Haroekoe Island
Also known as Haruku POW Camp

Part of a complex of POW camps on Ambon, Haruku and Ceram Islands
Netherland East Indies

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Labor camps staffed mostly by Australian and British soldiers captured in Malaya. Dutch soldiers only on Ceram
Primary purpose was to build an airstrips using crushed coral.

Major sub-camps known in area:

LIANG [airfield construction and Naval base]
LAHA [existing airfield on Ambom]
RUMAH TIGA [transit?/]
WAIJAME [ex native camp - transit for POW]
SAPARUA- [Seashore camp on South Ceram Island]

Recommended Books:

"Darkest Hour- The True Story of Lark Force at Rabaul"
by Bruce Gamble. Extraorinarly well done narrative using pre-war writings and official history. He brings to life the individual men and covers their bravery under the lack of support. Publisher's Link HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

"Spice Island Slaves" by L.J. Audus [ISBN 0951749722] is a very detailed account of the journey on the Amagi Maru, camp life in Amahai on Ceram[all Dutch prisoners], Haroekoe, Liang [on Ambonia], Ambon itself and the ship transports back to Java. Its available by mail order from:
L.J. Clark
5 Barrons Close
Ongar Essex CM5 9BJ
Price 14.80 including airmail delivery

"My Life with the Samurai" (How I survived the Japanese Death Camps) by Anthony Cowling, 2nd Edition - includes a roster of 200 British at the Semarang POW Camp plus good description of the Jaar Market POW Camp (former Dutch barracks)-contains excellent map of NEI camp locations.

Significant Links:

Tom Pledger's War Diary - Pledger's diary is the most extensive account covering the use of Gull Force being sent to Ambon. Fortunately for Pledger, he was moved before the later massacre of the POWs to a camp on the west coast of Hainan Island (Haisho- now Basuo)Death in the Spice Islands and Prisoner Under the Rising Sun [complete transcript of book]
Huruku Island Story- Excellent narrative of the story of Flight Sergeant Eric "Johnny" Johnston
Story of L.W. Abbs- RAF ground crewman (Photographer) from Java taken to Haruku and then to the Sumatra Railway