Davao Penal Colony
|Type||Â Â Â||Prison Camp|
|Historical Name of Location||Â Â Â||Davao, Davao, Philippines|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThe Davao Penal Colony was formed in southern Philippines in 1932 on a land about 30,000 hectares in size. The prison complex itself had an area of about 8,000 hectares. In Dec 1941, after the outbreak of the Pacific War, it held about 1,000 Japanese nationals, guarded by Filipino military police reporting to an American commanding officer. In 1942, as Japanese troops closed in on the colony, many guards simply ran away, and many prisoners escaped during the confusion. During the Japanese occupation period, it was taken over by the Japanese Army as a prisoners of war camp. About two thousand Americans were held at Davao during the war. Prisoners were treated harshly in manners typical of most prisoners of war camps run by the Japanese during this period. Several hundred former Davao prisoners were aboard the transport Shinyo Maru when she was sunk by submarine USS Paddle off the coast of Mindanao on 7 Sep 1944. When American troops arrived at Davao Penal Colony, they encountered bodies of dead prisoners decomposing at the places of their deaths without having been buried.
Mansell Center for Research Allied POWS Under the Japanese
Last Major Update: Aug 2018
Davao Penal Colony Interactive Map
Davao Penal Colony Timeline
|7 Oct 1931Â||Governor Dwight Davis of the Philippines signed a proclamation which reserved a large tract of land on Mindanao, Philippines for the construction of a penal colony.|
|21 Jan 1932Â||Davao Penal Colony was formally established in Davao (now Panabo), Philippines.|
|7 Nov 1942Â||969 American prisoners of war from Luzon, Philippine Islands arrived at the Davao Penal Colony, Mindanao, Philippines.|
|8 Nov 1942Â||The Japanese Army formally took command of the Davao Penal Colony in southern Philippines.|
|30 Mar 1943Â||An escape planned by 12 American prisoners at the Davao Penal Colony, Mindanao, Philippines was postponed due to a surprise Japanese inspection.|
|4 Apr 1943Â||The only large-scale prisoner of war escape of the Pacific War took place at the Davao Penal Colony, Mindanao, Philippines. It was led by US Army Air Forces Captain William Dyess.|
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|WW2-Era Place NameÂ||Davao, Davao, Philippines|
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George Patton, 31 May 1944
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