How many POWs were there?

Approximately 26,000 American military and civilian personnel were held by the Japanese as POWs during World War II.  Almost 11,000 died in captivity.  

The best published summation is contained in E. Bartlett Kerr's excellent book: "Surrender and Survival: The Experience of American POWs in the Pacific" published in 1985 and are reproduced below.  In coming weeks we will modify these figures so they match current research efforts, however, the modifications really represent modest adjustments of Kerr's figures and will not change the overall figures signficantly.

Total American POWs surrendered by Country
Philippine Islands          22000
Wake Island 1555
Guam 400
Java 890
Celebes 255
China 200
Japan & elsewhere 300
Total 25,600


American POWs Died in Captivity by Country

Philippine Islands       5135
Wake Island 100
Manchuria 175
Japan & elsewhere 1200
Burma / Thailand 130
Korea 70
Total 10650



American POWs liberated by Country

Philippine Islands     1500
Manchuria 1200
Japan 11400
Burma Thailand 480
Korea 150
Celebes (Indonesia) 200
China 20
Total 14950