It was the longest 30 minutes of Moss Berryman’s life. Armed with a machine-gun and a cyanide pill, he crouched down low in a small, Japanese fishing boat and thought he was going to die.
It was October 1943, and Berryman and his crew mates were deep inside Japanese territory as part of Z Special Unit’s Operation Jaywick. They were disguised as Malay fishermen and had just completed one of the most daring raids of the Second World War, a mine attack on enemy shipping in Japanese-occupied Singapore harbour.
Seven Japanese ships had been sunk or disabled during the raid, and the 14 men responsible were heading back to Australia through the Lombok Strait aboard a small wooden fishing boat, MV Krait.