Amanda - Does anyone have a relative who was on the Maros Maru from Haruku/Ambon to Java (via
Makasura)in September 1944?
From what I can determine from my father's notes, he was on this hellship. He was Eric Johnston (Flight Sergeat, RAF 211 Squadron).
There is an excellent book by Richard Philps, an RAF doctor who describes these events. It is called "Prisoner Doctor". I have further publication details.
Eddie - >Amanda, yet another of your messages I appeared to have missed, My Father in Law was on the Island of Haruku untill late summer of 1944 but the dates can not be confirmed till I speak with him again
the majority of men he was with were on the Island building an airstrip, and all his close companions were 84 and 211 sqdn were just before completion half the men were shipped of the name of the ship is not mentioned but was sunk off the coast of java
with very few survivors, My father in Law only met one of these again later in Java his name was Don Sharp of 211 sqdn. Once the airstrip was complete and had been officially opened by or someone purporting to be the Emperor (apparantly he had more doubles than Saddam Hussain)The remainder of the POWs were shipped back to Java, My father in Law has not named the ship but I believe it was possibly the Maros Maru, Of the 600 men starting the journey only 318 were alive on arrival at Surabaya
John - My father, Rees Richards was on that ship I think. I have a notebookwhich syays he had malaria in Liang Camp Ambon on 10/6/44 and another [undated] referring to the terrible journey back to Batavia.
There seem to have been more than one ship - I will post a transcript soon. There is a reference to "The last men from "Moena" having had a hard time but I'm note sure if I'm reading his writing correctly. Maybe you can help.
Please let me have the details of the book you mention.
Adrian1 - >Eddie, my father (still alive) was in 211 Squadron. He was one of the lucky ones that was not captured however...I regularly communicate with a 211 chap that was though and his name is Len Abbs. I don't suppose by any freakish chance your father-in-law came across him?
Colleen - >Adrian, I`ve been scouring this message board for weeks and how on earth I missed your messages I don`t know!! My Grandfather was not in 211 Sqd but 100 Sqd. His name was Frank McManus. By any chance did your dad come across him? He was on the island of Haruku and died there on 25th May 1943. Dysentery of course. He was 36 years old when he died, so maybe he was a little older than your Dad. Any information would be VERY gratefuly received. He was ground crew in Singapore before it fell, getting out before the Nips got there, but, unfortunately, not to Australia where they he was heading.
My regards and best wishes to you, your Dad and your family
I`ve been searching this message board for weeks and how on earth I missed your message is beyond me!! Never mind I have found it now. I was wondering if your father in law has any recollections of my Grandad, he was Aircrew and in 100 sqd. His name was Frank McManus, Aircraftman Firstclass, he was perhaps a littleolder than your father in law being 36 years old when on Haruku. Sadly he died whilst he was there, dysentery of course. Any information about their movements, time scale etc would be greatly appreciated. My Grandad died on 25th May 1943, I believe this was the day when most men died of the dreadful disease, about 14 if I am correct. I don`t know about you, but the older i get the more it bothers me and I do become rather angry with our subsequent governments and `powers that be` that have done little or nothing to help us find out the details that we need. Oops sorry, on my orange box there. Once agai Eddie, many thanks for taking the time to read this.
Best wishes and regards to you and your family