Chumphon - Thailand

Chumphon – Thailand 1944-1945

Many of these POWs were with Black Force Java Party 4.

Chumphon is located on the east coast of Thailand’s peninsula and 3.5 miles inland from Chumphon Bay.  The narrowest part of this peninsula is just north of Chumphon Bay.
Work for POWS at this Camp comprised repairs of a bombed out bridge that as soon as it was repaired, was again bombed by Allied aircraft.  The north-south railway between Singapore and Non Pladuk in Thailand ran through Chumphon making this bridge vitally important to the Japanese.  This rail section was the link between Singapore, Bangkok and Burma.

Photo and information from AWM.

Chumphon, Thailand. 1945-03-19.
To disrupt Japanese supplies destined for the Burma front, more than eighty heavy bomber aircraft of Strategic Air Force, Eastern Air Command, flew across the Indian Ocean in the longest raid they had accomplished to that date. When the crews returned from their mission some of them had been in the air for seventeen and a half hours and had flown 2,500 miles. Whilst US Army Air Force B-24 bomber aircraft attacked a series of targets south of Chumphon in the Gulf of Siam RAF Liberator aircraft attacked the heavily used railway sidings at Na Nien, eight miles west of Chumphom. Some of the aircraft, which went in to attack from as low as 400 feet, saw prisoners of war (POWs) waving to them as they passed over the Kra Isthmus. The whole sidings were covered by the attack and many railway buildings were left on fire, whilst one part of the sidings was completely burned out. Trains were set on fire, and a large oil fire started. Not content with this devastating air attack, some of the aircraft flew another fifty miles further south and strafed locomotives on the Singapore rail route. A Japanese train transporting oil has been hit in the middle of the sidings, and great clouds of black smoke billow up.

Location of Chumphon - Thailand