Mitsubishi ... and World War II Slave Labor

Gail Jack Kelley

Late Gail J. Kelley was a POW slave labor for Mitsubishi Copper Mine at Sendai #6, Hanawa POW Camp. An excerpt from his son, Russ Kelley's account of Gail's experience there follows. [ harrisonheritage.com/adbc/kelley.htm ]


"The main problem Dad faced as the direct result of being a prisoner-of-war was "wet" beriberi." This form of beriberi is more common with POWs of the Pacific where white (polished) rice was the staple food. It is also known to cause ischemic heart disease in later life. Russ Kelley said his Dad regained his weight after returning at 67 pounds and most of his health, but feels the beriberi contributed to his dad's heart condition.

As the war worsened in November, Kelley and hundreds of his fellow prisoners were trucked to Manila and to a waiting cargo ship, the Nagato Maru. The ship left November 7, 1942 taking him and approximately 1500 others to Osaka Japan. Seven men died enroute. Another 150 where lined on the deck and never seen again. Arriving in Osaka, Japan November 25, 1942, he did hard labor in the Mitsubishi Copper Mine and in the nearby rice paddies.


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(Last Updated: January 31, 2004.)

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"Russ Kelley said his Dad regained his weight after returning at 67 pounds and most of his health, but feels the beriberi contributed to his dad's heart condition."

A Mitsubishi- Eclipse of Ethics presentation.