When a Japanese ship carrying Allied prisoners of war was torpedoed off the Philippines coast in 1942, it resulted in Australia’s worst maritime warfare loss, with 1,080 deaths.
A team of explorers discovered the sinking Japanese ship.
Using an autonomous underwater vehicle with built-in sonar, the Montevideo Maru’s wreck was discovered after a 12-day search at about 4000 meters (13,120 feet), more profound than the Titanic, off Luzon island in the South China Sea.
Respecting the relatives of those who passed away, no attempts will be made to take artifacts or human remains, according to a statement released on Saturday by the Sydney-based Silentworld Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to maritime archaeology and history.
Taking part in the mission with Dutch deep-sea survey specialists Fugro and Australia’s Defense Department.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remarked, “The extraordinary effort behind this discovery speaks for the enduring truth of Australia’s solemn national promise always to remember and honor those who served our country.”
This captures the essence of Lest We Forget.
Following the seizure of civilians and detainees in Papua New Guinea after the fall of Rabaul, the Montevideo Maru was transporting them.
The American submarine Sturgeon stalked the ship during the night on July 1, 1942, and launched four torpedoes that identified their target and sank the boat in less than ten minutes even though it was not marked as transporting POWs.
One thousand eighty individuals from 14 countries, including 979 Australians, were slain.
Director of Silentworld John Mullen said, “Families waited years for news of their missing loved ones before learning of the awful outcome of the sinking.
“Some people never fully came to terms with the fact that their loved ones were victims. We anticipate bringing comfort to the several families affected by this awful disaster today by locating the vessel.