HMS Speaker and the USS Catron


HMS Speaker was built in Seattle in 1943 and given to the British under the Lend-Lease program.  Photo below is  the Speaker in the harbor at Nagasaki after boarding POWs from Fukuoka 3-B.  On 17 Sep 1945  899 POWs boarded.  The Speaker had to remain in the harbor to ride out a typhoon which passed quickly.  After delivering this group of POWs  to Okinawa on 20 Sep Speaker returned to Nagasaki and picked up more POWs.  This photo may be from the either of those two groups.



This was Nagasaki at the time the POWs from Fukuoka 3-B were transported there by train from their camp in mid-September 1945.  This photo and that of the Speaker in the harbor are courtesy of Keith Maskell, whose father was a crewmember of the HMS Speaker at the time.
You can see detailed information about the movements of the Speaker by going to


The USS Catron APA-71.  As an attack transport it had the capacity to transport a full battalion of troops including berthing, messing, medical, and dental care.  The Catron boarded 941 ex POWs on Saturday, 6 October 1945 at Guam.  There were North China Marines among this group, some of them from Fukuoka 3-B.  The Catron left Guam that evening and arrived in San Francisco in the early evening of 19 October.  In the words of former crew member Fred Kronsbein, now of Sacramento, California, "Our reception into San Francisco Bay included many dignitaries, fireboats, bands on boats, and lighted Welcome Home signs along the shoreline."The ship spent the night anchored off Alcatraz Island and moved to Pier Seven in the morning at which time the POWs debarked. The photo and information from the ship's log were provided by Fred Kronsbein. Some POWs from Fukuoka 3-B were apparently flown from Okinawa to Manila.  The USS Joseph T. Dickman, APA-13, sailed from Manila and reached San Francisco 16 October 1945. Below are crewmembers of the submarine Grenadier, held at Fukuoka 3-B.


Above are members of the US submarine Grenadier (SS-210) on the deck of the Catron on their way from Guam to San Francisco.  See picture below for names of the crewmembers.  Both photos courtesy of Bob York, member of the crew.  Bob is not in the picture below.  I assume he is taking the photo.


Wake Marine James King told me Thomas Trigg (also called TJ and Trigger)would sneak out at night and steal things from the Japanese to help POWs.  He was caught once and forced to stand in the pond or water tank of some kind through the night.  The POWs thought that would kill him but he survived.  Trigg was from Bastrop, Texas.
Click here for info on the Grenadier
Includes more photos of the camp at Fukuoka 3-B

The name of the ship which brought your POW back to the states might be found in their service record book.  That record can be asked for by next-of-kin by obtaining Standard Form 180.  This form can be found at the following site:

Obtain Military Records


When you get the records look for a page like this.  Mention of the name of the ship returning the individual to the states might be located where you see mention of the USS Catron on this page from the service record book.