Casualty of Suez Maru .RAF leading aircraftman pusey

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Rosiewindsor, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Rosiewindsor

    Rosiewindsor New Member

    hi not sure if anyone can help, trying to research great uncle but having no luck,family told he POW died in captivity.research has found he died whilst being transported on Suez Maru all I have is service no trying to find which unit he belonged to or any info really details I have
    Service no 640281 leading aircraftman Joseph Walter Pusey age 23 when killed
    Many thanks if anyone can help
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    hello Rosie
    Im afraid it is a very unpleasant story .

    Forum members will be along shortly to add more info
    Suez Maru

    Sunk 29th November 1943

    by USS Bonefish, off Kangean Islands 6º 22' South by 116º 35' East.

    In 1943, the Japanese decided to ship the sick back to Java. A total of 640 men, including a number of Japanese sick patients, were taken on board the 4,645-ton passenger-cargo ship Suez Maru. In two holds, 422 sick British (including 221 RAF servicemen) and 127 sick Dutch prisoners, including up to twenty stretcher cases, were accommodated. The Japanese patients filled the other two holds.

    Escorted by a minesweeper W-12, the Suez Maru set sail from Port Amboina but while entering the Java Sea and about 327 kilometers east of Surabaya, Java, Netherlands East Indies, the vessel was torpedoed by the American submarine USS Bonefish commanded by Cdr. Tom Hogan. The ship started to list as water poured into the holds drowning hundreds, many managed to escape the holds and swam away from the sinking ship. The Japanese mine sweeper W-12 picked up the Japanese survivors, leaving between 200 and 250 men in the sea. At 14.50, the minesweeper, W-12, under orders from Captain Kawano, opened fire, using a machine gun and rifles. Rafts and lifeboats were then rammed and sunk by the W-12. The firing did not cease till all the prisoners were killed, the minesweeper then picked up speed and sped off towards Batavia (Jakarta) at 16.30 hours.

    Sixty-nine Japanese had died during the attack, 93 Japanese soldiers and 205 Japanese sick patients were rescued by the Japanese. Of the 547 British and Dutch prisoners, there is reported to be one survivor, a British soldier, Kenneth Thomas, who was picked up twenty-four hours later by the Australian minesweeper HMAS Ballarat, this has not been confirmed.

    Forum member here can send you a photograph of the memorial panel CWGC Kranji - Singapore Memorial: pics of c25,000 names now available.

    apply for his service record link Get a copy of military service records - GOV.UK

    Leading AircraftmanPUSEY, JOSEPH WALTER
    Service Number 640281

    Died 29/11/1943

    Aged 23

    Royal Air Force

    Son of Frederick and L. Pusey, of Windsor, Berkshire.

    some reading for you
    The case of the Suez Maru 29 November 1943
    Suez Maru
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    Other forum members are likely to know more, but he is listed on the Cofepow database here:

    Record Details
    Rosiewindsor likes this.
  4. Rosiewindsor

    Rosiewindsor New Member

    Thanks for your reply will check these out
  5. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    CL1 likes this.

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