include Moro forces with the other Filipinos on Mindanao.  This guerrilla command was named "10th Military District" by Gen. MacArthur

Holmes, Linda Goetz, Unjust Enrichment: How Japan's Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American POWs, Stackpole Books, 2001, ISBN: 0811718441.

Holmes, Virginia Hansen, Guerrilla Daughter, Kent State University Press, 2009, ISBN: 9780873389495.  Comments: This book is an account of the Hansen family during World War II written by the youngest family member, "Ginger", who was seven years old when the family was living near Surigao, Mindanao and the war began on December 8, 1941.  "Ginger", her mother and her older sister spent the next 3½ years moving frequently and hiding from Japanese patrols while her father and two older brothers fought with Guerrillas as part of the 10th Military District on Mindanao.

Hubbard, Preston John, Apocalypse Undone: my survival of Japanese imprisonment during World War II, Vanderbilt University Press, 1990, ISBN: 0826512372.

Hunt, Ray C. & Bernard Norling, Behind Japanese Lines: an American guerrilla in the Philippines, University Press of Kentucky, 1986, ISBN: 081311604X.  Comments: From book cover: "A memoir of life as a guerrilla fighter on the Japanese occupied Philippines during World War II, written by a U.S. air force sergeant who spent three years with the guerrillas."

Ingle, Donald F., No Less a Hero, The Author, 1994.  Comments: The author relates his experiences as a survivor of the Bataan Death March and POW Camps at Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan, Coal Mine Camp and Tanagawa.

Jacobs, Eugene C., Blood Brothers: a medic's sketch book, Carlton Press, 1985, ISBN: 0806223006.

Johnson, Forrest Bryant, Hour of Redemption: The Heroic WW II Saga of America's Most Daring POW Rescue, Warner Books, 1978, ISBN: 0532250001.

Jones, Betty B., The December Ship, McFarland & Company, 1992, ISBN: 0899506917.  Reprinted by McFarland as soft cover in 2011, ISBN: 0786467770.  Comments:  This book gives the author's story of her father's life in the Philippines through the surrender at Malaybalay, Mindanao and life in Camp Casisang POW Camp, Davao Penal Colony, Cabanatuan, Bilibid Prison and the Oryoku Maru where he was killed during the bombing of that ship on December 15, 1944.

Jorgenson, Warren, The Expendable Garrison, Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC. ISBN: 978-1-68142-195-7.  Comments:  This is "Jorgy's" story of his life, becoming a member of the 4th Marine Regiment, defense of the Philippine Islands and surviving the ordeals of being a POW of the Japanese.

Kaminski, Theresa, Prisoners in Paradise: American Women in the Wartime South Pacific, University Press of Kansas, 2000, ISBN: 0700610030 Comments: This book covers the lives of American women in Japanese internment camps and includes stories of some who fled to the hills to avoid capture by the Japanese and others who served as spies to aid the American forces and POWs.

Keats, John, They Fought Alone, Lippincott, 1963.  Comments: From the book preface - "This book describes a group of Americans and Filipinos [on the Japanese occupied island of Mindanao] who refused to surrender when ordered to do so. Nothing herein is intended to reflect on the courage of those who, obeying orders, surrendered to the Japanese."

Kerr, E. Bartlett, Surrender & Survival, William Morrow and Company, 1985, ISBN: 0688043445Comments:  The author's father was a POW who died on the Brazil Maru on January 27, 1945.  This excellent book describes the conditions in many POW Camps and Hellships.  Many people keep this book in their personal library as a reference.  The "Notes" and "Sources" at the end of the book provide valuable research leads.

Knox, Donald, Death March: The Survivors of Bataan, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1981, ISBN: 0156252244Comments: From a reader - "Donald Knox has taken personal narratives from over sixty survivors of the Bataan death march and combined them into this gripping story of the struggle to survive."

Kumai, Toshimi, The Blood and Mud in the Philippines: Anti-Guerrilla Warfare on Panay Island, Malones Printing Press and Publishing House, Iloilo City, Philippines, 2009, Translated by Yukako Ibuki.  This book contains the story of Japanese Army Captain Toshimi Kumai as the Japanese fought U.S. and Filipino guerrillas on Panay from May 1942 until August 1945.

Kumai, Toshimi, The Battle for Bataan: A Japanese Officer's Memoir, This book has been made available on the internet by Yukako Ibuki who transformed it into English.  Yukako is a retired school teacher living in the Tokyo area.  Along with Kinue Tokudome, Yukako has attended many ADBC Conventions and they have helped many former POWs when they visited Japan.  To read this book and several other articles, go to

LaForte, Robert S.; Marcello, Ronald E.; and Himmel, Richard L., With Only the Will to Live: accounts of Americans in Japanese prison camps, 1941-1945, SR Books, 1994, ISBN: 0842024646Comments: From a reader - "All aspects of POW life are presented in a carefully edited compilation of interviews with over 100 former prisoners. It is a tough, but necessary, read that overwhelms one with the senselessness of Japanese brutality. I don't think that a better account could possibly exist and I wish that this was required reading for any history curriculum covering the war."

Lapham, Robert & Bernard Norling, Lapham's Raiders: Guerrillas in the Philippines, 1942-1945, University Press of Kentucky, 1996, ISBN: 0813119499Comments: This book can be read on-line at: on that page, search for "Lapham's Raiders".  The book tells the story of Robert Lapham's leadership of one of the main guerrilla forces on Luzon.  His guerrillas were involved in the "Great Raid" to liberate the POWs in Cabanataun.

Larson, Clarence K., A Long March Home, The Author, 1998.

Lawton, Manny, Some Survived, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1984, ISBN: 1565124340Comments:  The author survived and tells the story of the Bataan Death March, Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan, Davao Penal Colony and the Hellships Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru and Brazil Maru.  The book includes a list of the 1,619 POWs that boarded the Oryoku Maru on December 13, 1944.

Leck, Greg, Captives of Empire: The Japanese Internment of Allied Civilians in China, 1941-1945, Shandy Press 2007, ISBN: 0977214109Comments: For information about this book including the Table Of Contents, details about the camps, photos and much more, click on Captives.

Levering, Robert W., Horror Trek: A True Story of Bataan, the Death March, and Three and One-half Years in Japanese Prison Camps, The Author, 1948, ISBN: 9781161289008.

Lukacs, John D., Escape from Davao, Simon & Schuster, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-7432-6278-1.  Comments: John Lukacs has done an outstanding job of research and obtaining as much first-hand information as possible so that he could write a comprehensive book about the first escape from Davao Penal Colony.  For more information, see his web site,

MacArthur, Brian, Surviving the Sword: Prisoners of the Japanese in the Far East, 1942-45, The Washington Post Company 2005, ISBN: 1400064139.  Comments: A review by T. Weller says this book presents details and first-person accounts.  Also, he says it reveals the scope of Japanese abuses in individual camps, as well as the distribution of these camps throughout SE Asia.

Mansell, Roger, Captured: The Forgotten Men of Guam, Naval Institute Press, 2012, ISBN: 1612511147.  Comments: Roger Mansell had completed and advanced draft of this book and, prior to his death on October 25, 2010, Roger had asked Linda Goetz Holmes to edit his book.  Roger is well known to many POWs of the Japanese and to many descendants of POWs whom he helped over the years.  For a number of years, Roger spent all of his time researching POWs of the Japanese.  Click this link for information about Roger Mansell.

Mapes, Victor L. & Mills, Scott A., The Butchers, the Baker: The World War II Memoir of a United States Army Air Corps Soldier Captured by the Japanese in the Philippines, McFarland & Co., 2000, ISBN: 0786438797Comments: Vic Mapes was one of the 83 survivors of the sinking of the Hellship Shinyo Maru on September 7, 1944. This book includes a list of persons surrendered at Dansalan, Mindanao and a list of the 83 survivors of the Shinyo Maru sinking.

Martin, Adrian R., Brothers from Bataan: POWs, 1942-1945, Sunflower University Press, 1992, ISBN: 0897451422Comments: This book is a chronological narrative that includes a roster of POWs at the Las Piñas (Paranaque) POW Camp and a roster of the POWs on the Noto Maru (left Manila 08/27/1944 - arrived Moji, Japan 09/04/1944) plus information about the POW Camp at Hanawa, Japan.

Martin, Adrian R. & Stevenson, Larry W., Operation Plum: The Ill-Fated 27th Bombardment Group and the Fight for the Western Pacific, Texas A&M Univ. Press, 2008, ISBN: 1603440194.  Comments: Tells the story of the 27th BG that arrived in the Philippines shortly before the war broke out. Their dive bombers, in another convoy, were diverted to Australia. Most of the 27th was turned into infantry. Over 20 pilots escaped to Australia and Java and fought the early air war in Australia, Java, and New Guinea. The rest of the unit became POWs. More information at

May, Mary Cathrin, The Steadfast Line: The Story of the 27th Bombardment Group (Light) in World War II, 2003, Privately Published.  Comments: This book includes rosters of all units in the 27th Bomb. Gp. (L).  The author may be contacted at

Maynard, Mary McKay, My Faraway Home, The Lyons Press, 20012001, ISBN: 1585742619Comments:  The story of an American family's survival in the jungles of northeastern Mindanao where the author's father had been a gold mine operator.  They were evacuated on the submarine, USS Narwhal, in November 1943.

McCoy, Melvyn H. and Mellnik, S. M., Ten Escape From Tojo, Farrar and Rinehart, 1944.  Comments: This book was published before World War II was over; hence, most names and details about the escape route and methods are omitted for military reasons. It does contain considerable information about Japanese brutalities.

McCracken, Alan Reed, Very Soon Now, Joe, The Hobson Press, 1947.  Comments: From book- "McCracken, a former Captain in the U.S. Navy, recounts his harrowing experiences during 33 months in three Japanese P.O.W. camps in the Philippines during WW II. Only 3 of 10 who entered made it out alive. Includes information on Corregidor, Bilibid, and Cabanatuan."

McGee, John H., Rice and Salt, The Naylor Company, 1962.  Comments:  John McGee escaped by jumping overboard from the Yashu Maru on the night of June 15, 1944 when that ship was in Zamboanga harbor.  The Yashu Maru was taking the main body of POWs from Davao Penal Colony to Cebu City.  Those POWs were then taken on to Manila aboard the Singoto Maru.  See also the book by Donald Wills below.

Mellnik, Stephen M., Philippine Diary 1939-1945, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1969.

Merritt, Joe D. "JD", Adapt or Die, The Author, 2010.  Comments: "JD" Merritt was assigned to the 17th Bombardment Squadron, 27th Bombardment Group (Light) and was fighting on Bataan as an Infantryman when he was severely wounded.  He was in Hospital #2 on Bataan and became a POW on April 9, 1942 when all U.S. forces on Bataan were surrendered.  His book is a straight-forward, first-person account of his time as a POW.  He spent time in Bilibid Prison, Cabanatuan and Port Area Detail (in Manila).  He went to Japan on the Noto Maru and was in Hanawa POW Camp.  The book (500+ pages and hard cover) is available now - October 2010.  Contact "JD" at to purchase a copy ($30.00).  For more information go to Adapt or Die.

Michno, Gregory F., Death on the Hellships: Prisoners at Sea in the Pacific War, Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN: 1557504822Comments:  The author has researched archives and naval records in Japan and in the U.S. and he has interviewed many surviving POWs to create a very authoritative reference book on all of the ships that became known as "Hellships."

Miller, Ernest B., Bataan Uncensored, Military Historical Society of Minnesota, 1949, ISBN: 0963164201Comments: Col. Ernest B. Miller was Commanding Officer of the 194th Tank Battalion.

Miner, William D., In the Shadow of the Rising Sun: diary of an American POW in WWII, Giraffe Books, Philippines, 2003.  Comments: This book gives considerable information about men that were stationed on Cebu in addition to the author's experiences as a POW.

Monument, Geoffrey, An Angel on my Shoulder, A. Lane Publishers, 1999, ISBN: 1897666160Comments:  The author was a Private in the Royal Army Service Corps (British Army) and was captured at Singapore.  The book tells about life in POW camps at Changi (Singapore), Heito (Formosa), Yokohama, Shinagawa POW Hospital and Sendai.

Morris, Eric, Corregidor: the end of the line, Stein and Day, 1981, ISBN: 0880292164.

Morton, Louis, The War in the Pacific: The Fall of the Philippines, Center for Military History, Washington, DC, 1953, ISBN: 0160018900Comments:  This book is part of a series of books prepared for the U.S. Army Center of Military History and it documents the combat in the Philippines up to the time of the surrender to the Japanese.  It is also available on the internet at

Murphy, James T. and Kenneth B., When Men Must Live, 1 West Publications, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-9823258-0-3. Comments: James T. Murphy was in Hq. Sqdn, 20th Air Base Group and a POW in the Bataan Death March, Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan, Bilibid, the Hellship Noto Maru (voyage from Manila to Japan) and Hanawa.  Kenneth B. Murphy is James T. Murphy's son.  Click When Men Must Live for information.

Nix, Asbury L., Corregidor: Oasis of Hope, The Author, 1991, ISBN: 0942495195Comments:  Nix was captured on Corregidor and was held as a POW in Bilibid Prison, on the Noto Maru and in Hanawa, Sendai No. 6 where he worked in the Mitsubishi copper mines.  The book includes photos, references and rosters of POWs on the Noto Maru and in Hanawa.

Nordin, Carl S., We Were Next to Nothing: an American POW's account of Japanese prison camps and deliverance in World War II, McFarland & Company, 1997, ISBN: 0786402741Comments:  The author was a member of the 2nd QM Co. (Avn), 5th Air Base Group on Mindanao and was held as a POW at Camp Casisang, Davao Penal Colony, Lasang Airfield (got sick and was returned to Davao Penal Colony; hence, he missed the disastrous voyage on the Shinyo Maru) and Yokkaichi.  The book is written as an expanded diary and is very interesting.  It includes a roster of the 2nd QM Company (Avn).

Norling, Bernard, The Intrepid Guerrillas of North Luzon, University Press of Kentucky, 1999, ISBN: 0813121183Comments:  This factual account of the earliest guerrilla activity on Luzon (January 1942 to August 1943) is based on the after-action monograph of Col. Thomas S. Jones, Troop C, 26th Cavalry (PS) and extensive research by the author.  It contains extensive references including actual transcripts of radio messages between Troop C and MacArthur's headquarters.  Troop C was the last horse cavalry unit to see action.  After capture, most of the men were executed and one died in the sinking of the Arisan Maru.

Norman, Elizabeth M., We Band of Angels, Random House, Inc., 1999, ISBN: 0375502459Comments:  This is the story of the nurses who were captured both in Manila and on Corregidor.  One history teacher (who is the daughter of a former POW of the Japanese) says she has recommended this book to many students - especially the girls who are considering the military or nursing as a career - and they have loved it.  Elizabeth Norman covers in-depth an often over-looked or unknown part of the POW experience.

Norman, Michael and Elizabeth M.,
Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2009, ISBN: 0374272603.

Olson, John E., ANYWHERE-ANYTIME: The History of the 57th Infantry (PS), The Author, 1991.

Olson, John E., O'Donnell: Andersonville of the Pacific, The Author, 1985, ISBN: 0374272603Comments:  The author was a Captain in the 57th Infantry Regiment (Philippine Scouts) during the defense of Bataan.  He was in the first group from the Death March to enter Camp O'Donnell and he served as Personnel Officer for the American group of POWs.  In that capacity, he maintained daily strength and death figures and kept an official journal of events which he was able to conceal from the Japanese during three years of captivity.

Olson, John E., The Guerrilla and the Hostage, Burke Publishing Company, 1994, ISBN: 0964443201Comments:  This extremely interesting book is written as a novel; however, the sequence of events accurately follows the combat on Bataan, life of the American Guerrillas on Luzon and life in POW Camps up through the liberation of Cabanatuan in January 1945.

Ortega, Abel Jr., Courage on Bataan and Beyond, Authorhouse, 2005, ISBN: 1420863843. Comments: This book is about Abel's father, Abel F. Ortega, 192nd Tank Battalion, who was in the Bataan Death March, in four POW camps on Luzon, two POW camps on Formosa and two POW camps in Japan.  For more information and to order, click on  To order the book in Kindle format, click on  This book is also available in Nook Book format, click on the following (the address is long - be sure to get all of it in your browser)

Pearson, Judith L., Belly of the Beast: A POW's Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage and Survival Aboard the Infamous WW II Japanese Hellship, the Oryoku Maru, Penguin Books, 2001, ISBN: 0451204441.

Perry, Everett Marion, Ghosts of Canopus: The War Diary of a Lucky Old Lady, Riverside Publishing, Boise, Idaho, 2010, ISBN: 0-9766074-2-5.  Comments: A 196-page picture-book about the USS Canopus (AS 9).  For more information, see and click on the thumbnail photo of the book cover just below the ordering information.

Poweleit, Alvin C., USAFFE: The Loyal Americans and Faithful Filipinos: A Saga of Atrocities Perpetrated During the Fall of the Philippines, the Bataan Death March and Japanese Imprisonment and Survival, Privately Published, 1975.  Comments:  The author was a surgeon assigned to the 192nd Tank Battalion on Bataan.  His inscription in a copy of this book says "The Way it really was 1941-1945. Sincerely, Alvin C. Poweleit."

Ramsey, Edwin Price, Lieutenant Ramsey's War, Knightsbridge Publishing Co., 1990, ISBN: 1574880527Comments: This book is written by the leader of one of the main guerrilla groups on Luzon.

Reynolds, Robert V., Of Rice and Men, The Leicht Press, 1951.

Romulo, Carlos Pena, I Saw the Fall of the Philippines, Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1943.

Roper, Richard S., Brothers of Paul: Activities of Prisoners of War Chaplains in the Philippines during World War II, Revere Printing, 2003.  Comments:  This book includes a chapter that tells the story of each of 32 Army Chaplains, five Navy Chaplains and one Jewish Cantor that served in the Philippines and became POWs of the Japanese.  In telling the story of these heroic men, the author (whose brother, 1st Lt. Charles E. Roper, was in the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment and was captured on Corregidor) gives a new insight into life of the POWs.

Schaefer, Chris, Bataan Diary, Riverview Publishing, 2004, ISBN: 0976108402  Comments: For more information about this well-acclaimed book, see

Sides, Hampton, Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission, Doubleday, 2001, ISBN: 0385495641Comments:  During a symposium held at Fredericksburg, Texas during the 2002 Convention of the ADBC; all of the panel members praised this book as being a very accurate account of the actions from Bataan up to the conclusion of the raid by the 6th Ranger Battalion, the Alamo Scouts and the Filipino Guerrillas to liberate POWs remaining at Cabanatuan.  Those panel members were survivors of the actions described in the book.

Smith, Stanley W., Prisoner of the Emperor: an American POW in World War II, The University Press of Colorado, 1991, ISBN: 087081222X.

Stahl, Bob, Fugitives: Evading and Escaping the Japanese, The University Press of Kentucky, 2001, ISBN: 0813122244.  Comments: The writer of this book was inserted into Mindanao (along with Charles Smith who had previously sailed a small boat to Australia to get word to MacArthur about the Mindanao Guerrillas) by the USS Narwhal in November 1943.Stewart, Sidney, Give Us This Day, Norton, 1956, ISBN: 0393319210 Comments:  This is likely the first published account of the Oryoku Maru disaster after World War II.  It is Stewart's personal account of his WWII and POW days.  He details the hellship, raw and uncensored.  He also writes about the vital and heroic role of the chaplains in his experience.

Taylor, Vince, Cabanatuan-Japanese Death Camp, Texian Press, 1985, ISBN: 0872440699.

Tenney, Lester I., My Hitch in Hell: the Bataan Death March, Brassey's, 1995, ISBN: 1574888064.

Tenney, Lester I., The Courage to Remember: PTSD - From Trauma to Triumph, Lester Tenney Publishing, 2014, ISBN: 0990638014  Comments: Click on Tenney to see a message from Lester Tenney about his new book.

Thomas, Edward E., As I Remember: A Barge from Corregidor, a March from Bataan, a Fence at Cabanatuan, The Author, 1990, ISBN: 0962678902.

Utinsky, Margaret, Miss U, The Naylor Co., 1948.

Volckmann, R. W., We Remained; Three years behind enemy lines in the Philippines, W. W. Norton & Co, 1963.  Comments: This book was written by the leader on one of the main guerrilla groups on Luzon.

Wainwright, Jonathan M., General Wainwright's Story: the account of four years of humiliating defeat, surrender and captivity, Doubleday & Company, 1946, ISBN: 0553240617.

Walker, Scott, Edge of Terror: The Heroic Story of American Families Trapped in the Japanese-Occupied Philippines, Thomas Dunne Books, 2009, ISBN: 0312338341. Comments: Drawing on diaries, memoirs, family interviews, and military archives, Scott Walker describes daily life of brave American civilians on Panay during the Japanese occupation and the danger these Americans faced in their efforts to serve both God and country. This is a story of profound tragedy and miraculous escape.

Wallace, John W., POW 83: Shinyo Maru Survivor, Chatham NY Gray Rider, 1999, ISBN: 0967373301. Comments: This book is about Pfc. John Mackowski who was a survivor of the sinking of the Hellship Shinyo Maru on September 7, 1944.

Waterford, Van, Prisoners of the Japanese in World War II: statistical history, personal narratives, and memorials concerning POWs in camps and on hellships, civilian internees, Asian slave laborers, and others captured  in the Pacific Theater, McFarland & Company, 1994, ISBN: 0899508936Comments:  Part I of this book contains general information relating to POWs.  Part II contains an very complete list of POW Camps and Civilian Internment Camps used by the Japanese during World War II as well as information on many of the Hellships.

Weinstein, Alfred A., Barbed Wire Surgeon, Macmillan, 1948.

Weller, George & Anthony, First into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and its Prisoners of War, Random House, 2006, ISBN: 0307342018Comments: George Weller, a Pulitzer Prize– winning war correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, entered Nagasaki on September 6, 1945, four weeks after the atomic blast leveled the city. The first Westerner to tour the city's ruins, he talked with doctors at the makeshift hospitals and scoured the countryside in search of the POW camps scattered across southern Japan over several weeks. His eyewitness dispatches were intercepted and censored. Weller saved his carbons, but they disappeared in the hectic months after the war and remained lost for 60 years, until rediscovered after his death by his son Anthony, himself a journalist and a novelist (The Garden of the Peacocks). Weller's dispatches from Nagasaki are riveting even at this late date, though they are only a small part of the book. His extensive interviews with POWs mostly reinforce what we already know about their brutal treatment. The book also offers an account of one of the so-called "death ships" that carried POWs from the Philippines to Japan (also, see "Weller" under the "Other Publications" heading below for links to versions of these articles as they appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and in the Chicago Daily News), and a 1966 essay on Weller's experiences in Nagasaki.

Whitman, John W., Bataan, Our Last Ditch: the Bataan Campaign, 1942, Hippocrene Books, 1991, ISBN: 0870528777.  Comments: A Bataan veteran says "this is the way it was". John Whitman brought to life Bataan as it really was. A thorough book which appeals to every Bataan survivor. Richard M. Gordon Major, US Army, Retired Adjutant, "Battling Bastards of Bataan". December 31, 1997.

Wilbanks, Bob, Last Man Out: Glenn McDole, USMC, Survivor of the Palawan Massacre in World War II, McFarland & Co, Inc, 2004, ISBN: 0786418222.  Comments: This book begins with the defense of Corregidor Island and tells about terrible conditions as POWs of the Japanese culminating with the Palawan Massacre on December 14, 1944 where 139 POWs suffered a horrible death.  Only eleven POWs survived, escaped to join guerrilla forces and eventually returned home to tell the truth about what happened that day.

Wilber, Dale, The Last Voyage of the Arisan Maru, PublishAmerica, 2008, ISBN: 1-60441-981-4. Comments: Dale Wilber is a son of Arisan Maru survivor Avery Wilber who was in A Battery, 60th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA).

Wills, Donald H., The Sea Was My Last Chance, McFarland & Co., 1992, ISBN: 0899507603. Comments: Donald Wills escaped by jumping overboard from the Yashu Maru during the night of June 16, 1944 when that ship was off the northwest coast of Mindanao taking POWs from Davao Penal Colony to Cebu City.  That was the night after John H. McGee jumped overboard when the ship was in Zamboanga harbor.  Both men joined guerrilla forces on Mindanao.  See John McGee's book listed above.

Wolfert, Ira, American Guerrilla in the Philippines, Simon & Schuster, 1945.  Comments: This book tells the story of U.S. Navy Lt. Iliff D. Richardson who was XO of PT-34 in Motor Torpedo Squadron #3.  Rather than become a POW, he became a guerrilla and served an important role in getting intelligence information to GHQ SWPA in Australia.

Wright, John M., Jr., Captured on Corregidor: diary of an American P. O. W. in World War II, McFarland & Company, 1988, ISBN: 0899503470.

Young, Donald J., The Battle of Bataan: a history of the 90 day siege and eventual surrender of 75,000 Filipino and United States troops to the Japanese in World War II, McFarland, 1992, ISBN: 0786441801.

Zimbler, Sheldon, Undaunted Valor: The Men of Mukden - In Their Own Words, Tri-State Publishing, 2008, ISBN: 0972221514Comments: This account is composed of personal interviews, diaries, correspondences, and memoirs of the survivors.


Publications Concerning the USS Houston and the POW Camps on the Burma-Siam (Burma-Thailand) Railroad:

Bailey, Ronald, Prisoners of War (World War II Ser.), Time-Life Books, Inc., 1981, ISBN: 0809433931.

Bergamini, David, Japan's Imperial Conspiracy, Morrow, 1971, ISBN: 0773458972.

Blair, Joan, Return from the River Kwai, Simon & Schuster, 1979, ISBN: 0671242784.

Casford, John S., Line of Lost Lives, Gryphon Books, 1988.

Charles, H. Robert, Last Man Out, Austin, TX, Eakin Press, 1988, ISBN: 0890156476.  Comments: The author was a Marine machine-gunner on the USS Houston.

Clark, Hugh V., A Life for Every Sleeper: a Pictorial Record of the Burma-Thailand Railway, Boston, Allen & Unwin, 1986.

Clavell, James, King Rat, Dell, 1962, ISBN: 0440145465.

Day, Clarence Nixon, Hodio: Tales of an American P.O.W., Stackpole Books, 1984, ISBN: 0934802130.

Dunlop, Weary, The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop: Java and the Burma-Thailand Railway, 1942-1945, Penguin, 1986, ISBN: 1852910216.

Dunn, Benjamin, The Bamboo Express, Adams Press, 1979.

Edwards, Jack, Banzai You Bastards, London, Souvenir, 1991, ISBN: 0285631780.

English, Jeff, One for Every Sleeper: the Japanese Death Railway through Thailand, London, Hale, 1989, ISBN: 070903864X.

Ginn, John L., Sugamo Prison, Tokyo: an Account of the Trail and Sentencing of Japanese War Criminals in 1948, McFarland & Co., 1992, ISBN: 0899507395.

Gordon, Ernest, Through the Valley of the Kwai: From Death-Camp Despair to Spiritual Triumph, Harper & Row, 1962 and Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1997, ISBN: 1579100368.

Hardie, Robert, The Burma-Siam Railway: the Secret Diary of Robert Hardie, 1942-45, London, Quadrant Books, 1983.

Hileman, Millard E. & Fridlund, Paul, 1051: An American POW's Remarkable Journey Through World War II, Words Worth Press, 1992, ISBN: 0915214261.

Hitchcock, W. Pat, Forty Months in Hell, Page Publishing, 1996, ISBN: 096519700X.

LaForte, Robert S. & Marcello, Ronald E., Building the Death Railway - The Ordeal of American POWs in Burma, 1942-1945, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1992, ISBN: 084202428X.

Lane, John, Sayonara, Australia, Yunderup, W. A., 1991, ISBN: 0646074539.

Parkin, Ray, Ray Parkin's Wartime Trilogy: Out of the Smoke, Into the Smother and The Sword and the Blossom, Melbourne University Press, Victoria, Australia, 1999, ISBN: 0522850677.

Scoggs, Dick, The Soap Man and the Railroad of Death, Dorranco, 1971.

Searle, Ronald, To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939-1945, The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986, ISBN: 0871130734.

Seiker, Fred, Lest We Forget: the Railway of Death, Worcester, Bevere Vivis Gallwery Books, 1995, ISBN: 0952698722.

Shultz, Duane P., The Last Battle Station: the Story of the USS Houston, St. Martin's Press, 1985, ISBN: 031246973X.

Thompson, Kyle, A Thousand Cups of Rice: Surviving the Death Railway, Eakin Press, 1994, ISBN: 0890159904.

Wall, Don, Heroes at Sea, Mona Vale, NSW, Australia, 1991, ISBN: 0646035789.

Wall, Don, Heroes of F Force, Mona Vale, NSW, Australia, 1993, ISBN: 0646160478.

Wall, Don, Sandakan Under Nippon: The Last March, Mona Vale, NSW, Australia, 1989, ISBN: 0646329073.

Winslow, Walter G., Fleet the Gods Forgot: the U.S. Asiatic Fleet in World War II, Naval Institute Press, 1982, ISBN: 0870211889.

Winslow, Walter G., The Ghost of the Java Coast (Saga of the USS Houston), Coral Reef Publications, 1974, ISBN: 0914042009.

Winslow, Walter G., The Ghost that Died at Sunda Strait, Naval Institute Press, 1984, ISBN: 1557509271.


Other Publications:

Johnson, Harold K. (later General and Chief of Staff, U.S. Army), Extract From Philippine Postscripts dated December 1945

Moore, Bruce M., Strong to Endure: the wartime story of Captain George Moore, American Historical Collection Foundation, Inc., Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines, (three Parts) Vol. XXVIII No. 2 (111), 3 (112) & 4 (113).

Weller, George, Voyage of the Death Ship -- Manila to Japan, Series of 19 articles Published in the San Francisco Chronicle, November 1945.  Click "Death Ships" to see these articles.  Click "Death Ships -2" to see the articles as they appeared in the Chicago Daily News, also in November 1945 (The articles in the second link were provided by Patricia Prickett through Roger Mansell). See also Weller, George and Anthony under the "Books" heading above.



Chynoweth, Bradford G., Visayan Castaways, Unpublished manuscript that is located in Box 1 of the Mark M. Wohlfeld Collection at the Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Hopkins, Armand, Memo for American Passengers Aboard the U.S.S. Noble, dated 12 September 1945.  This memo was written during the voyage taking liberated POWs from Korea to Manila.  Click Hopkins-Noble to see the memo in PDF format.

Hopkins, Armand, Prisoner of War 1942 -1945, Unpublished manuscript that is with other papers of his in the library at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.  Click Hopkins to see the manuscript in PDF format.

Mitchell, Eugene, The Eugene Mitchell Papers, Unpublished collection of papers held by the Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Olson, John E., The John E. Olson Papers, Unpublished collection of papers held by the Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Phillips, Paul D., The Paul D. Phillips Papers, Unpublished collection of papers held by the Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Tarkington, Hiram W., There Were Others, Unpublished manuscript that is in the Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA in box 5 of 19 boxes of backup papers for Louis Morton's book, The Fall of the PhilippinesComments:  The author states that much has been written about the defense of the Philippines on Luzon, particularly Bataan; however, he adds "There Were Others" and his manuscript documents the defensive campaigns of the Visayas and Mindanao.  Click TWO to see the manuscript in PDF format.

Wohlfeld, Mark M., The Mark M. Wohlfeld Collection, Unpublished collection of papers held by the Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.


Additional References:

These links to bibliographies have been recommended by Patricia Wadley who is the POW Historian and Archivist for the AXPOW.

The American P.O.W. Experience, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO -  This link opens a PDF document.  As you can tell from the Table of Contents, the portion of the bibliography that will be of most interest is "World War II" which begins on page 38.

U.S. Navy Prisoners of War During World War II: A Bibliography, Washington, DC, Department of the Navy. Navy Historical Center, 2001.  This bibliography includes many of the books listed above.  It includes some information about POWs of the Germans.