On April 18, 2023, a Japanese shipwreck was located in the South China Sea. This was Australia’s largest death at sea during World War II.
This scary story begins with the ship: Montevideo Maru, which was carrying both prisoners and civilians that were taken during the Battle of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. The Sturgeon, an American submarine shot four torpedoes after watching the ship all night on July 1, 1942. It took less than 10 minutes to sink.
That night, 1,080 lives were taken. Those people were from 14 different nations. More than 90% of the people who died were Australian. Family members waited years for letters from their missing family members on board, only to find out that their loved ones had drowned.
The recent search lasted 12 days before the ship was found. Explorers from the Sydney-based Silentworld Foundation looked as deep as 13,120 feet, which is deeper than where the Titanic lies. The explorers decided that out of respect for the families who had lost loved ones, they would not take any remains from the ship.
When receiving the sad news, many families could not come to terms with the fact that their loved ones passed away. However, Silentworld director John Mullen hoped that finding the Sturgeon would “bring closure to the many families devastated by this terrible disaster.”
[Source: Associated Press; CNN; Madison.com]