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Ramey Report on POW camp Fukuoka #4

Source: US National Archives Record Group 331 Box 921. 
Transcribed from photographs of original documents provided by
Mr. Roger Mansell.

Editor's comments in blue or as links.  Unless noted, exhibits mentioned are not included.

Summary of the Investigation of POW Camp #4, of the Fukuoka POW Base Camp Headquarters.


Investigation of POW Camp #4 of the Fukuoka POW Base Camp Headquarters was undertaken by 1st Lt. Charles V. Ramey, ASN O-580168, accompanied by Tec 4 Taro Shimonura, ASN 36468393, ATIS Section, GHQ, SCAP, Toko, as interpreter, between the 17th and the 22nd of January 1946.


The POWs were housed in a former YMCA building in the North-eastern section of the city of Moji, Kyushu, Japan, in the first part of the war. After August, 1944, two additional buildings were also used by the POWs, the first being used in part as a messhall and officers’ sleeping quarters, and the second being used as a hospital. The second of these buildings had formerly been used to house the Camp Jap staff personnel, and office, which in August 1944 moved to another building adjacent to the YMCA building. Additional building in the camp site included a small stucco building that was used as a guardhouse, and a building used to house the latrines, urinals, washroom, and the bathroom of the POW’s. The YMCA building was of stone construction and was a two-story building, the interior of which was modified with wooden construction to provide three floors of POW quarters. The building housing the latrine and other facilities was of wooden construction with large cracks between the boards and of single board construction. The buildings used for the camp office, hospital, and messhall were of standard Japanese wooden construction. A sketch indicating the relationships of the buildings to each other is included in this report as Exhibit 10. A sketch of the guardhouse is included in this report as Exhibit 11.


There were eighteen latrines for the use of the POW’s. These latrines consisted merely of stalls over a concrete pit, with an uncovered hole in the floor. The washroom facilities consisted of a number of wooden sinks with merely cold water pumped to them. The bathing facilities merely consisted of a single concrete tub, about eight feet wide, four feet deep, and ten feet long, with the water being heated by some iron coils at one end of the tub, with a small coal stove attached to it as the source of heat.


The POWs were used as stevedores in the loading and unloading of Jap ships at anchor in the Moji Harbor, Moji, Kyushu, Japan, and in the warehouse district in and around the SOTOHAMA Railway Station in the city of Moji. The name of the company using the men working on the ships was the NYAKU KAISHA.  All work done by the POW's from this Camp was for one or another of the affiliates of the KANMON Stevedoring Company, an overall company controlling all dock work in the Moji-Shimonoseki area.


POW personnel included a standing population of around 300, including British, Dutch, and American, with the latter the predominant nationality. Lists of POW personnel of the Camp were unobtainable in Moji. POWs destined for all parts of Japan disembarked at Moji Harbor, and some of the weaker of these were assigned temporarily until their death to Camp 4. POWs that were dead on arrival at this port were cremated at the crematory used for the POWs of this Camp, and their ashes kept with those of the POW camp dead, namely in common grave on the hillside above the northeastern section of Moji, above the HONGANJI TEMPLE in KUSUNOKI-MACHI, in the city of Moji. The location of this burial site is indicated in Exhibit 6 of this report, as is the location of the city crematory of Moji where the POW were cremated, and the location of the camp itself.


A roster of the guards of this camp was unobtainable. However, some of the Jap personnel, both military and civilian, are mentioned in the statements of NAOYOSHI BABA, YUJI NAKAMURA, and MASAO NAGAMATSU listed respectively as exhibits 3), 4), and 5), of this summary.


Medical personnel for this camp, is listed in the statements of MASAO NAGAMATSU and YUJI NAKAMURA, Exhibits 5), and 4), of this summary. The Jap personnel included a 2nd lt. TOZO MAEKAWA, a 1st Lt. ATSUSHI AZUMA, a Sgt.-Maj. TANIGUCHI, Pvt’s. SAKAGAMI, and KIYOAGI UENO, and a civilian MORIO INOUYE. The POW medical personnel included a British Lt. BARCLAY [sic, BERKELEY], a Dutch Lt. DOPPERT, a United States Navy Pharmacist’s Mate DAUL, two orderlies, an American [sic, British] named LEVY, and a British named HOLTHAM.  [External link to affidavit of Dr. Berkeley.  Incorrectly identified as related to the Moji (actually Kokura) Military hospital].


The POW at first did not receive hospital treatment. They remained in their own beds in the camp, while undergoing treatment. During the period of convalescence, and while they were assigned light duty in the camp area, they were not given the customary 705 grams of rice or its substitutes. See statement of YUJI NAKAMURA, Exhibit 4.


The dead of the camp and the POW dead on arrival at Moji Harbor, were cremated in the city crematory of Moji, which is at Moji-shi, Maruyama-machi, 2 Chome, Number 1215. the ashes of the POW dead were originally stored in the camp itself, and later moved to a temple nearby the camp for storage. This temple subsequently burned down. [Probably Daiyuji temple.] Later, in May, 1945, the ashes of all POW dead were interred in a common grave on the hillside above HONGANJI TEMPLE, in KUSUNOKI-MACHI, in the city of Moji. The ashes of subsequent dead were also put in this same grave. This grave has been beautified by the Japs, on the order of the Allied Occupation Forces of that city, and the ashes of the POW dead still remain at that site.


Lighting facilities were evident in very building except the one,, and only confinement cell of the guardhouse. However, lighting available for the POW at night, was highly restricted. See statement of YUJI NAKAMURA, Exhibit 4.


The camp was bordered for the most part with stone walls that existed prior to the usage of the area as a POW camp site. Small distances of open ground had barded wire fences. NO evidence of electrification of these fences exist.


The guardhouse was a small, unheated stucco building near the gate of the camp area. There were three rooms in this building. The first, about ten feet square, was of problematic usage, although it is presumed that it was used as an office. The middle room was used as sleeping quarters for the guards that were on duty, and was also ten feet square. The last room was the only cell in the building, and was about eight feet long, by four feet wide, and was about 10 feet high. It was unheated, and unlighted except for the amount of light that could come through an opening about three by eight inches, by the side of the door to the cell.


No evidence of torture devices existed in the camp area.


Enclosed herewith are the following Exhibits to be considered a part of this report.

  1)    Death record extracts from the Death Records of the City Hall at Moji, Kyushu, Japan relating to POW personnel

  2)    Extracts from the records of the city crematory at Moji, Kyushu, Japan

  3)    Statement of NAOYOSHI BABA

  4)    Statement of YUJI NAKAMURA

  5)    Statement of MASAO NAGAMATSU

  6)    City map of Moji, Kyushu, Japan, showing the locations of the POW camp, the POW burial site, the crematory.

  7)    Pictures of the Camp Site  [see Fukuoka #4 main page]

  8)    List of captions for the above pictures [see Fukuoka #4 main page]

  9)    Affidavit of Lt. Col. Charles W. Stratton, who furnished above Exhibits 1), and 2), to the undersigned

10)    Overall sketch of the camp site area (not to scale)  [exhibits 10 & 11]

11)    Sketch of the guardhouse (not to scale)  [exhibits 10 & 11]


Investigating Officer
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP