Mukden Recovery Team Notes

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1992-1996 Findings Of The WWII Working Group
Russia & United States

On 29 August 1945, the nineteen-man POW Recovery Team No. 1 arrived in Mukden to reinforce and assist the initial OSS contact team. With the arrival of the larger team, processing of the liberated POWs began in earnest. Much of this effort involved paperwork; POWs filling out identification forms and completing questionnaires concerning possible war crimes violations by their Japanese captors. It also involved immunizations and other medical treatment of the prisoners and graves registration work. Remains of POWs buried in the camp cemetery were identified and prepared for exhumation and eventual reburial in permanent American military cemeteries.

Evacuation of American POWs from the Mukden area began shortly after the initial OSS team arrived and ended by mid-September. The first group left by air on 21 August, eighteen POWs needing immediate medical assistance. Another thirty medical cases were evacuated by air on 24 August. On 27 August General Wainwright and the other VIPs departed by air. But most of the POWs went by train from Mukden to the port of Darien, where they boarded US Navy ships, the hospital ship USS Relief and the transport USS Colbert, for evacuation to Okinawa and then home. Aboard ship they were deloused, issued new clothing, and received additional medical and dental treatment as needed. The railroad movements (loading rosters with name & rank by nationality) from Mukden to Darien occurred on 10 and 11 September. Relief sailed from Darien for Okinawa on 12 September, Colbert departed on the 13 August. The POW Recovery Team closed out its operation on 19 September 1945 and left Mukden by air for China Theater headquarters in Kunming.
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