Dolder Rescue Team Report

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Source: copies of original report furnished by Lt.Robert H. Dolder's son, Lt. Col (Ret) Michael C. Dolder (Ord).

2nd Lt. Robert H. Dolder headed the team that effected the rescue of a number of camps in the Tokyo area. Before the surrender, such teams were formed- some with parachute training- to be inserted in the POW camps at the time of the invasion, in hopes of saving the men from extermination.

These reports were completed upon his return to Manila.

APO 716

22 September 1945


1. Report on Ofuna POW Camp

a. Location- One (1) Km. Northwest of Ofuna RR Station in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Coordinates 656-1380 on Central Honshu Map, scale-1/50.000. Ofuna POW camp is a branch of Tokyo Internment camp (Omori). It is known as the Ofuna Detachment of the Tokyo Internment Camp. It is a Naval POW Camp and as far as known the only one in Japan.
b. Description of the camp: The camp is located in the site of a former School House and was opened the 7th April 1942. The buildings that are there were built with the intention of housing prisoners of war. The buildings are built on the same order as an American Army Hospital Camp in so far as the buildings are all connected to each other. The buildings are of unpainted wood roofed with tar paper. There are 90 private rooms in the buildings that are approximately 6 feet wide and 9 feet long. One of the small rooms is devoted to a dispensary. There are two latrines in the camp and a shower room. There is also one large room for the Japanese guards. There is one kitchen and adjoining storage spaces. There is also a room for the Japanese Naval Commander, a non com’s room and a small orderly room. There were facilities for electric lights in each room but no facilities for heating. Medical supplies were inadequate, besides a few Japanese first aid kits abd assorted items, the only medical supplies were those dropped [by B-29's]. The camp is 75 yards long and 68 yards wide and surrounded by a board fence 8 feet high. The supplies were dropped by American planes before the POW’s left. There were 14 drums dropped.

The camp is believed to have been used as an interrogation center and records were found to show that various transfers of POW’s were made to Tokyo Internment Omori. The Japanese personnel guarding the camp consisted of 1 Japanese Naval Lt. Jida Kakazo, who was the commander of the the camp, 1 NCO and 11 Japanese seaman.

[illegible] assumed to say Recovered records:

a. Japanese list of deaths in the camp and place of burial.
b. Roster of ashes of deceased Prisoners of War.
c. Certificates of transfer of American and Allied Prisoners of War.
d. Japanese records of the Prisoners of war in Ofuna camp after Aug. 1944
e. Japanese records of receipts for food delivered to Ofuna camp.
f. Assortment of Papers with names on them.

Deaths in the camp-

In checking records it was found that 6 men died in Oduna Camp. They were
1. Lt. (Jg) 1. Richard L. Hunt
Died, 25 Feb 1945
Born, 25 Dec 1921
It was found that when he was brought to the camp he was bandaged from head to foot. This condition was due to burns when the B-29 he was in crashed. He started to receive treatment in the camp 17 Jan 1945. [Died shortly after an injection by the camp doctor. Assumed to have been murdered by poison]

2. Lt.(jg) William Zeimer [correct spelling of name]
Died 2 Aug 1945 [Possibly murdered]
Cause- Malnutrition
Born - 1921
Got sick- 1 April 1945
Was attached to aircraft carrier Enterprise

3. Lt. (Jg) Norman Wesley Imel
Died- 16 March 1945
Cause- Pneumonia [Died shortly after an injection by the camp doctor. Assumed to have been murdered by poison]
Born 1920
Came to Ofuna March 1945
was attached to USS Monterey

4. Ensign Kenneth Ashton Flinn
Died- 23 July 1945
Born- 1923
No record as to when came into camp
Got sick 8 June 1945
Was Naval pilot on the Aircraft Carrier Essex.

5. Lt (jg) Antone Mensis [Mynzys- Chief Eng of Norwegian ship taken captive]
No other information

6. Lt. (Jg) Ernest Peso [Pershau, Ernest F]
Died 9 June 1945
No record as to when came into camp
11th Bomb Group (VH) 431 Bomb Squadron

3. Burial Plots:

Lt. Emel W. Norman, Ensign Kenneth Ashton Flinn, Lt. William Zeimer were buried 220 meters East of Ofuna camp. Graves are marked with Japanese crosses.
Lt. (Jg) Richard L. Hunt buried 166 Meters North and in the rear if Ryuhoji Temple. The ryuhoji Temple is located 100 yards East of Ofuna POW Camp
Lt. (Jg) Antone Mensis [Mynzys] and Lt. (Jg) Ernest F. Peso [Pershau] have Japanese crosses with Lt. Hunt but they were cremated and their ashes sent to Omori camp.

4. Summary
The above information was obtained by a thorough investigation and search of the Ofuna POW Camp and from records found and by talking with Jida Kaskazo a Lt. In the Japanese Navy who as commander if the camp for approximately the last year. We were told by him that all the Japanese records concerning the camp were burned by Japanese Soldiers who came down from Jap. Hq. The 25 September 1945.

The roster of ashes of deceased POW was found in the camp but is not a roster of the deaths in the camp. It was brought to the camp by a POW from another camp. The men whose names have an X to the left of them were listed in the Roster of Non-recovered personnel prepared by GHQ AFPAC.

/s/ Robert H. Dolder
2d Lt. Robert H. Dolder
Team Leader
Team 56