The defence of the 'Malay barrier': Rabaul and Ambon, January 1942

Items from the collection:

Montevideo Maru report

Report written by Major H.S.Williams I October 1945 for the Recovered Personnel Division on the Japanese steamer "Montevideo Maru" which was torpedoed off Luzon, 1 July 1942.

AWM 54, 417/1/4
From AWM 54, 417/1/4 (500Kb PDF file). [Prisoners of War and Internees:] Reports from 1 Australian POWs Contact and Enquiry Unit [Includes: missing RAN personnel; Fukuoka, Yokakama, Hokkaido, Konan PW Camps; crashed aircraft in Talaud Sangihe Group; missing Allied PWs, Ambon, Bunka Camp; destruction of records; and Montevideo Maru] (Sep-Nov 1945)

Telegram from Wing Commander Scott at Laha, Ambon.

Message sent to A.C.H Darwin by Wing Commander Scott at Laha, describing some of the events after the Japanese landing on Ambon island.

AWM 54, 573/6/8
From AWM 54, 573/6/8 (160Kb PDF file) [Ambon (1941-1942) - (Gull Force) - Reports:] Reports from Gull Force to General Sir Archibald Wavell re fall of Ambonia to Japanese - Reports on bombing raid on Ambon by Japanese, 7 Jan 1942

Map used to evade Japanese after they landed at Rabaul.

Map used by Signaller Dan Thompson and four colleagues to evade the Japanese at Rabaul. The map was removed by Thompson from his copy of the Official handbook of the Territory of New Guinea administered by the Commonwealth of Australia under mandate from the Council of the League of Nations (1937). Thompson, when the time came for him and his colleagues to close the wireless station and retreat, took his copy of the book and a few other small items in a haversack. Later, because the book was heavy, he removed the map from it. Signaller Thompson explained that the map was used by the group to get their bearings, give them an idea of topography, and to indicate the names and shapes of bays and inlets. The fold lines and the stains on the map show it has had hard usage.

, housed in the Map collection. (300Kb PDF file)