Remembering Today 1/7/42 Civilian L.C.Thompson

Discussion in 'Remembering Today' started by CL1, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. CL1

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

  2. CL1

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

  3. CL1

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

    The sinking of the Montevideo Maru – Fact sheet 266

    Historical background
    In December 1941, Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor and Malaya, launching the Pacific war. On 23 January 1942, as part of the same thrust that was targeting the Philippines and the Netherlands East Indies, they attacked Rabaul, at the northern tip of the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain, and defeated Australian forces there.
    About 1400 Australian military personnel were in Rabaul before the attack. Approximately 400 eventually escaped to Australia, while most of the remaining personnel became prisoners of war (POWs). In addition, over 200 civilians in the area were interned. Two attempts were made to transfer these prisoners to Japanese territory. The second group, comprising 60 Australian officers and 19 women, including 8Army nurses, left Rabaul on 6 July and arrived safely in Japan.
    The first group, which was made up of 845 POWs and over 200 civilian internees left Rabaul on 22 June 1942 on the Montevideo Maru, a freighter requisitioned by the Japanese navy, for Hainan, off the southern coast of China. On 1 July this vessel, which was not marked as a POW carrier, was torpedoed and sunk by the submarine USS Sturgeon close to Luzon, resulting in the deaths of all prisoners and internees on board.
    The deaths on the Montevideo Maru were not fully revealed in Australia until after the end of the war, when Major Harold S Williams of the No. 1 Australian Prisoners of War Contact and Enquiry Unit, a pre-war resident of Japan, was sent to Tokyo to investigate this

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