In November - December 1945 from the occupied Manchuria (by the Soviet
Army) a MVD convoy took out six groups of prisoners containing American POWs that
were held in Japanese prison camps in 1943 - 1945 The itinerary for the convoys were
"Dunfanhoon -- Chita -- Luan Ude" and Chan -Chun - Chita -- Ulan Ude" It was known
to the convoy that these six groups of prisoners were going to a special GULAG to work
on the railroad between Ulan Ude and Ulan Bator. Actually, all the Americans from the
convoy, once it reached Ulan Ude, were transferred to winter camps in Bodaibo (North
Siberia). They were all executed there
At the end of 1940s - begginning of 1950s, when the interior forces were
demilitarized, some of them stated that Americans were executed in the Bodaibo prison,
a place that "traditionally" hosted executions from the 1930s of middle-class Kozaks
from Zabaikal and Don (Andnus Krulikas and Vasilty Komov) (There were a total of
200 individuals who were executed)
Perm-36 Special Camp, located in Perm, Russia. This site is now a museum.
The Gulag Study is a compilation of reports asserting that U.S. servicemen were held in Soviet camps and prisons. The study draws upon accounts from varied sources, many of whom claim to have been incarcerated in the Soviet Gulag system. The memoirs of a former Soviet Gulag inmate who lists several names that correlate to missing U.S. servicemen comprise a significant contribution to this study, which was originally prepared as a working document by the U.S. side of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs. The Gulag Study was released to the public in February 2001, and is accessible through the DPMO and JCSD web pages.
Recent interviews with refugees, defectors, and others; U.S. diplomatic and military archival material; and other first-hand and indirect reporting sources have contributed to an extensive database for managing information regarding alleged sightings of Americans, particularly members of the armed forces, detained in Russia and the former Soviet Union. This database also includes the names of individuals who have been repatriated, including foreigners erroneously identified as Americans. The sheer volume of this information lends credence to the fact that U.S. servicemen were detained in the Soviet prison camp system following World War II, and during the Korean, Vietnam, and Cold Wars. The U.S. side of the Commission compiled and substantially expanded the database immediately after the 16th Plenum for delivery to the Russian side in April 2000.
JCSD personnel have conducted preliminary investigative trips to the major locations of prisons and camps in the former Soviet Union. These trips provided an initial logistics review, familiarization with the area, sampling of prisoner cards for known names, and personal interviews to determine potential leads and sources for further investigation. In October 2000, JCSD personnel traveled to Vorkuta in the Komi Republic in order to establish a research agreement with the Russian Memorial society. A team of ten Russians will review both prisoner index cards in the Vorkuta Archives and prisoner memoirs in the Vorkuta museum in an effort to determine whether U.S. POWs were detained in the Komi Republic.
In May 2001, JCSD personnel traveled to Perm to meet with government officials from the Perm Oblast. During the visit they also took the initial steps toward establishing a research agreement with the Perm chapter of the Memorial society, similar to the one with Vorkuta. In addition to archival research, this contract will include interview expeditions to the sites of former camps in Perm Oblast.
Additionally, JCSD has conducted interviews with former inmates of the Gulag, camp guards, workers and administrators, academicians and veterans in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union. These interviews have unearthed valuable leads for further investigation. In addition, JCSD's contemporary interviews correspond well to those conducted under contract by the Polish Karta Center's research project. Karta searches for American citizens missing since World War II on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Finally, JCSD analysts conduct analysis of historical reports obtained through archival research at the National Archives and Records Administration, the Library of Congress and other archives and libraries in the United States. These documents range from State Department cables to U.S. military debriefings of German and Japanese POWs repatriated from the Soviet Union during the 1950s.
Regardless of the credibility that either side of the Commission ascribes to any single source of information, existing evidence supports further investigation into the issue of possible American POWs in the former Soviet Union.