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.
From August 1942 until September 1945 more than 4350 Allied prisoners of war were held in 14 POW camps on the island of Taiwan. They suffered terribly at the hands of their Japanese captors and more than 10% of the POWs died. In 1997 the Kinkaseki / Taiwan Prisoner of War Memorial was built at Jinguashi and every year since then a Remembrance Day service has been held at the Taiwan POW Memorial Park on the site of the former Kinkaseki POW Camp in Jinguashi.
On Sunday November 10th, more than 100 people attended the 17th annual Remembrance Day service and for once the weather co-operated giving us a beautiful sunny warm day. Following the service everyone gathered for a picnic lunch in the community center.
It is wonderful to see the attendance growing each year as more and more people learn of the POWs and their suffering for our freedom. Hopefully this trend will continue in the future.
The recently erected Shirakawa POW Camp Memorial just outside the Military Base in Nei-Jiao Village near the city of Bai He in Tainan County was dedicated on Monday November 11th. The memorial is located at the former entrance to the POW camp. The memorial was built last summer by the POW Society in honour of all those men who suffered and those who died in that camp from June 1943 to August 1945.
Family members of three former Shirakawa POWs joined us in paying tribute to their fathers and grandfathers and the other POWs who were in the camp. A number of friends and supporters of the Society joined the event as well, and listened to addresses by representatives from the Commonwealth and Allied governments, the ROC Veterans Affairs Commission and the Nei-Jiao Military Base. Greetings were read from three former Shirakawa survivors and the memorial was consecrated by Rev. Herbert Barker. Wreaths were laid on the memorial and the Ode of Remembrance was carried out.
This brings to 12 the number of memorials erected to the former Taiwan POWs and we want to thank all those who had a part in its building and dedication. Now the men of Shirakawa are no longer forgotten.
ONE MORE TO GO !
For many months months now we have been trying to obtain photos of the last two American war graves we need to complete our Taiwan POW War Graves Project in the Honour Roll on our website. Thanks to Mr. Stuart Baggaley, a WW2 British veteran living in Ann Arbor Michigan, and Lisa Curtis and Bruce Hall of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit, we have just received a photo of one of those graves - that of Adam Pliska who died at Taihoku Camp on August 29, 1945.
Now we just need one last grave photo and that is of Freddy McCreary who is buried in Warfield Cemetery, Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky. We have been trying for over two years without success to get a photo of this grave. We have made a listing for him on the Find-A-Grave network, hoping someone who lives in that area could take a photo for us, we contacted the cemetery last year and spoke to a worker who said he would take a photo but we never heard from him again, we have made appeals in our newsletters - also to no avail, so we are hoping that maybe by putting the request on the homepage of our site someone might see it and be able to help us get this last photo we need to make sure that all of the American POWs who died in Taiwan are remembered.
If any of our readers can help with photos of Freddy McCreary’s grave in Warfield Cemetery, Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky, please contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!
Left: Adam Plisk's Grave - Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit. Mich. Right: Warfield Cemetery, Barbourville, Knox Cty, Ky.
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 several 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.
December 2, 2013 - "17 Years of Researching, Remembering and Honouring the Taiwan POWs" - in the Archives section.
AUGUST 27, 2013 - Update to "A Family Connection" - in the Archives section.
AUGUST 21, 2013 - Update to the HONOUR ROLL with the addition of more American war graves photos.
JUNE 28, 2013 - Spring-Summer 2013 Newsletter uploaded to the site. Click Here or go to the Society Section and click on the newsletter in the Newsletters box.
APRIL 21, 2013 - Revision to the article "Other Commonwealth POWs" - to include another New Zealand POW and with photos - in the Archives section.
APRIL 21, 2013 - Revision to the article "Forgotten Nation, Forgotten Heroes" to include a new South African POW - in the Archives section.
APRIL 20, 2013 - Update to "A Man Sent From God" - 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.
Welcome to the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP.
The group is comprised of FEPOW organizations and researchers located in the Far East and is 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 - to POWs, family members, relatives, researchers and historians – with the sole aim of keeping the memory of the veterans and POWs alive, so present and future generations will not forget the sacrifices they have made so far from home. We want to help ensure that they are not forgotten.
The Group specializes in photos of the names on the many 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, LABUAN and YOKOHAMA. We are happy to be able to supply names on all the memorials – FREE of CHARGE as well.
Read More ...to find out further information on the new ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP, the war cemeteries and memorials covered, and the other services that are provided - FREE OF CHARGE!
Since the creation of the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP in JULY 2012, we are pleased to announce that in the first year we have already distributed over 2,200 FREE war grave and memorial photos.
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 -