Explorers find WWII wreck on which nearly 1,000 Australians died | Conflict News

Japan’s SS Montevideo Maru was sunk in 1942 by a US submarine unaware that greater than 1,000 prisoners of battle had been onboard.

Deep-sea explorers mentioned they’ve situated the wreck of a World War II Japanese transport ship, the SS Montevideo Maru, which was torpedoed off the Philippines in 1942 killing nearly 1,000 Australian prisoners of battle onboard.

The ship was sunk on July 1, 1942, en route from what’s now Papua New Guinea to China’s Hainan, by a United States submarine whose crew didn’t realise the ship carried prisoners of battle. The location of the wreck had remained a thriller for greater than 80 years.

The vessel was discovered at a depth of greater than 4 km (2.5 miles), the maritime archaeology group Silentworld Foundation, which organised the mission, mentioned on Saturday.

The sinking of the Montevideo Maru was Australia’s worst maritime catastrophe, killing an estimated 979 Australian residents together with at the very least 850 troopers. Civilians from 13 different international locations had been additionally on board, the inspiration mentioned, bringing the full variety of prisoners killed to about 1,060.

“At long last, the resting place of the lost souls of the Montevideo Maru has been found,” Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese mentioned in a tweet.

“Among the 1,060 prisoners on board were 850 Australian service members – their lives cut short,” he mentioned.

“The extraordinary effort behind this discovery speaks for the enduring truth of Australia’s solemn national promise to always remember and honour those who served our country,” he added.

“We hope today’s news brings a measure of comfort to loved ones who have kept a long vigil.”

The long-awaited find comes forward of April 25 commemorations for Anzac Day, a serious day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for his or her troops killed in all army conflicts.

“This brings to an end one of the most tragic chapters in Australia’s maritime history,” Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles mentioned in a video message.

“The absence of a location of the Montevideo Maru has represented unfinished business for the families of those who lost their lives until now,” Marles mentioned.

Explorers started looking for the wreck on April 6 within the South China Sea northwest of the Philippines’s important island of Luzon and made a constructive sighting simply 12 days later, utilizing high-tech gear together with an autonomous underwater automobile with sonar.

“The discovery of the Montevideo Maru closes a terrible chapter in Australian military and maritime history,” mentioned John Mullen, director of the Silentworld Foundation, which performed the hunt with Dutch deep sea survey agency Fugro together with assist from the Australian army.

“We’re looking at the gravesite of over 1,000 people,” he advised Australia’s ABC News Breakfast.

“We lost nearly twice as many [Australians] as in the whole of the Vietnam War, so it’s extraordinarily significant for families and descendants,” he mentioned.

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