1 Reply Latest reply on May 16, 2017 7:11 AM by Research Services at the National Archives

    WWII Japanese interrogation records

    Martha Collins

      My uncle’s Navy PB4Y-1 plane was shot down 22 Apr 1944 at Alet Island, Puluwat Atoll, Central Pacific. The records I have accumulated only account for 7 of the 11 men on the plane. None of the men are listed today as MIA or POW.

      That area was still occupied by the Japanese at the end of the war—surrendering 16 Oct 1945. Are there records of what the Japanese told the Americans at the time of the surrender about POWs?

       

      Here is all I know about the surrender:

      “The total evacuation of the Japanese garrison on Puluwat (Enderby) was accomplished on 16 October by the two Japanese Escorts No. 37 and UKU and the Transport No. 16, under the supervision of Lieutenant Colonel L. D. Spurlock, USMC, with a detachment of Marines from the Truk Occupation Force. The island was inspected after the evacuation and declared secure.” [from 1946 Report of Surrender and Occupation of Japan: Washington, D.C., Chief of Naval Operations. (Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas), Page 186. http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a438971.pdf, accessed 20 Jun 2016]

      “Navy JAG Case Files of Pacific Area War Crimes Trials, 1944-1949,” posted on Fold3, pp 385-386 mentions POWs transferred from Puluwat to Truk, but gives no names, ranks, or dates. https://www.fold3.com/documents/27406108/wwii-jag-case-files-pacific-navy/

      These records, however, are not from the Puluwat troops, but those stationed at Truk.

        • Re: WWII Japanese interrogation records
          Research Services at the National Archives

          Dear Ms. Collins,

           

          Thank you for submitting your question to the History Hub.

           

          If you search the National Archives Catalog (https://catalog.archives.gov/), you will find several series that might be of use to you. For example, here is a series that contains interrogation reports of Japanese prisoners:


          If you are looking for information about prisoners of war (POWs), then you might also find these series helpful; they are from RG 24 (Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798-2007):


          Or this series from RG 38 (Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operation, 1875-2006) might contain some of the information you are seeking:


          And here are two additional series related to POWs:


          You may be able to find more information about individual prisoners of war by searching AAD (Access to Archival Databases) at https://aad.archives.gov/aad/.
          Finally, it might be possible to find information about the Naval aircraft in one of these series from RG 127 (Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1975-):

          • Aircraft Accident Reports (Creator: Department of the Navy. U.S. Marine Corps. Aircraft Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. 9/16/1944-9/18/1947) https://catalog.archives.gov/id/20952821
          • Aircraft Accident Reports (Creator: Department of the Navy. U.S. Marine Corps. Fleet Marine Force Pacific. Aircraft, Fleet Marine Force Pacific. 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. 10/11/1944-12/16/1946) https://catalog.archives.gov/id/20953033

           

          These records are all located at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. If you have questions about any of these series, we recommend that you contact the Textual Reference Branch at the National Archives in College Park; they have staff members who specialize in Naval records and may be able to provide you with more specific guidance. You can email them at archives2reference@nara.gov.  for more information.

           

          Thank you, again, for posting your question to the History Hub, and good luck with your continued search.

           

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