Hoten Camp, Mukden - Manchuria
Hoten Camp, Mukden – Manchuria
Hoten camp was located 12 miles from Mukden (today known as Shenyang) on the Tungling Road, having been established on 28th October 1942. The camp consisted of three newly built two storey Imperial Japanese Army Barracks with double glazed windows and wooden floors. The camp was surrounded by a brick wall and high voltage electric cable. The Camp would hold 2,000 POWs.
Jim Clancy was engaged in work at the Honga Kiasha carbide factory which supplied tools for the Japanese.
There were only 16 Australian POWs at this Camp and included 5 West Australians
Corporal James Clancy 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion -b. Wagin in 1918. Enlisted on 1 Aug 1940 into 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion. He was with that unit when it landed in Singapore on 24 January 1942. During the fighting for Singapore Jim was admitted to hospital on 11 Feb 1942 suffering from shell shock and leg wound. Jim Clancy was to be wounded again by allied bombing in Manchuria. Des Brennan valued him and regarded him as a stabilizing influence in the camp.
Cpl Jim Scott, L/Cpl 2/4 Reserve Motor Transport Company
R G Mitchell 2/4 Reserve Motor Transport Company
L/Cpl H G “Judda” Bee 2/4 Reserve Motor Transport Company **
Driver R Menzies AASC – (Roy Menzies was a student of Modern School. He enlisted April 1941 aged 28. Post war was involved with hockey as a player and umpire. He never married and ran the family grocery business in Nedlands. He died when in his mid fifties.)
In April 1945 another West Australian Chaplain The Rev Thomas Bindeman joined them.
The Senior Australian and only Australian officer with 1942 party was Captain (Medical Officer) Des Brennan was the sole Medical Officer with the British (they included us) Party. There were 2 or 3 MOs with the Americans. Des’ efforts on behalf of the POWs were widely acknowledged. It was a thankless task and achieved in the most difficult of conditions. There were the extremes of temperature from over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in summer to 40 degrees minus in winter.
** Judda Bee- was well known in Western Australia as original (1933) Captain/coach of Swan Districts Football Club. He also played with West Perth, East Fremantle and Claremont.
He enlisted Feb 1941 and was 38 years of age when taken prisoner. All 2/4 Reserve Motor Transport Company men were in late 30s or early 40s.
We wish to acknowledge the following information has been taken from AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL.COM
Well-known League footballer Judda Bee, who became one of the leading members of the East Fremantle and Swan Districts teams before the war, is now a prisoner of war in Manchukuo. Postcard received by his mother on Tuesday, and signed ‘Love, Judda,’ reveals that he is in the Hoten prisoners of war camp. Judda writes: ‘Am still hoping for a letter from home. No need to worry as I am O.K. I trust the folks at home are all in the pink? We are starting to wear shorts, as the weather is warming up now. We have a library in camp with books from the Red Cross. I am patiently waiting for our reunion. Regards to all my friends.’¹
‘Judda’ Bee was a comparative rarity in West Australian football history in that he played for no fewer than four League clubs. He began his senior career at West Perth in 1923 and played 14 games and kicked 22 goals over the course of a two season stint.
Far and away the best and most productive phase of Bee’s career came at East Fremantle for whom he played 104 games and booted 143 goals between 1927 and 1932. Described as “a rover-follower” he was also well able to hold down other positions, notably centre, and while resting on a half forward flank he almost invariably managed a goal or two, typically using a place kick when going for goal from a set shot. He was a member of Old Easts premiership teams in 1928-9-30-1 and also represented the state during this portion of his career.
The 1933 season saw him coaching Bassendean in the Perth Suburban Association, a move necessitated by his desire to coach Swan Districts when that club took its big League bows in 1934. Had he stayed with Old Easts in 1933 he would have been forced to coach Swans from the sidelines in ’34 whilst awaiting a clearance.
As it was, Bee played 21 games and registered 46 goals in two seasons with Swans before crossing to Claremont, for whom he added a final 23 games and 24 goals in 1936-7.
Author – John Devaney
The most famous of all POWs at in Manchuria was American General Jonathon Wainwright. He was held at Hsain 150 miles north east of Mukden.
Prior to the Japanese surrender was made public (14 Aug 1945) US sent a mission into Manchuria to liberate camps and in particular, free General Wainwright. The US did not want their soldiers falling under the control of the advancing Russian invasion forces. A four man team, interpreter and member of Chinese Nationalist Army were parachuted in and successfully negotiated the US recovery team discovered storerooms containing Red Cross parcels and 1000’s of items of mail withheld from the prisoners, some of the mail had been checked by the censor and had a censors mark, other mail had yet to be checked. This mail was made then available to surviving prisoners within the camp and sent on to those already evacuated.
The Russian Red Army 6th Guards Tank Army occupied Mukden on 20th August. The POWs in need of medical attention left by air the following day.
‘In the past several years, the governments of Shenyang and Liaoning Province, with the support from the Chinese central government, have been undertaking a $7 million project to turn the former camp into a historical museum.’
Clancy probably would not have seen much of the Russians in Hoten, however the following pictures show an interesting contrast of life in Manchuria.
Are there POWs from Japanese Camp in the above photo?