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Archive display features loss of Montevideo Maru


THE WW2 SINKING of the Montevideo Maru with the loss of 1,053 Allied prisoners is featured in a major display at the National Archives in Canberra.

The display, Memory of a Nation, traces events and decisions that have shaped Australia and the lives of its people.

The Montevideo Maru, en route from Rabaul to Hainan, was torpedoed off the Philippines on 1 July 1942 by the American submarine Sturgeon.

The display includes an extract from the nominal roll of prisoners, a plan of the ship, details from the submarine’s log and a photograph of a memorial service in Rabaul on the fourth anniversary of the sinking.

There’s also a Territory of New Guinea ‘Form of Information of Death’ relating to Ernest Charles Bye, 60, a master mariner, who’d been in Rabaul for 18 months before the Japanese invasion.

The informant, his daughter Joan, a schoolteacher in Queensland, stated on 6 April 1946 that her father had been lost when the Montevideo Maru was sunk.

A ‘Military Service & Casualty Form’ lists Gunner John Eshott Carr, who turned 20 just before the ship left Rabaul, as “missing”. In late 1945 this was changed to “believed dead”.

The display will run until 30 May. Admission is free.


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Robin Mead

Warship Sydney, Hospital ship Centaur, Prison ship Montevideo Maru - all important vessels for Australia and Australians, and sacred sites also. The first two ships have at last been located and those aboard now have a known final resting place. And now..?

Andrea Williams

Yes, Phil, David Mearns was contacted in April 2008 and told ninemsn that the depth at the site of the sinking would not be prohibitive.

There are several 'related articles'.

Phil Fitzpatrick

Has anyone contacted the guy who found the Centaur?

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