Cebu Internment Camp, Cebu

May 1, 1942: Internees are transferred to Cebu Provincial Jail.

May 16, 1942: Internees are moved to Cebu Junior College while 23 British are sent to a “schoolhouse next door.”

October 13, 1942: all internees are moved to “Club Filipino.”

December 14, 1942: the 148 internees were boarded aboard a freighter.  Five days later, they arrive in Manila and were interned at Santo Tomás Internment Camp.

Cebu Island, Philippines

Cebu Island, Philippines, showing Cebu Internment Camp (courtesy of Google Maps)

For more information:

15 thoughts on “Cebu Internment Camp, Cebu

  1. I am looking for information regarding my great Uncle George Wood.

    Who on account of being a Irish citizen had access to the camp.
    I have in my possession a Japanese pass and a watch that was presented to him by the Cebu internees in token of appreciation.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated

    • Dear Frank, I have scant information about your uncle, George Faughnan Wood, since he was not on any of the general internee rosters. However, he is referenced in “The Japanese Occupation of the Philippines,” by A.V.H. Hartendorp, 1967, volume I, page 318, in reference to the Cebu Civilian Internment Camp: “The money ran out in September [1942] but the community was able to borrow an initial ₱250 from outside through the mediation of George Wood. Although Wood carried a British passport, he was born in Cork, Ireland, and the Japanese released him at the time the others were taken to the jail. He lived with five or six Redemptionist fathers who were also not interned, most of them being Irish. Woods was of great service to both the British and American internees.” If you don’t have access to this, I would be happy to scan this page for you. I will check to see if I find anything more in my archive. Regards, Cliff

  2. Kenneth B Larsen Jr.

    Looking for information on Corporal Kenneth B. Larsen in the Army Air Corps 5th Airbase Group who was captured in the Philippine Islands in 1942 and was in Davao and I think in Cebu later sent to Japan and was liberated in 1945 in Osaka.

    • Hi, Kenneth, thanks for your message. Unfortunately, the focus for this website is on the civilian internees, rather than on the military POWs, so Corp. Larsen is not in my database. Fortunately, there are many online resources that might be useful to you, as well as many books written by the POWs themselves. If you haven’t already checked out Roger Mansell’s website at, you may find that it has many documents and rosters that might be useful to you. Best regards, Cliff

  3. Hi! I’m Dr. Jobers R. Bersales, consultant of Museo Sugbo, the former Cebu Provincial Jail. This website is very important to us as we will be putting up signages to mark areas in the museum (ex-jail) where the internees were detained.

    It’s unforunate that I only have a copy of Vol. II of the Hartendorp book. Can you possible send me a scan of the particular page where the Cebu Provincial Jail is mentioned please?

    • Dear Dr. Bersales, thank you for your message. I do have a copy of vol. 1 of A.V.H. Hartendorp’s book, The Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. Cebu is mentioned several times in this volume, but the main information on the Cebu internment camps appears on pages 313-325 in a section titled “Story of the Internees from Cebu.” If this is what you need, please let me know. If not, I’ll look into the other portions of the book. Regards, Cliff Mills

      • Dear Mr. Mills,

        Thank you for the quick and very favorable reply. Much as I would like al the pages pertaining to Cebu, that would be asking too much. I would be happy to get a scan of pp. 313-325 if you please. It would be best to send it to my gmail address (which I provide below) since my official university address limits acceptance of attachments. Thanks in advance!

      • Dear Mr. Mill,

        It seems my reply did not go through or got lost somehow. I’d be more than happy to get a copy of pages 313-325. Kindly send it to my gmail address and not to my official university address. I will provide it on the required fields after this.

        Thanks in advance!

  4. Hi Frank , Mr. Mills, I think my granduncle Stephen Breen from Wexford, Ireland may have been one of the Redemptorist order you mention above. My understanding is that they were interned later on as part of a round up of all religious orders irrespective of nationality.

    • Hi, Ross, thanks for your message. I don’t have a “Stephen Breen” in my database, thus far. I’m not too surprised, at this, because most of the Irish in the Philippines were not interned by the Japanese. Let me check into this and get back to you. Regards, Cliff

      • Thanks Cliff. Probably under Brother Stephen if at all. The Irish Redemptorists were apparently left alone until late 1944 but it’s a family story so I don’t have any corroboration.

        • Hi, Ross, thanks for your message. Even if Brother Stephen was not in one of the civilian camps, he probably was under house arrest, as were many of the priests, nuns and missionaries. He was lucky that he wasn’t on Luzon, after the Allies invaded in late 1944. There, the Japanese killed many of the clergy, including Spanish, Germans and Irish.

          I will email you two pages of the U.S.S. Leonard Wood, which arrived in San Francisco, California, on 23 October 1945. It lists five Catholic priests who were living in Iloilo, on Panay, one of which is a “Michael S. Breen,” who was born in Wexford in 1905. I will continue to search for more information. Regards, Cliff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.