SS Montevideo Maru: WWII shipwreck with 1,000 prisoners of war found in South China Sea

(CNN) A Japanese merchant ship sank during World War II while carrying more than 1,000 prisoners of war Australia The greatest loss of life is found at sea.

The Montevideo Maru was discovered off the northwest coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines at a depth of more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) in the South China Sea, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marlies confirmed in a video he posted Saturday from his Twitter post. account.

He said the discovery brought an end to “one of the most tragic chapters in Australia’s maritime history”.

The ship was transporting approximately 1,060 prisoners from about 16 countries, including 850 Australian soldiers, from the former Australian territory of New Guinea to what was then the Japanese-occupied island of Hainan when an American submarine torpedoed and sank the ship – which had not been boarded. Marked as transporting prisoners of war – July 1, 1942.

“The lack of a site for the Montevideo Maro is an unfinished business for the families of those who lost their lives,” Marlies explained.

Australian authorities have paid tribute to those involved in the search, including deep-sea surveyors and members of the Australian Armed Forces, and thanked them for the closure of those who lost loved ones 81 years ago.

“I want to thank the Silentworld team and the dedicated researchers, including the Army’s Unrecoverable War Losses team, who never gave up hope of finding the final resting place of the Montevideo Maru,” said Australian Army Commander Lieutenant-General Simon Stewart. .

“Loss like this runs down through the decades and reminds us all of the human cost of conflict. Lest we forget,” Stewart added.

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrote: “The extraordinary effort behind this discovery speaks to the enduring truth of Australia’s solemn patriotic promise to remember and honor those who have always served our country. It is the heart and soul of Lest We Forget,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrote.

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