Gulag Report


Camps in the area of Khabarovsk


A Russian living in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, reported that in November 1952, he saw three American prisoners at the '5M Lagpunkt' detention facility in Khabarovsk, Russia, where he was incarcerated. He went an a woodcutting detail with one of them. In December 1952 the Americans were transferred out of the camp for an unknown destination. The Americans were accompanied by a Russian female prisoner serving a sentence for "Betraying the Motherland." 'The camp commander was Lieutenant Kuzenkov.

Khabarovsk Prison

A Japanese repatriate who was in Khabarovsk Camp #21 from 1950-1953 heard from Soviet Prison guards, prisoners, and laborers in April or May of 1953, that 12-13 Americans from a military plane shot down, by the Soviets were in Khaborovsk prison.


In his memoirs (made available to the Russian Side in November 1999) a source quotes four people who claim to have knowledge of the June 1952 RB-29 crew and their incarceration in Svobodnyi. Excerpts from his memoirs:

A former fishing vessel radio operator related that the captain of his fishing vessel told him that "not all the crew members of the American [aircraft] had, in fact, died back then (in June) and that ten of those people were now in pre-trial solitary confinement in a prison in the city of Svobodnyi, near Blagoveshchensk."

A former Dal'strol official 'was not in the least surprised by [his] question. He replied at once 'Yes, at first ten people were alive. Yes, first they were brought to Khabarovsk. But, then, of course, they were sent off to Svobodnyl... They were supposed to have been met by people from the Ministry of Defense... They were not met, though. You see, there was some screw-up in Moscow. Well, I can tell you that they were not met. What happened to them after that, I do not know. And I would advise you not to knOW 2S well... Let the leadership worry itself about it...'

A second former Dal'stroi official 'repeated almost word-for-word the testimony of [the first Dal'stroi official] but went on to clarify: "The guys from within worked over the Americans so badly that only eight were taken to Svobodnyl. A construction official who worked extensively in the Far East and was also an advisor to a minister stated that 'he did learn the names of two crewmembers of that aircraft, Bush and Moore, who will forever remain in the soil of the Khabarovsk Region. [Along with 10 other crewmembers, MAJ Samuel Busch and MSGT David Moore were shot down by Soviet fighters on 13 June 1952. The entire crew remains missing.]


According to a Ukrainian citizen who lives in Kiev, seven American servicemen - three of them pilots whose plane had strayed into Soviet territory because of mechanical difficulties - were incarcerated in 1952, in a prison camp called "Verkhniy" in the town of Lultin in Khabarovsky Kray. The prisoners' primary contact was with a Japanese doctor named Matsuoko. During their detention, three of them were killed in a mining accident, and the four other were transferred to another camp.