Osaka POW Camp #12-B
Hirohata

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HIROHATA Branch Camp
KOBE-shi, HIROHATA-machi, AZA SAI
25 Sep 1943: First Established
16 Jul 1944: Terminated; POWs transferred to 1-D
Osaka 12-B HIROHATA
(NIPPON SEITETSU)
HYOGO-ken, SHIKAMA-gun, HIROHATA-mura, KOSAKA 381 (HIMEJI-shi)
Area Map
Satellite Map

Per Initial Japanese Report to MacArthur:
Osaka Command, Hyogo Ken (Prefecture)
Designated by CINPAC, 1 Feb 1945 as "Hemeji [sic] Camp #27," also known as Harima or "O" Camp or Hirohata Divisional Camp.
Coordinates 34 degrees, 47 minutes north, 134 degrees, 28 min west
Designation revised: 15 Jun 1945 as Hirohata Divisional Camp (Alternate names: Harima, Himeji Camp-Osaka Divisional Camp #26, Himeji Camp #27


Timeline: (See also Guam time line)
5 Oct 1942: Established as KOBE Branch Camp HIROHATA Detached Camp; first located at HIROHATA-machi, 325-banchi
10 Dec 1942: Renamed HIROHATA DISPATCHED CAMP
18 Feb 1943: Renamed 1-D
15 Sep 1943: Moved to HIROHATA-mura, KOSAKA 381
06 Oct 1943: Hirohata- 408 Americans arrive from the Philippines from the Taga Maru
19 Oct 1943: Hirohata- POWs begin work at mill [Reed Memoir]
9 April 1944: British medic, Wallace Hastings ex Hong Kong, arrives from Itchioka.
Aug 1944: Renamed 12-B
Sep 1945: Rescue Effected

Camp Layout:
Aerial Photographs


Japanese Camp Staff:

Roster of Hirohata Guards and civilian supervisors at the Seitetsu Steel Mill.
Source: courtesy of Smith L. Green

American Ex-POW Assoc: Gage description of camp
Primary Labor Use:
All men used at the Seitetsu Steel Mill. Unloading cargo and ore ships, machine shops, blast furnaces, clearing slag, and as stevedores on docks.
Employer:
NIPPON SEITETSU (Nippon Steel or, as known today, NITTETSU)


Hell Ship:
The bulk of the men (excluding the men from Guam who arrived earlier) came on the
Taga Maru, also known as the Coral Maru.The Taga Maru departed Manila on 20 September 1943 with 850 prisoners. Seventy men died during the 15 day voyage to Moji via Taiwan.

Rosters:
Camp Roster at Liberation: Roster at liberation, Sep 1945 - does not include the 182 men who were transferred to other camps or those who perished at Hirohata. Links for individual men.
List of deceased at Hirohata: Includes date of death.
OSA-12 Roster (WO 361-1963) - American, British, Australian


Interviews:
Nichols Describes attack on Guam plus brutality at Hirohata
Clemens A. Kathman- Why I was not on the rescue roster


Books Describing Life at Hirohata
Recommendation of "The Eighty Thieves" by John Iannarelli, son of a POW from Guam;
"Girocho" by John Poncio (one of the three best POW books written
"Bataan Diary" by James Rand
Ed Hale's "First Captured, Last Freed"- Well done & well illustrated. He was on the USS Penguin.
"I Was There Charley" by "Clem" Clemens A. Kathman


Liberation Photos - Raising of Flags

hastings_group_picture.hirohata
Group Photograph:
Only known man is Joe F. Martinez, far left in first row (kneeling) with the light colored shirt and dark trousers.

Note: We have other images of the port; ask for the Mosher scans