The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Regimental #:
- Battalion Headquarters
- Place of Birth:
- Hemel Hempstead, England
- Father's Name:
- Not Known
- Mothers's Name:
- Louisa Howe
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp Changi
- 'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
- Camps Burma:
- Reptu 30km to Thanbyuzayat (27.10.1942 on a work party)
- Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 40
- Return Details 1945:
- Saigon‐Bangkok‐Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Circassia
At Selarang Barracks James Howe was selected with ‘A’ Force to work on the Railway. With Green Force No. 34 Battalion he was transported from Singapore by ship to Rangoon, Burma. It is known he worked at Reptu 30 k and was at Thanbyuzyat 27th October 1942 with a work party, and at 105 k camp. He was selected for Japan on 28 March 1944 with Kumi No. 40.
There were 717 Australians selected for what was to be the Rakuyo Maru Party. On 27th March 1944 the first kumis departed Tamarkan for Kanchanaburi then to Non Pladuk. From here they travelled through Bangkok to Phnom Penh in Cambodia where a river boat named Long Ho would take them to Saigon into French Indo-China. It is was intended to send the POWs to Japan from here, however IJA decided the seas were too heavily patrolled by Allied submarines and the Kumis were turned around and sent back mostly by train via Bangkok to Singapore to board the Rakuyo Maru.
Howe was very fortunate he remained behind in Saigon. He was recovered from Saigon on 20th September 1945 with other 2/4th men, Bryan Manwaring, Harold Clayden and Leonard Greaves.
Most of those onboard the Rakuyo Maru perished at sea when the ship was sunk in the South China Sea.
James Howe moved to live in Melbourne in 1946.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Reptu, Retphaw, 30Kilo 385k - Burma
- Thanbyuzayat, 415k - Burma