This is the story of the Japanese prisoner of war camps on the island of Taiwan (Formosa) during the Second World War and of the men who were interned in them.
It seems that many people know about the hardship and suffering of the POW's working on the Death Railway in Thailand and Burma, but few know about the "hell-camps" of Taiwan. We hope to tell the story of the suffering and deprivation endured by the POW's so that all will know - and hopefully never forget!
Our site contains descriptions of the prison camps, a detailed list of all the former prisoners, an honour roll of those who died, and the story of the
Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society.
The dates for this year's Remembrance Week Event have been finalized.
Our event will take place from November 5 – 12, 2014.
As usual, we will have visits to the former POW camp sites complete with memorial services, local sightseeing tours, and the Remembrance Day service at the Taiwan POW Memorial on the site of the former Kinkaseki POW Camp in Jinguashi.
We invite and encourage former POWs, their family members and all friends and supporters to be with us this year. More information will be forthcoming later in the year, but those wishing to participate should contact us as early as possible to register for the program.
For the past two years we have been trying to obtain a photo of the last American war grave we needed to complete our Taiwan POW War Graves Project in the Honour Roll on our website. On Saturday morning January 25th we received an email that ended more than four years of work and two years of searching for a photo of that last Taiwan POW's grave.
As our readers will know, we have tried without success to get a photo of the grave of Freddy McCreary who is buried in Warfield Cemetery, near Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky.
24 year-old ARM1C Frederick Earl McCreary of Bomb Squadron 18, on the carrier USS Intrepid was shot down on a raid over Taipei and was captured and interned in the Taihoku Prison. He was one of the 14 young men needlessly murdered by a Japanese firing squad inside the prison walls just 58 days before the end of the war. His ashes had been returned home and were interred in the Warfield Cemetery, and we just needed a photo of his grave to complete the task of making sure that every former Taiwan POW's grave location was identified and the grave photographed.
Then this past November after escorting National Commander John Mitchell and Executive Director Stewart Hickey of the AMVETS on a tour to Kinkaseki, they asked if there was anything that AMVETS could do to help us. We told them about McCreary’s grave and how we had tried long and hard to get a photo, and they said they would try to help.
The AMVETS did come through for us, but not in the way we had expected. We thought that likely they would contact a member of the local AMVETS chapter in the Barbourville area to go and take a photo for us. In that email of January 25th was a beautiful photo of Freddy McCreary’s gravestone (above). In talking with AMVETS Executive Director Stewart Hickey shortly after, I asked how they got the photo and he said that National Commander John Mitchell had personally gone and taken the photo for us. Now this is incredible, as in addition to being so busy in his role as the National Commander of AMVETS, John lives in Knoxville Tennessee, and so he drove 150 miles one way to Knox County Kentucky just to take the grave photo for us. In an email to me he said that he did it in respect for what we are doing here in Taiwan to remember the POWs. Talk about true dedication to the cause of remembering a veteran who has served and died for his country!
We cannot thank John and Stewart and the AMVETS enough for this help to ensure that Freddy McCreary is remembered along with his mates who gave their lives for their country, and also for their wonderful mark of respect for the work we are trying to do. It is only by working together with caring people like John and Stewart that we are able to make sure that the former Taiwan POWs are not forgotten!
For the past many months we have featured articles on the homepage regarding the sweeping changes taking place in Japan under the new LDP government of Shinzo Abe and his Right Wing extremists.
We have shown from reports and studies, first hand news accounts and references, how the Abe government wants to return to the extreme Right Wing policies of former times, how they want to rescind the so-called apologies made by former prime ministers and renounce the previous stand on the Comfort Women, now saying that they were simply prostitutes and that they were necessary and that they were not co-erced of forced by the Japanese military to perform services for the troops. They want to re-write Japan's pacifist constitution in order to make it possible for Japan to wage war again, and more alarmingly, they want to limit or abolish human rights and freedoms, so they can persecute those who differ with their opinion or who want to peacefully gather in protests. If one looks back at the history of the 20th Century, one can clearly see that these were also the policies adopted and propagated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis when they came to power 80 years ago in 1933!
We have removed the bulk of the articles from the homepage as we want to feature other things, but for those who are interested please click here to read a series of articles which reveal the startling changes which have taken place, and which will continue to take place in the near future under this extreme regime.
UPDATE - THE LATEST - MARCH 4, 2014
As Shinzo Abe plunges Japan deeper and deeper into isolation within the Pacific Region and also now with the United States - much to the dislike and despair of the Japanese people, read what these journalists, reporters and newspapers have to say about the current state of affairs in Japan. CLICK ON THE LINK IN EACH ARTICLE TO READ THE FULL STORY. . .
The Asahi Shimbun
February 8, 2014
U.S. State Department calls remarks by NHK governor 'preposterous'
WASHINGTON--The U.S. State Department described as "preposterous" remarks by a governor for Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) who alleged the Tokyo war crimes trial was designed to cover up U.S. atrocities during World War II.
Hyakuta said the U.S. military committed "cruel massacres" by fire-bombing Tokyo and dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. He went on to say that the Nanking Massacre was brought up in the Tokyo tribunal because the U.S. military wanted to cancel out its own crimes.
He also claimed that the massacre never happened.
Note: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga defends Hyakuta's "right" to the fallacious claim as "protected by his constitutional freedom of speech." (While at the same time now limiting that very freedom for the ordinary Japanese people with their newly revised constitution - Ed)
The Asahi Shimbun
February 22, 2014
EDITORIAL: Abe’s diplomatic stance pushing Japan toward isolation
In his foreign policy agenda, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to rebuild Japan’s somewhat frayed ties with the United States.
But he himself is undermining the government’s efforts to achieve this top foreign policy goal.
With U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan approaching, the Abe administration should take the current situation very seriously.
The straining of Japan’s vital relations with the United States was set off by his visit to Yasukuni Shrine in December. The shrine dedicated to Japan's war dead also honors 14 Class-A war criminals.
The Japan Times – BE SURE TO READ THIS ONE – IT’S A TREASURE!
February 22, 2014
Abe’s culture wars boomerang against Japan
By Jeff Kingston
Japan’s culture wars are heating up to the detriment of the nation. The Financial Times is right to warn that the jingoism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and attempts to stifle public debate, are grave threats to Japan’s open society. Most Japanese don’t want to go where Abe is trying to drag them, but he is stomping ahead regardless.
February 25, 2014
U.S. congressional report worried about Abe's views on history
A U.S. congressional research body has expressed concern that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's views on World War II and related wartime history could harm bilateral relations.
A Feb. 20 report by the Congressional Research Service said that Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine not only worsened Japan's already strained ties with China and South Korea but somewhat damaged mutual trust between Tokyo and Washington.
The Japan Times
February 27, 2014
Murayama raps Abe over sex slaves
Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on Thursday blasted Shinzo Abe for considering revising the 1993 Kono statement, the first official acknowledgment that the Imperial Japanese Army had forced women into sexual servitude at wartime brothels set up by the military.
“It was very clear that the Imperial Japanese Army thought the ‘comfort women’ system was necessary for the military’s operations in maintaining hygiene and security and preventing espionage,” Murayama told a news conference at the Japan National Press Club. He served as the only prime minister from the ex-Japan Socialist Party from 1994 to 1996.
“It is meaningless to try to parse whether the military had forced the women into prostitution,” he said.
March 3, 2014 - Addition of the "Remembrance Day at Kinkaseki" slide show - link on the homepage and story in the Archives Section.
March 2, 2014 - Update to "Asian War Graves and Memorial Photos Available Free" article in the Archives Section and on the homepage.
February 13, 2014 - Updates to almost all of the articles and stories in the ARCHIVES Section with more information as well as addititional and enlarged photos. In particular the articles on the hellships, the further Japanese atrocities and the memorial to the American airmen at the old Taipei Prison, the Other Commonwealth POWs and the forgotten South Africans.
January 20, 2014 - Addition of the new "Taiwan POW Camps Tour" page to the website. See the main menu on the left side of the homepage.
January 2, 2014 - Update to the "Shirakawa POW Camp" listing in the Camps section.
January 2, 2014 - Update to the article "The Memorials for the Taiwan POWs" - to include the new Shirakawa POW Memorial - in the Archives section.
December 15, 2013 - Fall-Winter 2013 Newsletter uploaded to the site. Click Here or go to the Society Section and click on the newsletter in the Newsletters box.
December 2, 2013 - "17 Years of Researching, Remembering and Honouring the Taiwan POWs" - in the Archives section.
We would like to remind our viewers that this is a work in progress so be sure to check back often.
As mentioned previously in this column, at present we have the lists of the POWs transported from Taiwan to the Philippines in September 1945 on the carrier USS Block Island, the DE's USS Thomas J. Gary and USS Kretchmer, and the New Zealand Hospital Ship Maunganui. Sadly, although we have obtained the logs from the USS Santee, no list of POW names was attached, and we have only partial lists of men from the DE's USS Brister and USS Finch.
We are currently searching various archives to try to find these lists if they have survived, but in the meantime we would like to hear from former POWs and their families if they have any knowledge that their relative sailed on any of these three ships.
If there are any US Naval or other archives out there which might have such information, we would appreciate hearing from you as well and then arrangements can be made to pay a visit to your facility to check things out further.
If there are any former crew members of these ships who know of the lists that were made and where they might now be, please kindly get in touch with us as well. We would be so grateful for any help we can get.
Do you need a photo of a loved ones' grave or name on a memorial in the Far East?
Welcome to the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP.
We are a group comprised of FEPOW organizations and researchers located in the Far East and we are dedicated to providing good quality photos of war graves and the names on the various memorials from the war cemeteries located all across Asia - FREE OF CHARGE - with the sole aim of keeping the memory of the veterans alive, so present and future generations will not forget the sacrifices they have made so far from home.
We specialize in photos of the names on all the memorials across Asia. We have all 25,000 names on the SINGAPORE / KRANJI MEMORIAL, all 27,000 names on the TAUKKYAN / RANGOON MEMORIAL, as well as all the other memorials such as SAI WAN, YOKOHAMA and LABUAN. We are happy to be able to supply names from all the memorials as well – FREE of CHARGE!
Read More ...to find out further information on the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP, the war cemeteries and memorials covered, and the other services that are provided - FREE OF CHARGE!
We are pleased to announce that since the creation of the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP in JULY 2012, we have distributed over 2,300 FREE war grave and memorial photos.
In 2009 six former Taiwan POWs returned to Taiwan to join in the annual Remembrance Day service at Kinkaseki. Society supporter and good friend Chen, Hsiao - Fang produced a wonderful slide show of the event and we invite you to watch it and remember these men to whom we owe a debt that can never be repaid. Click here to view the presentation.
Lest We Forget!
LISTEN TO THE POWS' STORY
Society director Michael Hurst is featured in two radio interviews with Radio Taiwan International. We invite you to:
To listen to these programs click the links below -