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WWII Shipwreck Discovery Gives Families A Chance For Closure

Liz Thurston’s uncle, Henny Fulton, was one of the 979 Australian POWs and civilians who died when the Montevideo Maru sank in 1942. credit: i don’t know

The teenage boy was among military and civilian prisoners of war taken from about 16 countries after the fall of Rabaul months earlier.

The ship was discovered in April at depths of more than 4,000 meters off the coast of the Philippines by a team led by Australian businessman and philanthropist John Mullen.

It was discovered after a 12-day search in the South China Sea led by the non-profit Silent World Foundation and Fugro’s deep-sea research experts and supported by Defense.

Mullen said finding the wreck brought “great satisfaction”.


[1945TheAgereportonthesinkingoftheMontevideoMarucredit: age

“But at the same time, it’s also very emotional,” he said. “When I first saw the first image on the screen, I knew he was looking at a deep-sea cemetery of over 1,000 young people.”

Mr Mullen said the maritime disaster was one of the great untold stories of Australian military history.

“Everyone grows up hearing about Gallipoli,” he said. “However, the fact that so many people died in tragic accidents has somehow been overshadowed.”

Another victim of the wreck was medical officer Arthur Parry, who was a close friend of filmmaker and founding member of the Montevideo Maru Society, Max Uchtlitz.


“I feel a mellow glee and immense satisfaction in this discovery, because it will help ease the trauma of generations of thousands of descendants of these poor souls,” Uktlitz said. Told.

“The discovery of the shipwreck gives us impetus to right that wrong and honor those men, boys and their loved ones.”

Andrea Williams’ grandfather and great-uncle were civilian internees on board when the ship sank.

Williams, president of the Rabaul Montevideo Mar Society, said his family had been struggling with heartbreak and frustration after decades of searching for his family, wondering if they would ever find a ship. rice field.

“Finding a shipwreck is a huge accomplishment and one that will be very comforting as well as very emotional for many generations of the deceased man’s family,” she said.

Former Labor leader Kim Beasley and musician and former environment minister Peter Garrett are also descendants of the man who died in the tragedy.

Beasley, chairman of the Australian War Memorial, The shipwreck discovery said It was “a monumental moment in the history of warfare.”

“Finding the sites of Australia’s most devastating losses at sea will help heal the collective memory of Australia for generations,” he said. The mystery of the Great War and my family history is solved.”

Patrick Burke, education coordinator for the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia’s Rabaul Montevideo Mar Group, said the discovery of the wreck provided relatives with “some kind of an end to the tragedy”.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/discovery-of-wwii-shipwreck-gives-families-chance-at-closure-20230422-p5d2i4.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw WWII Shipwreck Discovery Gives Families A Chance For Closure

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