Montevideo Maru: wreck of ship sunk in Australia’s worst maritime disaster found after 80 years

The wreck of a ship caught up in Australia’s worst ever maritime disaster has been found 4,000 metres under the sea, 80 years after it was torpedoed by an American submarine.

The Montevideo Maru, discovered off the coast of the Philippines, sank with about 980 Australian troops and civilians on board – almost twice as many Australians killed than during the Vietnam war.

The USS Sturgeon torpedoed the Japanese transport ship on 1 July 1942 during the second world war, not knowing it was carrying prisoners of war and captured civilians.

About 1,060 prisoners died when it sank, with those on board ranging from a 15-year-old boy to men in their 60s.

The prisoners had been captured in the fall of Rabaul , then in the Australian Mandated Territory of New Guinea and now in Papua New Guinea, months earlier.

A team set out on an expedition to find the wreck in the South China Sea, north-west of Luzon, on 6 April this year and discovered it after 12 days, with help from state-of-the-art…

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This article was written by Australian Associated Press and originally published on