Tsumori 13

The following list was put together from a list sent to me by Leroy Schneider (Wake), with input from Ken Marvin (Wake) and North China Marines Ken Clark, Neil Rider, Mike Serra, and John Whipple. This camp was Osaka 13-B, Tsumori Branch Camp, established 20 Aug 1943 and closed 16 May 1945. The POWs were used by the Fujinagata Dockyard Company. 89 POWs died here.

KR Clark and John Whipple both say once they got to Osaka they were not sent anywhere else until the transfer to Naoetsu. This is the list of North China Marines sent to Tsumori  as far as I know at present:

Akers, Anderson W, Brigham, Castor, Clark KR, Clark Russell, Croteau, Dees, Ellison, Fitzgerald, Frehr, Gaff, Gentry, Hall R, Haugo, Hornsby, Humphrey, Keith, Lareau, Larson , Logan, Marshall, Matthews, Melton, Novak, O'Neal, Pitner, Pratte, Pruett, Rider N, Rider R, Rodriquez, Serra, Sheets, Smith D, Stromstad, Whipple, Wrathall

see larger roster below

 They were sent from Kiangwan with the August 1943 shipment of about 500 POWs.  On 16 May 1945, after the Tokyo area was fire bombed, they were sent elsewhere.  Brigham, KR Clark, Dees, Fitzgerald, Lareau, Logan, Stromstad, Whipple, and Wrathall were sent to Naoetsu.  Novak and Neil Rider were sent to Rokuroshi.  Gentry was sent to Kobe #2.  In Neil Rider's words, "Richard Rider was killed in the incendiary raid in March of 1945.  He was hit by a bomb and killed instantly.  The bombing halted all work in the ship yard.  About a month later Frank Novak and I were sent to the Rokuroshi camp up in the mountains near Fukui with a small group..." Wake Island civilian John O. Young described the food at Osaka as a bowl of rice in the morning with watery soup.  The soup was usually seaweed or fish heads in soup, mostly water.  A bowl of rice for lunch was carried out to work in boxes they called road rice boxes.  At night they received rice, soup, and tea.  They had problems with lice and fleas.  Every few weeks an 8 foot square tank of water was heated for the entire camp to bathe in, all using the same water.In May of 1945 bombers hit the area, including the camp itself, with fire bombs.  About 16 May most of the POWs were moved by train to Naoetsu. 

John (Jack) Whipple says Tsumori consisted of five barracks, each of which held about 160 men. A small building at the far end of the camp was used for a hospital. There was a cook shed, an office for the Japanese, and a small building for the guard's quarters. The whole camp was surrounded by a tall wooden fence topped with barbed wire. From the camp they were marched about one and a half miles to the Fuji Nigata Ship Yards where they worked. The daily routine was to get up, clean up their area, eat whatever was available, march to the ship yard for work, work all day, and return to the camp about five. If they weren't too tired or sick they would wash clothes, repair clothing and shoes, and wait for something to eat. After eating they would go to bed and try to get some sleep.

John told about breaking tools, drilling holes so bolts would not line up, and dropping tools in the harbor. He also gives details about guard treatment of POWs. Beatings were common. At one point he was forced to kneel in front of the guard house in freezing temperatures while holding a bucket of water in each outstretched hand. When the buckets would drop the guards would pour cold water on him and beat him.   

Ken Marvin's narrative describes Woosung, Osaka, and Naoetsu.  Choose POW, then choose Marine, then click on Marvin and also Sanders. You can copy and paste the following to reach this info:

In John White's book Emit Logan describes his experiences at Tsumori 13. They arrived from Shanghai on the 24th of August 1943, dropping anchor in the shipbuilding area of Osaka.  The first six days were spent with the Japanese teaching them Japanese Army drill.  During this time their rations were about one half cup of rice and the same amount of stew made from vegetable tops for breakfast, one large cup of tea and three small rolls for lunch, and a repeat of breakfast for supper.  They were to be put to work in the second largest shipyard in Japan - Fuji ni gata. The camp held about 1,100 POWs.  There were prisoners from Java, Sumatra, some Dutch prisoners, some Australian, some British.One of his work details was loading iron ore for a smelter.  At one point Logan was diagnosed with pneumonia by the POW doctor, Army Dr Rizzlow.  His North China Marine buddy Bob Lareau went around to the other POWs until he collected enough sulfa that Logan recovered. During this recovery he spent two months in the General Prison Hospital in Osaka.  He describes it as an area that used to serve as a dressing room for athletes under a bleacher.  The staff was British.  Meals consisted of a cupful of watery barley with a small cup of tea for breakfast,  a small loaf of bread and a small cup of tea for lunch, and a vegetable top stew for supper.  So many prisoners died at the hospital he managed to get himself sent back to the prison camp. After the bombing raid on 13 March 1945 a dead horse was found and became stew for three days.

 Bill Dees describes Tsumori as being worse than what he experienced in China.  In November of 1944 he received his first mail.  It was three letters which had been sent over a period of two years but never given to him before.  He says they received Red Cross packages on three or four occasions, but he never got a full package. In October of 1944 US bombing raids began.  In May of 1945 they were moved to Naoetsu. Click below for a map showing the location of the Tsumori POW camp. 

 The book Conduct Under Fire by John A. Glusman describes the five barracks at Tsumori as wooden structures 150 to 200 ft long and 30 to 40 ft wide. Three times a day the POWs received rice or a mixture of barley and millet. Greens and root vegetables were added for the evening meal.

The men worked in the Fujinagata and Namura shipyards as riggers, riveters, or welders or doing stoop labor hauling rocks and unloading pig iron. The winter of 1943-44 was very cold with temperatures ranging between 32 and 45 degrees. The winter of 1944-45 was the coldest in fifty years. Their clothing and bedding was cotton and fuel to heat the barracks was always minimal. That meant only enough to fuel small fires in the barracks for a few hours-if any fuel at all. Body heat was what kept them warm at night-the body heat of buddies who would wrap themselves in the bedding they had.

Map of Osaka No. 13 Tsumori

Above - Tsumori barracks roof showing nearby factories. NARA photo

Each sleeping area of the barracks above would hold ten men. In the photo above five would sleep on each side of the sleeping area, as you can see by the shelves. Each barracks had sleeping areas like the above on both sides with an area to walk down the middle. This was the standard barracks set up for most POWs. Some barracks had another set of sleeping areas above these shown above.

Partial roster of Tsumori:

Aenner OA, Andrus LV, Aquiningoc AT, Arterburn JH, Baleto JC, Ballard WR, Barbour SG, Barnes JE, Barr FS, Barr WR, Batscha AP, Belknap FE, Bentson Roy, Bethel JB, Bird EA, Bledsoe HE, Blessing F, Boley, Bower JA, Bowers Frank, Brauer LD, Brown HC, Brown JR, Brown RL, Broyles FM, Buchanan GE, Buckie WB, Campbell CL, Carney LJ, Castiolione CJ, Castor Melvin, Cecchini A, Cemeris J, Cerny HW, Chambers ED, Clark Kenneth R, Clark Russell P, Clelan JL, Congrove Kenneth, Cooper PC, Cope TT, Cornett J, Cox RT, Croteau Edgar A, Currie JG, Danner MO, Delap WF, Dixon FA, Donnelly DF, Doyle EG, Economo MN, Enright M, Enyart CH, Essaff T, Evans DD, Fagerstrom W, Faubion DJ, Fisher GW, Fuller EE, Gaff Max, Garrido ES, Giddens GG, Godwin WF, Gorman JV, Gray RLJ, Green Claude, Gross Franklin D, Groth E, Gustafson NR, Haakonstad CH, Hadley TW, Hall LE, Hanson F, Hanson R, Harper JF, Harper WC, Harringer E, Harvey Burdette, Haugo Morris F, Helgano G, Hepa AA, High LL, Hofschulte PB, Holdt JP, Hoskins JR, Hotchkiss CE, Howle PR, Huddleston WL, Humphrey Thomas S, Irons EH, Johnson Lee Jr, Jones JC, Jorgenson E, Keyser GE, Kidd W, King RL, Kroptavish JS, Kruczek WJ, Lamkin F, Larson WC, Lawson WS, Lechler WR, Lee J, Lee LJ, Leetwich JM, Mace FR, Madarieta A, Maiden George, Manson WR, Marcotte CJ, Marcus J, Massey CT, Matthews Raymond L, May H, McCaffrey J, McCay WA, McKay AE, McLeod JF, Melton Oliver S, Menique R, Mitchell EG, Moe CA, Moening CB, Moon HO, Moore George, Mussman JA, Myers ID, Nagele RO, Nead RE, Nelpan JA, Nelson WA, Newhoff RH, Nichols HR, Niles FJ, Novak Frank J, Oakes RJ, O'Neil JC or O'Neal EC, Oolman E, Park HW, Payne HE, Piechura J, Pitner John D, Plate WO, Polousky A, Popson J, Priebe GA, Ransberg HO, Raugust WZ, Reynolds HW, Rider Neil O, Rider Richard, Rivera E, Rivers SA, Roberson TJ, Robertson HE, Rodriquez Fernando C, Romine J, Roth FP, Sanders JR, Sanford TW, Schafer HF, Schmidt TH, Schoenmgh H, Schwenke RE, Serra Miguel, Serven WL, Smith HH, Smith PR or Smith DR, Smith WA, Stennis JH, Sterling L, Stevens CF, Strickland CH, Stromstad Eric, Sturgeon WV, Swanson NJ, Sweiberg JJ, Thorsen JT, Tierney DG, Toohey RJ, Tunnisliffe John, Turner FH, Vanderwilt DJ, Varney CB, Vives J, Vlist V, Wade EE, Walden GC, Warsing JW Jr, Wattles GH, Weldon WW, Wheeler LM, Whitehouse GD, Williamson RT, Wrathall John C

since this is not a complete roster some of the North China Marine names listed at the top of the page are not included here. The above roster came from NARA files, an example of how incomplete those rosters are.

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POW Camps Holding North China Marines