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In the early morning of 5 August 1944, 1,104 Japanese prisoners were involved in a mass breakout from Camp No. 12 at Cowra. 231 Japanese POW's were killed and 334 escaped from the POW camp. Three Japanese prisoners masterminded the breakout.

The following document was prepared by ninety year old John Jay Carleton Q69283 who was a Platoon Commander with the 1st Infantry Battalion at Cowra on the night of the Cowra Breakout in August 1944. His grandson Greg Maiden, passed this interesting document on to me on 9 February 2022.



The following photographs were taken on 15 July 2001 by Daniel Leahy

cowra01.jpg (88353 bytes) Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra02.jpg (72420 bytes) Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra03.jpg (83853 bytes) Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra04.jpg (79119 bytes) Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra05.jpg (54368 bytes) Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra06.jpg (78957 bytes) Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra07.jpg (66911 bytes) Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra08.jpg (66459 bytes) Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra09.jpg (80127 bytes)] Cowra Internment and POW Camp
cowra10.jpg (100215 bytes) Italian Memorial
cowra11.jpg (71079 bytes) Japanese Gardens


Some research by Robert Piper indicated that there are 19 bodies in the Cowra POW Camp, who were from the first Japanese air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942. It is believed that Katsuyoshi Tsuru was one of those 19 buried. Katsuyoshi Tsuru was Yoshiko Gusterton's grandfather.



I'd like to thank Daniel Leahy and Terry Gusterton for their assistance with this home page.



Asada, Teruhiko, 1967, 1970 , "The Night of a Thousand Suicides", Angus & Robertson, Sydney, (English Version translated by Ray Cowan)

Gordon, Harry, 1978. "Die like the Carp!".

Gordon, Harry, 1978, 1994, "Voyage from Shame - The Cowra Breakout and Afterwards", University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Queensland

Bullard, Steve, 2006, "Blankets on the Wire: the Cowra breakout and its aftermath", translated by Keiko Tamura


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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 28 December 2001

This page last updated 10 February 2022