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    Rangoon Prison (Rangoon Central Prison) Yangon Region Burma (Myanmar)
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7th BG c1943
Location
Rangoon Prison was located in Rangoon (Yangoon) in Yangon Region (Rangoon Region) in Burma (Myanmar). Also known as Rangoon Central Prison, Rangoon Jail or Rangoon Central Jail.

Wartime History
During the Pacific War, a approximately 600 Allied Prisoners Of War (POW) were detained at Rangoon Prison including 313 Americans were held at Moulmein Jail and Rangoon Jail (Burma Camp #5). Allied Prisoners Of War (POWs) that died in captivity were buried at nearby Rangoon Cemetery.

On April 26, 1945 the Japanese commandant released the prisoners but they had virtually no supplies. Freed, the healthy prisoners marched towards the 14th Army lines near Pegu. Those to weak to march remained at Rangoon in the prison awaiting the arrival of Allied troops. On May 2, 1945 the surviving prisoners were liberated by the British Army, 26 Division (Indian).

Allied Prisoners Of War (POW) detained at Rangoon Prison
SSgt Alvin L. Hastings, Martlnsvile, IN (gunner B-24D 42-73055 crashed December 1, 1943) survived
2nd Lt Kenneth P. Moxley navigator B-24D pilot Kavanagh force landed May 1, 1943 POW, survived
2nd Lt. Hubert R. Garrett bombardier B-24D pilot Kavanagh force landed May 1, 1943 POW, survived
1st Lt. Robert L. Kavanagh pilot B-24D pilot Kavanagh force landed May 1, 1943 POW died June 22, 1943
TSgt Edward R. Bodell engineer B-24D pilot Kavanagh force landed May 1, 1943 died July 15, 1943
SSgt John E. Lavery tail gunner B-24D pilot Kavanagh force landed May 1, 1943 POW died May 10, 1943
Lt. Hilton D. Weesner, South Bend, IN (pilot P-47D 42-27572 force landed November 12, 1944)
Capt.ain John Hunt, McLeansboro, IL
SSgt Joseph B. Wells (gunner B-24J 42-73055) survived
1st Lt. Burdett C. Goodrich (pilot P-38H 42-67001 force landed June 6, 1944) died February 24, 1945

Postwar
The remains of some of the
deceased prisoners buried at Rangoon Cemetery were recovered by American Graves Registration Service (AGRS).

References
The Daily Chronicle (De Kalb, Illinois) "Yanks Held In Rangoon Free" May 7, 1945
"Calcutta, May 4. (UB) American airmen liberated from the Japanese prison camp at Rangoon, revealed today how the - Japanese beat and starved U.S. fliers, especially after bombing raids on Japan. The airmen, from the first group of Americans freed In Burma, are recuperating In a hospital here. More than 400 Americans, most of them members of the air force, and approximately 600 other Allied prisoners were liberated at Rangoon. Although most of them were fairly healthy, despite their starvation diet and beatings, it. was reported that about 50 Americans, too sick to walk, were left at Rangoon.
Only a partial list of Americans freed from Rangoon was announced. They included:
SSgt Alvin L. Hastings, Martlnsvile, Ind.
Lieut. Kenneth P. Moxley, Newburgh, Ind.
Lieut. Hilton D. Weesner, South Bend, Ind.
Capt. John Hunt, McLeansboro, Ill.
The prisoners were given their liberty by the Japanese commandant at the Rangoon city jail April 26, although they had virtually no supplies. During the 50 mile march to the Fourteenth Army lines near Pegu, the prisoners went two days without food or water. The rear guard reached the Allied forces last Wednesday."

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Last Updated
May 1, 2020

 

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