Fukuoka POW Camp #3

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23 Sep 1942;
Established at YAHATA-shi, NAKA-machi, Known as YAHATA Provisional POW Camp [Also known as "The Citadel"]
Nov 1942: 36 US Marines arrive from Woosung.
1 Jan 1943: Renamed FUKUOKA POW CAMP YAHATA Branch Camp
1 Mar 1943: Renamed 3-B
13 Sep 1945: Rescue effected

Prisoner of War Information Bureau states first located in suburban section of city of Yawata (written now as Yahata); new camp was then erected in suburb of Tobata (HQ and Military Hospital in Kokura); POWs always worked in Yahata Steel Mills; area now the city of Kitakyushu.
Exact location: the latitude and longitude of the camp are: 33 degrees 54 min 0 sec North and 130 degrees 51 min 2 sec East (Courtesy of John DeBriere)


Satellite map: Yahata location -
Kokura location
Aerials courtesy of Japan Map Archives:
Yahata location: Aerial 1948-04-12
Kokura location: Aerial 1948-04-12
Kokura Hospital area Aerial 1948-04-06

Camp Layout:
Sketch by Sgt Davis
Sketch of camp location: by David Nash
Location map - text (helps explain the various locations of Fukuoka #3)
Recent photo of where camp was, looking east, showing hillside

Bombing Raid:
Description of the first B-29 raid over Japan- Target Yawata - excellent narrative of the first major raid over Japan. NOTE: Kokura was one of the A-bomb targets, but was too smoky or cloudy for the 2nd drop, alternate target was Nagasaki.

Asst. photos of Fukuoka #3
Main Street, B-29 dropping food (shows handmade flags) and overview from nearby hill. Private collection of Pat Hilley and NARA Pictures

Major William O. Dorris accepting the surrender of Japanese Camp Commander.
80-G-346525: Former Japanese commandant of POW camp, Fukuoka #3, Major Rikitake, yielding sword to Major W.O. Dorris, USA, present commandant of POW camp in Tobata, Kyushu, Japan. [Fukuoka #3] 15 Sep 1945. Major Dorris was leader of the rescue team for the Fukuoka camps. Records indicate he was rescued in the Philippines in early 1945.

More Photos - includes picture of first camp, "The Citadel." A couple more photos can be seen here at the Bataan Commemorative Research Project website.

Books (2) Describing Life at Fukuoka #3
Special Pages for all Fukuoka Camps

The Survivors from the submarine, USS Grenadier SS210. Rescued at Tobata

Primary Labor:
Slave labor at the Yahata Steel Mills (NIPPON SEITETSU YAHATA SEITETSU-SHO; now Nippon Steel, Kyushu Steel Works, Yahata).
NOTE: Nippon Steel's
Yahata Steel Works has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution. See also here (Imperial Steel Works) and this Kitakyushu city website.

Hell Ships:
Camp had numerous survivors of the Oryoku Maru; Some men from the Clyde Maru; Asama Maru - carried survivors of the USS Grenadier from Singapore (Sept 1943); Wake CPNAB men arrived on the Tachibana Maru

Gibbs Report:

Tobata #3- Full summary of camp conditions and movements. Commentary by Sgt Kirk to correct the Gibbs mis-statements.
Investigation Report (DOCX file)

Medical logs - Japanese document (DOCX file), Report on Health of POWs, Feb. 1943 to Nov. 1944; chart on Monthly Death Rate, Dec. 1942 to July 1945 (transcription courtesy of Scott Proudfit)

NARA Notes:
About this camp, recorded during our research of Record Group 389 - very useful for personal research

Secret Camera! - Rare and startling pictures of POWS being deliberately starved. Taken by T.S. Kirk, USMC. Used with permission. More pictures of camp.

Camp Affidavits, Statements and Testimonies

Billie Emerick interview - Special biography produced by Emerick's nephew, Scott Proudfit.
Diary of Paul Polk - American civilian on board "Stanvac Calcutta" which was sunk

Camp Rosters at Liberation:
Total: 1195 POWs (616 Americans, 211 Dutch, 193 British, 132 Indian, 22 Chinese, 9 Portuguese, 4 Spanish, 2 Malayan, 1 S. African, 2 Arabian; 158 total deaths, highest for all mainland camps)
British: Military  Civilians
xls file of British (comparison with original documents, transcription courtesy of Proudfit)
Deceased at Fukuoka #3
Rosters do not include men transferred to other camps- these are the rescue rosters.
Roster of all nationalities (Excel file, RG407 Box 102, transcription courtesy of Proudfit)

FUK-03_Rosters_1946-02-16.pdf (ORIGINALS)

Japanese Camp Staff:
Complete staff as of liberation

Capt. Jack Gordon Collection (courtesy of Pritzker Military Museum & Library and James Brundage)

Corporal Chester E. Petrochilli (photo courtesy of D. Traser)
Please find attached the scanned newspaper picture of Corp. Petrochilli. It is from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, date unknown, with the following text:
Richmonder Jap Prisoner
Corporal Petrochilli’s Parents Advised
A telegram from the Adjutant-General reporting their son a prisoner of war of the Japanese government in the Philippine Islands today ended 10 months of uncertainty for Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Petrochilli, of 222 South Laurel Street.
The son, Corporal Chester E. Petrochilli, attached to the Ordnance Department, last wrote to his family in February, 1941. His letter, received in April, said he was “getting along all right” and that “the Japs haven’t got me yet.”
Corporal Petrochilli enlisted here in May, 1941, and was sent to the Philippine Islands three months later. A brother, Sergeant John F. Petrochilli, is stationed at Fort Benning, Ga.
I wonder if the February, 1941, date might be a typo since it says he didn't enlist until May, 1941. Petrochilli died in 1967 and is buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Richmond.

Christmas Service, Dec. 24, 1944

Program (DOCX file)
(courtesy of Scott Proudfit)