Finding Our POWs

The Recovery and Evacuation of POWs
from Japan, 1945

"Those are our boys, go and get them"


Main About Us

Remembering the Days of Liberation

"An indescribable scene of jubilation and emotion"


The first relief supply drops on POW camps in mainland Japan was around August 25, 1945. Only those who were there can really describe the elation and fulfillment of hope... a dream that had truly come true. The sight of those planes dropping supplies were an immense morale booster and would forever be etched in the memories of the POWs. The men and women involved in the search, supply, evacuation and recovery efforts are among the many unsung heroes of WWII.

Following are excerpts from the many reports by various Task Groups and evacuation vessels. Links to the full reports and much more can be found at the end of this webpage. For a summary of the evacuation of POWs from Japan, China and Taiwan, see this US Pacific Fleet PDF, also "CINCPAC Report of Surrender and Occupation of Japan" (full documents below; excerpts re evacuation of POWs); see this zone map for areas of responsibility for the fleets.

RELATED: Recovery and Rescue of Prisoners of War, The Liberation of POW's Sept. 1945


From Black Sheep One by Gamble

Task Group 38.1 - USS Belleau Wood Report

Aug. 25, 1945





Aug. 26, 1945




Aug. 27, 1945



Aug. 28, 1945



Aug. 29, 1945



Aug. 30, 1945




The same Task Group also took part in this momentous event:




Task Group 38.1 Report





Task Group 38.3 - USS Wasp Report



Some technical info:












Task Group 30.6 Report









British Token Force (Task Group 38.5, 30.8)

Aug. 8, 1945



Aug. 30, 1945



Sept. 2, 1945



Fifth Fleet Report



Click on photos for larger image

























NOTE: Col. Griffin (seated in center of photo) is listed on many POW Index Cards as the
Allied Forces authority
to whom the Japanese handed over POWs.

Task Group 55.6 - USS Mugford Report




Task Group 55.7 - USS Haven Report




Task Unit 56.5.2 - USS Hopping Report




Task Group 30.6 - USS Rescue Report






Because of your fighting qualities and the fighting qualities of our brothers in arms of all services, our beloved land has not know the ravages of war, our dear ones at home have not been endangered. Give praise to God Almighty for this and give humble and grateful thanks that He saw fit to use us as His instruments.
From Admiral Halsey speech, Aug. 15, 1945, 1300 hours



See also:

The Liberation of POWs, Sept. 1945

Recovery and Rescue of Prisoners of War, September 1945

USNHS Rescue (AH-18) -- The Evacuation of POWs in 1945 by United States Navy Hospital Ships


Original Documents:

Liberation and evacuation of POWs - Occupation of Japan:

4th Marines Ops Log 1941-12-08to1942-05-03 Part 1.pdf - R-2 Journal, HQ, 4th Marines, Fort Mills, P.I.
4th Marines Ops Log 1941-12-08to1942-05-03 Part 2.pdf

Fukuoka Occupation Force Operations Report 1945-09to11 (RG38).pdf
Fifth Amphib Corps - Occupation of Japan 1945-11-30 Part 1.pdf
Fifth Amphib Corps - Occupation of Japan 1945-11-30 Part 2.pdf
Second Marine Divison - Occupation of Japan 1945-12-01.pdf
Occupation of Japan - Page 812.jpg - Location of Japanese Army and Navy Airfields

Fifth Fleet Action Report - Occupation of Japan 1945-08-15to11-08.pdf
Comtask Group 38-1 - Action Report 1945-08-16to09-02.pdf
Task Flotilla Six - Action Report, Evac of POWs from Tokyo 1945-08-29to09-19.pdf
Carrier Air Group 88 - Reports 1944-08-18to1945-10-25.pdf
Com Fifth Fleet - War Diary 1945-09,10.pdf
Com Phib Group 4 - Occupation Report 1945-09-01to11-08.pdf
CTF-37_British_Occup_Prep_1945-06-28to09-02.pdf
Fifth Amph Force CTF54 - Occupation of Kyushu and Honshu 1945-08-15to10-03.pdf
Fifth Marine Div - Occupation of Japan 1945-09-22to11-30 Part 1.pdf
Fifth Marine Div - Occupation of Japan 1945-09-22to11-30 Part 2.pdf
Fleet Air Wing 17 - Lives, Deeds and Heroic Sayings 1943-09-15to1945-09-30.pdf
Pacific Ocean Areas Operations 1945-08.pdf
Task Force 31 - Occupation of Yokosuka 1945-08-19to09-08.pdf
Third Amphib Force - Occupation of North Japan 1945-11-05.pdf
Third Fleet - Ops on Occupation of Japan 1945-08-16to09-19.pdf
Third Fleet CTU 31-3-3 Initial Landing Yokosuka 1945-08-20to09-04.pdf
Torpedo Sqdrn VT-94 - History 1944-11-15to1945-10-30.pdf - pilots describe air drops on POW camps
TU 31-4-2 - Occupation of Yokosuka 1945-08-30,31.pdf
Amphib Grp 12 - Occup Tokyo 1945-08-18to10-01.pdf
Battleship Sqdn 2, TU 38-1-2 Ops 1945-08-15to09-02.pdf
Cmdr Cruiser 12 War Diary Evac 1945-09.pdf
Cmdr Cruiser 12 Action Report Evac of RAMPs from Wakayama 1945-09-09to10-04.pdf
Cmdr Naval Forces Kyushu TG 55-2 War Diary 1945-12.pdf
COMCARDIV5 Comm Task Force 58-1 War Diary 1945.pdf
Comm Task Force 55 Action Report Occup West Japan 1945-11-23.pdf
Comm Amphib 4 CTG 54-1 Occup Sasebo Fukuoka 1945-11-11.pdf
CINCPAC War Diary 1945-09.pdf
CINCPAC Report of Surrender and Occupation of Japan 1946-02-11 - General report giving details on the surrender and occupation of Japanese Empire; OCR'd for searching (excerpts re evacuation of POWs)

USS Lexington War History 1943-1945.pdf
USS Yorktown - Action Report 1945-08-16to09-02.pdf
USS Indiana - Action Report 1945-08-16to09-02.pdf
USS Belleau Wood - Action Report 1945-08-16to09-02.pdf
USS San Jacinto - Action Report 1945-08-16to31.pdf
USS Wasp - Action Report 1945-08-16to30.pdf
USS Bennington - War Diary 1945-08.pdf
USS Boston - Action Report 1945-09-03to11-01.pdf
USS Mugford - Evacuation and Occupation of Japan 1945-09-08to10-28.pdf
USS Hopping - General Action Report, Evac of POWs from Wakayama 1945-09-9to26-s.pdf
USS Cowpens - Action Report 1945-08-16to09-02.pdf
USS Howorth - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
USS Lardner - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
USS San Juan - War Diary 1945-08-01to09-30.pdf
USS Wantuck - War Diary.pdf
USS Weber - Ship History.pdf
USS Willoughby - History.pdf
USS Shangri-La History in 3 parts 1942-1945.pdf
USS Reeves History in 3 Parts 1945-04to09.pdf

Fighting Sqdn 47 History 1944-1945.pdf
Collected Songs from the Fighting Sqdn 47.pdf

USS Benevolence - War Diary 1945-08-01to31.pdf
USS Haven Muster Rolls 1945-05to09.pdf
USS Haven - War Diary 1945-09-01to30.pdf
USS Rescue - History and War Diary 1945-01to1945-09.pdf
USS Rescue Muster Rolls 1945.pdf
USS Relief Chronicle 1943-02to1945-12.pdf
USS Relief War Diary 1945-09.pdf

Fukuoka_supply_missions_first_reports_1945-09_USSBS.pdf - Images of initial attempts to find POW camps

Formosa (Taiwan) evacuation of POWs:

USS Block Island - Lib and Evac POWs Formosa 1945-08-29to09-09.pdf
USS Block Island - War Diary 1945-08-01to09-30.pdf
USS Block Island Pictorial History-s.pdf
USS Brister - Action Report Evac POWs Formosa 1945-09-09.pdf
USS Brister - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
USS Brister - History 1943-1945.pdf
USS Finch - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
USS Thomas Gary - Action Report Evac POWs Formosa 1945-08-29to09-09.pdf
USS Thomas Gary - War Diary 1945-08.pdf
USS Kretchmer - Action Report Evac POWs Formosa 1945-09-05,06.pdf
USS Kretchmer - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
USS Santee - Action Report Evac POWs Formosa 1945-08-29to09-09.pdf
USS Santee - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
USS Santee - History 1940to1945-11-11.pdf
Comm Seventh Fleet - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
Comm Carrier Div 27 - Action Report Evac POWs Formosa 1945-08-29to09-09.pdf
Comm Carrier Div 27 - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
Marine Air Support Grp 48 - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
Carrier Air Group 26 - History 1945-01-10to10-31.pdf
Patrol Bombing Sqdn 71 - War Diary 1945-09.pdf
Taiwan - Civil Affairs Handbook 1944-10-01-s.pdf

Evacuation rosters: Nagasaki Dejima Docks; Wakayama; Philippines

NAGASAKI Dejima evacuees Sept. 14, 1945 (RG 407 Box 1529) - Book VIII
Folder 9: List of Allied Military Personnel Evacuated from Nagasaki to Okinawa and American and Allied Military and Civilian Personnel Evacuated at Dejima Docks, Nagasaki, Kyushu on 14 September 1945. Ship listed is the U.S.S. LST-795.
Evacuated military personnel include British officers, a Dutch officer, British enlisted, Australian enlisted, U.S. enlisted, Dutch enlisted, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, British Army, British Royal Navy, British Royal Marines, Australian Army, Australian Navy, British Royal Army Medical Corps, Dutch Army, Dutch Navy, Dutch Marines, Canadian Army and Norwegian Merchant Marine. Evacuated civilians include U.S. and British.

NAGASAKI Dejima evacuees Sept. 16, 1945 (RG 407 Box 1529) - Book VI
Folder 7: List of American and Allied Military Prisoners of War Evacuated from Dejima Docks, Nagasaki, Kyushu, on 16 September 1945.
Evacuated military POWs include U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, US Marines, British Army, British Navy, British Marines, Australian Army, Australian Navy, Dutch Army, Dutch Navy, Dutch Marines, Canadian Army, New Zealand Air Force, British Royal Army Medical Corps, and Norwegian Merchant Marine (see Folder 9 for the original of this roster). There is also a Dutch national listed on page 160, with the American Army. (NOTE: Better copies of these lists are in Folder 9.) Evacuated civilians include U.S. and British, Dutch, Norwegian and Czechoslovakian.

Wakayama evacuees Sept. 16-17, 1945 (RG 407 Box 1529) - Book VII
Folder 8: List of American and Allied Military Prisoners of War Evacuated through Wakayama, Honshu on 15-16 September 1945. Ships include U.S.S. Hopping, U.S.S. Cabildo, U.S.S. Sanctuary and U.S.S. Consolation.
Evacuated military POWs and civilians include U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, Dutch Army, Dutch Navy, Dutch Air Force and Dutch civilians, Australian Army, U.S. Army, New Zealand Army, British Royal Air Force, British Navy, Australian Air Force, British Marine Corps, Irish (in British Army), Armenians, New Zealanders, British Army, Australian Navy and Americans.

NAGASAKI Dejima evacuees Sept. 21, 1945 (RG 407 Box 1529) - Books V thru IX
Folder 6: List of American and Allied Military POWs Evacuated from Dejima Docks, Nagasaki, Kyushu on 21 September 1945. Military and civilian evacuees. 206 pages.
U.S. Army, Dutch Army; U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Dutch Navy; British Army, U.S. and Dutch civilians; Australian Army, British Merchant Navy, British Navy, British Merchant Marine, Dutch Marines; Canadian Army, South African Navy, British Royal Navy, British Royal Air Force, British civilians, Canadian, Irish and Scottish civilians, British Royal Marines, South African Royal Navy, Miscellaneous (Dutch, Chinese, Australian, Irish and New Zealander), British Marines and Australian Navy evacuee rosters.
Folder 7: List of American and Allied Military POWs Evacuated from Dejima Docks, Nagasaki, Kyushu on 16 September 1945. (NOTE: Only folder cover photographed)
Folder 8: List of American and Allied Military POWs Evacuated through Wakayama, Honshu on 15-16 September 1945. (NOTE: Only folder cover photographed)
Folder 9: List of Allied Military Personnel Evacuated from Nagasaki to Okinawa and American and Allied Military and Civilian Personnel Evacuated at Dejima Docks, Nagasaki, Kyushu on 14 September 1945. (NOTE: Only folder cover photographed)
Folder 10: Roster of Dutch Military Ex-Prisoners of War

POWs evacuated from Nagasaki Dejima Docks 1945-09-17 to 22 (RG 407 Box 1530)
Folder 5: Book V - List of American and Allied Military Prisoners of War Evacuated at Dejima Docks, Nagasaki, Kyushu on 17 Sept 1945. Includes American, Dutch, British, Welsh, Scottish, Australian and Indian military personnel and civilians.
Folder 6: Book IV - List of American and Allied Military Prisoners of War Evacuated at Dejima Docks, Nagasaki, Kyushu on 20 Sept 1945. Includes Dutch, Australian, British and American military personnel and civilians.
Folder 7: Book III - List of American and Allied Military Prisoners of War Evacuated at Dejima Docks, Nagasaki, Kyushu on 22 Sept 1945. Includes British, Dutch, Canadian, Australian, Irish and Scottish military personnel and civilians.

Repatriated POW passenger lists, Nagasaki
(RG 407 Box 1530)
Folder 2: List of Repatriated Prisoners of War from Japan - Passengers on USS Rooks, Benevolence, HMS Speaker, USS Monitor, USAHS Marigold, USS San Juan, Ozark, HMHS Tjitjalengka, USS Barr, Rescue, Reeves, Gosselin, Stafford, Haven, Greene, Jack Miller and Mobile.
Also, rosters of ex-POWs left at Nagasaki FFT (for further transfer), evacuated RAMPs (Rescued Allied Military Prisoners) and those to be transported by air. Includes Dutch, British, Indian, Norwegian, American, Canadian, Australian, Italian, Russian, Irish, Burmese, Greek, Filipino, Argentina, New Zealand, Chinese, Hong Kong, South African, Korean, Ceylonese, Finnish, Estonian and Belgian military personnel and civilians.
NOTE: Many duplicates, triplicates and quadruplicates not photographed. Otherwise, all pages photographed, including a few duplicates. Some duplicates have additional hand-written information. Some pages have paper strips glued or stapled over identifying headings, and so are photographed twice (to show all information). Messy folder. Many pages torn or in poor condition.

Repatriated POW passenger lists, USS Rescue and USS San Juan (RG 407 Box 1530)
Folder 4: Bk II - List of American and Allied military personnel evacuated from Sendai, Kamaiski, Ohase, Hanawana, Sakata, Morioka, Hanoaka, Kosaka, Odate and Fukushama Camp on USS Rescue and San Juan, Japan 1945. Includes Chinese, African, British, American, Dutch, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Javanese, Greek, Turkish, Spanish, South African, Arabian, Indian, Irish and Norwegian military personnel and civilians.

PHILIPPINES Passenger Lists July 9, 1945 (RG 407 Box 1529)
Dutch, American, Italian, Chinese, French, Stateless, British, British Indian, Swiss and Panamanian passengers on the following ships: USS Clarence Roberts, USS General Bundy, USS Langfette, USS General Sturgis, USS Marine Panther, USS Sea Skimmer, USS Octorara, USS Marine Fox, USS General Pope.

Recovered military civilian rosters
(RG 407 Box 1523 Folder 1)
Roster of American Military and Civilian Personnel, American Naval Personnel, Dutch and Italian Military Personnel at Receiving Station Hospital, 29th Replacement Depot. Sept 1945. Includes British, New Zealand, American (including "Hawaiian"), Greek, Norwegian, Italian, Chinese, Czech, Belgian, Dutch, Australian and French former civilian and military internees and POWs (men, women, children).

Repatriated POW passenger lists (RG 407 Box 1528)
Folder 1: Passenger Lists - HMAS Quiberon, USS Howze, Rescue, Storm King, Tyron, Periva, USA Staff, USS Bolivar, SS Maunganui, USS Klipfontaine and Admiral Hughes. Includes Australian, American, Norwegian, British, Canadian, French, Dutch, Filipino and Belgian military and civilian evacuees. March 19, 2019. Only a few pages photographed, mostly the title pages to the passenger lists. All USS Klipfontaine pages photographed.
Folder 2: Passenger Lists - USS Marigold, Porter, Panama Express, Ozark, Empress of Australia and HMS Glory and Implacable. Includes American, Canadian, British, Australian and Indian military and merchant marine evacuees. Only a few pages photographed, mostly the title pages to the passenger lists.
Folder 3: Passenger Lists - USS Admiral Hughes, Gen. Pope, Lurline, HMS Lothian, USAT Gen. Brewster, HMS Formidable, USS Mexico, USAT Calamaris, HMS Colossus, Prince Robert and Slinger. Includes Australian, American, British, Turkish, Canadian, Norwegian, Dutch, Filipino, Swiss, French, Lithuanian, Russian, New Zealand, Belgian, Malayan, Porotuguese, Chinese and Greek military and civilian evacuees. Only a few pages photographed, mostly the title pages to the passenger lists. All USAT General Brewster pages photographed.
Folder 4: Final Report of Ramps and Repatriates Processed in Marianas Area. Includes Canadian, Hong Kong and American (among other nationalities) military and civilian evacuees. Thick folder. Mostly American and Canadian evacuees. Only a few pages photographed.
Folder 5: Passenger Lists - USS General Collins, Brazil, Unamed Boat (SO 136 Neth HQ 5th RD), HMS Circassian, USS La Porte, Lletitia, Pitt, HMCHS Letitia, HMS Implacable, USS Marine Jumper and Vasna. Includes British, American Filipino, Spanish, Dutch, Swiss, Swedish, French, Canadian, Australian, Italian, Chinese, Belgian, Norwegian, Syrian, French-Indo-Chinese and Malayan military and civilian evacuees. Only a few pages photographed, mostly the title pages to the passenger lists. All Vasna, unnamed boat (SO 136 Neth HQ 5 RD), HMS Circassian and HMS Implacable pages photographed.
Folder 6: Passenger Lists - USS West Point. Includes American, British, French, Irish, Swedish and FIlipino civilian evacuees. (Norwegian evacuee crossed off list.) All pages photographed.

Recovered military unit rosters (RG 407 Box 1523)
Folder 2: Roster of Troops, Co. G, 14th Infantry - Filipino names.
Folder 3: Roster of Troops, Co. H, 14th Infantry - Filipino names.
Folder 4: Roster of Troops, 14th Infantry (Cos "E," "G," "H," "I," "K," "L," "M," HQ and Sv and Medical) 1942-44. Includes Roster of Troops, "C" Co, 14th Infantry 1942-48, Headquarters, Northern Luzon; Co E; Co I; Co K; Co L; Co M; and Medical Company.
Folder 5: Rosters of Officers and Enlisted Men, Recovered Personnel. HQ Sixth Liaison Team. 26 Sept 1945. Includes Dutch (page 1), Australian and American recovered military personnel.
Folder 6: HQ and Service Co 1113 - 14th Infantry. Includes Filipino and unknown nationality names.
Folder 7: Roster of unit "K" Co, 3rd Bn, 3rd Regt, Boone's Guerrillas, ECLGA, Bataan MD; Includes civilian and military personnel. All Filipino names.
Folder 8: Roster of Personnel Attached to Recovered Personnel Teams. 33rd Div, 136th Inf. Includes Americans and Dutch recovered military personnel.
Folder 9: Complete Roster of All Staff Members, Hiroshima POW Camps 1942-45 - military and civilian. Includes Branch Camps 1-9, Zentsuji, Niihama, Hibi, Mukojima, Innoshima, Omine, Ube, Motoyama and Ohama.
Folder 10: Roster of Personnel, Provisional Company, Under CO Capt H.E. Marr, Jr… and Roster of Officers Assigned and Attached to the Visayan-Mindanao Force - American military personnel.
Folder 11: Roster of unit "E" Co, 2nd Bn, 1st Prov Regt, Boone's Guerrillas, ECLGA, Bataan MD 31 May 1945. Includes civilian and military personnel. All Filipino names.
Folder 12: Roster of Troops, Officers' Refresher School, 108th Div. Camp Overton, June 30, 1945. Military personnel. All Filipino names.
Folder 13: Roster of Troops, "C" Co, 14th Inf 1942. All Filipino names.
Folder 14: Monthly Roster, 14th Inf PA (Officers) 1942. American Military Personnel.
Folder 15: Roster (Monthly) 121st Inf April 1945. Military personnel. All Filipino names.