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Thread: FEPOW Guidance on FEPOW Matters

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    Default FEPOW Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    Hello All,

    I am doing some more “back-office donkey-work” for the POW Update Project. I have been looking at the FEPOW data. All does not seem well?

    I am looking for advice/guidance from those with superior knowledge/experience. There may be political nuances that I am unaware of?
    At least, in Euro/Africa whilst both “Sides” had a multitude of languages they were mostly(!!!) using the same alphabet. In the FE the Japanese – who made the first data records(?) of POWs – were not only using a different language but also a totally different character-set. Philologically, therefore, one should expect a higher rate of errors/omissions in FEPOW data?
    Where is the definitive list of (Allied) Air Force(s) personnel who were POW of the Japanese? How accurate is it? Can it be accessed?
    I ask this because until the closing days of WW2 the Germans were meticulous record-keepers.
    Is there a definitive figure of RAF Japanese POWs? There are a number of FEPOW sites (some of which seem deliberately designed to prevent the easy cumulative acquisition of Numbers/Names/Places). Which is the most reliable? I ask because – as a test – I took the first 6 RAF POWs off one. 4 of them were not on the main FEPOW s/sheet data! Additionally, on that list, I have no Service Numbers for:

    BIRD, Joseph, Plt Off (POW 1942-03-06!, Cmd 1943-01-26!)
    CAMERON, Peter McArthur, Plt Off. (Nil).
    HARVEY, Geoffrey M, Fg Off (Nil)
    MACK, Ernest William, Plt Off (Nil)
    OLIVER, Eric Norman Wellesley, Plt Off (Nil – Poss descendant rellie of 1st Duke of Wellington):

    which I cannot get to come up on the LG (this often indicates a spelling error?). There were some, in the various Malay States Volunteer Forces, who had The Governor’s Commission as opposed to The Sovereign’s Commission (including a 60-yr old Plt Off who survived being a POW!!) and:

    PILLAI, Nagamany D, Cpl
    PILLAI, Raman N K, Sgt

    Whom I can’t find in AIR 78.

    We have found out, over the years, an awful lot about German/Italian POWs. I was surprised to find that the Japanese POW data seems to be at a very early stage of correction/reconciliation (even after this length of time). I wondered why this seems to be so (bearing in mind the administrative/military panic as the Japanese forces came down the Malay peninsular!!)? I do not wish to jump in, feet-first, where angels fear to tread.
    Can someone give me some pointers? If necessary, I/we can continue a discussion off-Forum and by email if there are pertinent matters which should be aired publicly?
    HTH & TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Looking For Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    Peter

    Fold3.com has a good collection of records from:

    WO 345 Japanese Index Cards of Allied POWs 1942-1947
    WO 361 Casualities and Missing Personnel 1939-1945
    and
    WO 392 British Prisoners of War Held in Japan or Japanese-Occupied Territory

    Of those names you've listed:

    BIRD, Joseph, Plt Off - none of the records have a record of his Service Number.

    However the Index Cards can be quite detailed - his index card in WO 345 has his D.o.B as June 27th 1916, born Dudley, Worcestershire son of Joseph Bird and Beatrice Alice Bird of 62 Round Street, Dudley. His date of capture is 17.3.6 (looks like dates of capture are recorded in the contemporary Japanese calendar). His unit is listed as 'RAF (A.M.D.W.)' [See OLIVER, below].

    CAMERON, Peter McArthur - no Service Number recorded in WO 361 or WO 392, but his Index Card records that he was born in Inverness February 3rd 1920, also listed as RAF (A.M.D.W.) [See OLIVER, below].

    HARVEY, Geoffrey M - no Service Number recorded in WO 361 or WO 392, but his Index Card records his name as Geoffrey Maurice Harvey, born July 27th 1900, from Watering Farm, Nr. Watton, Norfolk. His unit is recorded as HQ Bandoeng.

    MACK, Ernest William - no Service Number recorded in WO 361 or WO 392, but his Index Card records that he was born in Rhodesia, December 19th 1907 and recorded under 'South African Officer' in WO361. His unit is recorded as 'Volunteer Air Force' on his Index Card.

    OLIVER, Eric Norman Wellesley - no Service Number recorded in WO 361 or WO 392, but his Index Card records that he was born in Bombay on September 18th 1887 [actually 1885 from ancestry.co.uk], and his unit is recorded as 'Air Ministry Works Directorate' [is that the 'A.M.D.W' as with Bird and Cameron?].

    PILLAI, Nagamany D - no Service Number recorded in WO 361 or WO 392, but his Index Card records his name as Nagamany Damadoram Pillai and that he was born in Jaffna, Ceylon on November 11th 1918, and his unit is also recorded as 'Air Ministry Works Directorate'.

    PILLAI, Raman N K - no Service Number recorded in WO 361 or WO 392, but his Index Card records his name as Raman Naranaya Krishna Pillai, that he ws born on February 17th 1917 at Vallamculam [Vallamkulam], Tiruvella [Tiruvalla], Travancore, South India. His unit is just recorded as 'R.A.F.'

    From these examples, I'm guessing service numbers were sometimes just not recorded in the records in WO 361 and WO 392?

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default

    Reg

    PILLAI, Nagamany D, Cpl
    PILLAI, Raman N K, Sgt

    These are Tamilian Names - origins in southern india, but who would have been domiciled in Singapore, Malyasia for generations, so far east recruits who may not have made it into the AIR78 DB? They likely had 785xxx numbers - like these poor chaps http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...5&qregion=SEAC (you can try validating if any of the eastern sounding names appear in AIR78)


    ----------------------------------------------------------


    The definitive list I would assume is WO392 where we got the German and Italian lists. Those lists were nicely printed books.

    The Japanese POWs should be these four docs
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...wse/r/h/C54342

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2581751
    WO 392 / 23;
    BRITISH PRISONERS OF WAR IN JAPAN OR JAPANESE-OCCUPIED TERRITORY. A - D 718 Pages

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2581752
    WO 392 / 24 Surnames E - J. Also contains details of certain civilian internees, some not of British nationality 623 Pages

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2581753
    WO 392 / 25 Surnames K - Q. Also contains details of certain civilian internees, some not of British nationality 637 Pages

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2581754
    WO 392 / 26 Surnames R - Z. Also contains details of certain civilian internees, some not of British nationality 751 Pages

    Total: 2,729 Pages

    The above are available on Fold3 and are essentially pages and pages of typewritten tables - I haven't checked if these are there on Mansell.com but I wouldn't be surprised if they are. Most of the FEPOW sites data appear to be based on the WO392 data



    There are other NA documents but i have no idea about them
    WO 361/2058 POWs Far East Master Roll 1942-1943 (ABC)
    WO 361/2059 POWs Far East Master Roll 1942-1943 (DEF)
    WO 361/2060 POWs Far East Master Roll 1942-1943 (GHI)
    WO 361/2061 POWs Far East Master Roll 1942-1943 (JKL)
    WO 361/2062 POWs Far East Master Roll 1942-1943 (MNO)
    WO 361/2063 POWs Far East Master Roll 1942-1943 (PQR)
    WO 361/2064 POWs Far East Master Roll 1942-1943 (STU)
    WO 361/2065 Prisoners of war, Far East: master roll, VWXYZ

    I should note that the one week free access to Find My Past provides the ability to look at the results/ source files
    https://search.findmypast.co.uk/sear...-war-1715-1945
    Last edited by Jagan; 8th November 2020 at 18:27.

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    Default Re: Looking For Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    Further to my earlier post

    PILLAI, Nagamany D, Cpl

    The source appears to be various documents available in Fold2/FMP/NA WO361 392 etc



    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...g?m=1604858429

    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...g?m=1604858429
    Last edited by Jagan; 8th November 2020 at 18:28.

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    Default Re: Looking For Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    For what it's worth, without claiming to be exhaustive, a selection of FEPoW sources in print & online (of which some include digitised source material from the time):

    Published FEPoW Rolls
    L & P Stubbs Unsung Heroes of the Royal Air Force: The Far East Prisoners of War (Barny Books 2002)
    Sources: WO 392/23 to WO 392/26, WO 345/1 to WO 345/58
    Transcripts with a low rate of error/omission, as far as my limited interest and expertise can say.

    P Stubbs Unsung Heroes Of The Royal Navy And Royal Marines: The Far East Prisoners Of War 1941-1945 (Tucann 2011)

    Other books
    Java FEPOW 1942 Club Prisoners in Java (Hamwic 2007)
    Personal accounts, index

    Book lists
    https://www.cofepow.org.uk/books-cofepow
    https://www.fepow-community.org.uk/B...ok_library.htm

    Online
    Borneo POW Story
    http://www.borneopow.info/

    Center for Research: Allied POWS Under the Japanese
    http://mansell.com/pow-index.html

    COFEPOW*
    https://www.cofepow.org.uk/
    plus dbs
    https://www.cofepow.org.uk/research-database
    which incl
    Liberation Q'aires: https://lq-cofepow.org/ (digitised images by Name group, in progress, open,)
    PoW Casualties https://www.cofepow.org.uk/pow-casua...pow-casualties (Rolls by location, unit, open)
    Hell Ships https://www.cofepow.org.uk/hell-ship...ips-casualties (Rolls by vessel, open)
    FEPoW rolls: https://www.cofepow.org.uk/list-of-fepows (Paid Membership to access)

    FEPOW Community

    https://www.fepow-community.org.uk/
    with
    https://www.fepow-community.org.uk/h...rising_sun.htm
    and see
    https://www.fepow-community.org.uk/html/research.htm
    etc

    Java FEPOW Club 1942
    http://thejavafepowclub42.org/

    Prisoners Of War Of the Japanese 1942-45
    https://www.pows-of-japan.net/

    Lynette Ramsay Silver AM
    (Sandakan and far more)
    https://lynettesilver.com/

    Pakan Baroe Death Railway
    https://pakanbaroe.webs.com/

    The Sumatra Railway
    https://sumatrarailway.com/
    RAF Roll
    https://sumatrarailway.com/the-roll/royal-air-force/

    211 Squadron RAF FEPoW Rolls (PANDORA Aug 2020 archived copy)
    http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/24825/20200806-0406/www.211squadron.org/far_east_pows.html



    *Revised COFEPOW detail to list dbs avail
    Last edited by Don Clark; 9th November 2020 at 03:47. Reason: All links checked and functional in current browser
    Toujours à propos

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    Default Re: Looking For Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    Resmoroh, you asked at #1:
    "Is there a definitive figure of RAF Japanese POWs?[...]Which is the most reliable?"

    In the absence of any other reply to the first question, from my limited research and expertise, a brief summary arising from
    L & P Stubbs Unsung Heroes of the Royal Air Force: The Far East Prisoners of War (Barny Books 2002)

    There are something over 6,000 RAF names on the Stubbs' RAF FEPOW roll transcription, as explained in Ch 8 The Roll, entries from the WO files having been reconciled with "various Squadron/Unit and camp lists".
    There are copies of their book listed currently at www.bookfinder.com, an there will be copies also at the British Library and I expect RAF Museum.

    An estimate of 5100 appears in Maltby's despatch Report on Air Operations During the Campaigns in Malaya and Netherlands East Indies Dec 1941-Mar 1942 AVM Sir Paul Maltby KBE CB DSO AFC; London Gazette, Supplement, Feb 1948 (digitised there starting https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/1405 and on line as a running copy at Hyper War. That seems to be the number of RAF personnel who fell captive at the fall of the Netherlands East Indies in March 1942, reported as 5102 prisoners and 1714 dead in Prisoners and Casualties in the War Against Japan (HMSO CMND 6832 June 1946), and repeated in Probert The Forgotten Air Force and again in the Stubbs' 2002 Introduction. There might be a copy of the Cmd 6832 doc in the London Gazette but my search was unsuccessful.
    Park's much later despatch on the end of FE Air Operations May -Aug 45 has a wider focus, referring only to overall Allied prisoners, some 100,000.

    The Stubbs went to some length to describe the difficulties of compilation for the RAF roll up to publication in 2002. Les died some years back and when I last heard from Pam in 2016 she herself was in poor health but had managed to complete the third Unsung Heroes vol (Army). I've not seen either their Navy/Marines vol (of 2011) or Pam's Army Vol (of 2015) but these may have something more recently useful to say about compilation & reconciliation problems.

    I've not attempted any further reconciliation of totals from the other online sources noted and cannot say which may be more reliable. Still, there may be something of use here, though I must remark that I am in no way an expert on these things, having done just enough with this dark and difficult topic for my focus on 211 Squadron RAF noted above.


    Sources
    As noted here, my #5 above, and my earlier 21 Jun 2007 post here http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/13377.php.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 9th November 2020 at 06:04.
    Toujours à propos

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    Default Re: Looking For Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    Peter, There is also the acronym AMWD - Air Ministry Works Department. The Department, which had a number of Works Flights, was involved in maintenance and repair of airfields; eventually airfield construction. This may be of help: https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documen...Journal-51.pdf
    I can't find any of your men in the LG. I wonder if they were civilians who, on capture becoming imminent, were commissioned locally to give them some protection.
    Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: Looking For Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    Bird Obviously Survived by 1960 he was living in the then Rhodesia Occupation Engineer

    I wonder if it was an Air Ministry Grade equivalent to P/O

    Name: Joseph Bird
    Arrival Age: 44
    Birth Date: 27 Jun 1916
    Port of Departure: Durban, South Africa
    Arrival Date: 30 Sep 1960
    Port of Arrival: Southampton, England
    Ports of Voyage: Durban; East London; Port Elizabeth; Cape Town and Madeira
    Ship Name: Windsor Castle
    Shipping Line: Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company Ltd
    Official Number: 9765/01
    Search Ship Database: Search for the Windsor Castle in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 9th November 2020 at 10:24.

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    Default Re: Looking For Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    1959 New Year Honours

    MBE Civil

    Geoffrey Maurice Harvey, Projects Manager, Transair, Ltd.

    He is down as a F/O which must be Equilvant Civ - I assume he as also Air Ministry Works Department.

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    Default Re: Looking For Guidance on FEPOW Matters

    See

    https://www.cofepow.org.uk/armed-for...n-raf-vr-story
    Denis Brian Mason

    "In 1939, he accepted a position under the Air Ministry in connection with the construction of airfields in the Malay Peninsula. When the Japanese invaded Malaya in 1942 Mr and Mrs Mason, and their daughter, then aged five, were at an airfield a hundred miles from Singapore. Along with other British executives working in Malaya, Denis Mason was given a temporary commission in the R.A.F.V.R., dated from 1 March 1942, so that he became a member of the Armed Forces."

    Mr Mason, now a Pilot Officer in the R.A.F.'s Administrative and Special Duties Branch, was a member of the Air Ministry Works Department and remained in Malaya until the British were forced to retreat. He then went to Java where he was captured in March 1942, although he was not officially reported as a P.O.W. in Japanese hands until 3 July 1943.


    He is down as a P/O with no Service Number in POW lists


    However later

    'Report by No. 145281 F/O. D. B. Mason R.A.F. of journeys made by PslW on two Japanese ships, one unnamed and the Kaiysu Maru. From 9th September 1944 to the destruction of the Kaiysu Maru by United Nations aircraft at Raha Moena (east Celebes) on 20th September 1944.

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