Norman E Churchill, SCAP Investigations Officer affidavit regarding
conditions at Kamioka (#1) and Funatsu (#3)

Nagoya #3 Funatsu Main

Source: RG 331 Box 940


NORMAN E. CHURCHILL, after having been duly sworn, testified at room 411, Dai-Ichi building, Tokyo, as follows:

Q. Please give your name, rank, and serial number.
A. NORMAN E. CHURCHILL, 1st Lt., O-1327103.

Q. What is your organization and your duty with the organization?
A. Officer in charge of Recovered Personnel, A.G. Section, GHQ, Tokyo.

Q. When did you come to Japan and with what unit?
A. I Arrived on 2 September 1945, attached to the 11th Corps.

Q. What was your duty when you arrived in Japan?
A. Recovering Allied prisoners-of-war.

Q. Where can we contact you for the next six months?
A. Recovered Personnel Section, AG-GHQ, Tokyo.

Q. Were you ever at the prisoner-of-war camps at Kamioka or Funatsu?
A. Yes, I have been to both.

Q. On what date?
A. September 3, 1945.

Q. Were there prisoners there at the time?
A. Yes.

Q. What is the location of these camps?
A. These camps are near the town of FUNATSU, about 70 miles north of Nagoya. Funatsu is located by a river and Kamioka is about 5 miles by road from Funatsu.

Q. Are these camps known by any other name?
A. Kamioka was also known as Nagoya Branch #1; Funatsu as Nagoya Branch #3.

Q. How many prisoners were at the camp on September 3, 1945 and what were their nationalities?
A. Kamioka had 594 POW's; Funatsu had 318. No accurate records are available as to their nationalites but Kamioka had approximately 200 Americans, 200 Dutch, and the remaining 194 were British. Funatsu had approximately 134 Americans and the remaining 184 were British.

Q. Please describe the conditions at these camps.
A. I will describe the FUNATSU camp (Nagoya Branch #3) first. It was bordered on one side by a very steep bank which provided a natural barrier against escape. The part not protected by the bank was surrounded by a fence about ten feet high.

The buildings were typically Japanese - frame and of flimsy construction - and afforded no protection against the extreme cold in such a high altitude in the mountains. One of the barracks, a building of one-story construction about 100 feet long, housed the hospital and warehouse, camp guards' and commandants' quarters, and latrine. Another building housed the kitchen and improvised shower. A third building of two-story construction, housed the majority of the prisoners.

The latrines were very unsanitary due to the lack of water for flushing and cleaning purposes. The commodes were cans placed below the floor-boards and these had to be emptied each day or every other day. The prisoners' quarters were filthy and were infested with vermin, fleas, lice, and ratts. There were no beds and the prisoners had to sleep on mats placed on the floor.

The so-called dispensary stock was very meager and inadequate. Supplies consisted entirely old salves and pills, with surgical instruments being non-existent. In my tour, I saw no heating facilities whatsoever. Bedding seemed plentiful at that time since each man had two or three blankets. Prisoners told me, however, that before the end of the war the supply was not so large, each man having only one blanket; some had two. The kitchen, which had only a dirt floor, was very unsanitary and badly in need of repair. Sanitation insofar as preparing food was concerned, was impossible due to the low water supply which did not permit the proper cleaning of cooking utensils.

I saw one cell. It was located in the guards' quarters and was approximately 8 feet high, 6 feet long, and 4 feet wide. It had no heating or lighting facilities and due to the large cracks in the walls, it must have been very cold in there. I was told that the temperature sometimes drops as low as 45 degrees below zero. On the night that I slept at this camp. I had eight blankets and was still very cold and uncomfortable.

The men that I saw were in very poor physical condition and the sickness ratge of both camps was the worst in the Nagoya area combined. On September 4, 1945, from the two camps, 29 hospital cases were taken by truck to Nagoya to b e flown to Yokohama. One mad had suffered frost-bite in both feet and due to the lack of care all of his toes had been amputated. Many of them were suffering from malnutrition and beri-beri.

The prisoners' diet was very meager. At the end of the war, this diet had been supplemented with supplies that had been dropped by our airplanes. I received an invitation to eat but could not force myself to eat any of their food because it was prepared under such unsanitary conditions.

At the Kamioka (#1) Camp, conditions were very similar except that it was more crowded. In one room, 25' by 25', 60 Dutchmen were living. They had to sleep on shelves. This room would hardly accommodate twenty or twenty five men comfortably.

Kamioka had three barracks for the prisoners, one each of the Americans, British, and Dutch. There was a warehouse and a guard house, but I saw no cell block. Two of the barracks were 100' long and 30' wide of two-story construction, the third housed the Dutch. This camp was surrounded by a board fence about 10 feet high. The water supply, sanitation facilities, food conditions, and latrines were about the dame as the Funatsu camp. Here, also, there were not sufficient medical supplies to take care of the men who were sick. From this camp came the man who had suffered from frostbite of his feet and which I mentioned earlier. I personally saw this man and his condition.

Q. Please explain the conditions at the work-sites.
A. I did not see the interior of these sites but reports from POW's state that safety devices were unheard of and no precautions taken to safeguard anyone. Injuries were quite common. The men worked either in the smelter or the mines, those that were unable to work were given jobs in the compound. The officers received 25 sen per day, the NCO's received, 15 sen and the Privates received 10 sen.

Q. Do you know that names of the camp commandants?
A. No, when I arrived all the Japanese had left.

Q. Were these camps located in rocky and mountainous terrain?
A. Yes.

Q. What was the temperature on the night of September 3, 1945?
A. I saw no thermometer but I should judge it to have been just about at freezing.

Q. About the hospital cases that you mentioned being taken from the two camps on September 4th, what was the ratio for the respective camps?
A. Of the twenty nine cases, six were from Kamioka (#1) and twenty-three from Funatsu (#3).

Q. Is there anyone else in this theater who can witness to all of these conditions that you have described?
A. Yes., Pfc. Kenneth F. PARPART. He is a member of Recovery Team #53 and is now in Manila.

Q. Do you have anything further to add to your statement
A. No.

/S/ Norman E. Churchill
Norman E. Churchill

Allied Occupation Forces
City of Tokyo

I, NORMAN E. CHURCHILL, being duly sworn on oath, state that I have read and understood the foregoing transcription of mu interrogation and all answers contained therein, consisting of three (3) pages, are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
/S/ Norman E. Churchill

Subscribed and sworn to before me on this 12th day of December, 1945.
/S/ James B. Ammon 2d Lt. F.A.
JAMES B. AMMON, O-1185962, 2d Lt. FA,
Investigating Officer
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP


We, JAMES B. AMMON, 2n Lt., FA, O-1185962, and SAMUEL E. WALTERS, 2d Lt., Inf., O-1332112, certify that on 12th day of December, 1945, personally appeared before us, NORMAN E. CHURCHILL, and gave the foregoing answers to several questions set forth; that after his testimony had been transcribed, the said NORMAN E. CHURCHILL read the same and affixed his signature thereto in our presence.

/s/ James B. Ammon 2d Lt. FA
JAMES B. AMMON, O-1185962, 2d Lt. FA,
Investigating Officer
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP

/s/ Samuel E. Walters, 2d Lt. Inf
Investigating Officer
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP