John Bamborough Gibson
1918/02/18 - Born Newcastle-on-Tyne
Son of Thomas (diseased) and Margaret Telford (nee Purvis) Gibson (Born 1878/11/19)
(Parents Thomas and Margaret married 1900)
John’s Occupation Builder Joiner
Mother: Margaret Gibson, 64 Courtfield Road, Walkergate, Newcastle-on-Tyne (in 1939 censis)
288 Field Company
55th Infantry Brigade
1941/10/30 - Left Britain in Convoy CT.5 from Liverpool to Halifax
Final Destination Unknown
1941/11/08 - Arrived Halifax
1941/11/10 - The 55th Infantry Brigade were transferred to USS West Point
The 55 Infantry Brigade consistered of:-
55 Brigade HQ
(+ Section of RC of Signals, Light Aid Det., R.A.O.C. and Section of C.M. Police)
118 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
(+ Section of RC of Signals, Light Aid Det., R.A.O.C.)
288 Field Company, R.E.
55 Bde. Group Company, R.A.S.C.
197 Field Ambulance
1/5th Sherwood Foresters
1st Cambridgeshire Regiment
5th Beds and Herts Regiment
1941/11/10 - Left Halifax with Convoy William Sail 12X, destination unknown, believed to be Middle East.
Above Photo of Convoy William Sail 12X supplied by the late Maurice Rooney
Vought SB 2U Vindicator Scout Bomber - USS Ranger which was flying an Anti Submarine patrol over the convoy.
Front Line Top to Bottom:-
USS West Point - USS Mount Vernon - USS Wakefield - USS Quincy (Heavy Cruiser)
Back Row Top To Bottom:-
USAT Leonard Wood - USS Vincennes (Heavy Cruiser) - USS Joseph T Dickman
(USS Orizaba Ap-24 also sailed with Convoy though not pictured in photo)
Convoy William Sail 12X continued with six American troopships, two cruisers, eight destroyers and the aircraft carrier Ranger, the Convoy William Sail 12X was under way, destination still unknown.
The convoy passed through the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and St Domingo.
1941/11/17 - Arrived at Trinidad in glorious sunshine so troops changed to tropical kit, but no shore-leave, left Trinidad after two days of taking on supplies.
1941/11/24 - The equator was crossed, there was a crossing the line ceremony.
After a month the convoy arrived at Cape Town, South Africa. By this time the Americans were in the war as the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbour and attacked Malaya and the rumours were that they were heading for the Far East and not the Middle East as first thought.
1941/12/08 - Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and Malaya
1941/12/13 - The convoy left Cape Town and sailed along the coast of East Africa past Madagascar and into the Indian Ocean heading for Bombay.
1941/12/27 - After 17,011 miles at sea Bombay was reached.
1942/01/18 - The convoy sailed with a British escort, the H.M.S. Exeter and H.M.S. Glasgow with British and Australian destroyers. Destination was the far East. Passing Colombo, (Ceylon), crossing the equator for the third time, the convoy passed through the Sundra Straits between Java and Samatra and then the Banka Straits. The convoy was then bombed by Japanese Planes, there was no damage.
1942/01/19 - The convoy reached the safety of Keppel Harbour, Singapore. Ships were ablaze in the harbour, clouds of smoke drifted across the sky and the smell of fumes was overpowering, this was not the best of greetings. The Japanese had taken most of Malaya in the last three weeks and were only thirty miles away from Singapore.
1942/02/15 - Singapore Surrendered
1943/08/10 - WO 417/64, Casualty List No. 1208. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 791 as Missing, Now reported a ‘Prisoner of War’.
1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore
River Valley Camp, Singapore
PoW No. 5605
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1943/03/23 - Transprted overland to Thailand with ‘D’ Force, train 9.
58th Train to Thailand
Commander Lt-Col. G.G. Carpenter, 1st Battlion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
New PoW No. 11256
In Thailand attached to Group 4 23 (Takke) Bn. under Lt. Col Carpenter.
Thailand Camps for Work Group 4:-
Kanchanaburi to Wang Pho, 52km-111km from Nong Pladuk
Tha Sao, 125km from Nong Pladuk
Kinsaiyok Jungle No.2 Camp, 167.70km from Nong Pladuk
Photo of Kinsaiyok Jungle No.2
(Suplied by Andrew Snow)
(Edwin may have moved further up the line)
Tha Sao, 125km from Nong Pladuk
Tha Muang, 38.90km from Nong Pladuk
Transported back to Singapore
1944/09/04 - Convoy HI-72 sailed from Singapore. Two of these ships, Rakuyo Maru and the Kachidoki Maru carried PoWs. The Rakuyo Maru carried 1317 Pows (British and Australian) and the Kachidoki Maru a further 900 (all British).
With John in the Kachidoki Marum there were other Group 4 men from the Thailand-Burma Railway.
1944/09/12 - Not knowing there were PoWs on board the ships, the convoy was attacked by US submarines and both these ships were hit. The Kachidoki Maru was torpedoed by the US submarine Pampanito at 22:40 hours.
The Kachidoki Maru sunk off Hainan Island, Cina, 19.25 degees North, 114.23 degrees East.
All of those who survived the sinking of the Kachidoki Maru jumped within the first ten minutes of the ship being hit.
The Kachidoki Maru - Sunk North East of Hainan Island off China by USS Pampanito carried 900 British prisoners from Singapore to Japan, 400 were lost in the sinking, including John.
In the sinking of the Kachidoki Maru
1945/05/07 - WO417/90.1, Casualty List No. 1725. Previously reported Prisoner of War in Japanese hands - Malaya on Casualty List No. 1208. Now reported ‘Missing at Sea’. Date not reported.
1945//12/10 - WO417/100, Casualty List No. 1932. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 1725 as reported Missing whilst Prisoner of War. Presumed Killed in Action whilst Prisoner of War.
(No known Grave as died at sea)
Andrew Snow - Thailand Burma Railway Centre (camp information on Thailand)
Hell Ships - Roll of Honour
KEW Files:- WO 361/1742, WO 361/2057, WO 392/24, WO 345/20, WO 361/2169, WO 361/1987, WO 361/2191, WO 361/2070, WO 367/2,