by James W. Erickson
The image on the right was copied from "The Story of Henry Whittinghill". It depicts "a hospital patient at Cabanatuan in the recuperative stage". The identities of the man and the artist are unknown; but the drawing could easily depict my father, Albert Erickson, on one of his daily walks in early 1943 as he slowly regained weight and strength after the ravages of malaria, dysentery, beri-beri, scurvy, and pellagra, had left him near death, and weighing less than 80 pounds. Two years later, my father, again near death and weighing 80 lbs, began another period of slow recovery having survived the terrible 47 day journey to Japan aboard the hellships Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru, and Brazil Maru.
This purpose of this page is to help tell the stories, and thus, keep alive the memory of the many Allied POWs who suffered so terribly at the hands of their Japanese captors during WWII. My goal is to provide accurate information to assist descendants of former POWs, historians, and other interested people in learning about this often neglected part of the Second World War, as well as its effects on the victims, families, and survivors. My emphasis is on material related to the approximately 21,500 American POWs surrendered in the Philippines; however, considerable information related to British, Dutch, and American POWs captured in other locations is included.
Much of the material available here is a result of years of personal research. This includes POW camp and hellship rosters, summations of those rosters, as well as descriptions, photos and artwork depicting hellships and POW camps. The material is freely available for use by individuals or schools for research, or teaching, provided the source is acknowledged. No original material may be used for commercial purposes, or copied to another website, without permission from the webmaster and appropriate citation.
Moji-area POW "Hospitals": Kokura Military Hospital, Shimonoseki Quarantine Station, and Fukuoka 4B
Palawan POW camp Complete roster of Palawan Massacre
Celebes Maru | Clyde Maru | France Maru | Hawaii Maru | Kyokko Maru | Nagara Maru | Pacific Maru | Suzuya Maru | Thames Maru | Yuzan Maru |
Oryoku Maru/Enoura Maru/Brazil Maru (external link) | Shinyo Maru (external link) | Clyde Maru | Nagara Maru (Suzuya Maru) | Pacific Maru (Aki Maru) | Yuzan Maru |
Roger Mansell, Mark Kelso, Michael Hurst, Wes Injerd, John Lewis, Duane Heisinger, and members of the Japanese-POW listserv, the Descendant's Group--American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, and the POW Research Network Japan have made important contributions of information, documents, and research that helped make this website possible. Some of their contributions, and those of others, are acknowledged within. I thank them for their help, encouragement, and interest.