Remembering 1942 - 2002 History Conference

Prisoners on parade : Japan Party "B"
Fran de Groen and Helen Masterman-Smith


Since the 1980s, Australian prisoners of war have been increasingly investigated and commemorated. It nevertheless remains true that for a variety of reasons,1 prisoners of the Japanese in north-east Asian camps have attracted less scholarly attention than those detained in south-east Asia. Japan Party "B" – 1,000 Allied prisoners of war, including 93 Australians classified as AIF,2 drafted in Singapore and shipped to Korea in mid-August 1942 – represents one of these neglected prisoner of war groups. Their story is not widely known locally or internationally.3 In Britain, there is an almost total lack of awareness of Allied captivity in Korea during the Pacific War, except among the survivors themselves. In Australia, the situation is marginally better thanks to A. J. Sweeting’s brief acknowledgement of Japan Party "B" in Korea in the official history of Australia’s participation in the war of 1939-1945.4

Japan Party B
Japan Party "B" prisoners on parade.  C13738

Sweeting’s account of Australian prisoner-of-war captivity in Korea – the only account by a professional historian – focuses on the representative qualities of the group’s experience: the crowded unsanitary conditions on the vessel that transported them to Korea, the privations and cruelties they endured in the camps, the tasks they carried out as forced labourers. Necessary at the time, such an approach highlighted unifying captivity themes – the common experiences the group shared with other groups of war prisoners "under Nippon" – but obscured crucial differences distinguishing the detention experiences of particular groups. As a consequence, Sweeting’s coverage omitted reference to the most distinctive aspect of Japan Party "B": the propaganda directive which led to its formation and thereafter determined the conditions of captivity for its members.

Japanese Lieutenant Tarada followed by British officers entering the prisoner of war camp.
Japanese Lieutenant Tarada followed by British officers entering the prisoner of war camp.  C272698

Despite some notable exceptions, the method of highlighting the "representative" nature of captivity has remained the dominant one. This is especially the case in popular book-length studies and has given rise to the "classic" versions of captivity "under Nippon", characterised by unrelieved brutality. As Jane Flower’s paper on the diversity of prisoner-of-war camp conditions on the Burma–Thai Railway demonstrates, however, it is now timely to acknowledge that captivity under the Japanese was far from homogenous’ and to investigate the factors that produced "difference".5 By closely examining and comparing individual groups of prisoners of war, focusing particularly on the personalities of the captors and captives (especially of captor and captive officers), it may be possible to frame answers to the many "unanswered questions" that remain about "Japanese behaviour" and to ask new questions about how Australians responded to captivity.6


This presentation is a work-in-progress paper and builds upon existing prisoner-of-war research approaches, aiming to provide an entry point for a larger comparative examination. Further documentary analysis of Japanese and American sources relating to the formation and deployment of Japan Party "B" is necessary to clarify issues arising from the investigation into this group, the only large draft of prisoners raised specifically for detention in Korea during the Pacific Campaign. AIF members, moreover, were in the minority (10%) and under the command of senior British officers, a circumstance that invites future scrutiny from a comparative perspective.

Although our coverage of the history of this prisoner-of-war group in this paper focuses on its formation and transportation to Korea in 1942 and requires further documentation, it is nevertheless possible to argue that the primary motive for detention of Japan Party "B" in Korea was more specifically ideological than in many other cases. Related to this is the fact that Japan Party "B" prisoners at one of the Korean prisoner-of-war locations (Keijo) enjoyed significantly better conditions than those held in most other Japanese-run camps. From the outset, Japanese military authorities intended to use the prisoners for propaganda purposes both at home and abroad. First, they deployed the "B" party captives to highlight to the local Korean population and the Japanese home front the military supremacy of the Imperial Japanese Army and the corresponding weakness of the Allied forces. Secondly, and perhaps more insidiously and effectively, they utilised images of the relatively benign captivity conditions of Japan "B" party prisoners to manufacture for national and international consumption the fiction that Japan treated her captives humanely and even generously.

The Australians in Japan "B" Party (like their counterparts in the smaller and more exclusive "A" or "special" Party of "senior officers") were thus among the first prisoners "under Nippon" to experience captivity primarily as pawns in Japan’s increasingly desperate and unsuccessful battle to win the hearts and minds of her refractory colonial subjects. This position, uncomfortable as it was, brought certain benefits, not the least of which were better conditions, readier access to Red Cross parcels, and a considerably lower death rate than in many other Japanese-controlled camps. Several Japan "B" Party survivors readily acknowledge that they were "the lucky ones", echoing the judgment of the relatively few other prisoner of wars who are aware of their story.7 To have been "lucky", however, perhaps implies that one was "insignificant" and liable to survivor guilt, alongside those who suffered more deeply. It may also mean, as the senior British officer at Keijo camp remarked in the abruptly truncated published version of his captivity narrative, that one’s own story seems "colourless" in comparison" with the horror stories of the Siamese railway prison camps"8 and therefore not worth the telling.

Formation of Japan Party "B"

On 4 March 1942, only three weeks after the Fall of Singapore, the Commander of the Korean Army, General Seishiro Itagaki9 sent a telegram to the Japanese War Ministry requesting 2,000 white prisoners of war (half British, half American) to be sent to Korea. The purpose of this draft of prisoners was to "stamp out respect and admiration of the Korean people for Britain and America", while at the same time "establishing in them a strong faith" in a Japanese victory in the war. The War Ministry’s speedy reply agreed to the request but reduced the number of white prisoners to 1,000, ordering them to be sent to Fusan.10 Later in March, Itagaki further discussed with Tojo the psychological purposes to be served by the prisoners, expressing the view that, despite more than thirty five years of Japanese hegemony, "deep down" the bulk of the Korean population retained a strong attachment to Europe and America.

Even had they been told where they were headed, very few members of the Japan "B" party would have known anything about Korea, (or Chosen, as it was called by the Japanese). British and Australian ignorance about the "hermit kingdom" was profound.11 This was not surprising. Under Japanese colonial rule Korea was virtually a police state. For thirty years, the Japanese had governed Korea for the benefit of Japan, settling Japanese immigrants there to industrialize the "frontier" province and to export the profits back to the home islands. From 1937, the Japanese had squeezed out foreign companies including American and Dutch petroleum interests and were intensifying development of heavy war-related industries. The mobilization of Korea in the interests of Japanese war aims affected the entire society. Under Governor General Minami, the Japanese policy of assimilating other races "into Nippon" entailed the complete eradication of Korean culture and language and their replacement by Japanese language, education and religion. A secret report promulgated during 1942–43 on Japan’s relations with her colonial peoples described Koreans and Formosans in racist terms as being especially suited to carrying out the heavy physical work of a protracted war.12 Korean labour was imported to man coal-mines and factories in Japan and increasingly recruited for "strong-arm" work in the lower ranks of the Kempeitai (Japanese "secret" military police). Korean women were abducted and forced into sexual slavery to "comfort" Japanese front-line soldiers. Despite these repressive measures, the exiled Korean nationalist movement remained a potent focus of resistance.13 Korea’s gaols were crammed with political prisoners thanks to strict surveillance of the local population through Japanese-established neighbourhood "patriotic associations".14 Nevertheless, according to one Korea-watcher, in early 1942 Korea’s population of 25 million appeared to be "on the brink of rebellion", drawing heart from the outbreak of the Pacific War to take every opportunity to capitalize on Japan’s misfortunes.15

In the context of the Pacific theatre, Korea was the engine room of the Japanese war effort and, even more crucially than Manchuria, the gateway to China where the bulk of her armies were engaged.16 As early as February 1942, Japanese military strategists were confronting the build-up of US retaliation. They had not gained the peace resolution they had hoped for in their preemptive strike against Allied possessions in Asia and were now faced with the increasing risk of a long, drawn out and probably unsuccessful military campaign. At the same time, some international commentators were targeting Korea as the most vulnerable spot in the rear of the Japanese empire, where the Japanese were "most afraid of what they call ‘dangerous thoughts’".17

It took another four months before Itagaki’s plan to use white captives as psychological weapons in Korea was implemented, though the reasons for the delay are unclear. During this time, the Japanese military advance overran South-east Asia, acquiring unexpectedly vast numbers of prisoners-of-war while at the same time facing the unpalatable realisation that the tide of warfare was turning in favour of the Allies. These circumstances, which involved the considerable cost of feeding and accommodating prisoners and defending occupied territories while advancing into China and India, led to oppressive developments in Japanese prisoner of war policy. In April, for example, partly in response to the Doolittle Raid, Tojo announced his "no work, no food" principle for prisoners. On 25 June, a few weeks after the crucial battle of Midway established US naval supremacy, he urged a conference of north-east Asian prisoner-of-war camp superintendents to treat prisoners of war in their charge "so as to make the local populace … appreciative of Japanese superior qualities and cognizant of the unique privilege and honour which they enjoy as subjects of His Gracious Majesty."18

It was primarily for this latter purpose that the order to raise Japan Parties "A" and "B" was communicated to the Commander of the 25th Army in Malaya, Lt General Tatsumi Kusaba, who in turn passed it to the captured Malaya Command in Changi in mid-July. Under a misapprehension that there were swarms of high-ranking Allied military personnel in captivity, the Japanese demand for white prisoners now increased to 3,300, a total impossible to meet, given the reduced numbers of fit prisoners left at Changi.19 After much negotiation and revision of the required total, nominal rolls were posted on 16 July. The "A" Party, later known as the "Special Party" or Senior Officers Party, comprising senior Malayan and NEI government officials, plus British, Dutch and Australian officers with the rank of full colonel and above, and engineers and technicians, numbered only 400. The 1,000-strong "B" Party (sometimes called the working party), was largely made up of the surviving members of the 2th Battalion Loyal Lancashire Regiment and the Yorkshire-based 122 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, with the remaining places filled by "odds and sods" from various British and AIF units. After consultation with their junior staff, the commanding officers of the 2nd Loyals and the 122nd Field Regiment, Lt Col. Michael Elrington and Col. John Dyson respectively, had volunteered for the Japan Party for several reasons, most importantly to keep their units intact and to escape the tropics. Both were decorated career officers, Elrington having won a Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross in the Malayan Campaign and Dyson a Military Cross and they had the confidence and cooperation of their men. In contrast, the AIF contingent had only six junior officers and 34 NCOs, 52 privates and a Red Cross Representative assigned the rank of captain by the Japanese. It was a very diverse and scattered group, consisting of 93 men from every state of the Commonwealth and representing personnel from more than 20 separate predominantly "attached" military units, the most numerous group coming from the Pay Corps.20 Of the six Australian officers, only one, Capt Wilf Fawcett, 8th Div Signals, was a field officer and he was under thirty years of age. Capt Desmond Brennan, a doctor and Lt Gilbert Hamilton, were from the 2/3rd Mobile Ambulance Corps. The other officers, more senior in years if not rank, were from army administration. Capt Herb Geldard, a liaison officer attached to British Army Headquarters was the oldest but had not been under fire. Lt Ronald Mill of the Australian Army Pay Corps had been promoted from the ranks, while Capt Hugh Frazer had served in the 8th Div Depot Pay Office. For this reason, although being technically the senior officer, Capt Geldard conceded leadership of the Australians to Capt Fawcett.21 The Australian leadership in comparison therefore with the British, as well as being numerically in the minority, was "junior", non-combatant, to a degree "ad hoc" and, initially at least, unfamiliar to most of the men they led. These facts had a bearing on the subsequent captivity experiences of the group and may also have led to the conflicting evaluations of the severity of captivity in Korean camps that are evident when the officers’ war crimes statements are compared with those of the "men".

On 20 July, the "A" and "B" parties assembled on the Artillery Square for medical inspections, including the memorable but futile "glass rod" test, which involved the collection of rectal smears by means of a glass slide inserted into the anus to detect intestinal infection. These inspections had been insisted upon by Tokyo to prevent carriers of dysentery and other diseases entering Japan and were administered by Japanese medical orderlies to the prisoners in strict order of rank. The "glass rod" test had a levelling effect, causing embarrassment to the higher ranks and mirth to those below22 and was vividly recalled by all who underwent it. "[P]rivates, sergeant majors, brigadiers and generals, even the governor of the Straits Settlements had to drop their shorts in the open square, bow to Japanese medical regulations with the rest of us and receive the sleek glass rod. (What did Gloria d’Earie, the female impersonator (aka Bdr Arthur Butler, 122nd Fld Regt) say when he received the glass rod? Ah! Ecstasy!"23

Departure, scheduled for the following day, was postponed to 31 July and then deferred indefinitely, apparently on medical grounds, although this is not entirely clear. The cultures taken "per aurem et anum" had revealed contagious diseases and the Japanese had no wish to infect their own citizens.24 Suddenly, on 14 August, the Japan parties were again mustered for a bungled repeat of the glass rod test. Two days later, both groups were trucked to Keppel Harbour where they boarded the Elistor Maru, stripped naked, placed their clothing in a bag for steam-fumigation and filed into a hot chemical bath, like sheep going through a sheep-dip. Having retrieved their de-loused clothing, they reassembled on the dirty wharf prior to embarking on the Fukkai Maru (see below, Figure 1), a rundown 3,821-ton cargo boat converted into a troop-carrier, its name the source of much ribald commentary.25 It proved impossible, however, to fit the full complement of 1,400 into the four available "holds" (actually "tween-decks" space divided into two tiers above a cargo of bauxite) as shown in Figure 1. After much argument, the Japanese acknowledged the problem and ordered the "A" Party to embark on a different vessel.26 The AIF were assigned no. 4 or "D"-hold with 108 Loyals. They occupied a space of 20 x 15 yards [60’ x 45’] on two tiers covered with thin straw matting giving a space of 6' x 2' per man in which they could not stand or kneel but only sit, lie or crawl. The crowded, vermin-infested conditions endured by the prisoners on the Fukkai Maru were typical of other Japanese prisoner of war transports and made a mockery of the elaborate disinfection procedures prior to boarding. For many in the "B" Party prisoner of wars the 40-day voyage would be their worst memory of captivity.27

Fukkai Maru, sectional view, drawn by Alan Toze

Figure 1. Fukkai Maru, sectional view, drawn by Alan Toze.28


Voyage of the Fukkai Maru

Voyage of Fukkai Maru, 16 August – 24 September 1942

Figure 2. Voyage of Fukkai Maru, 16 August – 24 September 1942

The Fukkai Maru sailed from Singapore on 18 August, reaching Cap St Jacques in French Indo-China, on 22 August (see Figure 2). On 29 August they tied up in Takao Harbour in Formosa where the "A" or "Special" Party who disembarked there the next day were paraded as war booty to the local population.29 The Japan "B" party spent the next two weeks unloading the Fukkai Maru’s 4,000-ton cargo of Malayan bauxite, reloading her with rice and carrying out various war-related tasks on shore including moving stores in the Naval depot, chipping the bottoms of armoured launches and coal-heaving.30 By now, diphtheria and other diseases had broken out among the prisoners and several were taken ashore for treatment. Meanwhile, the corrupt purser misappropriated the M&V ration and substituted emerald-green contaminated pork to flavour the daily soup, exacerbating the spread of gastric disease. On 15 September the ship at last sailed up the west coast of Formosa, joined a convoy at the Pescadores, made a false start north, doubled back, apparently because American submarines were in the vicinity, then on 17 September headed off into the China Sea on the tail of a typhoon. Several of the inadequate outrigger-style latrine-shacks31 were washed overboard and conditions in the four over-crowded "holds" worsened considerably as sea; sickness competed with diarrhoea and dysentery to befoul the floors and tatami bed-shelves in the prisoners’ "tween-decks" accommodation.32 Despite these miseries, shipboard race relations were relatively genial and when the seas calmed, the Japanese crew hosted a farewell "concert" in no. 3 hold, which included musical items and wrestling matches between captors and captives, with food rewards for all participants.

By 22 September, when the Fukkai Maru anchored in Fusan Bay, most of the prisoners were suffering from diarrhoea and beri-beri.33 More than twenty had contracted dysentery. Frantic Japanese medical teams took the serious dysentery cases ashore to the local military hospital. The Japanese guard now split the prisoners into two groups, assigning the Loyals, the AIF and all field officers to Keijo prisoner of war camp, and the 122nd Field Regiment and personnel from other corps to Jinsen camp.34 A further day’s delay on board ensured that the disembarkation of the prisoners coincided with the Japanese autumn equinox festival on 24 September. As in Takao, the entire local population, clad in their holiday finery had been commandeered to line the streets as compulsory spectators of the victory parade.

Fusan Victory Parade

No sooner had the Fukkai Maru tied up at Fusan dock than Japanese journalists and photographers swarmed aboard to interview selected prisoners about the Malayan campaign.35 As the captives filed down the gangplanks, their boots and hands were sprayed with disinfectant. On the dock, Kempeitai officers and customs officials subjected them to a double search, confiscating gold rings, packs of cards and cameras but sometimes missing more incriminating items, like Capt Des Brennan’s Malay kris and a British prisoner’s compass and makeshift brass knife. (Another British prisoner of war managed to discard a large handgun prior to being searched.)36 Like several of his mates, Bill Gray from the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion had filled his pack with unlabelled tins of M&V "liberated" from the hold under the ‘tween-decks planking where the purser had stashed them for sale later in Japan. His booty exposed, he anxiously awaited punishment for theft. Instead, the Kempeitai NCO who found them accused him of hiding "bombs" in his kit. To Bill’s amazement and relief, he was permitted to keep them after proving that the tins contained food by opening one. His delight soon turned to woe, however, when he and his fellows were formed up into lines of four abreast and forced to march with full kit for three and a half hours around the streets of Fusan.37

The victory parade38 was supervised by scores of red-capped, red-booted Japanese Kempeitai officers and followed closely by the press corps who "snapped every wilting or fainting soldier".39 Lieutenant Terada, adjutant at Keijo, and the detested "mad major" Okuda from Jinsen camp accompanied the parade. Okuda was on horseback during the march and, according to AIF Lt Hugh Frazer, "appeared to derive great enjoyment from stepping his horse almost on the heels of the rear men and having the animal snort and slaver over their shoulders."40 Many prisoners noted that the festively clad Korean population appeared cowed, sullen and apathetic if momentarily curious about the tartan kilts of the few Highlanders in the column and the slouch hats and colour patches of the AIF.41 The Japanese in the crowd, recognizable among the Koreans by their distinctive dress, were more inclined to jeer. In response to the jeering, the British sang "There’ll always be an England". The larrikin Australians jeered back, most notably 2/18th Battalion Cpl Vince Mahboub and 2/19th Battalion Sgt Bill Pyke, who heartened fellow marchers at the rear of the parade (and annoyed the Japanese) by exaggeratedly mimicking the sneering onlookers and commenting coarsely about their appearance.42

Only one spell was permitted – at a school where giggling women and children gawped or spat at the prisoners using the open-air urinal.43Several men collapsed en route and were taken by truck to the local military hospital, joining the other serious dysentery cases removed from the Fukkai Maru. Among them was the ill-fated young Australian Pay Corps corporal, Reginald Hayter, who the previous day had been made to stand for several hours with arms outstretched clutching the onions he had stolen from a stockpile outside the Fukkai Maru’s cookhouse – onions he was later permitted to keep. (Hayter later died at Konan camp in May 1945, the sole AIF casualty in Japan Party "B".) Six British prisoner of wars died at Fusan. During their convalescence in the local military hospital, the survivors, including Hayter, were required by their captors to write an essay on "Japan and the Japanese people".44 This combination of cruel incompetence and neglect, belated and ineffective concern for prisoner welfare and an unusually pointed interest in the attitudes of the prisoners towards Japan and the Pacific War on the part of their captors characterized the captivity experience of Japan Party "B".

Eventually at 4.30pm, the parade halted at Fusan railway station where bento boxes containing the best food the prisoners had encountered since the fall of Singapore were issued for the overnight journey to camps at Keijo [Seoul]45 and Jinsen [Inchon].46 Guarded by armed sentries and still accompanied by press representatives who continued to ask questions and take photographs, the party was ushered aboard surprisingly modern and comfortable third class rail carriages. The next day when the two roughly equal groups reached their separate destinations, they were again paraded publicly en route to their camps, the first party through the streets of the capital Keijo [Seoul];47 the second through Jinsen [Inchon], Keijo’s important west-coast port some thirty miles distant on the mouth of the Han River.48

Kempeitai report of the Fusan parade’s impact on the audience of 120,000 Koreans and 57,000 Japanese lining the streets noted approvingly that "many of the onlookers sneered at the bad manners and indifference displayed openly by the captured British troops and thought it quite natural that an army so lacking in national spirit should be defeated". The spectacle, moreover, of Caucasian captives accompanied by Korean guards allegedly made the local population "realize afresh the magnitude of the victory gained by the Imperial Army" and more vividly appreciate their own direct participation in "the war for Great East Asia". Bystanders were quoted commenting on the slovenliness and lack of patriotism displayed by the "frail and unsteady" prisoners who went along "whistling indifferently": "No wonder they lost to the Japanese forces." At the same time, however, the "most common Japanese reaction" was apparently one of "sober anxiety": "They have no shame, but some arrogance still, so they must be treated firmly." "The appearance of the prisoners made me realize that we can never afford to be defeated."49


What follows represents a summary of research into conditions in the Korean camps being prepared for future publication. The propaganda motive, most immediately visible in the forced marches at Fusan, Keijo and Jinsen, arguably remained a crucial influence on the subsequent experiences of Japan Party "B" prisoners in Korea. Propaganda needs, for example, appear to have governed prisoner movements to some extent at least. Captain Desmond Brennan commented that the Japanese seemed not to know what to do with the prisoner of wars in Keijo and Jinsen camps immediately after their arrival.50 Prisoners spent six weeks learning Japanese military drill before work was found for them.51 Moreover, the Japanese progressively concentrated officer prisoners at Keijo and removed the lower ranks to industrial "work" camps in Manchuria, Japan and North Korea.52 In the last instance, it took a year before the detached camp at Konan [Hungnam]53 was ready to accommodate prisoners sent there from Keijo. Apart from providing a "sightseeing highlight" for locals,54 prisoners at Keijo camp did not appear to have any pressing labour function. There was little real need for prisoner of wars as laborers in the capital. The various tasks they performed for local contractors (for example shifting goods at Keijo and Ryuzan stations and Keijo military warehouses, excavating roads and railway embankments, working at the Mikuni factory, unpicking the knots in straw ropes, and even repairing Japanese military uniforms) were judged by the prisoner of war officers to be "reasonable".55 Even in freezing conditions, these work details were sought by non-commissioned prisoners (and even some officers who were not compelled to labour), as they provided opportunities for acquiring the additional food supplied by the contractors, and also by trading for extras with the local Koreans or by theft. At Jinsen, the main chores included reclaiming land, excavating a graving dock and bagging salt. There was a decreasing need for labour on these tasks in late 1943, and the prisoners were accordingly sent elsewhere.56 Konan camp, which opened in September 1943, absorbed much of this surplus labour.

"Main movements of Japan Party "B" personnel"

Figure 3. Main movements of Japan Party "B" personnel

At the Konan camp, some of the work was physically harder, such as stoking carbide furnaces. Many prisoners, however, indicated that because of the availability of fresh vegetables in the warmer months and local fish during winter, rations were in some ways better than at Jinsen and Keijo.57 The worst problem for prisoners in all North-east Asian camps was enduring the extreme cold in an undernourished state. Nevertheless, the standard of living in the camps here and in the capital was better than that of most local Koreans.58

As in Noguchi’s welcoming speech and subsequent addresses,59 it would also appear that there was a concerted effort to convince prisoners of the legitimacy of Japanese war aims and to canvass prisoner opinion about the Japanese people and the outcome of the war. This included administering an elaborate questionnaire to all prisoner of wars in Korea, interviewing prisoners and even requiring them to write essays about their attitudes towards Japan.60 Initially there were Japanese language lessons for officers, at first compulsory, then voluntary.61 The senior British senior officer at Keijo, Lt Col Elrington held the perception that Australians were being particularly targeted.62

It may be that as a consequence, conditions in the Korean camps, and especially at Keijo, were significantly better than in most other Japanese controlled camps. This more benign regimen included better food, adequate accommodation, access to Red Cross parcels,63delivery of mail (albeit slow), fewer atrocities64 and well-stage-managed annual inspections by International Red Cross Committee [IRCC] teams. Keijo, and to a lesser extent Jinsen and Mukden, were manipulated by the Japanese as "show" camps, open to the IRCC, to demonstrate to the Allied powers Japanese chivalry towards prisoners.65 In fact, the IRCC delegates who inspected Keijo camp in December 1942, allegedly told Mr R. P. Phillips, an Australian Red Cross Representative held there, that it was the "best" Japanese camp he had yet seen.66 In contrast, the IRCC were not given access to camps in South-East Asia where conditions were far worse and frequently appalling. The better conditions in the Korean camps were reflected in the low death rate (2.7%) for the 998-strong Japan Party "B", as shown in Figure 4, with the majority of deaths resulting from the conditions on the Fukkai Maru and taking place within the first months of arrival in Korea.

"Shows trend line of deaths in the camps (each "t" represents an individual death)."

Figure 4. Shows trend line of deaths in the camps (each "t" represents an individual death).

The Australian death rate was slightly lower (1.07%), with only one fatality, that of well-liked young Cpl Reginald Hayter, chief saboteur of the furnaces at the Hongu Chysso carbide plant, who died of untreated double pneumonia in May 1945.67 Compared, for example, with the Fukuoka (Kyushu, Japan) Camps, which by late 1944 had produced 91 deaths per 981 prisoners of war (9.27%),68 the Korean camps were demonstrably better places to be detained. (At the Yokahama War Crimes Trial of Korean prisoner-of-war camp personnel, 4 June – 15 September 1947, eleven Japanese were sentenced to penalties ranging from death by hanging to one year’s imprisonment for crimes, including the forced march and the refusal of appropriate medical treatment to Cpl Hayter.)69

Finally, the propaganda motive is most evident in the extensive photographic and film record70 made by the Japanese of Keijo prisoners and their activities, all in favourable circumstances, such as performing at Christmas concerts, cultivating gardens, nursing albino rabbits and opening Red Cross parcels. To the irritation of the prisoners, some of these images were published in prisoner-of-war bulletins for Allied audiences.71 Remarkably, too, many of the prisoners were able to purchase a selection of photographs of themselves and their colleagues from Kempeitai photographers on the camp staff at nine sen per print. In fact, one British officer collected 92 separate photographs as a record of his captivity.72

What then becomes of the memories and trials of those who may not have been the most brutalised, yet still experienced privations, sickness, isolation and despair? Some of the prisoners in Japan Party "B" expressed frustration at the misrepresentation of their conditions to loved ones at home73 and their powerlessness to respond to the continuing injustice of an inaccurate historical record. There is a tendency for history to overlook the lesser sufferings, but they are no less painful to those who endured them. For many years, the veterans who survived detention in Korea have lived in the shadow of better known combat and captivity stories, with little recognition for their own less dramatic sacrifices. Nobody likes to be the pawn in another’s myth-making. Only by weaving together the individual recollections can the complexity of the collective experience be understood. Although Japan Party "B" did not suffer the horrors of some other prisoners "under Nippon", their story is far from colourless. On the contrary, it throws fascinating light on the diversity and complexity of the prisoner-of-war experience and the working of the Japanese Imperial Army.


  1.   These include the fact that, generally speaking, the drafts of prisoners shipped to the multitude of camps in Japan were made up of many smaller groupings from several nationalities rather than larger battalion units from a single nationality. Once in Japan, moreover, for various reasons such as Allied bombardment, or the greater need for labour elsewhere, these smaller groupings were often disassembled and moved around from camp to camp. These factors have discouraged detailed study of captivity in North-east Asian camps. It is also the case that, with a few notable exceptions such as Omuta and Ofuna, the North-east Asian camps enjoyed lower death rates than those in South-east Asia, lessening the pressure to investigate them. The issue of "revisionist" interpretations of captivity under Nippon, which may seem to exonerate the Japanese for their appalling record of mistreatment of prisoners, is possibly another factor discouraging research into the north-east Asian camps.
  2. There were 92 AIF prisoners and a Red Cross Representative designated military and given the rank of captain by the Japanese. There were also two other Australians in the party, an officer transferred to British Intelligence (Lt W. Butler) and a long-time resident of Australia who had rejoined his world war 1 Indian Army unit (Capt G. Round). See Appendix A.
  3. This is despite the fact that four of them published accounts of their experiences within the first five years of repatriation while a fifth went into print as recently as 1994.
  4. See A. J. Sweeting, "Prisoners of the Japanese", in Lionel Wigmore The Japanese thrust, volume 4, Series 1 (Army), pp. 631-32. No comparable study of captivity in the Far East, let alone in Korea, exists in the official British memory of the Pacific war.
  5. Sibylla Jane Flower, "Captors and captives on the Burma-Thai Railway", in Prisoners of war and their captors in World War II, Bob Moore and Kent Fedorowich (eds), Oxford, Berg (Oxford International Publishers), 1996, pp. 227-253.
  6. For example, how Australians responded to captivity when they were in the minority among other nationalities and were under the command of British or American or Dutch senior officers.
  7. Several ex-Japan party prisoners of war have expressed the view to me that they felt themselves to have been "lucky" to have spent much of their captivity in Keijo camp. Another former 8 Div prisoner of war, Roy Cornforth, (not a member of the Japan Party) "B" referred to them as "the lucky ones", but also commented that they would have been "very cold". Telephone conversation with author, October, 1999.
  8. Lt Col. Michael Elrington "With 2nd Loyals in captivity', Lancashire Lad, March 1952, p. 25. (Elrington's account of his captivity extends over several issues, the three that are relevant to this paper being those of March 1950, March 1952 and March 1952.)
  9. Itagaki was Chief of staff, Kwantung Army, 1936-37; minister of war, 1938-39; chief, army general staff, 1939; commander in Korea, 1941-45; Supreme War Council, 1943; commander in Singapore, 1945. Troops under his command in China and elsewhere terrorized prisoners and civilians. He was responsible for prison camps in Java, Sumatra, Malaya, Borneo and elsewhere.
  10. Lord Russell of Liverpool, The knights of Bushido: a short history of Japanese war crimes, London, Cassell, 1956, p. 60.
  11. Alison Broinowksi. The yellow lady, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 83.
  12. John Dower, War without mercy: race and power in the Pacific war, New York, Pantheon Books, 1986, p. 289. See, too, Carter J. Eckert, et al, Korea old and new: a history, Cambridge Mass., Ilchokak Publishers, for the Korea Institute Harvard University, 1990, chap. 17 "Forced assimilation, mobilization and war", pp. 305-327.
  13. Members of the Korean liberation movement based in Siberia, China and Manchuria were threatening to unleash terrorist attacks on the borders The factions involved included the Kwangbok-Kun (the Korean Restoration Army), which was already engaged with the Allied Forces on the Indian and Burmese fronts. (Eckert, pp. 324-25).
  14. Three hundred and fifty thousand such associations functioned throughout Korea, consisting of ten households each.
  15. Nym Wales [pseudonym of Helen Foster Snow, wife of Edgar Snow], "Rebel Korea", Pacific Affairs , Vol. 42 March 1942, pp. 24-43.
  16. J. Halliday, The political history of Japanese capitalism, Pantheon, New York, 1975, pp. 156-159.
  17. Wales, p. 24.
  18. IMTFE Proceedings, 14424, cited in David Bergamini, Japan's imperial conspiracy, London, Heinemann, 1971, p. 964.
  19. Elrington, Lancashire Lad, March 1950, p. 32. A.J. Kerr, "Altmarking à la Japanese", copy in possession of author.
  20. See Appendix A for names of AIF members of Japan Party "B". The initial roll of 100 [see S/Sgt E. F. Read's list, AWM PRO 166] shrank to 93 [see Lt H. W. Frazer's list, copy held by author] when alleged "no-hopers" dumped by their unit commanders were weeded out by the Australian command. Note, too, the case of Captain Raymond Blaxland, NX71375, who was held at Jinsen and Keijo camps, is listed on Healy's Jinsen nominal roll [AWM 3DRL/6318], was an applicant to the prisoner of war Trust Fund but is not listed on Lt Frazer's or S/Sgt Read's nominal rolls.
  21. Dr D. Brennan, audiotape made for Dorothy Clancy, 1992, copy held by author.
  22. "[T]he faces of some of the Generals publicly bending their bare bottoms [for the 'black rod in waiting'] nearly matched their hat bands." (Elrington, Lancashire Lad, March 1950, p. 32.
  23. Tom Henling Wade, Prisoner of the Japanese: from Changi to Tokyo, Kenthurst, Kangaroo Press, 1995, p. 53.
  24. Elrington, Lancashire Lad, March 1950, p. 33. According to Elrington, two men accepted for departure with Japan Party "B" after tests on 20 July died of dysentery before embarkation.
  25. "The Fukkai Maru was a dirty little cargo vessel that had carried troops from Camranh Bay to Patani or Kotah Bahru at the outbreak of the Malayan Campaign." (Lieutenant Douglas Allison, "The voyage of the Fukkai Maru", Blackwood's Magazine, February 1946, p. 138.) It was torpedoed, carrying Japanese troops, off Palau on 13 December 1943. (Naval Historical Center, Dep. of Navy, Wash. HyperWar: World War II on the World Wide Web 1993 Washington.)
  26. See General de Fremery's illustration of conditions in the "A" Party transport in W. Kent-Hughes, Slaves of the Samurai, Melbourne, Ramsay Ware Publishing, 1946, (facing) p. 113.
  27. The voyage of the Fukkai Maru dominates Lieutenant Douglas Allison's published memoir, is the theme of several poems by Japan Party "B" members, and is the focus of disgusted complaint in virtually all the extant diaries, memoirs and war crimes affidavits of Japan Party "B" prisoners.
  28. L/Bdr A. Toze, Sgt S. Strange, In defence of Singapore: a series of drawings with brief notes, Preston, T. Snape & Co., 1947, p. 5.
  29. Kent-Hughes, p. 121. The four-mile "victory march" of the "A" Party, which passed "citizens, who stared/ Impassively, as if they too had shared/ The sordid shame and stings of slavery", would be repeated by the "B" Party in Fusan a little over three weeks later.
  30. Alan Toze, "Typescript of Diaries", Papers of Alan Toze, London, Imperial War Museum 90/34/1A, p. 10.
  31. There were three stinking Japanese-style latrines per 200 men, a completely inadequate ratio for the 1,000 men prisoners of war aboard. As soon as diarrhoea and dysentery broke out in the holds it became impossible to maintain proper hygiene. (H. Geldard, "Diary Notes", AWM PR91/194.)
  32. It is nevertheless true that while all prisoners deplored the conditions, especially the latrines, memories of the voyage differ considerably, with some men's diaries recording generosity and many small kindnesses on the part of the Japanese guard and crew and omitting mention of the heavy seas and the resultant hygiene problems. Others complain bitterly about almost every facet of the experience.
  33. Brennan (audiotape) estimated that 80% of the prisoners had chronic diarrhoea.
  34. It eventuated, however, that some 2nd Loyals and AIF who were in the baggage party and became separated from their national groupings en route to Keijo, ended up at Jinsen camp.
  35. Australian War Memorial New Collections Data Base Search. (Use search terms "Fusan", and "Fukkai Maru".
  36. Lt Col. Elrington notes that the Japanese in Changi issued lengthy instructions to the Japan Parties regarding "what could and could not be taken to Japan: among the latter being cameras, gold rings and jewellery of great instrinsic value" (Lancashire Lad, March 1950, p. 33.) A list of articles on which customs duty was payable was thoughtfully published. Brennan (audiotape) recalled with amusement the inefficiency of the Japanese search.
  37. Bill Gray, taped interview, 6 November 2001, Busselton, WA.
  38. Australian War Memorial New Collections Data Base Search. (Use search term "Fusan".)
  39. Henling Wade, p. 57.
  40. Lt Hugh Frazer was in the rear, closely followed by Major Okuda on horseback. He was of the view that Okuda was in charge of the movement of the Japan "B" Party from Fusan to the camps. Lt H. W Frazer, "Diary Notes", copy held by author. See, too, Frazer's war crimes statement (AWM 54 1010/4/55).
  41. Sidney Fellew. "Diary Notes", copy held by author.
  42. Brennan (audiotape).
  43. There is some disagreement about the distance and duration of the march, as well as the number of 'spells'. The British report quoted in The knights of Bushido claims that the march "went on all day in the hot sun" with only two spells. Other sources state that it began at 1 pm and ended at 4.30 pm at Fusan railway station. Likewise, some sources say the distance was five miles, others say four, three and two miles. Whatever the case, it was undeniably difficult for prisoners afflicted with beri-beri, diarrhoea and other diseases and cooped up in cramped conditions for several weeks on a ship to manage even a short walk in full kit.
  44. Toze, p. 13.
  45. Australian War Memorial New Collections Data Base Search. (Use search term "Keijo".)
  46. Australian War Memorial New Collections Data Base Search. (Use search term "Jinsen".)
  47. Australian War Memorial New Collections Data Base Search. (Use search term "Keijo".)
  48. These details are drawn from the diaries and memoirs of several Japan party "B" prisoner of wars, including Lt H. Geldard, Cpl A. R. C. Johnstone ("The years between", AWM PRO 1044), Capt Guy Round ("The road from Singapore", AWM PRO 1370), Lt Col. M Elrington, Pte S. Fellew, and others.
  49. IMTFE [International Military Tribunal for the Far East] Proceedings, p. 14,581 ff. Cited by Bergamini (pp. 964-65). See, too, the evidence of Junjiro Ihara, [Chief of Staff of the Korean Army from 9 July 1942 - 10 February 1945, then chief of the 17th Area Army from 11 February 1945-end of war (he was Lt General at end of war)] at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial (United States vs Sadao Araki). Ihara denied any propaganda motive in the treatment of Allied prisoner of wars in Fusan and in Korea more generally. He claimed unconvincingly that this "thought police" report presented the "reaction of General Public on the Internment of English Prisoners of War" but was merely one of customary reports to the War Ministry for information by army staff office collecting regular reports from gendarmeries in Korea . . . not collected by orders of the army nor by instructions or requests of war ministry. It was the custom of army "to address documents or dispatches of secondary importance to and from vice minister and chief of staff. The above report never made public." Exhibit 3307, Defence Document No. 2039, IMTFE, AWM 83/206.
  50. Brennan (audiotape). Alan Toze made a similar observation on 30 September 1943: "Work at warehouse practically nil they don't know what to do with us." (Toze, p. 50.)
  51. Many of the diaries and memoirs of Japan Party "B" members mention the early weeks in the camps as a period in which they had with little to do apart from squad drill and camp piquet duties.
  52. See Figure 3, "Prisoner of war movements". On 9 November 1942, 100 Japan Party "B" prisoners of war, including 16 AIF, joined 1,200 American prisoners of war from the Philippines on a train transporting them to Mukden to man the large MKK [Mitsubishi Ko Kan] heavy machinery factory situated there. In 1943, several large groups were shipped to Kobe in Japan and a new camp in northern Chosen at Konan. In 1944 two further drafts of prisoners went to coal-mining camps on Kyushu and in 1945 there was some shifting around of officers and men from Jinsen into Keijo, and the arrival at Jinsen of 150 US and British prisoners of war, mainly officers, from Japan. By September 1945 there were a just over 300 prisoners in Keijo and Jinsen, including the 150 recent arrivals from Japan. See Round, p. 386.
  53. Australian War Memorial New Collections Data Base Search. (Use search term "Konan".)
  54. Interrogation report of prisoner no. JA145669. PRO WO 208/3485.
  55. Capt Wilfred Fawcett, War Crimes statement, courtesy Carolyn Newman.
  56. See Guy Round, "The road from Singapore", and A. R. C. Johnstone, "The years between".
  57. The food was "far better than it had been at Keijo. During the winter we had plentiful supplies of fish and sometimes received as many as four or five half-pound fish each. We received 24 ounces of rice a day. We had fresh vegetables during the winter but they were very scarce during the summer. In winter the men's weight rose but fell again in the summer." Lt R. Mill, War Crimes Statement, AWM 54 1010/4/59.
  58. In mid-1943, for example, a riot at the gates of the Keijo Camp, involving some 100 starving Koreans clamouring to get in, was "dispersed" by the sentries with fixed bayonets. (Toze, p. 39.) Prisoners of war, especially at Konan camp, reported having seen Koreans in utterly destitute conditions. After the liberation, many prisoners of war gave local Koreans clothing and blankets.
  59. Copies of the translation of Noguchi's welcome speech, which echoed the florid propaganda rhetoric of The way of the subject (1941), were distributed to the prisoners. Noguchi made a several more speeches when parties of prisoner of wars were transferred to other camps, at funerals, and after the failed escape attempts. He always warned the prisoner of wars against "harbouring hostile feelings" and encouraged cooperation with Japanese authorities.
  60. Toze, p. 68. A copy of the questionnaire has been reproduced by Sweeting in Wigmore, facing p. 638. For details of a different questionnaire, with 24 questions administered to prisoner of war officers by Maj Okuda at Jinsen in October 1942, see Round, p. 216.
  61. Round, pp. 215-20.
  62. Elrington claimed that in the matter of forming up the squads on arrival in Keijo camp, the Japanese gave the Australians "preferential if not deferential treatment" by segregating them and positioning them "on the right flank" ahead of the British officers. "It is pertinent to remember," he said, "that Japanese propaganda was still trying to wean Australia from her allegiance to the Empire' (Lancashire Lad, March 1951, p. 186). See, too, Round, pp. 214-15.
  63. All three camps received the parcels, though in varying quantities and depending also on the scale of Japanese pilfering that took place. Keijo seems to have been better supplied than the two other camps and the officers appear to have gained a larger share of the donated foodstuffs. The "great bully controversy" at Keijo in early 1943 involved the unequal distribution of bulk bully beef, whereby officers who were not required to work received more than the men on work parties. Toze, p. 23-24.
  64. Capt Guy Round commented that most prisoner bashings were not from hatred but because men had contravened Japanese military regulations and were punished according to their custom. This view is supported by a number of prisoner-of-war affidavits. (See p. 273.)
  65. Konan was never inspected by an IRCC team. The planned visit in late 1944 did not take place due to IRCC delegate M. Angst's illness. Instead Col Noguchi inspected the camp and furnished a favourable report.
  66. Toze, p. 17.
  67. J. S. Miller (former 122nd Fld Reg, RA, gunner/driver), [Untitled, unpublished memoir], 10-14, Papers of G. F. Petry, Imperial War Museum, London.
  68. IRCC, "Assorted Reports on prisoner of war camps", PRO FO916/1059.
  69. Reviews of the Yokahama Class B and C war crimes by the US Eighth Army Judge Advocate 1946-1949 [microform], AWM ORMF0075. The deaths of two US servicemen at Jinsen camp in mid-1945 increased the death-rate for that camp and provided strong grounds for several convictions. The trial nevertheless raises questions about "scapegoating" lower ranked Japanese camp personnel for carrying out Imperial Japanese policies when many much more senior officials escaped conviction and flourished under the Occupation.
  70. The Keijo camp prisoners were filmed by Japanese cameramen on at least two separate occasions (see Toze, p. 15 & 18), and photographed regularly by Kempeitai Sgt Kobiashi, by several of the Japanese doctors, and by the unpredictable guard, Cpl Takuma.
  71. See, for example, Far East, May 1945, pp. 6-7, which has a photograph of prisoners of war opening Red Cross parcels.
  72. Maj John Proctor, Papers, Liddell Hart Library, King's College, London. Other officers also had extensive collections. See, too, Lever Papers, Fulwood Barracks Museum, Preston; Les Law Papers, IWM 66/311/1; Papers of R. P. Phillips, privately held, formerly in AWM. My own father, Acting Sergeant Geoff de Groen, a mere AAPC NCO, had a collection of 18 photographs.
  73. For example, prisoners learned from letters they received in camp that the quality of conditions in Keijo had been exaggerated: "A Red Cross report to home tells them that this Camp has 'a magnificent sports field and a large modern English Library'!" (Toze, p. 77.)

Appendix A
Alphabetical listing of AIF Members of Japan Party "B"

  1. Allcock, D.T. NX587 Cpl 8Div Depot, AAPC
  2. Anstis, R. VX55123, Sigm 8Div Sigs
  3. Bee, H.G. WX 10940, L/Cpl 4Res MT
  4. Bell, W.L.C. VX 58668, Pte 2/10 AAOC Ord Fac Wshp
  5. Baldwin, A.E. QX10614, Drv 8Div Cash Office
  6. Blaxland R. NX71375 Cpt [unit unknown]
  7. Bolger, J.R. NX68408, Pte 2/3 MAC
  8. Bourne, A.W. NX52092, Sigm 8Div Sigs
  9. Boys, M.G. Q19253, Pte AAPC
  10. Brennan, D.J. NX71022, Capt. 2/3 MAC
  11. Bulmer, A.J. NX52083, Pte 2/20Bn
  12. Carey, H.D. WX42614, Cpl AAPC
  13. Carmody, Pte D.P. VX45218, 2/2 MAC
  14. Cattell, J.T. NX5685, Sgt AAPC
  15. Cattermole, J.E. SX11622, Pte 4 Res MT
  16. Chute, J.J.J. VX58456, Cpl AAPC
  17. Clancy, J. J. WX7122, Cpl 2/4MG Bn
  18. Clarke, A. WX10945, Pte 4Res MT
  19. De Groen, G. NX67344 A/Sgt AAPC
  20. Donaldson, I.J. VX39253, Pte 85 LAD [4 Anti-Tank ]
  21. Dowland, W. VX23948, Pte 2/9 Fd Amb
  22. Doyle, F.M. NX56278, Pte 2Coy AASC
  23. Doyle, M.L. VX50084, Pte 4Res MT
  24. Drexel, H.H. NX73625, Pte 2/19 Bn
  25. Edwards, N.P. TX5182 Pte 2/3 MAC
  26. Farley, C.R. WX10068, Cpl AAPC (Audit)
  27. Fathers, E.A. WX6867, Sgt 8Div Sigs
  28. Fawcett, W.D. NX70392, Cpt 8 Div Sigs
  29. Fellew, S.M. NX52091, Pte 2/20 Bn
  30. Flack, G.A.C. VX60383, Pte 4Res MT
  31. Flower, B.D. NX29252, 22 Bde Field Wshop
  32. Frazer, H.W. NX65515, Lt 8Div Depot Cash Office
  33. Frazer, W.A. NX71747 Cpl AAPC
  34. Fredericks, R.J. QX8219 Cpl 8Div Postal Unit
  35. Freeman, L.D. VX62995 Pte 2/10 Ord.Fld Park
  36. Geldard, H.S. NX70339 Capt. HQ 8Div
  37. Gimbert, L.G. NX858 Sigm 8Div Sigs
  38. Goodwin, K.M. NX25694 Pte 2/18 Bn
  39. Gray, C.W. WX10378 A/Cpl 2/4 MG Bn
  40. Groves, J.J. NX56849 Pte 2Coy AASC
  41. Guest, J.W. WX10719 Pte 4Res MT
  42. Hamilton, G.F. QX19115 Lt 2/3 MAC
  43. Harper, L. VX33061 Pte 2/9 Fd Amb.
  44. Harrison, E.S. WX17587 Pte 2/9 Fd Amb
  45. Harriss, G. VX63390 Cpl 2/10 Fld Park
  46. Hayes, C.A. NX72981 Pte 2/3 MAC
  47. Hayter, R. NX49025 Cpl AAPC
  48. Healy, P. NX10962 Pte 4Res MT
  49. Healy, T. NX10981 Pte 4Res MT
  50. Heatherill, R. VX34713 Pte [?2/19 Bn]
  51. Hoad, R. VX59774 Pte 2/26 Bn
  52. Holland, H.M. WX17997 Pte 2/4 MG Bn
  53. Homewood, J. WX10936 Cpl 4Res MT
  54. Johns, E.W.V. VX47944 Pte 2/2 MAC
  55. Johnstone, A.R.C. NX20572 Cpl 8 Div Audit
  56. Keatch, S. NX69565 Pte 2/3 MAC
  57. Kent, H.J.H. VX57131 Sigm 8Div Sigs
  58. Kerr, A.J. VX56746 Sigm 8Div Sigs
  59. Lineham, J. VX46987 Pte 2/2 MAC
  60. Litchfield, R.C. NX42326 Cpl AAPC
  61. Locke, H.W. NX26656 Sgt 8Div Sigs
  62. McDermott, R.G. VX64335 Cpl AAPC
  63. McDougall, I.A. NX41576 Sigm 8Div Sigs
  64. McKay, R.G. VX20847 Pte 2/2 MAC
  65. McLean, R.J. NX32264 Cpl 2/20 Bn
  66. Mahboub, V.M. NX31539 Cpl 2/18 Bn
  67. Menzies, G.R. WX11685 Pte 2Coy AASC
  68. Mill, R. VX19654 Lt AAPC
  69. Mitchell, R.G. VX10953 L/Cpl 4Res MT
  70. Mulgrew, B.J. VX36973 Cpl 8Div Audit
  71. Neely, H.P. NX14334 1Coy AASC
  72. Perry, C.W. NX29591 Pte 8Div AASC Water Tpt Coy
  73. Pyke, W.E. NX67851 Sgt 2/19 Bn
  74. Read, E.F. NX69250 S/Sgt 2/3 MAC
  75. Reed, H.B. WX10937 Cpl 2/2 MAC
  76. Ricketts, D.N. NX58924 Pte 2/18 Bn
  77. Ridgeway, J.W. VX44430 Pte 4Res MT
  78. Roots, S.E. WX15893 Pte 2/4 MG Bn
  79. Scott, J.A. WX6729 L/Cpl 4 Res MT
  80. Sharp, L.H. VX63515 Pte 2/10 Ord Fld Park
  81. Shoobridge, R.M. TX4281 Pte 2/3 MAC
  82. Smale, F.H. WX15839 Pte 4 Res MT
  83. Smith, H.F. NX26427 Sgt 2/3 MAC
  84. Snell, R.H. VX33319 2/9 Fd Amb
  85. Swinton, R. NX69229 Cpl 2/3 MAC
  86. Taylor, J.A. WX4986 Pte 2/4 MG Bn
  87. Thorburn, C. NX33499 Pte 2/18 Bn
  88. Vinall, G.W. SX11718 Pte 4Res MT
  89. Wheeler, J.D. NX42714 Cpl AAPC
  90. Whiteside, T.M. VX33167 Pte 2Coy AASC
  91. Wilkinson, J.D. VX63559 Cpl AAPC
  92. Woodward, W.J.NX58655 W/O1 8Div HQ
  93. Phillips, R.P. Senior Australian Red Cross Representative [assigned rank of captain by Japanese]

Other Australians in Japan Party "B", under British command:

  1. Butler, Lt W. [in British Intelligence unit]
  2. Round, Capt. G. 13th Auxiliary Pioneer Battalion (Indian Army).

Appendix B
Japan Party "B" prisoners sent to Mukden

  • Sigm R. Anstis
  • L/Cpl H.G. Bee
  • Pte W.L.C. Bell
  • Capt D. Brennan
  • Cpl J. Clancy
  • Pte W. Dowland
  • Pte M.L. Doyle
  • Pte H. Drexel
  • Pte J.J. Groves
  • Cpl E.S. Harriss
  • Pte E.W.V. Johns
  • Sgt H.W. Locke
  • Pte G.R. Menzies
  • L/Cpl R.G. Mitchell
  • L/Cpl J.A. Scott
  • Pte R.M. Shoobridge