Heito Camp POW Memorial, Linluo

In the summer of 1942, the Heito POW Camp, or Camp No.3, was formed on the site of what was originally a housing collective for local construction workers. Mainly used as a forced labour and transition camp for Allied prisoners, Heito received over 1,000 men between the period 1942 and 1945.

For those who were interned at Heito for longer than a few days or weeks, a strict regime of 12-hour work days was enforced. Most of the men worked at collecting stones from a nearby riverbed to make way for sugar cane plantations. Others were made to work in the nearby sugar factory, gathering sugar cane from the fields, unloading the rail cars and stoking the furnaces. The intense working conditions combined with limited food and water, and the rapid spread of diseases such as malaria and dysentery led to the death of many inmates. In total 134 men died at Heito and were buried in a makeshift cemetery close to the camp.

Near to the end of the Second World War, an American bombing raid destroyed most of Camp No.3, as well as killing 20 POWs and a number of Japanese guards. Another 80 inmates were seriously hurt but the number was not as high as expected as many of the prisoners were working away at the sugar factory during the time of the raid. Shortly after the attack, the camp was closed down and the prisoners were moved to Taihoku, Toroku and Shirakawa to see out the end of the war.

In 2004 a small memorial was built on the site of the former Heito Camp. Funded by the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society, a commemorative service was held at the unveiling of the memorial. Local dignitaries and a number of former POWs who had spent time at Heito during World War II attended the service.

Related Web-links

  1. http://www.powtaiwan.org/The%20Camps/camps_detail.php?Heito-POW-Camp-2&