Memorial Service in Prisoner of War Heito Camp #3, Formosa

American, British, Australian, Dutch and other Commonwealth prisoners of war honor their dead comrades. This was probably a propaganda photo staged for the Japanese press. Date is estimated; 1943-1944. Heito Camp #3 in Pingtung, Formosa (Taiwan) was a transit camp for Allied prisoners of war on their way to other camps, and a source of slave labor to clear rocky land for sugar cane production nearby. if the men did not fill their quota of railroad cars with rocks by hand, they were beaten. The Formosan conscript guards could be worse than the Japanese. Over 1000 men were incarcerated here between August 1942 and February 1945. Wainwright and the other American brass from the Philippines were brought here on their way to their permanent detention. An air attack on February 7 wrecked the camp and the prisoners were relocated to Taihoku Camp #6 in Taipei. The Japanese Commandant, Lieutenant Tamaki, boasted to the prisoners that he would fill the cemetery, and he did - a second one had to be constructed. Many prisoners were worked to death or contracted malaria from the nearby swamp. Special Thanks to Michael Hurst for his help with this photo.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives
Date Photographed: 
Saturday, January 1, 1944
Heito Camp #3
Formosa (Taiwan)