Hofuku Maru

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Redcap, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Redcap

    Redcap Member

    A few articles relating to this ship, but were all aboard from the same camp? Trying to track down full where-a-bouts of wifes uncle 2583962 Dvr Campbell. A. Malay Corps Signals, who was killed on this ship, from capture to boarding ship. Have sketchy details so far, but a visit to Kew turned up nothing I did'nt already have. Can anyone help?
  2. DelBoy

    DelBoy Member

    A Fifer was he?

    In your research did you find out the "Hofuku Maru" was sometimes also called the "Toyofuku Maru" or "fuji Maru"?
    There's a list of those who died when the hell ship was sunk at COFEPOW here

    The following website has someone try to find out the same info as you, a relative who was in the Signals, captured at Singapore and later died on the same ship. Even the service number had the same first 3 digits!

    There's a possibility these two men stayed in the same group from captivity til their untimely deaths?

    Jack Kenneth Sunderland Earnshaw
  3. Redcap

    Redcap Member

    Hi Del Boy. Thanks for getting in touch. I've been in contact with Jack Earnshaws nephew and exchanged info.He's as much in the dark of the possible camps they may have been in ,as me. The Maritime museum were good enough to send clarification on the various names that were used, and why.The book' No mercy from the Japanese ' makes small reference to the Hofuku Maru being in the same convoy from Singapore.
  4. kivo

    kivo Member

    Hi there, I have recently found that my great grand-father died aboard the Hofuku Maru too.

    I read the Jack Sunderland website and near the bottom it states -

    "The final additional information is that there are boxes of approximately 56,000 POW record cards at The National Archives in Kew under reference WO345. These cards state which camps the prisoners were in, which ship was used to transport them etc. Box WO345/16 contains the card for John Kenneth Sunderland Earnshaw, and includes the designation of Hofuku Maru (KA27).
    Most of the required information – camps and dates – is in Japanese, but some is in English and there are also dates and lat/long locations that confirm all of the above. I have had the card translated and the contents is as follows."

    Unfortunately, due to health issues, I cannot make the journey to Kew myself, so is there any other way of me finding my relative's POW card? Would they look for it for me if I contacted Kew directly?
  5. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum.
    PM either Drew5233 or Psywar.org they both research down at Kew and offer a service to members for obtaining war diaries etc.
  6. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

  7. kivo

    kivo Member

    Thanks for the help guys
  8. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Herewith transcript of one of the affidavits from the War Crimes Trial relating to the Hofuku Maru, otherwise known as: Fakai Maru, Habuka Maru, Hayuka Maru, Kaiynshu Maru, Hofuka Maru, Hoka Maru, Hokapaku Maru, Hukapaku Maru and Opa Maru.

    The original is to be found at The National Archives under file reference WO235/995. All due acknowledgement is made to the National Archives and the deponent, the Judge Advocate General, & C.

    I, CYRIL LOWRY of 145 Church Street, Wolverton in the County of Buckingham (P1110015)
    make OATH and say as follows:-

    1. On 12th February whilst serving as Private No. 5956652 of the
    Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment I was made a prisoner of war by the
    Japanese Armed Forces at Singapore.

    2. Whilst a prisoner of war I was engaged on the building of a railway through
    Thailand and Burma. About June 1944 I was based on a prisoner of war camp
    known as CHUNGKAI, which is situated about one and one half miles North,
    North West of the Thailand frontier town of KANBURI. On a date unknown
    about June 1944 we were conveyed by train, accommodated in steel trucks, to
    a Transit Camp which the Japanese had prepared in Havelock Road, SINGAPORE.
    We remained in this Transit Camp for about 12 days.

    3. Together with approximately 1,200 British and Dutch prisoners of war, the
    Dutch numbering about 200 to 300 men, we were marched a distance of about
    one mile and one half to Singapore Harbour. We carried our own kit and a
    small quantity of medical supplies. On arrival at the harbour we were
    split into two, approximately equal, groups, and were marched onto a
    Japanese ship.

    4. The name of the ship was the HOFUKA MARU.

    5. The name of the Japanese Officer in charge of the Prisoner of War Draft was
    JOTANI. I do not know the names of other Japanese personnel on board the

    - 2 -

    6. The route taken by the HOFUKA MARU was via BORNEO and MANILA. The
    destination was KOREA.

    7. The HOFUKA MARU sailed from Singapore in a convoy which included five
    other ships. I do not know the names of the other ships and I do not know
    the names of any Japanese on the other ships. None of the other ships
    carried prisoners of war. When the HOFUKA MARU was off BORNEO the vessel
    broke down. The rest of the convoy sailed on and the HOFUKA MARU remained
    off BORNEO, alone, for a period of three weeks. At the end of that period
    a further convoy arrived and we joined this convoy and sailed to Manila. I
    do not remember the number of vessels in this second convoy. I do not know
    the names of any of those vessels and I do not know the names of any of the
    Japanese on those vessels. None of those vessels carried prisoners of

    8. The number of prisoners of war in the draft was approximately 1,200.

    9. The HOFUKA MARU was a vessel of about 5,000 tons. There were three holds
    on the vessel, each about thirty feet deep. Each hold was divided into
    three sections each about ten feet deep. This was done by fixing iron
    girders across each hold and laying hatch covers over the girders. The
    two lower sections of each hold was filled with cargo. The upper sections
    of the fore hold and the hold amidships was the accommodation for the
    prisoners of war. There were approximately 600 men in each of the two
    holds. Each of the two sections of the holds used for accommodating the
    prisoners of war was divided into two sections by the same means I have
    described and approximately 300 men were ordered to sleep under the
    platform thus formed and 300 men on the platform. There was insufficient
    room for all of us to lay down although we were as close to each other as
    possible and some of the men had to stay in the centre of the hold with no
    shelter from sun or rain.

    10. Each prisoner of war received eighteen ounces of rice per day and some
    mixed vegetables. For the first two weeks only we received a small
    quantity of meat. Each prisoner received one pint of water per day and
    in addition, tea was made from condensed sea water. There was sufficient

    - 3 -

    fluids for our needs.

    11. The Japanese did not issue medical supplies, the only medical supplies we
    had wre those in possession of the two British Medical Officers on board.
    No treatment for the sick was available other than that given by our own
    Medical Officers and until we reached Manila no accommodation was made
    available for vthe sick. When at Manila our Officers were allowed to use
    part of the third hold as sick quarters.

    12. Between Singapore and Manila we lost about 20 dead. We lost another 96
    dead in Manila Harbour where we remained for five weeks. Practically all
    the remaining prisoners of war were sick. JOTANI gave permission for a
    few who died in Manila Harbour to be buried in the cemetery there but after
    that the bodies were taken out to sea and weighted with (boxes) sacks of Bauxite.
    The Japanese would not allow the Padre or any other prisoner of war to go
    with the bodies for a burial service but they allowed the Padre to read a
    few lines on the ship.

    13. For bathing purposes we were allowed to throw buckets into the sea and use
    the water. The latrines consisted of a number of wooden boxes affixed to
    the side of the vessel but there were not enough for the purpose. The many
    sick were not strong enough to climb out of the holds and the others carried
    them to the deck to the latrines and bathed them and washed their clothes in
    sea water.

    14. The ship carried a cargo of BAUXITE which was contained in all three holds
    including the holds occupied by the prisoners of war. Each prisoner of war
    was made to carry and was held responsible for a piece of raw rubber
    weighing approximately twenty pounds.

    15. The life saving appliances were sufficient for our needs but they were not
    kept in a serviceable condition or accessible to the prisoners of war. Some
    of us were given a life jacket of a recognised naval pattern and others had
    life jackets made of very light blocks of wood tied with rope. All the
    life jackets were later taken away by the Japanese because they found we
    were using them as pillows.

    - 4 -

    16. No attacks were made on either of the two convoys we were with between
    Singapore and Manila. On 20th September 1944 the HOFUKA MARU was one
    of a convoy of five vessels which left Manila escorted by two destroyers.
    About 10.30 a.m. on 21st Deptember 1944, the convoy was attacked by a
    force of United States Army torpedo bombers and I understand that all
    five vessels were sunk. The HOFUKA MARU was struck by three torpedoes
    and sank in about three minutes. I believe the Japanese were aware of
    the impending attack because at the time of the attack all Japanese wore
    life saving jackets and their kits were packed. No warning was given us
    and no assistance when the vessel was struck. We had no opportunity to
    reach the life saving jackets. The lifeboats could not be launched.
    The Kapoc rafts distentegrated in the water but the few wooden rafts
    floated. The escorting Japanese destroyers picked up the crew and
    Japanese escort of the HOFUKA MARU but left us in the water. The
    prisoner of war survivors were in the water for about eight hours and
    were then picked up by motor driven boats from Manila. On arrival at
    Manila a roll call was made and it was found that 280 prisoners of war
    had survived.

    17. The HOFUKA MARU did not carry markings to show that it carried prisoners
    of war. I am aware that our officers made representations to the
    Japanese for the vessel to be suitably marked.

    18. The HOFUKA MARU stopped at Borneo and Manila.

    19. The names of other witnesses who sailed on the HOFUKA MARU are:-

    (1). Captain Peter DEAN - Cambridge Regiment.
    (2). Lieut. LAWRENCE - Gordon Highland Regiment.
    (3). Pte. James FARNHAM - Manchester Regiment.
    (4). Pte. William LOONEY - Beds & Herts. Regiment.
    (5). Pte. - - HADEN - Beds & Herts. Regiment.
    (6). Pte. - - SHAW - Manchester Regiment.
    (7), Pte. Joseph KAYLOR - Manchester Regiment (believed).
    (8). Pte. Percy CHALCRAFT - East Surrey Regiment.
    (9). Pte H. FARRIS - Regiment - Not known.

    20. The only person I know who was responsible for embarkation and conditions
    on board the HOFUKA MARU was - JOTANI.

    - 5 -
    21. I have been shown 24 photograhs of Japanese and as a result I am able
    to say that Photograph No. T. 321 on Plate No. 172 is the photograph of
    JOTANI mentioned in Paragraphs No. 5; 12 and 20 of this my Affidavit.
    I also recognise Photographs No. 118 and 135 on Plate No. 18 as being of
    Japanese personnel on board the HOFUKA MARU. I do not know their names.
    When these photographs were shown to me all names and personal details
    were permanently obscured.

    22. After the sinking of the HOFUKA MARU we were detained in the main prison
    at Manila for a period of three weeks. We were under the supervision of
    United States troops who were responsible to the Japanese. Our treatment
    in this prison was good.

    23. About 15th October 1944 the 280 survivors of the HOFUKA MARU were
    mustered with a number of United States prisoners of war, making a total
    of about 700. We were marched from the prison to Manilla Harbour where
    we were ordered aboard a cargo vessel of about 8,000 tons.

    24. We sailed on the same day we embarked, that was about 15th October, 1944.

    25. I do not know the name of the ship.

    26. I do not know the name of the Japanese Officer in charge of the prisoner
    of war draft and I do not know the names of any of the Japanese personnel
    aboard the vessel.

    27. The route taken by this vessel was HONG KONG; SHANGHAI and KOREA.

    28. The vessel sailed in convoy. I do not know the number of ships in the
    convoy but I do know that there were at least three other vessels. I do
    not know the names of any of the ships or the Japanese personnel aboard

    29. The prisoner of war draft consisted of some 700 men of which 280 were
    the British and Dutch survivors of the HOFUKA MARU. The others were
    United States troops.

    - 6 -

    30. The prisoners of war were accomodated in two holds aboard the vessel.
    The draft was divided into roughly two equal sections - each section
    being accommodated in a hold. These holds were much deeper than those
    aboard the HOFUKA MARU being approximately 25 feet below the level of
    the deck. We had to sit down anywhere we could squueze in. The hatches
    were then battened down leaving a gap of about six inches for
    ventilation. Hawsers were then fastened across the hatch covers to
    prevent anybody getting out.

    31. The ration scale was 18 ounces of rice per day and one pint of water.
    32. No medical supplies were issued to the prisoners of war by the Japanese,
    the only supplies available were those in possession of our Medical
    Officers, and the United States troops. No sick quarters were available
    and the sick were laid on the hatch covers without shelter, being returned
    to the holds at night.

    33. Between MANILA and KOREA 30 British and United States troops died. The
    sick comprised the whole British and Dutch contingent and some of the
    United States troops.

    34. No bathing facilities whatever were available, not even sea water.
    There were no latrines and for this purpose two buckets were lowered into
    the hold from the deck by means of a rope. There were two boxes over
    the side of the ship if permission could be obtained from the Japanese
    guard to climb a ladder to reach them.

    35. The vessel carried a cargo of small coal which was contained in the
    holds under our quarters.

    36. There were no life saving appliances aboard this vessel.

    37. Thirteen days after leaving MANILA the convoy was attacked on two
    occasions by submarines and I understand that two "tankers" were sunk.
    As a result of this attack we were driven off our course and made for
    HONG KONG. Whilst in HONG KONG an attack was made by United States
    Army Super Fortress aircraft. I do not know the result of this attack.

    - 7 -

    38. The ship carried no markings indicating that it carried prisoners of

    39. The ship stopped at HONG KONG; SHANGHAI and KOREA. I do not remember
    the dates upon which we stopped at these ports.

    40. We were disembarked at KOREA. I do not remember the date. No
    priority was given the sick and they were compelled to carry their own
    kit. Those who were too sick to walk off the vessel themselves were
    carried by the prisoners of war who could walk. We marched eight to
    ten miles.

    41. The names of other witnesses who sailed on this ship are contained in
    Paragraph No. 19 of this my Affidavit.

    42. I do not know the names of the persons responsible for embarkation on
    this ship or the conditions prevailing on it.

    43. We were house in a schoolhouse at KOREA for a period of about three
    months. We were then embarked on a vessel for TOKYO BAY.

    44. I do not remember the date of embarkation. We were marched a
    distance of between eight and ten miles and then straight onto the

    45. I do not remember the actual date of sailing - it was one day after

    46. I do not know the name of the ship.

    47. I do not know the name of the Japanese Officer in charge of the
    Prisoner of War draft or other Japanese personnel aboard the ship.

    48. The route of the ship was direct KOREA to TOKYO BAY.

    49. The ship sailed in convoy. It consisted of at least three vessels,
    with one Japanese destroyer as escort. I know that one of the ships
    was called the PEMBROKE MARU. I do not know the names of any of the
    Japanese personnel aboard the ships.

    - 8 -

    50. The Prisoner of War draft consisted of 450 men. There were between
    100 and 150 British troops and the rest were United States troops.

    51. The whole Prisoner of War draft was accommodated in one hold which
    was approximately amidships.

    52. The ration scale was eighteen ounces of rice per day and each man's
    water bottle was filled once per day. Those without water bottles
    had to go without water.

    53. No medical supplies were issued by the Japanese. The only medical
    supplies available were those in possession of the United States
    troops. No sick quarters were made available.

    54. There were no deaths on this voyage. There was very little
    sickness except for the usual number sick with beri-beri.

    55. No bathing faciilities were available not even sea-water. Two boxes
    were affixed to the side of the vessel as latrines and the prisoners
    were permitted to visit the boxes one at a time.

    56. The vessel carried a cargo of salt. I know that some of the cargo
    was in the hold below our quarters.

    57. There were no life saving appliances aboard.

    58. There were no sinkings and attacks on this convoy.

    59. The ship did not carry markings indicating that it carried prisoners
    of war.

    60. The ship did not stop at any port.

    61. We disembarked at TOKYO BAY on 29th January 1945. We were marched
    off the ship and no priority was given the sick.

    - 9 -

    62. The names of other witnesses who sailed on this ship are contained
    in Paragraph No. 19 of this my Affidavit.

    63. I do not know the names of the persons responsible for embarkation
    and the conditions prevailing on this ship.

    SWORN by the above named

    DEPONENT Cyril Lowery C. Lowry

    at WOLVERTON in the County

    of BUCKINGHAM on this 30th day

    of September 1946.

    Before me
    H. Dolling

    a Justice of the Peace for the County of Buckingham.

  9. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Herewith the sworn statement of JOTANI, Kitaichi. Apologies for the typos in previous post. The ( P111etc) is a reference to my digital copy.

    There are a number of other statements on W0235/995 and on other files at TNA relating to proposed proceedings. The full transcript has the testimony of the prosecution witnesses and defence witnesses. The trial was a re-trial, but I know nothing about the first trial.


    (Pro-forma with deletions signed by the President identifying Exhibit "G")

    Certificate in accordance with R.P. 4 (L)

    I, F/Lt. J. HUGHES WILKINSON cerify that I have now duly warned (the
    accused) S/M JOTANI Kitaichi in the following terms.

    "Do you wish to make any statement or to give evidence on oath?
    You are not obliged to say anything or to give evidence unless you wish
    to do so, but whatever you say or any evidence you give will be taken
    down in writing and may be given in evidence." R.P. 4 (E)

    (The accused) S/M JOTANI Kitaichi states that he

    (a) (crossed through) Wishes to make an unsworn statement.

    (b) Will make a statement upon oath.

    (c) (crossed through) Does not desire to make a statement.

    Sgd:- J.Hughes Wilkinson Rank F/Lt

    Name in block capitals:- J.HUGHES WILKINSON

    Date: JAN 47 (sic)

    H.E.R. Smith
    Lt Col. President

    Pro-forma statement form completed in English handwriting (by interviewer)
    Transcript follows original line breaks
    Each sheet is signed by "J.Hughes Wilkinson" and in Japanese by S/M Jotani.

    Sworn Statement By S/M Jotani Kitaich

    I, Jotani Kitaichi, make oath and say as follows:-

    I have been duly warned that I am not obliged to make any statement,
    but that whatever I say will be taken down in writing and may be used
    in evidence.

    I wish to state voluntarily that:- I was solely in charge of
    the POW on board the HOFOKU ( TOYOFUKU) MARU, which
    sailed from SINGAPORE on 4 Jul 44 for JAPAN. I
    was the draft commander of the POW and escort
    party. S/M NORO Junichi was my second
    in command and was in charge of the guard.
    The ship’s command t was S/M Takahashi, whom
    I heard was in SAIGON before the war ended. Both
    NORO and I were sergeants when we made this

    I supervised the loading, onto the ship,
    of the POW at SINGAPORE. The captain of the ship
    told me which holds were available and I
    alloted so many POW to each hold of the ship.
    The captain said I could also use all available
    space on the ship as well as the holds.

    There were 1282 POW in the draft.

    The ship had five holds. In the after
    hold of the foreward well deck there were 400 POW.
    In each of the two holds in the after well deck
    there were 400 POW. The (sic) was a hold aft of
    the bridge in which 20 POW lived on packing
    cases and other cargo. There was a compartment
    in the poop where 30 POW lived. Then there we…(torn)
    30 POW living on the after well deck. In t…(torn )
    forward hold of the forward well deck 90
    Japanese troops were accommodated. The
    hold contained cargo, which was rubber
    and machinary (sic). There may have been
    other types of cargo in this hold, but I can’t
    remember what it was. There was not enough
    room for the 90 Japanese so quite a number
    slept on deck. The other holds carried car..(torn)
    over which a decking was placed on whi..(torn)
    the POW lived. (1) ( five words struck through)

    - 2 -

    The POW were very much overcrowded.
    A certain number of the POW were sleeping
    on deck. They were allowed to do this to
    ease the congestion in the holds. Permission
    to do this had been requested from the ship’s
    master. Even if he had hesitated to do
    this permission could have been

    A civilian attached to the navy with
    a rank or position similar to a Warrant
    Officer, whose name was SHIGAKI, was
    in charge of rations. SHIGAKI detailed
    two members of the ship’s crew to issue
    daily the POW rations. These were
    given to the POW cooks of whom there
    were nine. I used to inspect (word crossed out)
    the POW rations and the way it was
    cooked occasionally. The POW rations
    had been collected from the shipping
    authorities at SINGAPORE. The POW
    had not brought any food on board
    with them. It was my responsibility
    to see that the POW received their correct
    rations and that these rations were

    When the POW party left KANCHANBURI,
    SIAM all the medical supplies were handed
    over to the POW MO whose rank was that of a
    Captain. The POW MO collected these supplies
    directly (word crossed through) from Lt. NOBUZAWA Junichi
    who was the Japanese MO at the camp.
    He is now in Changi Jail.

    It was my responsibility to see that
    the POW MO’s had sufficient medical supplies
    to cope with what illnesses occurred amongst
    the POW on board. If they ran short I
    approached the responsible person in the
    ship’s crew, who was in charge of the ship’s
    medical supplies, for extra supplies to
    augment our own.

    ---- 3-----

    Every day I inspected the holds to see if
    the POW were comfortable and that that (sic) their
    quarters were clean. I inspected their
    food, as I have already said and made
    enquiries regarding their health.

    There were a lot of beri-beri and malaria
    cases amongst the POW.

    At MANILA 50 to 60 cases of beri-beri
    and malaria were sent to hospital. I also
    went to the POW camp at MANILA and got
    more supplies of medicine. The POW MO
    had given me a list of what he wanted.

    All the POW had a life-jacket. There
    were thirty rafts to the whole ship. They
    were four metres square and made of wood.
    The ship had three life boats.

    The sanitary arrangements were a
    five seater latrine slung outboard on both
    the port and starboard sides of the forward
    and after well decks.

    At 1030 Hours on 21 Sep 44 one day out
    bombed by allied aircraft.

    The ship was hit by three bombs.
    The first bomb hit the ship on the after well
    deck near No.5 hold. The ship started to
    subside by the stern. I was standing
    amidships when the bomb exploded.
    I started shouting “ All men overboard”
    and throwing rafts into the sea. The
    second bomb hit amidships exploding
    and blowing a hole in the side of the
    ship. This bomb seemed to have broken
    the ship’s back and brought up the stern.
    When the second bomb fell I was standing
    on the starboard side of the ship. I was
    still throwing rafts into the sea and
    shouting “All men overboard.” The

    --------- 4------------

    third bomb hit the port side of the forward
    well deck just forward of the bridge. I
    was still standing in the same place
    when the second bomb exploded. This
    bomb finished the ship altogether. I
    immediately jumped overboard. The
    ship was sinking fast. I thought
    I was done for. Ten minutes later
    the ship had sunk.

    The attack on the convoy lasted
    two hours. There were five ships in
    the convoy all of which were sunk.

    While this was going on the POW
    were throwing rafts into the sea
    and jumping in themselves.

    When the second bomb hit the
    ship the captain shouted out to abandon
    ship through a megaphone from the

    I could not do anything myself
    to help the POW except to throw the
    rafts into the sea and shout out for
    everyone to abandon ship.

    There was a terrific panic
    and amount of confusion amongst the
    ship’s crew and Japanese personnel
    when the ship was hit. It was
    every man for himself.

    It was four hours before I was
    picked up by a small destroyer. NORO
    was picked up by the same ship a
    little later. There were about thirty
    plus POW on board when I was
    picked up. This destroyer picked
    up a further two POW while I was on
    her but no more. I made representations

    ------ 5-------

    to the captain of the destroyer to save
    more POW. He said that his ship was
    already overcrowded and that the other
    ships would look after them.

    The destroyer went straight to
    TAKAO where we arrived on 25 or 26
    Sep 44.

    S/M TAKAHASHI disembarked at
    MANILA. I then assumed the position
    of ship’s commandant.

    It was my responsibility as ship’s
    commandant at the time of the sinking
    of the HOFUKU (TOYOFUKU) MARU to do all in
    my power to save the lives of those personnel
    on board for whom I was responsible.

    It was the ship’s master’s responsibility
    to do all in his power to save those who
    were on his ship.

    Never at any time between SINGAPORE
    and MANILA did TAKAHASHI interfere with
    my work as draft commander of the
    POW. He left me completely alone to
    carry out my work as I saw fit.

    The same could be said for the
    ship’s master. It was mostly a
    matter of co-operating with each other.
    I could do whatever I thought was
    nevessary for the welfare of the POW.
    No one interfered with my work
    or told me what to do.

    As regards conditions in general
    on board the HOFUKU (TOYOFUKU) MARU
    for the POW between SINGAPORE and
    the time it was sunk I was not
    satisfied with the vegetables as they
    were not fresh so I had dried
    vegetables / and sugar issued instead; also at

    ------- 6-------

    MIRI the water taken on board had
    oil in it, so I had creosote issued to
    the POW to take.

    I was also not satisfied with
    the health of the POW and that is
    why I got more medecine at MANILA.

    I was perfectly satisfied with the
    hygenic conditions of the POW quarters
    and their sanitary arrangements.

    S/M NORO Junichi who was a
    sergeant at this time was in charge
    of the Korean guard. There were about
    fortty-three guards. He mounted the
    guard each day. He also looked after
    their documents. I was responsible
    for the discipline of the guards and
    POW. NORO carried out such orders
    as I issued to him. Sometimes he
    would on my request carry out a
    ships inspection in exactly the same
    manner as I did and report
    verbally to me how things were. But
    this was not his duty.

    Between Singapore and Manila no POW
    died. Nevertheless while we were at Manila
    forty-four POW died on board from beri-beri
    and three / died from the reults of operations/ done on board one
    of which was an appendectomy. Also three
    out of the 50 to 60 POW, which had been sent
    ashore to hospital, died.

    ( following page returns to typed pro-forma numbered "2" )

    - 2 -

    * The above statement has been read over to me by an interpreter and is
    true and correct transcript of what I have said, to the whole of
    which statement I now append my signature.

    Signed at...CHANGI JAIL this...17..day of..JANUARY...1947

    Signature ( Japanese)

    ( Name in block capitals) JOTANI KITAICHI

    Sworn before me,

    Sgd:- J.Hughes Wilkinson

    this..17..day of..January...1947

    An officer detailed to examine the above by
    C in C A.L.F.S.E.A.

    I,..Maj. K.S. KALSI....make oath and say that I truly and
    correctly translated to the accused..S/M JOTANI Kitaichi words
    of the above caution and that he thereupon elected to make a sworn
    statement, that he was duly sworn, and that he then made a statement
    which I truly and corrected translated in English and saw taken down
    by..F/Lt J. HUGHES WILKINSON. I read over the whole of the above
    statement to the accused in the...JAPANESE..language and he ack-
    nowledged it as correct and has now duly signed it in my presence and
    in the presence of ..F/Lt. J. HUGHES WILKINSON..

    I certify that no inducement threat or promise was held out to the
    accused and that he made the above statement entirely voluntarily.

    Signed this...17..day of..JANUARY.1947

    ( Name in block letters )...K.S.KALSI

    Sworn before me (signature) J Hughes Wilkinson (rank) F/Lt
    (description) ..an officer in the RAAF this..17..day of..JANUARY 1947

    An officer detailed to examine the above by the
    Commander-in-Chief, Allied Land Forces, South East Asia
    (Authy. ALFSEA War Crimes Instruction No.1 para..........................)
    * To be inserted in the case of sworn and unsworn statements.

  10. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Herewith material NOT FOUND in the War Crimes Trial file. A special form was produced ( by MI 9 ?) to ask questions of P.O.Ws. who ended up in Luzon. Completed forms are found in the missing persons files at TNA for the Regiments/Units concerned. The form is reproduced in blank and the answers given appended.

    The Gordon Highlanders:

    Date¬¬¬¬¬¬_____________________________ Place_______________________


    Circumstances of capture and arrival in LUZON

    No.____________________ Rank and Name ________________________

    Regt. or Corps ________________________________________________

    Prisoner of war released from ( Camp address )_______________________

    1. State circumstances and date and
    place in which you were captured.

    2. State circumstances in which you
    reached Luzon:-

    (a) Was it a normal transfer from
    one P.W. Camp to another.
    (b) Were you landed in Luzon after
    the sinking of a vessel in which
    you were being transported as a

    3. If you were at any time on a vessel
    sunk while transporting P.W. will
    you state, if possible:-

    (a) the name of the ship

    (b) When was it sunk

    (c) Approximately how many British
    Ps.W. were on board.

    (d) Approximately how many British
    Ps.W. were missing following
    the sinking.

    (e) The circumstances of the sinking
    of the ship:-
    (i) approximate position,
    distance from nearest land.
    (ii) Whether any friendly or
    enemy ships in the vicinity
    picked up survivors.
    (ii) How long did the ship take
    to sink?

    (f) How many were rescued?
    (i) by swimming ashore or
    (ii) by being picked up by
    an enemy vessel.

    (g) If you have not already given
    the names of those known to you
    as being on the vessel please
    name them here with their
    regimental particulars if known
    to you.

    ( Signed)

    Continued over

    ( form is blank overleaf)


    Form completed by hand on both sides in ink


    15.2. 42 Singapore

    2879104 Pte. Robert S. Holden
    2nd Batt. Gordon. Highlanders
    Bilibid Manila

    In action 15/2/42
    In Malaya
    Went on Jap boat which
    was going to Japan but
    was taken of sick at


    Taken of before
    vessel was sunk.

    Opa Maru
    21st Sept. 1944
    1,000 or over
    900 missing

    Survior told me
    dived bombed by
    American planes
    Not sure was taken
    of before.
    Enemy ship pick
    up some surviors
    Survior told me
    3 minutes

    Survior told me

    The names I am
    giving you were on
    the ship before I
    was taken of sick
    but when vessel
    was sunk never seen
    them in my camp
    called Bilibid in


    1 Sgt Major. Murray. 2nd Gordons
    2. Sgt Dawson No 2876408 2nd Gordons
    3. Sgt Hepburn 2nd Gordons
    4. Sgt Sheen 2nd Gordons
    5. Cpl. Wood 2nd Gordons
    6. Pte Murray 2876056 2nd Gordons
    7. Pte (St) Smith later number 8 2nd Gordons
    8. Cpl Hamilton last two numbers 95 2nd Gordons
    lived in Motherwell
    9. Pte. Stuart 2nd Gordons
    10. L/C Taylor 2nd Gordons
    11. Pte Tennant C. lived in Aberdeen 2nd Gordons
    12. Pte McLeash 2nd Gordons
    13. L/C Cambell 2nd Gordons


    I am sorry this is all I can
    tell you.

    Yours Sincerely

    Pte Holden R.S.
  11. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Herewith another survivor's form from the Gordon Highlanders. TNA file ref is WO361/217 for this and previous post.

    Date¬¬¬¬¬¬_____________________________ Place_______________________


    Circumstances of capture and arrival in LUZON

    No.____________________ Rank and Name ________________________

    Regt. or Corps ________________________________________________

    Prisoner of war released from ( Camp address )_______________________

    1. State circumstances and date and
    place in which you were captured.

    2. State circumstances in which you
    reached Luzon:-

    (a) Was it a normal transfer from
    one P.W. Camp to another.
    (b) Were you landed in Luzon after
    the sinking of a vessel in which
    you were being transported as a

    3. If you were at any time on a vessel
    sunk while transporting P.W. will
    you state, if possible:-

    (a) the name of the ship

    (b) When was it sunk

    (c) Approximately how many British
    Ps.W. were on board.

    (d) Approximately how many British
    Ps.W. were missing following
    the sinking.

    (e) The circumstances of the sinking
    of the ship:-
    (i) approximate position,
    distance from nearest land.
    (ii) Whether any friendly or
    enemy ships in the vicinity
    picked up survivors.
    (ii) How long did the ship take
    to sink?

    (f) How many were rescued?
    (i) by swimming ashore or
    (ii) by being picked up by
    an enemy vessel.

    (g) If you have not already given
    the names of those known to you
    as being on the vessel please
    name them here with their
    regimental particulars if known
    to you.

    ( Signed)

    Continued over

    ( form is blank overleaf)

    See P1240354

    Completed as follows:


    18/ Oct 45 Newcastle


    Pte Hay

    2nd Gordon Highlanders

    Bilibid Prison

    Singapore 15/2/42

    I was evacuated
    from the Jap
    transport 24/8/45
    and put into an
    American POW
    hospital in Manilla
    (Bilibid Prison)
    The Jap Transport
    was sunk about
    There was about
    1000 British on

    T?J? Hay
  12. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Another Luzon form: from the R.A.O.C. file. TNA ref WO 361/316.

    Date¬¬¬¬¬¬_____________________________ Place_______________________


    Circumstances of capture and arrival in LUZON

    No.____________________ Rank and Name ________________________

    Regt. or Corps ________________________________________________

    Prisoner of war released from ( Camp address )_______________________

    1. State circumstances and date and
    place in which you were captured.

    2. State circumstances in which you
    reached Luzon:-

    (a) Was it a normal transfer from
    one P.W. Camp to another.
    (b) Were you landed in Luzon after
    the sinking of a vessel in which
    you were being transported as a

    3. If you were at any time on a vessel
    sunk while transporting P.W. will
    you state, if possible:-

    (a) the name of the ship

    (b) When was it sunk

    (c) Approximately how many British
    Ps.W. were on board.

    (d) Approximately how many British
    Ps.W. were missing following
    the sinking.

    (e) The circumstances of the sinking
    of the ship:-
    (i) approximate position,
    distance from nearest land.
    (ii) Whether any friendly or
    enemy ships in the vicinity
    picked up survivors.
    (ii) How long did the ship take
    to sink?

    (f) How many were rescued?
    (i) by swimming ashore or
    (ii) by being picked up by
    an enemy vessel.

    (g) If you have not already given
    the names of those known to you
    as being on the vessel please
    name them here with their
    regimental particulars if known
    to you.

    ( Signed)

    Continued over

    ( form is blank overleaf)


    Form completed in ink




    7637212 Pte. G. Sizer



    Captured at Singapore

    Being transported to Japan
    when ship was sunk


    6 miles from Luzon
    3 minutes
    50 by raft & swimming
    Have given all information
    when returned to England

    Pte G. Sizer 7637212
  13. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The last Luzon form I have found, from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Malaya Missing Personnel File, reference WO 361/334

    Date¬¬¬¬¬¬_____________________________ Place_______________________


    Circumstances of capture and arrival in LUZON

    No.____________________ Rank and Name ________________________

    Regt. or Corps ________________________________________________

    Prisoner of war released from ( Camp address )_______________________

    1. State circumstances and date and
    place in which you were captured.

    2. State circumstances in which you
    reached Luzon:-

    (a) Was it a normal transfer from
    one P.W. Camp to another.
    (b) Were you landed in Luzon after
    the sinking of a vessel in which
    you were being transported as a

    3. If you were at any time on a vessel
    sunk while transporting P.W. will
    you state, if possible:-

    (a) the name of the ship

    (b) When was it sunk

    (c) Approximately how many British
    Ps.W. were on board.

    (d) Approximately how many British
    Ps.W. were missing following
    the sinking.

    (e) The circumstances of the sinking
    of the ship:-
    (i) approximate position,
    distance from nearest land.
    (ii) Whether any friendly or
    enemy ships in the vicinity
    picked up survivors.
    (ii) How long did the ship take
    to sink?

    (f) How many were rescued?
    (i) by swimming ashore or
    (ii) by being picked up by
    an enemy vessel.

    (g) If you have not already given
    the names of those known to you
    as being on the vessel please
    name them here with their
    regimental particulars if known
    to you.

    ( Signed)

    Continued over

    ( form is blank overleaf)


    Form completed in typing as follows:


    4 Oct. 45

    61 Ord. Sub-Depot
    (FTM) Hendon.
    HENdon 3061


    Pte. Jackman, H.

    R.A.O.C. ( previously in 5 Bn. Beds. and Herts. Regt.)

    Camp II, Thailand ( Siam)

    2(b) YES

    3(a) Cannot remember.
    3(b) 21 Sept. 1944
    3(c) 1,100

    3(d) 1,000

    3(e) (i) 7 miles

    3(e) (ii) Jap ships in the vicinity, who picked
    up Jap survivors only.

    3(e) (iii) Approximately 9 minutes.

    3(f)(i) Five
    3(f)(ii) Nil

    3(g) Already passed on this information.

    H. Jackman 5953092
  14. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Herewith the first of three affidavits NOT FOUND on WO235/995 and presumably not shown to the defence, unless used in the first proceedings of which I am ignorant. This one from a Metropolitan Police file which contains a number of other affidavits concerning Far East P.O.W. matters.

    ( The National Archives file ref: MEPO3/2760 )





    TO LUZON BETWEEN 27th JUNE, 1944 and 21st SEPTEMBER, 1944.

    I, Henry Anthony BURTON,

    of 20, Downsway, Whyteleafe,

    in the County of Surrey, a Fitter,

    make oath and say as follows:-

    (1) On 8th March, 1935, I enlisted in the Regular Army and was
    posted to the 2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, my official
    number being 6141047. Whilst with my Regiment at Singapore, on
    1st January, 1941, I was transferred to the Royal Army Service
    Corp, with whom I was serving there when captured by the Japanese
    on 15th February, 1942. (P1190433)

    (2) On 21st June, 1942, with other prisoners, I was sent to
    CHUNKAI Prisoner of War Camp in Thailand, and for the next 18
    months was employed on the Thailand-Burma Railway. On 7th June,
    1944, I was returned to Singapore arriving there 12th June, 1944,
    and was placed in a camp, the name of which I cannot remember.
    It was known as the Havelock Road camp when used by the British
    before the war, and I was there for about three weeks before being
    sent to Japan.

    (3) We were embarked on the 27th June, 1944, the 1,283 prisoners
    in the camp being split up in two parties, one to occupy each of
    the two holds on the ship. We marched the 2 1/2 to 3 miles to the
    ship, and I was in the second party, which occupied the rear hold
    of the ship.

    (4) After embarking the prisoners, the ship anchored in the
    straits at Singapore for about four days, and I think we actually
    sailed on 1st or 2nd July, 1944.

    (5) The name of the ship was known to us as the "HOKAPAKU MARU"
    and was the name shown on one of the lifeboats on the deck. Most
    of the names had been painted out, but we discerned this name
    through the paint. It might have been the "HUKAPAKU MARU".

    (6) A Japanese sergeant major, who was known as "Joe Tunney",
    this being the nearest pronunciation to his name which we could
    get, was in charge of the prisoners on the ship. The other
    Japanese called him "Jatani". I do not know the names of the
    other Japanese personnel on board, who were all strangers.

    (7) So far as we could judge by the sun, the course of the ship
    was southward for the first few days, and then northward. After
    a week or ten days we reached a bay, with oil derricks on the
    mainland, which we took to be at MIRI, in Borneo. After waiting
    there a week, we went on to MANILA, arriving there some time in
    July, 1944. From that time until 20th September, 1944, the ship
    was in the bay there, or in the vicinity, moving about at times
    when what seemed like air raid warnings were sounded on the land.


    Page 2

    On the night of 20th-21st September, 1944, we left MANILA,
    sailing northwards so far as we could judge, keeping close
    to the coast. At about 10.30 a.m. the next morning, 21st
    September, 1944, we were attacked by American planes and
    the vessel was sunk.

    (8) We were sailing in convoy most of the time, but I do
    not know details of the ships when sailing from Singapore
    to Manila. When we left Manila there were about twelve
    ships, including about four warships, in the convoy, but I
    do not know the names of any.

    (9) Of the 1,283 prisoners in the draft, 600 were in the
    rear hold, where I was situated, the remainder being in the
    forward hold. The rear hold was about 40 yards by 30 yards
    and the centre, where the hatch is situated, was not allowed
    to be occupied, as there was cargo underneath. There were
    two tiers on each side of the ship in which the prisoners
    were accommodated, the space between each tier being about
    3 feet to 4 feet. The prisoners could not stand when in
    these tiers and had to sit or lie down. We could only stand
    when going to the latrines, on the upper deck, or in a narrow
    alleyway between the tiers.

    (10) There were two meals a day, each of about a pint mug of
    rice, with a vegetable as extra, in the evening; four times
    a week. For the first eight days, we were given tea, which
    tasted salt, as though it had been made from sea-water.
    After some prisoners had been caught taking fresh water from
    the tanks, the captain of the ship ordered us to be given a
    pint of fresh water per day, and we had this for the rest of
    the journey.

    (11) The only medical supplies I saw on the vessel were a few
    quinine tablets, issued to men who had malaria. There was
    no special treatment, at first, for men who were sick, but in
    August there were about forty deaths among the prisoners,
    mostly from starvation and beri-beri, so far as I could judge.
    The Japanese then cleared a small hold at the rear of the
    vessel and put about 200 of the more seriously sick prisoners
    there. There were two British doctors on board at the start,
    but one of these, whose name was BRAHMS, or something similar,
    died in August. Only about three per cent of the prisoners
    on board remained free from illness during the voyage, and
    whilst at Manila, a party of 50 of the more serious cases, who
    were picked out by our own doctors, were taken ashore. In all
    92 British and 4 Dutch prisoners died on board during the
    voyage, through illness. Another 850 or so were lost when
    the ship was sunk.

    (12) The sanitary arrangements on board were very bad. At
    first there was one wooden tub, situated in the hold, to
    accommodate about 200 men. These had to be emptied overboard
    when full. For men too ill to move, mess tins were used as
    bed pans. After arriving at Manila, three wooden crates were
    rigged up, on the upper deck, over the ship's side, but this
    was totally inadequate and there was always a sort of queue.

    (13) The two lower decks of the vessel carried a cargo of
    reddish rock, which some said was bauxite. We unloaded this
    at Manila.


    Page 3

    (14) There was one kapok life saving jacket between each two
    prisoners. These were in the holds with us, and on deck there
    were some balsa wood life saving jackets which the Japanese used.
    They also had some wooden rafts on the upper decks for the use
    of the crew.

    (15) As shown previously, on 21st September, 1944, the convoy
    was attacked, for the first time, by American aircraft. So far
    as we could see, about six of the ships in the convoy were sunk
    during this engagement.

    (16) The ship carried no Red Cross markings, or other markings
    to indicate it was carrying prisoners of war.

    (17) When the ship was sunk, I managed to swim ashore, with
    about 46 other prisoners, and were again taken prisoners by a
    party of Japanese soldiers. We were taken to a village in which
    was a hall bearing the name "San Fernando", which we took to be
    the name of the place. Eventually we were sent to Manila where
    we were embarked on another boat, as described in my other
    Affidavit, on 12th December, 1944.

    SWORN at 46, Parliament Street, S.W.1. )
    ) ( Signed) H.A. Burton
    in the County of LONDON )
    this ..........day of........................1947 )

    Before me ( Signed) C. Browett Seager.

    A Commissioner for Oaths.
  15. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Herewith another affidavit from the "filleted" file which contains a number of statements concerned with "JT" or "Japanese Transit" cases. The file was released to TNA in 1988 and in the catalogue bears the "Title/ Scope and content" description of: " Various affidavits, statements and interrogation reports concerning Japanese War Crimes on Transport Ships".



    I, William Edward Looney, No 5775451, late 5th Battalion,
    Royal Norfolk Regiment, with a permanent home address at 15 North
    Common, Redbourn, Hertfordshire, make Oath and say as follows.

    I was a Prisoner in the TACKANOON No 2 Camp, THAILAND, and
    was moved from this Camp to CHUNKI.

    I was then chosen to go to Japan, and left for that country
    travelling via Singapore.

    The man GERTANA, mentioned in my last statement, was in
    charge of it.

    We were put on the boat at Singapore and compelled to
    carry as well as our kit, a piece of rubber weighing about half
    hundred weight (cwt). There was 1200 of us on this boat, we were put
    in two holds and we were not allowed out for three days. The
    instructions were given by GERTANA.

    We were on the boat for about two months, during which time,
    fifteen of our men died from BERRI BERRI, we were compelled to throw
    them overboard.

    We were about eighteen hours out of Manilla (sic) when we were
    torpedoed, and 950 of our men lost their lives through being
    prevented from escaping from the holds.

    I was in the top hold and I was able to get out. I was
    picked up by a fishing smack and taken back to Manilla. There were
    thirty three of us in our boat, I was badly wounded in the left arm
    and the left side. The fisherman pulled us on the boat and kicked
    us out of the way to get others on. I cannot describe any of the
    crew of the fishing smack.

    GERTANA was picked up be (sic) a Destroyer.

    Signed W.B. Looney

    Statement made and signed in my presence.

    F.S. Gingell ?
    Justice of the Peace in the County of

    17th October. 1946.
  16. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The last affidavit not used in the Jotani prosecution, nonetheless of interest to historians. From WO 311/545.





    A F F I D A V I T

    I, No.3522358 LANCE CORPORAL FREDERICK BENNELL with permanent
    home address at 22 Bedford Street, Hulme, Manchester, make oath and say
    as follows:-

    I am at present a serving Soldier, Lance Corporal 3522358,
    Staff., 63 P.T.C. Manchester Regiment, Dunham Park, Altrincham, Cheshire.

    I was taken prisoner at Singapore on 15th. February, 1942.
    I was then a Lance Corporal in the 1st. Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

    I was kept in Singapore about three months. I was then sent
    to Thailand working on the railway. I returned to Singapore for embarkation
    to Japan. That would be June or July, 1944. I was working on the railway
    about two years. We were in Havelock Road Camp, Singapore for about 14
    days and we then embarked on the " HUKAPAKU MARU ". This was July, 1944,
    bit I can't remember the exact date. We were marched from the camp to the
    docks and on to the vessel. Approximately 1200 embarked, British and Dutch.
    We sailed the same day.

    The Japanese Officer in charge was Lieut. ENO. With him were
    the following:- Sgt. Major JOTANI. Sgt. NORO. Private ARIE who was the
    interpreter. The Japanese crew on the ship had nothing to do with us.

    We sailed from Singapore to Borneo in convoy of 10 to 12
    ships. We stood off there about 10 days with engine trouble. As far as I
    can remember the next stop was just outside Manila. We were in convoy from
    Singapore to Manila. We were left behind at Manila with engine trouble,
    and the convoy sailed on. We stood off Manila approximately three months
    when we were joined by another convoy of approximately 10 or 11 ships. I
    don't know the names of any other vessels in the convoy. We left Manila
    with the second convoy about the night of the 19th. September, 1944, bound
    for Japan. On 21st. September, 1944 we were attacked by American aircraft.
    We had three direct hits and the vessel sank in about four minutes. I swam
    ashore. When the ship was attacked the majority of the men were in the
    hold but I happened to be on deck. Approximately 200 British and Dutch were
    saved from this ship. 63 swam ashore.

    The ship had three holds and there were about 400 men in each
    hold. There was no protection from the weather. The Dutch were to-gether.(sic)
    There was no definite ration scale and we often went without food for two
    days. It was always boiled rice. There was no fresh water but we occasionally
    had some kind of brew supposed to be tea. We occasionally had a thin vegetable
    soup prepared from green leaves.

    Whilst we were stood off Manila there was a lot of sickness,
    chiefly Beri-Beri and dysentery. Approximately 96 men died on board up to
    the time we were sunk. Medical supplies were very limited. There was no
    Japanese Doctor. There were two British Doctors on board but one died. I
    was never seriously ill on this vessel. I would say that at least 50 per cent
    of the men were seriously ill on this ship. The men who died were sewn up
    in sacking and buried at sea. This was done by our men.

    Sanitary arrangements consisted of boxes tied to the rail of
    the ship and we were allowed up on deck at various times to use them. When
    we were not allowed on deck we used a bucket in the hold. The vessel
    conyained (sic) a cargo of red sandstone which was in the lower hold, below us.

    There were lifebelts made from bamboo blocks. They were stowed
    in a corner of the hold. Some men used them for pillows and were beaten
    up by Sgt. Major JOTANI. This ship did not carry any markings to show that
    Prisoners were on board.

    ( next page, not numbered, loose on file WO311/545 )

    AFFIDAVIT - Frederick BENNELL ( continued )

    The only other person I remember on this ship was Captain Nigel
    Evans, 1st. Battalion Manchester Regt. He is now my Adjutant.

    After the "HUKAPAKU MARU" was sunk I was in the water about seven
    hours without clothing. When we got ashore there were Japanese soldiers
    waiting for us. I was tied to a tree. We were taken by lorry to a
    Japanese outpost about 200 Kilometres from Manila. We were there about
    ten days. We had little food. The Japs gave us no food at all but the
    Filipinos brought us food once a day. There were about 63 British and
    Dutch. We were then taken to CABANATUAN Camp. We were there about three
    weeks and then moved to BILIBID Prison, Manila. We were there about two
    months and then embarked at Manila on a vessel which I believe was the
    " HYROKA MARU" a vessel of about 8000 tons. Approximately 1600 British,
    American and Dutch embarked. There were only about 30 British and Dutch.
    It was a semi cargo-passenger vessel and there were a number of Japanese
    civilians, including women and children on board.

    We embarked on 13th. December, 1944. We were put below at once and
    never allowed on deck again. There were two holds and about 1000 men in the
    one I was in. We sailed early next morning.

    I do not know the names of any of the Japanese in charge except the
    interpreter who was called Mr. Waters or Walters. As we were below all the
    time I do know if we sailed in convoy. As far as I know we were bound
    for Japan.

    The conditions in the ship were atrocious. We were herded in the hold
    so closely that we could neither sit nor lie down. It was a very deep hold,
    practically covered with boards at the top. There was no ventilation. The
    hold was completely covered at night. There was no lighting of any kind.
    Food was lowered into the hold in buckets and many never managed to get any.
    I never had any food all the time I was on the vessel. On one occasion I
    had a drink of water. I saw men cut their wrists and drink blood, and I saw
    men drink urine. We could hardly breathe and I would say that 30 men died
    in the three days we were on the ship. A rope was lowered and the body
    would be hoisted out of the hold. Men became so crazed they fought each other.
    I would say all the men in the hold were ill. There were no medical supplies
    of any kind. There were no sanitary arrangements of any kind. There was no
    life saving apparatus. I don't know if the ship carried cargo.

    About 15th. December, 1944, the ship was attacked by aircraft and hit
    by bombs. We carried on and the attack was resumed the next day. A bomb
    fell near the top of the hold and a lot of debris fell in the hold on the
    men and killed a lot. After this the Jap guards fired into the hold and killed
    a lot of men. We managed to get on deck and found the ship deserted and on
    fire. We grounded off an island called "LONGAPOU" ( As near as I can spell it).
    The Japanese guards were ashore and we went ashore and were taken to a camp
    there. It had been an American camp.

    This second vessel did not bear any P.O.W. markings to my knowledge.

    I sailed in two other vessels, the names of which I do not know, before
    I finally reached Japan in February, 1945.

    Frederick Bennell


    ? Ernest Harvey
  17. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    An affidavit that was used in the trial. Not all of the affidavits would be read, especially where the latter paragraphs related to irrelevant material. Many War Crimes prosecutions relied totally on statements. In this case there were two major prosecution witnesses, the testimony of the defendant, another NCO from the vessel and some Japanese officers.

    As stated when filing the Lowry affidavit, all due acknowledgement of these documents, in the public domain since about 1978, to the makers thereof, to the National Archives, and to the Judge Advocate General's department and/or the successors is given.

    MD/JAG/FS/JT/15 and JT/2 (P1110025)




    1. I, George Edward Mower, Private NO.5774021, 4th Battalion

    Royal Norfolk Regiment, now discharged, with permanent home address

    at 68, St. Nicholas Street, Thetford, Aged 28, make Oath and say as


    2. I was taken prisoner by the Japanese on the 15th February, 1942,

    at Singapore, and was kept in Singapore until June and was then sent

    overland by train via Malaya to Thailand. I was working on the Siam

    Railway till June 7th, 1944, and was then taken back by train to

    Singapore to Havelock Road Transit Camp, arriving there on June 12th,

    1944. I was in this Camp until June 27th, 1944, when I embarked on

    the HOKA MARU. The ship was tied up in Singapore Docks and we were

    marched on board by guards and put in the holds, 600 prisoners in each

    of two holds. I was in the aft hold. We sailed from Singapore on

    July 4th, 1944. I do not know the names of any Japanese officers or

    guards in charge of us. There was no name on our ship but everybody

    called it the Hoka Maru, it was a steamer. We sailed via the coast to

    Borneo and called at one Port there, I believe it was Brunei. We

    sailed in a convoy of about seven ships but I never saw them as I was

    kept below all the time, and I cannot give any information about them.

    We arrived at Brunei on the 9th July, 1944, and our ship broke down

    there and we were left behind by the rest of the convoy. We left

    Brunei after about six days and sailed through various islands to

    Manila Bay, arriving there on 24th July, 1944. We sailed alone from

    Brunei to Manila Bay. We left Manila Bay on September 19th, 1944,

    with seven other ships - this was another convoy which we waited for

    at Manila. We hung about the mouth of Manila Bay for about a day and

    one day out from Manila, about 11 a.m., 21st September, our ship was

    attacked by American carrier torpedo planes and sunk. Three more ships

    in the convoy were sunk, one ran aground, and I believe the others

    were damaged. I do not know the names of any of the other ships - I

    - 1. -

    don't think there were any prisoners on these ships.

    I was in the water six or seven hours on a piece of wreckage

    and then I was picked up by a small Japanese armed fishing boat, and

    this took me back to Manila where I was put in Bili Bid prison until

    1st October, 1944. Altogether there were 1,200 prisoners of war on

    the Hoka Maru, 600 in each hold, and there were only 257 survivors -

    most of the men went down with the ship as it was hit three times and

    sank almost at once.

    3. Conditions on the ship were very bad. In my hold, which was open

    to the weather, there was a platform round the side of the hold, about

    three to four feet from the deck, about 5'6" wide, and about 200 men

    laid on it. About the same number laid underneath the platform, and

    about 200 had to lay on the deck in the middle of the hold, exposed to

    all weathers, and we were terribly overcrowded. We were not allowed

    to take anything on board except small personal items; I had an old

    haversack, a pair of rubber shoes, one blanket, pair of drill trousers,

    a seaman's jacket and an old piece of canvas, in addition to what I

    was wearing, which was an old drill shirt and slacks and rubber shoes.

    No bedding was provided by the Japanese. The ration was two meals

    per day, about 11 a.m. in the morning a mess tin three parts full of

    boiled rice and wheat with salt, and tea to drink; about 5 p.m. at

    night some boiled rice and barley, with sometimes a piece of salt fish

    and a spoonfull of cooked vegetables, and tea to drink. There was no

    sugar or milk in the tea. Apart from the meals a bucket of water was

    issued each day for every thirty men, and this had to last the day.

    It was badly condensed from sea water and was very salty and impure and

    unfit to drink. There were no medical supplies and the only medical

    treatment was what could be given by our own Doctors. There were three

    Doctors in my hold. Nobody died up to Manila Bay, but there were

    between 400 and 500 sick men on board, most of them hopeless cases with

    beri-beri. Practically all these cases were contracted on board, as

    we were mostly fit men when we boarded ship. While we were lying in

    Manila Bay about 100 men died, eight were buried in Manila Cemetery

    and the rest were thrown overboard. The bodies were usually taken a

    - 2 -

    short distance from the ship in a small boat at night and put in the

    sea. Some of these corpses were allowed to lie on deck all day in

    the sun until they were put in the sea at night, and prisoners had

    to take their meals in sight of the bodies.

    There were no sanitary arrangements and we had to use buckets

    and mess tins in the hold where we slept and ate. Boxes were hung

    over the side of the ship but most men were too weak to get into them

    to use them. Our ship was carrying ballast, there was no cargo as

    far as I know. There were about 400 life jackets on the ship, also

    some rafts which were practically useless. There were nothing like

    enough appliances for everybody. There were no markings on our
    ship to show it was carrying prisoners of war. The only treatment

    our Doctors were able to give men with beri beri was to cut their

    feet open and lay them in the bottom hold for the liquid to drain

    from them. Two men were operated on in the hold in front of the rest

    of us, one was for appendicitis and the other was for ulcerated

    stomach. The operations were performed on a stretcher supported on

    four tubs, and the doctor used an open razor.

    4. On the 1st October, 1944, I was taken from Manila on a

    coal boat, about 4,000 tons, which we called the Benjo Maru. This

    was the worst ship I was on, and we went via Hongkong and landed at

    Formosa on the 9th November, 1944. We were put in Engine Camp,

    staying there until January, 1945. We marched six miles to the

    Station and were taken by train to the northern part of Formosa,

    I forget the name.

    5. The Melbourne Maru was lying in dock and we were marched on

    board in parties. We went straight from the train on to the ship,

    and we went on board on January 12th, 1945. We sailed on the 14th

    January. I saw the name " Melbourne Maru" painted on the side of the

    ship, forward. We sailed via Shanghai and landed in Japan on

    January 28th, 1945. This was the best boat I was on. We sailed in

    convoy, I do not know the names of any other ships, I should say

    there were about ten, all cargo ships, and we were escorted by

    - 3 -

    Japanese destroyers and corvettes. The Melbourne Maru was heavily

    armed with A.A. guns and 4 inch Naval guns. There were only about

    400 prisoners of war on board; I don't know if there were any on the

    other ships in the convoy. I was in the aft hold with about 200

    other prisoners. There were bunks for nearly all of us, but no

    bedding. The hold was covered in with canvas. Food was reasonable,

    some days we had three meals, some days two meals, and sometimes we

    had a little meat or fish, but we did not get enough to eat. We had

    tea in the morning and hot water at night, and we could get cold

    water during the day if we wanted it. The Japanese supplied a few

    tablets but medical supplies were scarce, and the only medical

    treatment was that which our own Doctors could give. We were lousy,

    and there were about 100 sick, but only about seven men died, and

    they were buried at sea. The only sanitary arrangements were buckets

    and wooden tubs in the hold. We were not allowed on deck at all.

    It was a large ship and was carrying a cargo of sugar and rice stowed

    in holds beneath us. There were about 250 life jackets on board,

    and some rafts and lifeboats, probably enough to accommodate

    everybody. There were no sinkings or attacks on our convoy, but

    one of our escort vessels dropped some depth charges just before we

    reached Japan. There were no markings on our ship to show we carried

    prisoners of war. We called at Shanghai and stopped about one day -

    I do not know the date. We arrived at Nagasaki, Japan, on January

    28th, 1945, and our ship put into dock and we disembarked via

    gangways. The fit men went off first and carried and helped off the

    sick. No priority was given to the sick men.

    6. I cannot give the names or descriptions of any Japanese

    Officers or guards responsible for disembarkation or conditions on

    the ships, or in charge of prisoner of war drafts, as I had very

    little contact with any of them. I suggest that our Officers could

    supply names as they had dealings with the Japanese, in particular

    Captain Deane (sic) of the Cambridgeshire Regiment, Lieutenant Lawrence

    of the Gordon Highlanders, and Captain Lewis of the Suffolk

    Regiment, a Medical Officer.

    - 4 -

    6. I can vouch for the dates I have given because I madfe rough

    notes of dates and kept them hidden from the Japanese, and when I

    was freed I made a list, and then destroyed my original notes.

    I cannot supply any useful photographs or other documents.

    7. The following men were prisoners with me all the time and can

    also give evidence as to conditions on the ships:-

    Dick Hayto, 110, Costead Manor Road, Brentwood, Essex;

    J.E. Taylor, 44, Rectory Road, Leigh on Sea, Essex;

    E. Pigg, 24, Council Houses, Pulham St. Mary, Diss, Norfolk;

    A. H. Spraggin, Roker, Sunderland, Durham;

    C. Sergant, 2, Nelson Street, Wisbech, Cambs;

    Austin Jervis, Tamworth Road, Long Eaton, Notts;

    A. White, Medina, Gaywood, King's Lynn, Norfolk.

    T. Williams, Crosstrees Cottages, Harecroft Road, Wisbech, Cambs;

    R. Hammond, 23, St. Lewis Street, King's Lynn, Notfolk;

    E.W. Haddon, 24, Gad Lane, Woburn, Beds;

    L. Sage, Colchester Road, Manningtree, Essex.

    8. When I reached Japan I was taken to Koshi Kura B3 Camp,

    Sendai Area, and was released in September, 1945.

    ( Signed) G.E. Mower



    L. Clarke
    Statement taken by Sergeant Frank Slack, Norfolk Constabulary,

    Wymondham, on 21st September, 1946.
  18. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    An affidavit prepared by the Judge Advocate General and printed in mauve by what I would call a Gestetner machine for wide distribution, photocopiers being then in their infancy. Very much to the point.

    The senior British Officer on board: an onerous task indeed.


    The ill-treatment of British prisoners of war
    on board the S.S. HOFUKU MARU during July,
    August and September, 1944.

    A F F I D A V I T

    1, Captain James Gibson with permanent address at 12 Nab Wood Crescent, Shipley,
    Yorkshire, formerly of 122 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, make oath and say
    as follows:-

    1. I was captured by the Japanese at Singapore on 15 February, 1942, and
    after being in various prisoner of war camps in Siam I was taken to River Valley
    Road Camp, Singapore with a party of 2,000 British prisoners of war on June 7th
    1944. From this Camp we were embarked on the HOFUKU MARU which sailed from
    Singapore on July 4th, 1944.

    2. I was Officer Commanding the 1300 British troops who were to sail in
    this vessel. Before embarking I protested strongly to Lieutenant ENO, Serjeant
    JOTANI and Serjeant NORO about conditions on board ship. I refused to embark
    the men and Lieut. ENO told me that if we did not go on board, there would be
    serious repercussions.

    3. I had to give way and Lieut. ENO made each prisoner take on board a
    block of rubber, weighing about 14 lbs. This was their way of loading a cargo
    of rubber. This ship also carried a cargo of tin ingots and bauxite.

    4. Lieut. ENO was the Japanese officer in charge of administration of our
    ship and of another ship in the same convoy on which prisoners were embarked.
    Captain HALL, Royal Artillery of 118 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, who came
    from Edinburgh, was in charge of the British prisoners on this other ship, the
    name of which I forget. Lieut. ENO was about 5 feet 5 inches in height, and
    would weigh about 10 stones. His teeth were not particularly prominent. He
    was a typical Japanese and difficult to describe.

    5. Sjt. JOTANI was in charge of administration on the HOFUKU MARU. He
    was about 5 feet 6 inches in height and was very strongly and heavily built and
    would weigh about 12 stones. He had a bullet head and had a few gold teeth.
    His expression was stupid and ape-like.

    6. JOTANI was assisted on our ship by Sjt. NORO who was about 5 feet 5
    inches in height. He was small but very well proportioned and would weigh about
    10 1/2 stones. He had a Grecian nose and apart from high cheek bones, his looks
    were most un-Japanese. He was a fine looking man.

    7. There were two interpreters on board, a Korean called ARAI, who, I
    think, never interpreted honestly and who though he never struck any British
    troops, was often guilty of violence towards some of the 200 Dutch who were also
    on board. The other interpreter who was really in charge of the rations, was
    I think, a Korean called MATSUMOTO. He was guilty of withholding rations from
    us and giving them to the Korean guards. He would rather sell us our rations
    than give us them.

    8. On board the HOFUKU MARU the British prisoners were divided into
    Sections, each section commanded by a British officer, numbered about 150.

    9. The HOFUKU MARU was a very old tramp steamer of about 4,000 tons and
    in extremely bad condition. It was buikt at Clydeside in 1902. It was very
    filthy in every way and was in my opinion unsuitable for transporting 1500

    10. We were accommodated in two holds, one forward and one aft, 650 prisoners
    being accommodated in each hold. Although the holds had bunks like shelves erected
    the accommodation was far from adequate.


    - 2 -

    11. On 4 July, 1944, our ship sailed in a convoy of 10 or 12 ships. The
    hatches of the hold were open night and day. At first only our officers and our
    cooks were allowed on deck but after a few days I think that 100 from each hold
    were allowed to come up and sleep on the deck.

    12. While we were confined to two holds, the 30 Korean guards were allowed
    a hold to themselves. These two holds were not big enough for all the occupants
    to lie down at the same time and it was only with the utmost difficulty that the
    men could be got into the holds at all. They were herded together like cattle,
    and took it in turns to lie down.

    13. Most of the prisoners had khaki drill tunics and shorts and rubber
    Japanese boots issued in Siam before setting off to the port of embarkation, but
    by the time we were embarked, these articles of clothing, being of inferior quality,
    had mostly worn out. Owing to the heat in the holds, most of the prisoners just
    wore 'G' Strings.

    14. There was no provision made for washing, apart from the fact that we
    were allowed at certain times to haul up buckets of sea water, which we splashed
    over ourselves.

    15. There were no latrines, apart from six box-like arrangements slung over
    the side of the ship. Many of the prisoners became too weak to climb over the
    side of the ship and the result was that many had to excrete in the holds. After
    a time, we were given two wooden latrine buckets per hold, but we were only allowed
    to empty these twice daily. Eventually we had to resort to using mess tins as bed

    16. I should think that at one time during the voyage almost 99 per cent
    of the prisoners were suffering from Beri-Beri, dysentry and malaria. The
    conditions of 650 men eating, living and sleeping in such a stifling hold had to be
    seen to be believed.

    17. Each man received a pint of rice twice per day, together with a minute
    portion of dried vegetable. Occasionally we were given one bucket of fresh
    fish which had to be divided between 1300 men. At the beginning of the voyage
    drinking water was issued on the scale of three-quarters of a pint per man per day,
    and as the condensers on the ship were not working properly, the water was
    invariably salty and caused much suffering and occasional rioting amogst the men.
    After numerous complaints made by me to Sjt. JOTANI, the standard of the water
    was improved, but we never had enough.

    18. On 23 July, 1944 we anchored in Manila Bay about half a mile off-shore.
    By that time the condition of the men had steadily deteriorated and we had our
    first death a few days after entering Manila Bay. Conditions on the ship owing
    to sickness and the lack of latrine accommodation were also bad. The death rate
    rose, and though we had been allowed to take the first man who died ashore for
    burial, we had to give other prisoners who died a sea burial. Though we were
    allowed to give our men Christian burials, we were often interrupted by JOTANI
    and NORO. Their conduct throughout the voysge had consisted mainly of extremme
    brutality. It was their practice to go round beating prisoners for no apparent
    reason with iron bars and sticks. I made complaints during the voyage
    concerning medical supplies, conditions and food but nothing was done and all I
    received for my pains was blows from JOTANI and NORO who often punched me with
    their fists, even though during this voyage I weighed only 8 1/2 stones and at one
    stage lost the use of my legs.

    19. We stayed in Manila Bay almost two months during which time no one was
    allowed on shore. As a result of my repeated complaints 50 of the most serious
    cases were taken on shore to Manila Hospital. To give some idea of the conditions
    of the worst cases, I can say that while we were putting these 50 into barges to
    be taken ashore, our doctors decided that wo of the men would be dead before
    their arrival at hospital and we therefore kept these in the ship and sent two
    other men to hospital instead. During the evacuation of these 50 hospital cases
    the behaviour of JOTANI, NORO and the other Japanese was brutal and callous in
    the extreme. They were always hurrying us on and helping us with blows.

    20. During the time we were in Manila Bay, over 100 of the British prisoners
    died. We received from one of the American camps in Manila, supplies of vitamin
    'B' and 'C' injections and muti-vitamin tablets to counteract Beri-Beri. The
    bulk of these medical supplies were however kept by JOTANI for the use of the


    - 3 -

    Japanese guards. A very small quantity was given to our doctors who were
    compelled by JOTANI to inject the Japanese guards and members of the ship's
    crew with these vitamin injections.

    21. By the end of our stay in Manila Bay it was the monsoon period and with
    the holds being open they were running in water and the conditions in the hold
    had by this time become indescribably filthy. By the middle of September, I
    should say that 90 per cent of the men were unable to walk without assistance.

    22. On September, 20th, 1944 the ship left Manila Bay but on the following
    day it was sunk by aerial attack from American planes. Our ship had no
    distinguishing marks to indicate it was any other than an ordinary cargo boat.
    Besides being torpedoed, one bomb fell into each hold of the prisoners holds.
    Apart from this, the majority of the prisoners were, in view of their physical
    condition, quite unable to make any attempt to save themselves. I should think
    at least a thousand prisoners went down with the ship which sank in less than five
    minutes. JOTANI, NORO and the majority of the Japanese crew were picked up
    by lifeboats from escorting Japanese destroyers. There were no lifeboats
    available as these had been riddled by Machine-Gun fire from the American fighters.
    In any event, there were only two lifeboats on the ship.

    23. As JOTANI had previously warned me that if there was any attack on the
    ship, he would shoot any prisoner who attempted to leave the holds, I went up on
    deck to try and stop any panic. I was therefore lucky enough to get overboard
    and swim three miles to the shore, where I joined some Filipino guerillas.
    After spending five months with the latter, I was picked up by an American
    torpedo boat which was patrolling offshore.

    24. As regards the indescribable conditions on board, the HOFUKU MARU, I
    would say that JOTANI and NORO were entirely responsible, even though at the time
    they always blamed their superiors. Lieut. ENO could not be blamed for what
    happened to us in Manila Bay as he had already left in a ship for Japan.

    25. All I have described regarding the conditions on this ship for which
    I hold JOTANI and NORO responsible, could be corroborated by the following Section
    Officers on the HOFUKU MARU if they are still alive:-

    Captain Nigel Evans of the Manchester Regiment, whose address I do not

    Captain Lewis. R.A.M.C., a Welshman.

    Captain McNiel, C.F., a Northern Irishman, a regular officer.

    Captain Robson, R.A.M.C., whose address I do not know. I think he came
    from Leeds.

    Captain Peter Dean, Cambridgeshire Regiment, whose address I do not know.

    Lieut. "Stalky" Cox, Suffolk Regiment, whose address I do not know.

    Captain Lawrence, Gordon Highlanders.

    SWORN by the said James Gibson )
    at Bradford in the County of York ) James Gibson
    this 16th day of February, 1946. )


    J A ( unreadable)
    A Commissioner for Oaths.
  19. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Another JAG prepared affidavit. The penultimate.

    Office Registry Original for Alfsea

    573/6 5 S 1342 "L"
    H.E.R. Smith

    JULY - SEPTEMBER 1944.

    A F F I D A V I T

    I, No. 77678 Captain Nigel Keith Evans, the Manchester Regiment,
    at present stationed at 24 M.G.T.C., Chester, and with address C/o Llloyds
    Bank, Cox and King's Branch, London, make oath and say as follows:-

    1. I was captured at Singapore on about 15 February, 1942. After
    being there for some months I was sent up to work on the railway in
    Siam. I stayed there until the early part of June 1944. The Japanese
    then formed 72 working parties of 150 other ranks, an MO, and an officer
    of the line under the rank of major. These parties were intended to
    work in Japan. I was posted to one of these parties, which together
    with some others left Chungkai on June 6th. We travelled by train
    to Singapore where we arrived on June 11th. We were taken to HAVELOCK
    ROAD CAMP where we stayed until June 26th when we embarked on the Japanese
    transport HOFUKU MARU, a ship of approximately 6000 tons. The total
    number on board was 1287 all ranks. We were divided between two holds
    and were so crowded that it was impossible for everyone to lie down at
    once. We stayed in Singapore harbour until July 4th when we sailed in
    a convoy of seven ships escorted by two destroyers. On July 9th we
    arrived at MIRI in BORNEO having broken down for six hours on the way.
    On arrival we were informed that we would be stopping there for a time
    whilst repairs were carried out to the engines. Our convoy together
    with one other shipload of prisoners left us and sailed on. When we
    were in MIRI the supply of fresh vegetables and meat taken on board
    at Singapore ran out and the Japanese serjeant in charge of us said
    that they were unable to get any more. Up to this time we had been
    receiving two meals of rice and stew a day but we were now reduced to
    rice porridge and salt in the morning and a pint of steamed rice with
    a level tablespoonful of dried fish in the afternoon. The issue of
    fish was one, about the size of a Kipper between sixteen men. We
    continued to exist on this diet until after our arrival in Manila
    where the salt fish was replaced with an equal quantity of sweet
    potato until September 21st - in all seventy four days.

    2. We were picked up in MIRI by another convoy and sailed on
    July 14 arriving in MANILA on July 19th. Once again we were informed
    that the engines were still unsatisfactory and that we would stay there
    while further repairs were carried out. Part of our cargo was unloaded
    and the Japanese civilians who were on board were disembarked. Despite
    numerous alterations and repairs however the boat was not considered
    satisfactory until September 20th.

    3. As can be imagined our diet and the fact that we were not allowed
    on deck after our arrival at Manila soon began to have serious effects.


    - 2 -

    4. My repeated requests to the Japanese to allow us to go ashore were
    refused, the only concession being that we were allowed to send fifty of
    the sick ashore to the American Prisoner of War's Hospital. We also
    received a small quantity of Red Cross drugs from this hospital but the
    bulk of this was stolen by the Japanese guards and crew. All the
    Japanese on board were having vitamin injections with drugs acquired from
    this supply but we were unable to get any for men who were dying.

    5. During our stay in Manila Bay a total of ninety four deaths occurred
    on board all of which were due to malnutrition. We were not allowed to
    take the bodies ashore and were forced to bury them at sea. After the
    first few deaths we were prevented from holding any form of funeral
    service. There was no possible reason for this.

    6. Conditions on board became terrible. We were compelled to leave
    latrine buckets in the hold, to serve our meals there and also keep the dead
    there until they could be buried. On one occasion a corpse remained
    there for thirty six hours. It was a common sight to see prisoners of war
    eating their meals within six feet of a corpse being prepared for burial.
    On the day before we sailed over a third of the officers and men
    were unable to walk unassisted and there were a number of mental cases. This
    was entirely due to underfeeding and the unsanitary conditions under
    which we were living.

    7. We eventually left Manila on September 20th and sailed with a convoy
    of seven freight ships and tankers escorted by two destroyers. We
    sailed throughout the day hugging the coast and anchored at night.
    We got under way again at 7.00 o'clock the next morning. As breakfast
    had not arrived by 11.00 o'clock I went up on deck to ascertain the cause
    and saw about seventy planes overhead, on their way as we subsequently
    learnt to bomb Manila. A number of these planes left the formation
    and flew down the convoy machinegunning the boats in turn. They then
    returned and sank all seven ships and also one of the two destroyers.
    Our ship received three direct hits amidships and sank in two minutes.
    All the prisoners on board went down with the vessel. There were
    insufficient lifebelts to go round and the holds were partially battened
    down. However, the captain, crew, and guards all left the boat as soon
    as the machinegunning started making no attempt to release the prisoners.
    When I came to the surface the sea was covered with wreckage and there
    were a number of men, many of them wounded, hanging on to the various
    pieces of wreckage. I had been in the water about two hours when a
    destroyer arrived to pick up the Japanese survivors. Together with
    about forty men who were in my area I swam over to the destroyer and
    started to climb up the ropes and ladders that were hanging over the sides.
    The crew however had bamboo poles with which they knocked us off. After
    about a further half hour one of the officers gave instructions that we
    were allowed to come aboard which we all did with the exception of two
    men who were wounded and who the Japanese refused to allow us to assist
    as they said they would die anyway. When we were on board we were
    placed in the bows of the ship exposed to the sun and wind. All of us
    had lost our clothing when the boat went down. We were kept on deck for
    four days which the destroyer took to reach TAIWAN. We ran into a storm
    that lasted for two days and the decks were continually awash. Two men
    died of exposure. Our food consisted of one small ball of rice each day
    about the size of a small tea cup. A number of the survivors were
    wounded but the Japanese would not give them medical assistance nor would
    they supply drugs or dressings with which we could alleviate their sufferings.

    8. We arrived at TAKAU on September 25th and were put ashore still
    without clothing. We were taken to a Japanese camp nearby where we were
    issued with one rice sack per man to cover ourselves. They still refused
    us medical attention for the sick one of whom died while we were there.
    We then moved to HAITO P.O.W. Camp where we stayed in isolation for one


    - 3 -

    month being confined to one small hut and only allowed out for about
    15 mins each day. We were allowed no books, cigarettes or other amenities.

    9. In all there are to the best of my belief 243 survivors out of the
    1287 who originally embarked in S.S. HOFUKU MARU.

    10. Serjeant JOTANI was the Japanese in charge of the prisoners of war
    on board the "HOFUKU MARU". I consider him responsible for all the ill-
    treatment which we suffered while on board this ship and for the many
    deaths which occurred. JOTANI was picked up with me after the "HOFUKU
    MARU" had been sunk and accompanied me on board the destroyer until we
    reached FORMOSA. I have been shown Plate 1 containing the photographs
    of 12 Japanese and I recognose JOTANI as being No. 165 on that plate.
    11. Serjeant NORO was JOTANI's right hand man on board the "HOFUKU MARU"
    and he too I consider responsible for the deaths and ill-treatment. I
    have been shown Plate 18 containing the photographs of 12 Japanese and I
    recognise him as being No. 135 on that plate. NORO also came to FORMOSA
    after the sinking.

    12. The interpreter on board the "HOFUKU MARU" was called Private ARIE.
    As well as being interpreter he acted as adjutant for JOTANI and had a
    very great part in making life as unpleasant for us as he could. On
    numerous occasions he beat up prisoners of war and whenever JOTANI ordered
    our rations to be taken away from us, it was ARIE who actually removed
    the food. He also made it a point to interpet (sic) all the orders which were
    given him in the most vicious way he could. I do not know what happened
    to ARIE after the sinking.

    13. All these 3 men, JOTANI, NORO and ARIE stole the Red Cross supplies
    which came on board the "HOFUKU MARU" while we were in MANILA, as previously
    mentioned in paragraph 4 of this affidavit.

    SWORN by the above named Keith )
    Evans, at 6, Spring Gardens, in the ) N.K.Evans
    City of Westminster, on this eighth ) (Signed) N.K. Evans.
    day of May, 1946. )


    A.M. Bell-Macdonald
    (Signed) A.M. Bell-Macdonald,
    Major Legal Staff,
    Mil. Dept. Office of the Judge Advocate General.
  20. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The final major affidavit used by the prosecution. There are other affidavits relating to identification by photographic material.

    MD/JAG/FS/JT/15(1C) 575/5A S1006
    CGM/JW 4 K


    A F F I D A V I T

    I, Lieutenant Peter Stanley Walter DEAN (95252), The Suffolk
    Regiment, now stationed at No. 3 Infantry Training Centre,
    Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, and with permanent home address at
    White Lodge, Colchester, Essex, make oath and say as follows:-

    1. I was captured at SINGAPORE on 15 February, 1942, and after being
    there for about 9 months, I was sent to SIAM, which I left to return
    to SINGAPORE on 7 June, 1944. On 9 JULY, 1944, I embarked on the
    "HOFUKU MARU" for Japan along with 1,286 other prisoners of war of whom
    200 were Dutch.

    2. I was messing officer throughout the voyage and in charge of No.33
    Party of 150 men. The British officer in command of the prisoners was
    Captain J. Gibson, R.A. The Japanese NCO in charge was Serjeant-Major
    JOTANI, Serjeant NARO was JOTANI's 2nd in command, and there were abot
    30 Korean guards under their command. Private MATSUMOTO was the Japanese
    in charge of food.

    3. The food provided was just sufficient to keep prisoners of war who were
    not working alive for a matter of months, but certainly not enough to keep
    them in good health. The average daily ration per man was 2 meals a day
    which consisted of half a mess tin of rice, one teaspoonful of dried fish and
    three-quarters of a pint of water, with from time to time one dessert
    spoonful of sweet potatoes in addition.

    4. Until we reached MANILA no medical supplies of any kind were
    provided by the Japanese, all we had was what each British MO brought with
    him. At MANILA a small quantity of medical supplies was brought on
    board from the American Prisoner of War Camp, but this would have only
    been sufficient for a few days.

    5. Accommodation was very crowded. There was not enough room for
    everybody to lie down at once. In 2 holds the heat was intense as they
    were situated next to the engine room of this coal burning ship. The
    sanitary arrangements were totally inadequate and consisted of only 6
    wooden boxes slung over the side of the ship. For the first 5 days the
    holds were battened down but later we were allowed to feed on deck.

    6. The lack of food and medical supplies allied to the over crowding
    resulted in a high rate of sickness - mainly pellagra, beri-beri and
    dysentery - and many deaths. There were 95 deaths between 1 August, 1944
    and 21 September, 1944 when the ship was sunk. This is exclusive of those
    who died after being put ashore at MANILA. Ultimately there were so few
    men fit to walk that there were not enough to care for the remainder who
    were all sick. The bodies of those who had died were piled on the deck
    and thrown overboard in batches, usually at night. Under these circumstances
    it was impossible to have proper funeral services or honour the dead in
    any way. The Japanese treated the disposal of the bodies as a routine task.

    7. Despite repeated requests by Captain GIBSON the ship remained without
    any distinguishing marks to show it was carrying prisoners of war. At this
    time the American attack on the Philippines was beginning and their aircraft


    - 2 -

    particularly were very active in the area. The ship was thus obviously
    exposed to the danders of attacks from surface ships, submarines and
    especially aircraft. One wave of about 200 American dive-bombers passed
    near us on their way to attack MANILA.

    8. On many occasions Serjeant-Major JOTANI personally carried out
    unwarranted beatings with broom handles, bamboo sticks or anything else that
    came handy on numbers of prisoners, both officers and men. I myself was
    struck frequently by him. The assaults on me were usually administered
    with a broom handle on my face and head. He also frequently struck my
    messing serjeant ( whose name I cannot remember and who was killed when the
    ship was attacked and sunk ( in the same manner. On one occasion JOTANI
    gave him ( my serjeant ) a particularly bad beating with my web belt using
    it with the buckles outwards, which resulted in his face and body being
    cut, and finally in his being knocked senseless.

    9. JOTANI alao allowed the guards a free hand in the treatment of the
    prisoners. The guards took advantage of this to ill-treat the prisoners
    in a similar manner to that employed by JOTANI himself. Attempts were made
    by British officers to complain to JOTANI about the guards' behaviour, but
    he refused to see any officer and Serjeant NARO, to whom complaints were
    made took no action and in fact encouraged the guards to use physical
    violence. NARO himself ill-treated prisoners, but to a lesser extent than

    10. Private ARI, one of the guards who acted as interpreter, took infinite
    delight in beating prisoners who complained to him. Private MATSUMOTO and
    another guard called YUNAME stile and sold to the other guards quantities
    of the prisoners' rations, particularly sugar.

    11. We arrived in MANILA Bay about the end of July 1944 where we lay off-
    shore till 20 September, 1944. On arrival repeated requests were made by
    our MO's to JOTANI to disembark about 200 seriously sick cases. He allowed
    only 50 to be sent ashore of whom all were incapable of walking and in an
    abnormal mental state. 75% of these men later died at BILI BID Prisoner of
    War Camp ( mostly occupied by Americans) at MANILA. In spite of repeated
    requests by the British officers on board no prisoners were allowed on shore
    during our stay of about 6 weeks. The only exception was a burial party
    which went ashore with the body of the first prisoner to die after we reached
    MANILA Bay. The Japanese would not allow further burial parties ashore and
    the bodies had to be disposed of overboard.

    12. On 20 September, 1944, we left MANILA Bay in convoy bound for Japan.
    The following day at approximately 1045 hours the convoy was attacked by
    50 American carrier-borne dive and torpedo bombers. The Japanese seemed
    to know an attack was imminent as from 0600 hours they had been wearing
    life-belts. No previous warning was given to us. All the prisoners were
    below decks except for the cooks at the time of the attack. When the planes
    appeared all the Japanese abandoned the ship which was machine-gunned and
    then hit by three ariel (sic) torpedoes which split her in half. She sank in
    about 5 minutes. About 1,000 prisoners were trapped in the holds and were
    drowned. The survivors were picked up after 6 hours in the water. 221 of
    them were taken to MANILA and the majority of the remainder went to FORMOSA.

    13. I eventually reached FORMOSA where I was told by other prisoners that
    Serjeant-Major JOTANI and Serjeant NARO together with most of the Korean guards
    had arrived by destroyer at TAIKOHU. I regard Serjeant-Major JOTANI as solely
    responsible for conditions during the voyage as he was in complete charge of
    all the prisoners of war on board and the Japanese guards escorting them.

    SWORN by the above named Peter Stanley Walter ) P.S.W.Dean
    Dean, at 6, Spring Gardens, in the City of ) (sgd.) P.S.W.Dean.
    Westminster this 18th day of APRIL )
    1946. )
    BEFORE ME Alan Bell Macdonald.
    (Sgd) A.M. Bell-Macdonald, Major Legal Staff'
    Mil. Dept. Office of the Judge Advocate General.

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