Kenneth Ross MITCHELL

Poppy

MITCHELL, Kenneth Ross

Service Number: NX68224
Enlisted: 12 February 1941, Paddington, New South Wales
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 19th Dental Unit
Born: Kripkraal, South Africa, 5 June 1920
Home Town: Granville, Parramatta, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Dental Technician
Died: Killed in Service (POW of Japan), South China Sea (aboard SS Montevideo Maru), 1 July 1942, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Rabaul (Bita Paka) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea
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World War 2 Service

12 Feb 1941: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Corporal, SN NX68224, 19th Dental Unit
12 Feb 1941: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Paddington, New South Wales

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Biography

"Montevideo Maru was a Japanese auxiliary ship that was sunk in World War II, resulting in the drowning of a large number of Australian prisoners of war and civilians being transported from Rabaul...

On 22 June 1942, some weeks after the fall of Rabaul to the Japanese, a large number of Australian prisoners were embarked from Rabaul's port on the SS Montevideo Maru. Unmarked as a POW ship, she was proceeding without escort to the Chinese island of Hainan, when she was sighted by the American submarine USS Sturgeon near the northern Philippine coast on 30 June.

The Sturgeon pursued, but was unable to fire, as the target was traveling at 17 knots. However, it slowed to about 12 knots at midnight; according to crewman Yoshiaki Yamaji, it was to rendezvous with an escort of two destroyers. Unaware that it was carrying Allied prisoners of war and civilians, the Sturgeon fired four torpedoes at the Montevideo Maru before dawn of 1 July, causing the vessel to sink in only 11 minutes. According to Yamaji, Australians in the water sang "Auld Lang Syne" to their trapped mates as the ship sank beneath the waves..." - READ MORE LINK (en.wikipedia.org)

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