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Airfield Labour Camp in Palao

Town: Palao
District: Haroekoe
Region: Moluccas
Location: Palao (Pelauw) is on the north coast of Haroekoe Island.
From 05 May 1943 to 01 August 1944 this location served as a prisoner of war camp >>
Internees: prisoners of war
Number of internees: 3.000 (approximately)
Number of deceased: 386
Information: Prisoners of war were put to work near Palao (Pelauw) laying a new airfield. Initially the workforce comprised about 1,700 British and approximately 345 Dutch prisoners of war from Soerabaja, brought to Haroekoe via Ambon on the Amagi Maru and the Matsukawa Maru. The prisoners of war were housed in barracks they built themselves from bamboo and atap, surrounded by barbed wire. In October 1943, the Dutch prisoners of war who had laid an airfield near Amahei (Ceram) were brought to Palao (Pelauw). Between November 1943 and July 1944 the prisoners of war were taken in groups to Liang and other camps on Ambon, to be later taken by ship back to Java.
Commendant: sgt.-maj. Mori
Guards: Koreans
Camp leaders: sql. W.C. Pitts
Literature: Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Advocaat-soldaat: oorlogsherinneringen (Amsterdam 1999)
Audus, L.J., Spice Island slaves. A history of Japanse prisoner of war camps in Eastern Indonesia, May 1943-August 1945 (Ham 1996)
Philps, R., Prisoner doctor. An account of the experiences of a Royal Air Force medical officer during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia (Lewes 1996)
Berge, G. ten, Met open ogen. Gesprek met Hein ten Berge over zijn jaren in Nederlands-Indië als leraar in Moentilan en in Japanse krijgsgevangenschap (1929-1946) (Maarssen [1995])
Veenstra, J.H.W. e.a., Als krijgsgevangene naar de Molukken en Flores. Relaas van een Japans transport van Nederlandse en Engelse militairen 1943-1945 ('s-Gravenhage 1982)
Kesasar, Totok, Geen saai leven. Het leven van een thee- en rubberplanter gedurende de jaren 1926-1947 [1982])
Korteweg, R., De 1000 van Amahei (Batavia [1946])
Lansdorp, S., Hoe was het ook alweer? Herinneringen aan de jaren 1942-1945 [1990])
Cowling, T., My life with the Samurai (Kenthurst 1996)
Stellingwerff, J., Fat man in Nagasaki. Nederlandse krijgsgevangenen overleefden de atoombom (Franeker 1980)

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