On 15th August Emperor Hirohito made a radio speech to the Japanese public and Japan surrendered, liberating the prisoners of war, unfortunately this did not happen overnight, some Japanese even killing prisoners after the surrender.

After three and a half years in Japanese prisoner of war camps, the realisation that the war was over brought tears of joy but also tears of sadness, it hit home that mates would be left behind, mates that would never see blighty again.

The prisoners had to adapt themselves to this new found freedom and they would find later that  they would never be completely free, the freedom would be short lived, the nightmare would return.

How the prisoners reached home is not widely documented, these pages are an attempt to document their movements and the transports used.

The Americans launched ‘Operation Magic Carpet’, to repatriate over eight million American military personnel from the European, Pacific, and Asian theatres including PoWs..


Plane Transport

      Plane Transport By Date

Ship Transport

      Transport by Name By Name

      Transport by Departure Port By Departure Port

      Transport by Arrival Port By Arrival Port

Liberation Experiences

      Liberation Experiences Main Page


      ATAKA Pamphlet Ataka Pamphlet - To all of you on your journey home, whether in the Services or not, this brings you a warm welcome to the Middle East Command. You may be here for up to 18 hours and the reason for this break is to provide you with the warm clothing you will need on arrival in England. Our object will be to make this break as pleasant as possible and to provide such entertainments as we can while you are here. This pamphlet tells you what will happen here.

      Python Python (Code name for leave after 4 years service abroad)

      Python Restricted Information (Supplied by Cec)

      Treatment - War Office Treatment - War Office - There was little delay in repatriating prisoners of war from the European theatre, who were rapidly evacuated by air, but due to the greater distances involved and to certain other factors it was some time before the Far East prisoners reached the United Kingdom and the waiting period which elapsed had some bearing on their physical condition on arrival.

      Westward  Bound Westward Bound - Advice and help on your journey home



Thanks to FEPOW Community Group members Janet, Cec and Mike

Some details taken from David Tett's two books:

Singapore sailings - Vol 1 - The Changi Connection - pages 337/338 plus others for minor info.

Rangoon sailings - Vol 3 - Burma, Thailand and Indochina 1942 - 1946, page 292.

Ataka Pamphlet supplied by Gill Grant

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