Remembering Today 5/9/45 1200 POWs repatriated from Devils Island

Discussion in 'General' started by Enigma1003, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    5th September 1945 and 6 ships from the American Fleet arrive off Keelung in Northern Formosa.
    2 aircraft carriers, USS Block Island and USS Santee remain 30 miles offshore whilst destroyer escorts USS Kretchmer and USS Thomas J Gary make contact for the first time with the Japanese to demand a pilot to guide them into harbour through the minefields. The aircraft carriers put on a show of strength in the skies as it is not known how the Japanese will react or co-operate.
    The Japanese fully co-operate and within hours 400 POWs arrive by train to the harbour and are loaded onto the 2 destroyers, By midnight all have been safely transferred at sea onto the 2 aircraft carriers.

    Next morning, the 2 destroyers are joined by USS Finch and USS Brister, and these 4 destroyers then transfer every transportable POW on the island out to the aircraft carriers. 85 POWs are considered too sick to travel, so alongside 30 medical POWs they remain in Taipei Hospital awaiting the Hospital Ship Maunganui which will arrive 3 days later.

    By 6pm on 6/9/45 all 16 POW camps are declared empty and the flotilla of 6 ships sail for freedom to Manila where they arrive 3 days later.

    The journey home has commenced after 3.5 years of captivity, brutality, starvation and disease.

    The crews and ships were awarded commendations for their speed and efficiency on the repatriation.

    Lest we forget
  2. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Thanks for posting Mike.

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