Hell Ship transfers into Omuta

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Movement of POW Into Omuta
Research by Jim Erickson, Texas A&M - see his Home Page

The first 500 POWs arrived at Camp #17 on 10 Aug 1943 after a 15 day journey from Manila to Moji aboard the Clyde Maru (known to the men as the Mate Mate Maru).

The next 7 Americans (#506-507) arrived on 24 March 1944 after a journey aboard the Kenwa Maru.

The third group to arrive was a mix of Australian (#507-655), British (#657-664), and Dutch (#668-928) POWs who arrived on 18 June 1944 after sailing on the Teia Maru. (ex Aramis)

The fourth group consisted of 200 British enlisted men and 2 officers (#931-1128) aboard the Hioki Maru.

The second large contingent of American POWs (#1131-1332) arrived on 2 Sept 1944 aboard the SS Canadian Inventor (the Mati Mati Maru).

The next group (#1337-1430) consisted of Dutch personnel transferred from other camps in Japan.

The seventh group were Australians (#1431-1629) who arrived 16 Jan 1945 after a journey aboard the Awa Maru.

A small group of Americans, Australians, British, and Dutch were transported from other Japanese Camps to Fukuoka #17 near the end of Jan 45. (#1632-1683)

On 30 Jan 1945 96 men from the Brazil Maru, including Capt. John Duffy went to Camp #17. Chaplain Duffy was moved to Mukden in April 1945. The other 95 men were assigned numbers 1684 to 1777.

A group of men from Taiwan make up the next group (#'s 1778-1873). The men most likely arrived in mid Jan 1945 aboard the Melbourne Maru, but may have come aboard Enoshima Maru in early Feb 1945. These men included British and Dutch survivors of the hellship Hofuku Maru, sunk off Luzon, 21 Sept 1944 with the loss of about 950 POWs. Many of these men were taken to Taiwan aboard Hokusen Maru in Oct-Nov 1944 and others on Oryoku Maru and Brazil Maru in Dec 44-Jan 45. The remainder consisted of American, Norwegian, and Czech nationals who had been taken to Taiwan aboard Hokusen Maru.
Seven or eight survivors of the Oryoku Maru/Enoura Maru/Brazil Maru journeys of Dec 44-Jan 45 were brought to Fukuoka 17 from Fukuoka 22 in late Feb or early March 45. Two remained at the camp(#1886, #1892) but the others plus several of the original group of American officers including Maj. John Mamerow, were sent to Mukden, Manchuria on 25 April 1945.

In June 1945 a group of about 100 Australians (#'s above 1893) were transferred from camp Fukuoka camp 13-D, Oita, to Fukuoka 17. These men had arrived in Japan in Sept 1944 aboard Rashin Maru.

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