Mitsubishi, ... and World War II Slave Labor

Raymond Pelkey

Excerpts from Raymond Pelkey's website ( http://www.axpow.org/pelkeyraymond.htm )on Niigata 5-B Tokyo Area POW Command camp for Stevedore labor at port of Niigata.:

In Camp 5-b in Niigata, I slaved in the Rinko Coal Yards. Coal was shipped from Manchuria, China to Niigata. The coal was unloaded from the ship to barges, from the barge the coal was elevated by a conveyer machine to a 30 foot high railroad trestle, where V-shaped cars holding about one half ton of coal would be filled from the conveyer machine and then pushed around the track by a POW to a storage site or to railroad cars under the trestle, then dumped. Once dumped the empty elevated car would circle the track for another load. This went on in spite of rain, snow, high winds, or burning sun for 12 hours a day 7 days a week with only a very short break at mid-day for our rice and watery soup banquet.

Our guards were the group at Camp 5-b as on the Rinko detail. These guards were all discharged and disabled military whose methods of discipline towards POWs were measured out in proportion to the seriousness of their disabilities-caused by our military and the disciplinary procedures they experienced in the Japanese military - which was brutal.

Food: Our food rations added up to a caloric in-take of barely enough to sustain life. Breakfast was called Lugao. Lugao is rice cooked in water to a constancy of oatmeal. Mid-day and evening meals were steamed rice and watery soup. One bucket of water and one Dikon - a Japanese radish seemed the recipe for POW soup.

Medical: In Camp 5-B we had no doctor until October of 1943. With no medications the doctor's only medicine was admitting as many POWs daily as our captors would allow to the doctor's tiny one room hospital for a threes day rest. This saved many lives.


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(Last Updated: January 15, 2004.)

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"This went on in spite of rain, snow, high winds, or burning sun for 12 hours a day 7 days a week with only a very short break at mid-day for our rice and watery soup banquet."

A Mitsubishi- Eclipse of Ethics presentation.