Australian prisoners of war: Second World War - Prisoners of the Japanese, Prison ships

Nominal rolls

Don Wall, Heroes at sea (Mona Vale, NS.W. : the author, 1991) Includes lists of those who died when ships were sunk

Montevideo Maru

  • List of persons reported missing now lost at sea. AWM127 3 pp. 309-312
  • Nominal Roll of Civilians, in Rabaul Internment Camp, at the end of May 1942 most of whom it is believed, were moved from Rabaul in the ship "Monte Video Maru" during June 1942. AWM54 1010/9/78
  • MONTEVIDEO MARU - List of passengers believed to have left New Britain on above ship, compiled by A Creswick and G Thomas, recovered Prisoners of War. AWM54 1010/1/30
  • Nominal roll of 17 Anti-Tank Battery (indicating those assumed to have been on the Montevideo Maru). AWM54 779/1/26A& 26B
  • Montevideo Maru: list of prisoners of war and civilian internees on board, National Archives of Australia
  • Montevideo Maru Roll, Australian Army History Unit

Rakuyo Maru



  • List of prisoners of war reported missing with the loss of Rakuyo Maru. AWM124 4/444
  • List of those who died. AWM127 3 pp102-119        

Tamahoko Maru

  • List of survivors. AWM127 1 pp99-101
  • Japanese death certificates. AWM 127 69
  •  Copy of nominal roll of survivors and casualties of sinking of POW transport "Tamahoko Maru" on 24 June 1944. PR86/337

Experiences of prisoners on the ships

Montevideo Maru


  • Anne McCosker, Masked Eden : a history of the Australian in New Guinea (Maleny, Qld: Matala Press, 1998) Chapter 13, pp.262-289
  • Margaret Reeson, Whereabouts unknown (Sutherland, N.S.W.: Albatross Books, 1993)
  • Margaret Reeson, A very long war : the families who waited (Melbourne, Vic: Melbourne University Press, 2000)
  • Peter Stone, Hostages to freedom: the fall of Rabaul (Yarram, Vic: Ocean Enterprises, 1995)  Pages 272-276

Official records

  • American and Japanese accounts of the sinking of MONTEVIDEO MARU by USS STURGEON while carrying Allied POW's from Rabaul to Hainan, July 1942. Includes nominal roll of 17 Anti-Tank Battery. AWM54 779/1/26A & 26B
  • Report on investigations in Manila and Japan regarding Prisoners of War and civilians, by Maj H.S. Williams LO 1 Australian PW Contact and Enquiry Unit (Includes investigation of the sinking of MONTEVIDEO MARU). AWM54 779/1/1/ also in AWM54 779/1/15. 

Rakuyo Maru

Official records

  • [War Crimes and Trials - Investigation of Atrocities:] Sinking of Japanese Ship "RAKUYO MARU" - Report by Australian and British Prisoners of War, recovered by American Submarines. Brief notes of events in Japanese Occupied areas from 1942-1944. AWM54 1010/9/109
  • Brief stories told by Prisoners of War rescued by USA submarines from a Japanese transport torpedoed on 12 September 1944 in the South China Sea ("RAKUYO MARU") Together with a statement by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Rt Hon John Curtin. AWM54 779/10/3

Private records

  • Jack Wilfred Turner. Description of being torpedoed en route to Japan on board `Rakuyo Maru', being rescued by American submarine, and return to Australia. PR00651
  • John Flynn (Sergeant, 105th Transport Coy AIF, POW). Survival at sea for 6 days following the sinking of the transport "Rakuyo Maru". SGT Flynn was rescued by the US submarine "Barb" and returned to Australian in October 1944. PR88/110