Fukuoka POW Camp #17

Main Page     Camp List      About Us

SPECIAL PAGES - WWII Japanese POW Camp Fukuoka #17 - Omuta

Fukuoka #17 Branch POW Camp
NARA: RG 389, Box 2124, 2127 & others

Satellite map
Aerial (Nov. 1947;
courtesy of Japan Map Archives)
Area map

Camp Medical Report and History:
Medical and historical report by Dr Hewlitt. Narrative of the medical difficulties faced by the POW doctors despite the deliberate withholding of medical supplies.
Gibbs Report: Overview of camp history
Red Cross Committee cablegram describing IRCC delegate camp visit on April 24, 1944: "Total strength... 501 Americans... Sufficient foods... No complaints about treatment."

Camp Photographs & Sketches

4 pages, total of 20 photographs. Composite page
FUK-17 Photos - Camp view, Benjo latrine, Inside room, Koreans stoking the furnaces, Camp kitchen which fed 1735 men, Koreans working in the mines, Koreans placing roof supports, Dutch Barracks 7 men squad, Overall view of camp, Barracks with pool, Guard shack

Time Line: (Special thanks to Jim Erickson)
7 Aug 1943: Camp opens with 500 Americans arriving on Clyde Maru. (Mati Mati Maru) Pows # 1 to 500
24 March 44: Seven Americans arrive- POWs # 501 to 507 POW Kenwa Maru
19 June 1944: group of Aussies, British & Dutch arrived on Teia Maru. Had been on the Burma-Thailand railroad.Australians #s 507-655; British #s 657-664 and Dutch 668-928.
June or July 1944 200 British arrive on Hioki Maru (not sure of dates)
2 Sept 1944: 200 Americans arrive from Philippines aboard Canadian Inventor.
16 Jan 1945: Approximately 191 Australians arrive aboard Awa Maru.
Jan/Feb 1945: 95 Americans arrive ex Brazil Maru (Oryoku/Enoura/Brazil Maru survivors); and 95 British, Dutch, Czech, Norwegian, and American arrive aboard either Melbourne Maru or Enoshima Maru. The later included survivors of Hofuku Maru.
June 1945: a group of X Aussies arrive (#s >1893). They had been brought to Japan in Sept 1944 aboard Rashin Maru and were initially held at Fukuoka 13-D Oita before being transferred to #17
Sept 1945: Rescue effected
Primary Slave Labor Use:
Coal mining work - Mitsui Mining Company, Miike Coal Mine
NOTE: The Miike Coal Mine, railway and port have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution. See this video explanation (also here).

Major Hell Ships:
See major discussion of camp arrivals by Jim Erickson
Known ships: Clyde Maru

Camp Rosters:
1737 POWs (730 American, 420 Australian, 332 Dutch, 250 British and 5 other nationalities; 138 deaths)
Americans (includes Dutch)
Civilian Roster (USA)
British Roster
Rescued Australians Roster

FUK-17 Rosters 1946-02-16 - ORIGINALS
Additional rosters (RG 407 Box 102) - also lists where captured and date of arrival at camp

Roster prepared with the cooperation of POW Research Network - Japan. Based upon Japanese records
FUK-17 death roster and certificates (RG407 Box 187):
Part 1: American, Dutch, British, Australian, Czechoslovakian, Canadian, British Indian, British West Indian, Malayan, Chinese, British Guiana POWs & civilians
Part 2: American, British and Dutch death certificates, Japanese with English translations

Books Describing Life at Fukuoka #17
"The Forgotten Gordon Highlander" by Alistair Urquhart
"A Gordon Highlander if ever I saw one" by William Ross Young and John Duff

Special pages originally developed by a school in Lewiston, Idaho specifically for Fukuoka #17, OUTSTANDING webpages originally developed by students in the Lewiston Idaho school by Linda Dahl Weeks (picture of Linda and her students). Packed with information on the men and the camp.

Affidavit of SSgt Frank Stecklein describes fierce beating by Japanese guards.
Link to Fukuoka POW pages
Harold G.Kurvers "Snuff" - survived the Oryoku Maru - Interview transcript
Frank Lovato - Survivor video (book)

Assorted files courtesy of Richard Szczepanski, son of Joseph Szczepanski:

James Brock Diary excerpts (courtesy of Brian Thompson) - List of names of men who were with Brock; includes newspaper article from Sept. 6, 1945

Interview with Jim Bashleben of the 192nd Tank Bn; links also to live interview, sketches
Article on C.M. Graham, former POW and author
Japanese Camp Staff:
See Guard Personnel

Oscar Otero, 200th Coast Artillery

Special Photo Collection (courtesy of Bettyanne Otero Metzgar)

"My dad, Oscar Otero, was at Fukuoka Camp 17. He was with the 200th Coast Artillery and, as mentioned in the newspaper clipping, Fifth Intercept. After liberation, the two photos of Baron Mitsui were taken in his home with his family. My dad was acting body guard and interpreter (seated at back wall) to his CO -- my father was fluent in Japanese. Several places my dad is listed with quartermaster, medic, burial duty, artillery, body guard, interpreter, cook and, of course, in the mines. Thank you for the opportunity of sharing these with this site." --Bettyanne Metzgar

"Happy to find out he is alive!" -- handwritten on Red Cross letter regarding cable sent to Otero on Sept. 25, 1944

"What did not show clearly on the pictures of Baron Mitsui I sent is my father's handwritten date of Aug 20, 1945. Also, that picture of the officer that is attached to the same album page is maybe Major Schott, who is noted on page 92, second paragraph. I know he taught the men to brush their teeth with twigs."

"My father was fluent in Japanese and included are the San Diego photos of him interpreting after liberation."

"Here is the picture of Father [Albert] Braun who was in one of the Philippine camps with my dad. In Japan I think he was interned farther north [Omori]. New Mexico has his own history with the Native Americans and I think in WWI."

"Albuquerque had a returning Bataan Parade -- the photo was taken on the steps of the Masonic Temple in Albuquerque, which used to be downtown on the corner of 6th St NW and Central Ave."

Oscar Otero died on March 25, 1951.