Fuk-22 Main     Camp List
Source: Wes Injerd

31 July 1946


The geographical distances of this camp from Moji (30 miles southwest) and Fukuoka (40 miles east) thence 5 miles southeast of the City of Iizuka place it near the town of Aokuma [Okuma, Honami]. The coordinates are 33°33'N., 130°44'E. To reach Fukuoka No. 22 the prisoners, 29 in number, were taken by ambulance to the train. After a trip lasting several hours, which embraced a transfer from one train to another enroute, they finally detrained and laboriously covered the remaining distance on foot up the mountainside to Fukuoka #22. The prison compound was 300' x 400' surrounded by a wood fence 12' high.


Capt. Moore, Australian, was Dr. Officer, ranking officer was Capt. Flynn, Australian. Dr. Versol, Australian was head camp physician, and an American Medical Corpsmen by the name of Rogers was assistant to Dr. Versol. The senior ranking American officer was Capt. Carey Miller Smith, U.S. Navy Medical Corps. Of the 34 survivors of the 110 prisoners placed in the military hospital at Moji after rescue from the Hell Ship ORYOKU MARU and the succeeding Hell Ship starting with 1619 American prisoners of war from the Philippines on 13 Dec. 1944, 19 American Military Officers, 1 American Navy Officer, 1 American Marine Corps Officer and 8 enlisted men of the American Army and Navy were sent to Fukuoka #22 on 22 Feb. 1945 and 14 March 1945. Five prisoners of this detail of 34 men remained in Moji because of their physical condition. 29 of these prisoners left Fukuoka #22 on 26 April 1945 for Mukden Manchuria, and remained there until they were liberated by the Russians on 17 Aug. 1945. This camp was first occupied in Jan. 1943 by 104 Australian prisoners, 1 Dutch and 1 American. When the American prisoner left this location for Mukden the total prisoner personnel was 130 including the departing prisoners.


The Japanese Camp Commandant, the Japanese Camp doctor, his attendants and the guards have been referred in connection with their assignments, but not by name. There was no mention of beatings and other forms of cruelty.


(a) HOUSING FACILITIES: The following buildings constituted a part of the housing facilities:

(1) Six barracks 15' x 75' sub-divided into 5 sections each about 15' x 15' each section had sliding windows along the entire back. Double door openings onto a boardwalk were in the front. There was a 30' space between each row of barracks.

(2) Covered boardwalks about 10' wide were in front of each row of barracks leading to all other buildings in the compound.

(3) Basket making workhouse communicating with bath house also housed the camp barber shop.

(4) There were 2 air raid shelters 30' x 10' covered with 4' of dirt. All of the above buildings were of frame construction with tile roofs and wood floors except the bath room and that had a tile floor. The buildings were electrically lighted. Prisoners were bedded on mats placed on floors, about 10 prisoners to each room.

(b) LATRINES: There were 3 concrete deck latrines 15' x 15' straddle type adjacent to and communicating with the barracks by the covered board walks described in the preceding paragraph. Concrete pits were under the floor. Also there was a small latrine back of the hospital, 10' x 10'. Each latrine contained a urinal about 12' x 6'. No complaint of overflowing.

(c) BATHING: The bathing facilities were in a separate building. In it were 2 concrete vats 15' x 15', plenty of hot water and a smaller hot water vat for washing clothing. Concrete floor and frame building. About 10 prisoners at a time would sit in the baths under the voluntary watch care of the Australian workers. Each prisoner was allowed one bath per week. The Australian prisoners, by reason of the debilitated condition of the American prisoners, washed their clothing for them and also deloused their garments.

(d) MESS HALL: a separate frame building 24' x 60' with tile roof and concrete floor contained 4 long tables for the enlisted men and 3 smaller tables for officers. Identical mess was prepared for all prisoners. The prisoners able to walk had their meals in the mess hall. Food for bed-ridden prisoners was taken to them by Japanese ward attendants. The kitchen, which communicated with the mess hall, occupied space at the end of the mess hall. It was equipped with cooking cauldrons. A store room adjoined the kitchen. Australian prisoners did the cooking under Japanese supervision.

(e) FOOD: Basic daily ration was: mine workers, 705 grams of rice; maintenance personnel, 500 grams; hospital patients, 400 grams. Evening meal usually contained a small amount of thin watery vegetable soup and, about once a week, a little fish. Quality of the rice and soup was good, the fish occasionally had reached an advanced stage of decomposition. While the quality of the food was generally good, the quantity was entirely inadequate. The prisoners were hungry continually and could not build up their weight, which was under 100 pounds per man.

(f) MEDICAL FACILITIES: Hospital building was piped for steam heat but was pronounced to be cold. It was a frame structure 24' x 50', total bed capacity 25 patients. The beds were placed together which meant that 3 or 4 patients were occupying a space equivalent to one bed. Medical care was administered by a Japanese doctor and attendant assisted by a Dutch doctor. Capt. Smith, U.S. Navy medical officer, later on assisted in looking after the sick. All medicine was under control of the Japanese doctor. Adequate Red Cross medicines and medical supplies were in the camp but as usual they were doled out inadequately to meet the real needs of the patients. Again reference is made to the kind ministrations of the Australians who performed the most menial services for the American prisoners. The hospital patients were bedded on mattresses about 2 inches thick placed on platforms made of wood. The Japanese doctor would visit the hospital about twice weekly and usually would remain all day. He would call at the convalescent ward once weekly.

(g) SUPPLIES: (1) The Red Cross had provided food parcels, medicines and medical supplies but, as usual, these articles had been stored in the camp storehouse upon the claim of the commandant that they would be held for an emergency. That foreseeable emergency was anticipated air raids. 125 Red Cross parcels, both food and medicine were received during April 1945 none of which had been made available when the detail of 20 prisoners left the camp on 25 April 1945 for Mukden, Manchuria. The Australian prisoners divided with the Americans some of their allotments from the British Red Cross.

(2) JAPANESE ISSUE: The special detail of 16 prisoners reaching Fukuoka #22 in Feb. 1945 were given an overcoat, green Japanese military uniform, underwear, shoes, towels & blankets. The remaining 13 prisoners of this special detail reaching #22 in March 1945, received no clothing. This detail was given 5 cigarettes per man per week.

(h) MAIL:

(1) Incoming: None.

(2) Outgoing: None.

(i) WORK: None of the American prisoners were able to work in the coal mines. That work was performed by the Australian prisoners. The American officers able to walk did administrative work and gardening 6 hours per day. The coal mines were operated on 2 shifts of 12 hours each. Each prisoner was required to perform a certain task each day -- namely to mine a given number of cars. It was a hard job, especially on inadequate rations, under dangerous working conditions, with no safety measures. There was no elevator in the mines and the prisoners were made to walk down and up 382 steps each day.

(j) TREATMENT: In comparison with other Japanese camps in which the Americans had been prisoners, the treatment was good, except the prisoners suffered from lack of heat and inadequate food. During air raids, which were becoming more and more frequent, the guards were confused as to the safest thing to do. Some of the guards opened wide the windows. Others would order the windows to be closed and the shades pulled down. At night there were opposite actions in regard to lights, some guards would let them stay on, others would not. Eating and smoking were not allowed during raids. The air raid shelters belied their name, they were traps, and all prisoners who could walk were made to go there and stand for hours in the cold. Thoughtfully the camp commandant suggested to the Sr. American officer that a memorial service in memory of the late President of the United States be arranged. The service was arranged and conducted by the camp Chaplain. When the 29 prisoners of the special detail of 34 prisoners left #22 in April 1945, they were compelled to give up the Japanese issue of clothing except the uniform. These prisoners still suffered from beriberi and dysentery and their weight varied from 88 to 94 pounds.

(k) PAY: (1) Officers: Some officers were paid 95 yen per month. For the most part the pay was a book transaction. The savings were supposed to be deposited in Japanese Postal Savings, but no recovery was accomplished by the officers. The money paid the officers upon their departure from Moji was, with the exception of 10 pesos, taken from them upon arrival at #22, and there is no report that it was recovered.

(2) Enlisted Men: 10 to 15 sen daily.

(l) RECREATION: No forms of amusement was provided. Even so the American prisoners were too weak to engage in any sports that required physical effort. The YMCA had provided a library of 200 books.

(m) RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES: Brief religious services were held weekly by Australian and American Chaplains. Special services were held in the hospital and the mine workers were afforded the opportunity of attending religious services which had been arranged for them.

(n) MORALE: Excellent as underground reports carried news of the favorable progress of the war.


The group of 29 American prisoners sent from Moji to Fukuoka #22 were taken to the City of Fukuoka on 25 April 1945, where they were joined, but without being allowed to intermingle, by other American prisoners from other camps in the Fukuoka district. They were transported by steamer to Pusan, Korea, and thence by train to Mukden arriving on 29 April 1945.