Sendai # 11
Dr. William Foley and seven pharmacist mates were sent here with some of the civilians from Wake Island. They arrived around the 4th of July 1945 as all the POWs were moved from Kiangwan in China to camps in Japan. The North China Marines were apparently sent on to the Hokkaido camps. The report below lists 7 Marines as being here and one Navy. Dr. Foley was Navy as were the pharmacist mates, although they were apparently counted as Marines for the purposes of this report, not an uncommon error.
Colonel William Ashurst, commander of the North China Marines, filed reports with the War Department after the war. He listed a group of 196 POWs leaving Kiangwan for Japan in May of 1945. The group was all civilian except for 1 Navy medical officer and 7 Naval medical enlisted men. The one Navy medical officer was Foley. Many North China Marines knew NCM Herman Davis was with Foley from conversations after the war. NCM Art Schraeder told me he was at Sendai. Both Davis and Schraeder were Navy pharmacists. The other five Navy medical enlisted men were North China Marines (all Navy pharmacists) Loy Black, William Hunt, Earl Johnson, William Riley, and John Ryan. All their names appear on the roster posted on Roger Mansell's site.
So the North China Marines sent to Sendai were all Navy men: Dr Foley and pharmacists Black, Davis, Hunt, Johnson, Riley, Ryan, and Schraeder. Records from the 40th Bomb Group referenced below add to this confirmation.
photo of Sendai # 11 from NARA files
SENDAI #11, Page 1 of 2
PRISONERS OF WAR CAMPS IN JAPAN & JAPANESE CONTROLLED AREAS
LIAISON & RESEARCH BRANCH AMERICAN PRISONER OF WAR INFORMATION BUREAU
SENDAI CAMP NO. 11. ON THE ISLAND OF HONSHU
This camp in the Sendai Group was located in a mining village in the mountains geographically indicated as Kamikita Kozan (Kozan in Japanese can be a mountain or a mine) 12 1/2 miles south of Aomori and 20 miles wesi of Lake Ogawahara. This is on the northern coast of the island of Honshu. The coordinates are 40°.30'N.,141°20'E. The prison compound covered an area of 300' x 300' and was
2. PRISONER PERSONNEL:
The first occupants of this camp was a detail of 198 American prisoners from Fengtai, China arrival date being 4 July 1945. The personnel is classified as follows: Army 4; Navy 1 (Dr Foley): Marines 7(the 7 Marines were in actuality Navy pharmacists) ; Civilians 186. The civilians were captured on Wake Island and among them were a few Pan-American mess boys. The only officer in this contingent was Cmdr. William Foley, U.S. Navy Medical Corps. Cmdr Foley was the senior officer, and by reason of his profession he became the official camp surgeon as well. (Foley was a Naval Lt at the time. He was definitely not part of the crew of the USS Wake as the rescue roster from Sendai #11 has him listed.)
According to records of the 40th Bomb Group Sergeants Fred Carlton, Watson Lankford, and Carl Rieger were at Sendai 11, along with SSgt James Meehan of the 444th and Sgt Donald Watts, a crew chief of a C-47. The men of the 40th had been shot down on 11 Nov 1944 over Nanking and ended up in Kiangwan. This record confirms Dr Foley as the senior POW with approx 5 Navy corpsmen, approx 190 civilians, and the five crewman listed above as making up the POW roster. They left the train transporting the POWs north and walked about 2 miles to the camp which had large new barracks in the hills. They worked in an open pit mine. The work was hard with brutal treatment and very little food.
(These POWs were from the camp at Kiangwan, China. The camp was closed and the prisoners were sent to Fengtai, China for about a month, then on to Pusan, Korea and finally to Japan.)
3. GUARD PERSONNEL:
Upon arrival of the American contingent, 2nd Lt. Uozumi was camp commandant. On 8 Aug. 1945 this officer is reported to have committed suicide. He was succeeded by Sgt, Maj. Subano a sadist who apparently satisfied his cruel tendencies by personally beating the prisoners, without provocation, with clubs and his saber. At the end of the war the Senior Officer ordered the Japanese Military Police 1o arrest and hold Subano until the U.S. Contingent of occupation arrived.
4. GENERAL CONDITIONS:
(a) Housing_Facilities: The barracks comprised one two-story building rectangular in shape, unheated, dimensions 40' x 80' with wood shingle roof and wood floor. All of the interior was of rough, sawed lumber without insulation of any kind.
(b) Latrines: Connected with the barracks about 20' away by frame covered path. This facility was built and maintained by the prisoner personnel and was about 10' wide and 20' long. Boxes which were emptied daily constituted the receptacles.
(c) Bathing: This bath house was a detached unheated frame building about 20' north of the barracks, dimensions 40" x 20'. This facility was equipped with a wood tub 10' x 10', the water being electrically heated. Bathing was done by dipping the water oul of the tub in buckets,
(d) Mess Hall: As such there was no mess hall. The food was prepared by prisoner cooks in iron cauldrons in a kitchen connected with the barracks. The food was served in the barracks.
(e) Food: During the time that the detail of 198 men were at this camp the food was maintained without variation in inadequate amount, to-wit; one small bowl of rice and Soya bean mixture three times daily with about one teacup full of soup made from weeds gathered by the prisoners from the mountainside. This diet was the equivalent of about 2,000 calories while the daily output of energy was about 4,000 calories. The prisoners lost weight in an average of about three pounds per week. The medicines confiscated from the storeroom of Red Cross supplies stood between the prisoners and
(f) Medical Facilities: A hospital had not been provided. One room on the ground floor of the barracks had been set aside for the sick prisoners which contained eight beds. Little or no equipment was available, medicines were not issued, and the Camp Surgeon had to rely almost entirely upon the administration of the medicines which he and some of the
(g) Supplies: (1) Red Cross: Red Cross parcels were in the store room but were not issued until after the close of the war. (2) Japanese Issue: No clothing was given to the prisoners until after surrender. At that time each prisoner was given a complete Japanese uniform.
(h) Mail: None either in or out.
(i) Work: The work was in an open pit iron mine requiring hard labor- The jaunt to and from the mine each day imposed additional hardships. The routine each day was reveille at 4:30. Off to work at 5:30 down a 750' cliff, a trek of two miles down the valley and then a climb of 1,000 feet up the mountain to the mine. No respite from this routine on Sunday or holidays- Wood cutting details were formed- Japanese civilians were work leaders in the mines. Some of these leaders are said to have been kind. others cruel and driving.
(j) Treatment: Upon reaching Sendai No, 11 all of the prisoners were dispossessed of their personal belongings including all the medicines and Red Cross supplies which they brought with them from China. They were allowed to retain one pair pants, one shirt, one pair dry socks, and one pair of rubber shoes. Notwithstanding the fatigue of the prisoners caused by malnutrition and many days of hard travel, they were without rest compelled to begin work in the mine immediately. The prisoners did not have a dry outfit to change into upon reaching the camp in wet clothing. Sleep through the night was made impossible by the frequent counting of the prisoners by the guards and by the further fact that the barracks were heavily infested with fleas. This camp was called a veritable "hell hole" by the prisoners.
Religious activities: none
Morale: very low
Upon liberation of this camp on 12 Sep 1945 the entire detail of 198 men were sent to Sendai and from there to America.