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Japanese prisoners from Wake Island, Guam and Cavitie

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  • TSgt. Harmen De Haan, POW WWII (1901 - 1944)
    Harmen appears in the 1910 census as 9-yr-old "Herman De Haw" living in York, Du Page County, IL with his parents, Nick and Catherine. He appears in the 1930 census as single 29-yr-old "Harman De Haan"...
  • Dr. David Donald Kliewer (1917 - 2007)
    Grandma profile: #405639 'Marine pilot who sank Japanese submarine near Wake Island four days after Pearl Harbor. Was captured and spent four years in Japanese POW camp in Japan. Graduated cum laude fr...
  • Roger Mansell (1935 - 2010)
    Biography== Roger Mansell was born on October 9, 1935 in Kings County, New York, United States. His parents were Francis Charles Mansell, Sr and Elizabeth Rita Mansell (Murphy) . Roger married Carolyn ...
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    Howard Elliott Cook (1905 - 1956)
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  • Wayne Edick Esmay (1895 - 1945)
    Parents: Mr. and Mrs. J. H. "Pete" EsmayThe body of Wayne Esmay, who died in a prisoner of war camp in Japan, will be returned to Douglas Sunday and funeral services will be conducted by Rev. A. C. Ros...

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Wake Island is sometimes called the Alamo of the Pacific. It was attacked at the same time as Pearl Harbor

From Wikipedia Battle of Wake Island The Battle of Wake Island began simultaneously with the Attack on Pearl Harbor and ended on December 23, 1941, with the surrender of the American forces to the Empire of Japan. It was fought on and around the atoll formed by Wake Island and its islets of Peale and Wilkes Islands by the air, land and naval forces of the Empire of Japan against those of the United States of America, with Marines playing a prominent role on both sides.

The U.S. Marines lost 47 killed and 2 MIA during the entire 15-day siege, while three U.S. Navy personnel and at least 70 civilians were killed {besides the Chamorros + 12 Civilians wounded. Japanese losses were recorded at between 700 to 900 killed, with at least 300 more wounded, in addition to the two destroyers lost in the first invasion attempt and at least 28 land-based and carrier aircraft either shot down or damaged. The Japanese captured all men remaining on the island, the majority of whom were civilian contractors employed with Morrison-Knudsen Company.

The Japanese took approximately 1,600 prisoners on Wake Island (450 military, 1,150 civilian). During January, 1942, all military prisoners and about 750 of the civilian prisoners were transported to Prisoner of War (POW) camps in China and Japan.

Captain Henry T. Elrod, one of the pilots from VMF-211, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his action on the island during the second landing attempt, having shot down two Japanese A6M Zero fighters, and sunk the Japanese destroyer Kisaragi. A special military decoration, the Wake Island Device, was also created to honor those who had fought in the defense of the island. The island was held by the Japanese until September 4, 1945, when the remaining Japanese garrison surrendered to a detachment of United States Marines.

On 5 October 1943, American naval aircraft from Yorktown raided Wake. Two days later, fearing an imminent invasion, Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara ordered the execution of the 98 captured American civilian workers remaining on the island, kept to perform forced labor. They were taken to the northern end of the island, blindfolded and executed with a machine gun. One of the prisoners (whose name has never been discovered) escaped the massacre, apparently returning to the site to carve the message 98 US PW 5-10-43 on a large coral rock near where the victims had been hastily buried in a mass grave. The unknown American was recaptured, and Sakaibara personally beheaded him with a katana. The inscription on the rock can still be seen and is a Wake Island landmark.

Civilian Prisoners

About 1,221 civilian workers for the Morrison-Knudsen Company. I have only 200 names so far

Sources National Archives

98 U.S. Prisoners of War Executed by the Japanese, 7 October 1943

From Records for: Group Burial 4568 GB #71 (Honolulu, Hawaii: Punchbowl National Cemetery, July 1953), and A Report to Returned CPNAB Prisoner of War Heroes and Their Dependents (Boise, Idaho: Pacific Island Employees Foundations, 1945).

Name Residence

  1. Cyrus W. Abbott Jr. Oakland, CA
  2. Horace L. Allen Sacramento, CA
  3. Norman A. Anderson Portland, OR
  4. Roland A. Andre Pendleton, OR
  5. Allen E. Anvick Eureka, CA
  6. Carl Alfred Baasch Walkerton, IN
  7. George Bellanger San Francisco, CA
  8. Don R. Bowcutt Logan, UT
  9. David (Dave) M. Boyce Grand Island, NE
  10. Charles A. Cantry San Francisco, CA
  11. Stanley A. Carlson Portland, OR
  12. Allen A. Cavanagh San Francisco, CA
  13. David S. Chambers Grants Pass, OR
  14. Donley D. Chard Midway, UT
  15. Carleton G. Church Quincy, MA
  16. Carl John Castiglione
  17. Louis M. Cormier Ozone Park, NY
  18. Karl Leslie Cox Asotin, WA
  19. David Edgar Cummings San Jose, CA
  20. James Alexander Cunha San Francisco, CA
  21. Joseph R. Davis Mullan, ID
  22. George W. Dean Emmett, ID
  23. Harold L. Dobyns Vallejo, CA
  24. Martin H. Dogger Dale City, CA
  25. Henry M. Dreyer Aplington, IA
  26. Joseph M. Dunn Boise, ID
  27. Jack Anderson Fenex Cody, WY
  28. Howard Allen Flint Idaho Falls, ID
  29. Glenn B. Fontes Emmett, ID
  30. Floyd F. Forsberg Hollywood, CA
  31. Dale G. Francis Bell, CA
  32. Albert P. French San Francisco, CA
  33. Lawrence George Froberger Brooklyn, NY
  34. William Paul Gerdin Little Falls, NY
  35. Charles A. Gibbs St. Petersburg, FL
  36. Clarence R. Goembel Los Angeles, CA
  37. Ralph E. Haight Winfield, IA
  38. William H. Haines Boise, ID
  39. John Vernon Hansen Wahoo, NE
  40. George Harris Redwood City, CA
  41. Wilbur C. Harvey Kittery, ME
  42. Frank Hastie Charleston, WV
  43. Howard L. Hettick Visalia, CA
  44. Ernest A. Hochstein Newberg, OR
  45. George Alvin Jenson Parlier, CA
  46. Alfred A. Jones San Bernardino, CA
  47. Ora K. Keeler Waterloo, IA
  48. Martin T. Kelly Roseburg, OR
  49. Thomas F. Kennedy San Francisco, CA
  50. Charles A. Kidwell Alton, IL
  51. Woodrow Kroeger Corsica, SD
  52. Nicholas D. Kurt
  53. Rolland E. Light Noonan, ND
  54. Henry C. Ling Unknown
  55. Eugene Lythgoe Vancouver, WA
  56. Irving E. Marshall Lowville, NY
  57. John Martin Spokane, WA
  58. James B. McDaniel Los Angeles, CA
  59. Thomas L. McInnes Long Beach, CA
  60. Frank Migacz Milwaukee, WI
  61. Melvin Migacz Milwaukee, WI
  62. Irvin E Miller Price, ND
  63. Howard Homer Mitchell Duchesne, UT
  64. Wayne Elmo Mitchell Duchesne, UT
  65. Joseph P. Mittendorf Mayer, AZ
  66. Karl W. Mueller Patchogue, NY
  67. Richard B. Myers Clarkston, WA
  68. Clifford A. Olmstead Gridley, CA
  69. Gordon H. Pease Lander, WY
  70. Archie Hayes Pratt Los Angeles, CA
  71. Donald W. Preston Lewiston, ID
  72. Morton B. Rankin Seattle, WA
  73. William H. Ray Downers Grove, IL
  74. William H. Reynolds Cherryville, OR
  75. Sheldon G. Robbins Los Angeles, CA
  76. Charles M. Schemel Uniontown, WA
  77. Herman Schottler Redwood City, CA
  78. Lawton E. Shank, M.D. Brook, IN
  79. Orbin R. Shepard Portland, OR
  80. Glenwood H. Sherman Rockford, IL
  81. Gould H. Shriner Sioux City, IA
  82. Russell J. Sigman Idaho Falls, ID
  83. William T. Simpers, Wapati, WY
  84. Charles E. Smith Grant, FL
  85. Francis C. St. John Pascagoula, MS
  86. Willis C. Stone San Francisco, CA
  87. Alvin L. Streblow WI Rapids, WI
  88. Wesley Wayne Stringer Lakeview, OR
  89. Arthur J. Susee Hillsboro, OR
  90. Lacy Franklin Tart Portland, OR / Knightdale, N.C.
  91. Glenn H. Thompson Cadiz, OH
  92. Earl E.Tucker Macdoel, CA
  93. Vernon Vancil Snyder, CO
  94. Ralph Van Valkenburg Tacoma, WA
  95. Glen Vent
  96. Charles M. Villines Salt Lake City, UT
  97. Frank E. Williamson Tacoma, WA
  98. Redmond James Wilper Camas, Jefferson, Idaho, USA
  99. Charles Woods National City, CA
  100. Harry T. K. Yuen Honolulu, HI

Others who died on Wake


William L. Taylor, like many of the Wake Island POWs, was relocated to China for forced labor for the Japanese army. In 1945 he was traveling on a Japanese train as work detail from Shanghai when he escaped with Jack Hernandez by jumping off the train when Japanese guards were not looking. Hernandez broke his leg and was forced to stay as Taylor continued his journey. Down the line, Taylor reluctantly met up with Chinese Communist soldiers who he quoted as saying "You're OK now, we are friends with the Americans." After 10 weeks of traveling with the Chinese Communists in northern China he was able to contact American military forces who called for a plane to pick him up and bring him to an American base in northern China. Before he left China he met Mao Zedong who gave him a gift of Chinese rugs and told him he was the only POW who had successfully come through north China. In an interview with the History Channel during the segment "Wake Island: The Alamo of the Pacific" he claims that Mao "saved his life".

Civilians transported from Wake



  • George Edward Bailey 02.06 1943 Los Angeles CA Fukuoka #18 Sasebo
  • Raymond E Bainter Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island
  • Kenneth C Baird Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka
  • Pete P Bakos Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island
  • Jesus C Baleto Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka
  • Richard L Banks Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island
  • Thomas J Barbour Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island 33-130
  • Melvin A Bard Shanghai War Prisoners Camp - Kiawgwan Shanghai
  • Jay R Barden Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka
  • Herbert M Barger Tokyo POW Camp (Shinjuku) Tokyo Bay Area
  • Ryland F Barnett Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island 33-130
  • John F Barney Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island 33-130
  • Frank R Barr Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island 33-130
  • Fred S Barr Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka 34-135
  • William R Barr Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka 34-135
  • Harry E Bartlett Shanghai War Prisoners Camp - Kiawgwan Shanghai 31-121
  • Lester Bass (not showing in data file)
  • Alexander P Batscha Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka 34-135
  • Arthur E Bauman Shanghai War Prisoners Camp - Kiawgwan Shanghai 31-121
  • Joseph A Bayok Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island 33-130
  • John D Bechtold Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka 34-135
  • Quentin Z Becker Tokyo Dispatch Camp #5-Kawaski Tokyo Bay Area 35-139+
  • Leroy D Beebe Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka 34-135
  • Clarence E Beeman Shanghai War Prisoners Camp - Kiawgwan Shanghai 31-121
  • Jacob L Betts Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island
  • Parlam M Betts Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka
  • George V. Bonat Shanghai War Prisoners Camp - Kiawgwan Shanghai
  • Edward James Brown 5 6 1943 Fukuoka #18 Sasebo
  • Albert Louis Brueck Tokyo Dispatch Camp #5-Kawaski Tokyo Bay Area
  • Claude L. Campbell dying in Japan on March 11, 1944.Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka buried in the Punch Bowl National Cemetery.
  • Elmer J Christler Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka
  • the next 3 were brothers
  • H. T. Cope
  • Joseph Workman Cope
  • Thomas Truman Cope
  • Roy Cramer was from Ola, Idaho
  • Richard S. Crenshaw Shanghai War Prisoners Camp - Kiawgwan Shanghai
  • Hugh Curphey
  • Robert "Bob" Curphey
  • D
  • Floyd Davis
  • Lee Russell Davis 4 21 1943 Butte Montana Fukuoka #18
  • Theron Dixon 3 8 1943 Hendricks MN
  • Darwin “Dar” Dodds 22 from Idaho, Nita Maru
  • George W. Dowling
  • Joseph P. Donovan
  • Leo Aloys Dressler, Jr. Tokyo Sectional Camp #3 - Hiraoka, Nagano Tokyo Bay Area post war death age 28
  • E "Pat Dryer.10.01 1943,San Fernando CA Fukuoka #18
  • E
  • George C. Easter Fukuoka POW Camp #1 - Kashii (Pine Tree Camp) Kyushu Island










Chamorro (Guamanian)

Before the outbreak of World War II, 45 Chamorro men were employed by Pan American Airways at the company's facilities in Wake Island, one of the stops on the Pan Am Clipper transPacific air service initiated in 1935.

The men worked as kitchen helpers, hotel service attendants, and laborers. But the peaceful life on Wake was shattered Dec. 8, 1941, when Japanese aircraft bombed the island, killing five men from Guam and wounding five others.

A day later, those wounded died when a bomb destroyed their hospital. The remaining Chamorros joined the island's garrison, asked by Wake's American military commander to help fortify and defend the island.

The defenders repulsed on Dec. 11 the initial landing force of the Japanese, and for 12 more days the defenders held out. But the inevitable happened. Supported by the arrival of additional ships and aircraft, some of which participated in the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese troops stormed ashore and on Dec. 23, Wake fell.

Garrison members, including the 35 surviving Chamorros, were taken as prisoners of war, tortured and then incarcerated in a camp in Shanghai, China, where two men from Guam were later killed.

The remaining 33 Chamorros were eventually transferred to a POW camp in Osaka, Kobe, Japan where they were imprisoned for the war's duration.

On Jan. 22, 1982, under Public Law 95-202, Congress granted the Guamanian Wake Island Defenders veteran status under the Navy. On POW-MIA Day in 1988, the surviving Wake Island defenders from Guam were officially awarded their POW medals.

Military Prisoners

The following men were sent to Japan from Wake Island. The first transfer was on the Nitta Maru, departing Wake Island 12 January 1942 and arriving Yokahama about 20 January 1942. After their departure from Yokohama, the Japanese took five men topside, and to "honor their bravery," tortured and beheaded the men. The bodies were mutilated with bayonets then tossed overboard. 37 additional men were sent to Zentsuji.

Winfield-Scott Cunningham Officer in Charge

James Patrick Sinnott Devereux Marine Corps Commanding Officer



  • Major Paul A. Putnam
  • Second Lieutenant David D. Kliewer
  • Earl R. Hannum, Master Technical Sergeant, USMC tortured and beheaded on the Nitta Maru
  • Vincent W. Bailey, Technical Sergeant, USMC tortured and beheaded on the Nitta Maru
  • Technical Sergeant William J. Hamilton (enlisted pilot-NAP)
  • Staff Sergeant Robert G. Arthur (enlisted pilot)
  • Corporal Walter J. Gruber


  • Commander Campbell Keene
  • Ensign Chester W. Olcott
  • Ensign George H. Henshaw
  • Ensign Benjamin J. Lauff
  • Aerographer 1/C Walter John Cook
  • Radioman 1/C Charles Alfred Sargent [retained at Ofuna- never sent to Zentsuji]
  • Radioman 3/C Franklin Benjamin Kidd; deceased 22 Oct 1944, Ofuna Camp, *Tokyo- stomach & lung infections
  • Radioman 3/C Oliver L. Gerberding
  • Radioman 3/C Darius Cartier Krueger
  • Radioman 3/C Victor Besancon [retained at Ofuna- never sent to Zentsuji]
  • Radioman 3/C Marvin C. Balhorn [retained at Ofuna- never sent to Zentsuji]


  • Staff Sergeant Ernest J. Rogers (Known as "Soldier")
  • PFC Paul F. Futtrup (detached from Philippines) - rescued at Tok-05B-Kawasaki

Wounded and injured men not moved until later [11 May 1942] [24 men] WAKE ISLAND DET., 1st DEFENSE BATTALION, USMC

  • Platoon Sergeant Alvin A. Bumgarner
  • MarGun Harold C. Borth
  • Corporal Ralph J. Holewinski
  • Corporal Lillard L. Johnson
  • Corporal Franklin D. Gross
  • Pfc. Wiley W. Sloman
  • Pfc. Warren D. Conner
  • Pfc. Arvel N. Hartung
  • Pfc. Dick L. Reed
  • Pfc. Charles E. Tramposh
  • Pvt. Berdyne Boyd
  • Pvt. E.O. Stephen Adams


  • Second Lieutenant Henry Webb "Spider"
  • Master Sergeant Andrew J. Paszkiewitz
  • Technical Sergeant Jessie T. Stewart
  • Technical Sergeant Ellis J. Johnson -Staff Sergeant Walter Thomas "Tom" Kennedy
  • Sergeant Edwin M. Ackley
  • Sergeant Glen G. Gardner


  • Seaman 1/C Ivan Sydney Wood
  • Seaman 1/C James B. Darden
  • Seaman 1/C William H. McCoy
  • Seaman 2/C Theodore Franklin tortured and beheaded on the Nitta Maru
  • Seaman 2/C John W Lambert tortured and beheaded on the Nitta Maru
  • Seaman 2/C Roy H Gonzales tortured and beheaded on the Nitta Maru


  • Captain Henry Stanley Wilson
  • Clearance C. Descamps Pfc (nickname Chick)
  • Billie E. Emerick, USMC, Pfc
  • L. D. Orr USMC, Pfc

Work Area Fukuoka #18 POW camp Sasebo, Japan

Sasebo Main

This list was prepared and researched by the Center For Research

The impetus to get this list correct was from two extraordinary men:

   Philip D. Eakins - A Navy man assigned to a US Naval base near Sasebo
   Barry C. Kelso - Nephew of Orval A. Kelso, Civilian Contractor, Wake Island, who died here at Sasebo POW Camp 8 April 1943 from malnutrition and pneumonia

Sources used were NARA RG 407 Files, Wilcox Diary, CPNAB records and interview with Mr Leroy "Lee" Myers, survivor of the POW Camp.

  • NAME and Date of Death (date-
  • Dyer, Fredrick E "Pat",43.10.01,San Fernando CA
  • Easter, George C,44.02.27,Portland OR
  • Esmay, Wayne Edic,43.02.19,Douglas WY
  • Farstvedt, Knut,43.03.27,Carmi IL
  • Follett, Frank Fay,43.03.23,Cloverdale OR
  • Franklin, Mark Baum,43.01.12,Honolulu HI
  • Gehman, Ralph Alison "Captain",44.02.23,Boise ID
  • Goodwin, Ralph H,43.12.23,Phoenix AZ
  • Greve, Louis,43.03.15,Flagstaff AZ
  • Grim, William Bertson,43.03.10,Portsmouth NH
  • Hance, Loren Howard,43.04.25,
  • Hardisty, Herbert Arthur,43.07.04,John Day OR
  • Hart, Irving Warren Jr,43.03.18,Boise ID
  • Hensel, Theodore Sr,43.05.01,Burbank WA
  • Hewson, Albert Arthur,43.01.11,Rome NY
  • Hill, Norman Lester,43.06.04,Clarkston WA
  • Huntley, John William,43.03.01,Great Falls MT
  • Jimison, Harold Elmore,42.12.09,Boise ID
  • Johnson, Edwin Waldeman,43.03.30,Pacific Grove CA
  • Kelly, Frederick William,43.03.09,Republic WA
  • Kelly, Samuel Dowie,43.10.26,Rosalia WA
  • Kelso, Orval Allen,43.04.08,Emmett ID
  • Kent, Lloyd Robert,44.03.01,Burbank CA
  • Knox, Elbert Henry,44.01.14,Cuba City WI
  • Larson, Julius Leonard,43.02.17,Pasadena CA
  • Lindquist, William Oscar,43.02.22,Haywood CA
  • Mc Evers, Ralph,43.03.22,Portland OR
  • Mc Keehan, Lloyd Sterling,43.02.25,San Francisco CA