|A Short History of Tokyo Branch Camp #12 Motoyama (Hitachi)|
TOKYO Branch Camp NO. 8; formerly
Tokyo 12D, MOTOYAMA (HITACHI ) POW CAMP
I remember no incidents of brutality. Occasionally someone got slapped around but nothing of a serious nature. The Japanese Camp Commander was a graduate of Northeastern University and the interpreter was a mixture of Japanese-Caucasian ancestry. Working conditions in the mines were rough, but the civilian workers were in the most part kind to us.
The prisoners of war in this camp were evacuated to the town
of Onahoma on September 2, 1945 with information they would be
picked up by Naval vessel and transported to Yokohama. On arrival
at Onahoma no ships appeared and it was necessary to call on
the people of the town for billeting and help in food preparation.
Colonel Earl R. Short, USA (deceased), then a captain and senior
American, sent Captain Underwood by train to Tokyo on September
7th to find out why we had not been picked up. Captain Underwood
returned in two days. He had been promoted to Major and had instructions
regarding movement to the Tokyo area. All personnel, including
the Dutch East Indies and British Troops were to travel to Tokyo
The Japanese people in Onahoma were very hospitable, providing
housing and sharing food with us. From the food drops made while
we were still in camp, we had given a good share of the food
to the locals and the Korean Camp as we were leaving. However,
the habit of hoarding had not left us and we continued to share
what we carried with us with them. To insure against harm to
our hosts in Onahoma, Quartermaster Clerk Joseph J. Reardon,
USMC, established a guard unit with roving patrols. We had no
problems while in Onahama.