Australian POWs in Nagasaki

The epicentre of the atomic bomb blast, Nagasaki, 9 August 1945.

On 10 August 1945, leaflets fluttered down over Nagasaki, informing the inhabitants of a pending nuclear strike. Lack of coordination among bombing crews meant that the leaflets were a day late. Just before noon on 9 August 1945, the American B-29 Superfortress "Bockscar" had released the "Fat Man" fission bomb over a mostly civilian area of the city, killing over 70,000 people instantly.

Nagasaki was also home to the Fukuoka No. 14 Branch Camp, holding 24 Australian Prisoners of War on the day the bomb detonated. The Nagasaki Peace Memorial aims to commemorate everyone who was in the city and holds a database to this effect. While the families of 7 of the men have been traced and have been able to provide permission for the names to be added to the memorial, the families of 17 of the men remain elusive.

Can you help? Do you know any of these names? If so, please contact us.

BANKS, Maurice William, born 21 Dec 1913, No. TX2986, 2/40 Australian Infantry Battalion, born Glenorchy, TAS, enlisted Hobart, TAS

BOYD, William, born 22 Apr 1920, No. VX61603, 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion, born Wonthaggi, VIC, enlisted Royal Park, VIC

DOWNIE, Richard Bowie, born 19 Jun 1922, No. 34225, 1 Squadron RAAF, born Merewether, NSW, enlisted Sydney, NSW

FITZMAURICE, Francis William, born 24 Jun 1918, No. NX38456, 2/1 Australian Heavy Battery, born Strathfield, NSW, enlisted NSW

GLEESON, Colin James, born 08 Jun 1919, No. TX3914, 2/40 Australian Infantry Battalion, born Smithton, TAS, enlisted Smithton, TAS

HOWARD, Charles Edward, born 24 Feb 1918, No. TX4878, 2/1 Australian Heavy Battery, born Bushy Park, TAS, enlisted Hobart, TAS

MARSHALL, John Jellicoe, born 19 Aug 1914, No. VX29554, 2/40 Australian Infantry Battalion, born Yarrawonga, VIC, enlisted Caulfield, VIC

McCONNELL, Reginald, born 22 May 1918, No. NX38462, 2/1 Australian Heavy Battery, born Rockdale, NSW, enlisted Paddington, NSW

MILLER, Herbert Daley, born 14 Aug 1914, No. TX2717, 2/40 Australian Infantry Battalion, born Burnie, TAS, enlisted Hobart, TAS

NIMMO, Raymond Wilfred, born 27 Sep 1907, No. NX30433, 18 Australian Anti-Tank Battery, born Hamilton, NSW, enlisted Paddington, NSW

O’KEEFE, Bernard Daniel, born 06 Nov 1920, No. VX53494, 2/40 Australian Infantry Battalion, born Warrnambool, VIC, enlisted Royal Park, VIC

PARKIN, Charles Owen, born 15 Feb 1916, No. WX2844, 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion, born Fremantle, WA, enlisted Perth, WA

PRENDERGAST, Leslie, born 03 Feb 1918, No. VX41147, 2/40 Australian Infantry Battalion, born Rochester, VIC, enlisted Caulfield, VIC

REED, William Cecil, born 06 Jun 1919, No. VX45894, 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion, born Bendigo, VIC, enlisted Caulfield, VIC

ROSS, Gordon, born 03 Apr 1920, No. WX11771, 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion, born Subiaco, WA, enlisted Claremont, WA

SMYTHE, Philip Joseph, born 27 Aug 1908, No. VX25701, 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion, born Dunolly, VIC, enlisted Caulfield, VIC

SNOWDEN, Ernest Roy, born 16 Aug 1900, No. 246705 (NX47101), 2/12 Australian Field Ambulance, born Newcastle, NSW, enlisted Nimmitabel, NSW