Ohama, Hiroshima #9-B - Japan ***
Ohama, Hiroshima #9-B – Japan ***
Ohama – Hiroshima #9-B
Coal mining operation (Okura Mining Co. Ohama Mining)
26 Nov 1942: Established as YAHATA Provisional POW CAMP UBE Branch Camp OHAMA Detached Camp
27 Nov 1942: men arrived from Singapore
1 Jan 1943: Renamed FUKUOKA POW CAMP UBE Branch Camp OHAMA Detached Camp
1 Mar 1943: Renamed Fukuoka 9-B
1 Dec 1943: Renamed Fukuoka 4-D
24 March 1944: American Medics arrive in camp
8 Sep 1944: Large group of Australians arrive ex Rashin Maru – Byoki Maru (Bioki meaning sick)
14 Apr 1945: Renamed 7-D and Jurisdictional control transferred to HIROSHIMA POW CAMP 7-D
Aug 1945: Renamed HIROSHIMA 9-B
Sept 1945: Rescue effected
This camp housed 390 POWs (250 Australian and 140 English). 24 men died here between 21Nov 1942 and 13 Sep 1945 from lack of proper food. The ashes of the deceased were taken by survivors when they left this camp.
200 POWs worked as miners and the rest worked on farms above the ground. Miners were required to dig 1.5 tons of coal per day per man.
The Japanese officer in charge of the camp was Lt. Kusumoto of the Hiroshima POW District who died at Onoda 2 Dec 1945.
We wish to thank and acknowledge Mansell’s website for photos.
Below: shows Ohama in relation to Motoyama and Okinoyama Camp, Ube
Ohama in relation to Motoyama and Okinoyama – Ube
Aerial view post war.
Sketches from Ray Parkin’s – The Sword and the Blossom.
Ohama Camp No 9B was built on the southwest side of a peninsula that jutted out from the western tip of Honshu Island into the Inland Sea 15 miles from Shimonoseki and 10 miles west of Ube. The hamlet of Ohama and the camp were perched on the side of a hill that sloped down to the water’s edge. The camp was surrounded by a high barbed wire topped wooden fence and consisted of two long two-storied wooden buildings where the prisoners were to sleep and a third single storey building giving access to twelve rooms that could accommodate ten men each.
As well as the prisoners barracks buildings there was also a third building that ran between these two buildings and was used as the cookhouse, mess, mine administration office, Japanese Sgt’s office, bulk store, boiler room and bathing room. One of the barracks buildings, the older of the two, was already occupied by some British Prisoners of War. The Australians were to move into the second and newer of the two buildings.
WX8240 Doug Carter (ex Java) WX9764 Bert Poulton (D Force S Btn) WX8562 Aub Schuts (D Force S Btn) WX8481 Alec Oag (D Force S Btn) WX16370 Arthur Walker (D Force S Btn) WX9076 Bob Whitelaw (D Force S Btn) WX7466 Bernard James ‘Bluey’Walsh and WX7440 Alf Worth (D Force S Btn) of the 2/4th MGB were eight members mixed in with men from the 2/3rd MGB to from part of the West Australian contingent at Ohama.
Alf Worth maintained he should have been included in the Guinness Book of Records for being the only man to travel from Singapore to Japan in a wheelbarrow. He managed to claim a wheelbarrow which had been left on the ‘Rashin’ Maru and it was here he travelled the journey to Japan.!
The men worked on the nearby coalmine, a drift mine which meant that the seams of coal ran close to the surface whereby the coal was excavated by means of long sloping tunnels, or ‘drifts’ that ran out beneath the sea bed.
Ray Parkin’s Wartime Trilogy is an outstanding account of nautical history with the sinking of HMAS Perth through to the slavery of soldiers in the Ohama Mines – Hiroshima 9B in Japan.
For a more detailed account of Ohama also refer to – http://mansell.com/pow_resources/camplists/hiroshima/hiro_9_ohama/ohama_main.html.
Australians at Ohama, Hiroshima.
Back Row: L-R (1) Bert Poulten WX9764 (5) Doug Carter WX8240
2nd Last Row: L-R (2) Alf Worth WX7440 (3) Alex Oag WX8481
3rd Row from Back: L-R (4) Aub Schuts WX8562 (8) Bob Whitelaw WX9076
Front Row: L-R (9) Arthur Walker WX16370
Bluey Walsh is present, however not identified.