Affidavit - War Crime Trials - Tsurumi Camp
1st Lt Orville Stanford
Source: Nephew - Verl Stanford

Back to Tsurumi
1 August 1946
Tokyo, Japan

I, Orville Stanford, First Lt., CE, AUS, was taken prisoner at Tacloban Layte 26 May 1942 – was enterned at Tacloban from 26 May 1942 to September 18 1942,was sent to Bilibad Prison, Manila. Bilibad Prison from September 21, 1942 to October 6, 1942.

October 6, 1942 was shipped on board “Tattori Maru” for Japan. Arrived Hdqtrs. Camp Shinagawa Nov. 12, 1942. On 1st July 1943 was transferred to #10-D Camp at Tsurumi – Station – Yokohama. [camp named for nearest rail station]

Camp #10-D was opened 1st April 1943 with 40 men and 1 officer (Lt. Larkin) 1st July 1943 I was sent there alone from Shinagawa to assits Lt. Larkin in Camp Administration. 1 July 1943, ten men arrived from Basebau Stadium Camp, Yokohama.

From July 1st 1943 to Sept. 8, 1944, camp strength was 50 men and 2 officers.

Upon my arrival at #10-D Camp, the Jap staff consisted of Lt. Owomori (Gunso) Yamasaki and Head Guard Ru-san.

Yamasaki was very lax in camp administration, allowing his staff to steal and barter our rations to the Japs outside. Yamasaki was relieved as camp commander by Sgt. Tanaka in Dec. 1943.

Sgt. Tanaka had a stores and clothing inventory and found that several of the POW’s had bartered their shoes and clothing with the Japanese workmen. As the result the guilty men were punished by being slapped and made to hold weights tied to sticks at arms length. The camp sailed along fairly well with the occasional slappings by Suzuki and Rui until the summer of 1943 when Sgt. Tanaka caught some of the men cooking white rice. (white rice was very seldom issued to us) Obviously it was stolen. The entire camp was made to stand at attention while Sgt. Tanaka questioned one man at a time when he called on Pvt. Paul Yates. Yates confessed to assisting several men break out of camp and rob a Jap storehouse. Yates named the other men implicated. The ten guilty men were stood t attention in front of the guard house and the balance of the men were excused. (camp strength at this time was 52 men). I remember some of the men found guilty – Paul Yates, Richards, Davis, Goss, Whitby, Smith, Loftus, Scallion. They were made to hold weights and were beaten very severely by Suzuki –Rui – and Tanaka, but no one suffered any after effects.

On , which brought the camp strength to 150 men and 3 officers. [ex Noto Maru]

These men from P.I. were in a weakened condition but Rui made them assemble in the yard and put them through very strenuous calisthentics for about 2 hours. I tried to intervene but was told to mind my own business.

The next incident that happened was in Nov. 1944 when our clothing store was broken into and some clothing was stolen. (11 pr. Jap army trousers, 10 Jap Army jackets, 3 Jap army sheets and 50 company work shirts). Although our Red Cross clothing was stored in the same place none was taken. When Sgt. Tanaka found the store was broken into he suspected the POW’s, so the entire camp was made to stand at attention from noon until 7:00 P.M.while he questioned the ten men implicated in the previous robbery. They were also beaten and pummeled around very severely by Suzuki and Rui. By evening Stg. Tanaka found that the store robbery was an outside job, done by the Jap workmen in the plant.

Sgt. Tanaka was very fair in giving us 11 our Red Cross food, but he did take one odd shirt for himself and allowed Suzuki and another Jap one each. He also used three blankets and let Suzuki take three blankets home.

In late December 1944 or early Jan. 1945, Lt. Owamori was relieved as Officer in Command of our camp and was replaced by Lt. Nakamura. Lt. Nakamura took from our Red Cross stores 10 blue cotton blankets. And when Camp 3-B broke up and moved north in April, Lt. Nakamura had a five man detail from our camp go to his quarters at camp 3-B to assist in moving his personal effects to out camp. These five men came back and reported to me that they had loaded on a push cart 20 boxes of Red Cross food and several pr. of shoes. On several occasions I was in Lt. Nakamura’s office and saw several Red Cross parcels, also I saw parties given to the Japanese staff. They ate Red Cross food.