Recovery Team #63 - Trip Report
Sendai Camp #9 Sakata

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3 October 1945

SUBJECT: Report on trip investigating POW Camps
TO: Commanding Officer Recovered Personnel Detachment

Recovery Team #63 plus Lt. A.R. Carter, Sgt. R.B. Hennessy; Australians, and Sgt Hara, the interpreter, departed from Sendai 26 September 1945 at 0900 for Sakata. We arrived at the Sakata Police station at 1715 the same day. Arrangements for a hotel were taken care of by the police chief. At 1930 Lt. King received a telephone call from 1st Sgt. Atzinger, at our headquarters in Sendai. The two Australians were ordered to return to Sendai and we were ordered to investigate the civilian internment camp near the city of Takata. We obtained information concerning the train schedule to Sendai. It was decided that the Australians should leave Sakata at 1400 in order to make the best train connections.

During the forenoon of 27 September 1945 we obtained information, from the police, concerning the POW camp in Sakata. At 1345 we took the Australians to the railway station, and then proceeded directly to the POW camp. At 1700 we returned to the hotel and began writing the reports, making new sketches of the buildings and examining the records we found at the POW Camp.

Recovery Team #63 and Sgt. Hara left for Murakami at 0845 28 September 1945. We stopped an hour and a half for lunch. Upon reaching Murakami at 1530, we went to the police station to obtain information concerning the POW camp there and also to find a hotel in which to spend the night. The police informed us that there was not a POW camp in or near Murakami and the nearest one was at Niigata. After leaving the trailers at the hotel, we drove around the town looking for possible locations of a POW camp. We did not find anything that indicated a POW camp in or near Murakami. We questioned several civilians concerning a POW camp, but they also denied knowing of a POW camp in or near Murakami. We also investigated several buildings that looked as though they might have been part of an internment camp. We found nothing that indicated that a POW camp had ever been in or near Murakami.

Recovery Team #63 and Sgt. Hara left Murakami at 0845 29 September 1945. The Chief of Police of Murakami escorted us to the main road in order that we would not have any trouble finding the way to the next town. At 0900 we had to plank a bridge before we were able to cross it. It took us 30 minutes to cross the bridge. We arrived at Shibata at 1030. The 2nd Bn, 106th Infantry, 27th Division had their headquarters in Shibata. Lt. King was informed at the headquarters that 187 Chinese had been worked in the iron mines at Higashii Akatai. The 2nd Bn. 106th Infantry had investigated the camp and sent the report to the 27th Division Headquarters. We departed from Shibata and arrived in Niigata at 1315. Lt. King reported to the Adjutant of the 27th Division. He was informed that another Recovery Team had taken care of the camps in that vicinity. While at Niigata we were fed and quartered by the 27th Division.

Lt. King telephoned the Recovered Personnel Detachment Headquarters at Sendai at 0900, 30 September 1945 and was ordered to return to Sendai. At 1000 we left Niigata and arrived Sakata at 1700.

Monday morning, 1 October 1945 at 0900, we left Sakata and after we had traveled about 25 miles, one of our jeeps developed engine trouble. We found the cause of it to be the carburetor. After working on it for approximately two hours, we decided it would be better to return to Sakata than to have to drive over the mountains at night. We returned to Sakata and spent the remainder of the day working on the jeep.

At 0830 2 October 1945 we left Sakata and arrived Sendai at 1530. Lt. King reported in and we unloaded our equipment.

The entire distance traveled was 572 miles.

/S/ Don C. King
DON C. KING 2d Lt. F.A.
Team Leader
Recovery Team #63