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    Malaysia (Malayan States) ¬†

Prior to WWII, British colony, with Singapore Island off the southern tip of the Malayan Peninsula, and Thailand to the north, also today the north-west portion of Borneo. During World War II, the nation was known as the "Malayan States" or "Malaya".

    Federal Territories
  Present day capital city
    Malay States
  Site of inital Japanese landing on December 8, 1941
  Bristol Brigand wreck
  Wreck of the USS Grenadier, and legacy of her POW crew
  Unidentified Allied wreck
  Japanese Sonia wreck discovered in 1995
  B-29 Wreck recently discovered
  Southern tip of Malay peninsula, wartime airfield
  Wartime airfield
  Wartime airfield
  Located in the center of the peninsual's southern coast
Johore Bahru
  Located on the southern tip of Malay
  Located on the eastern coast
   Malaysia Borneo (East Malaysia)
 State of Malaysia, spanning northern coast of Borneo
  City and airfield on the north-western coast
  City and airfield near Brunei border
 ¬†State of Malaysia spanning northeastern coast of Borneo
 Located at the northern tip of Borneo
  Japanese wartime airfield
  Japanese base assaulted by the Australians July 1, 1945.
 Japanese airfield constructed by POW labor and POW camp
 Japanese airfield constructed by POW labor and POW camp

Wartime History
On December 8, 1941, just after 12:25am (local time) Japanese forces landed at Kota Bharu. In retaliation, the British battlefiled 'Z Force' commanded by Rear Admiral Sir Tomas Phillips battleship HMS Prince of Whales and battle cruiser HMS Repulse with four Destroyers set out from Singapore to attack the Japanese expected to land on Maaysia. Sited the next day by Japanese submarine I-65. 'Z Force' made an aborted attempt to thward a report of a Japanese landing at Kuantan that proved to be false. Land based Navy bombers from the Genzan Kokutai (24 G3M), Mihoro Kokutai (33 G3M) and Kanoya Kokutai (26 G4M1 with torpedos) all took off from Saigon.

By December 9 1941, with an additional reinforcement troops, the Japanese moved into Kota Bharu town after occupying the Pengkalan Chepa airport a day earlier. The British continued their withdrawal to Kuala Krai and then to Terengganu. By 22 December 1941, the Japanese completely occupied Kelantan. Although Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on 7 December 1941, due to the time difference, the Japanese actually attacked Kota Bharu one and a half hours earlier.

Life was tough during the Japanese occupation. Besides a scarcity of necessities of life, there emerged the black markets to supply the necessities in limited quantities at unlimited prices. The currency notes issued by Japanese became worthless due to escalating rate of inflation. The notes became popular known as "banana money" because of the banana tree on the ten cent note.

 In July 1943, Japanese Prime Minister Hikeki Tojo announced that the Northern Malay States Comprising Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis to be surrendered to Thailand. This was part of the agreement sighed between the Japanese and the Thai Government at the end of December 1941. From 18 October 1943, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis were under the administration by the Thai.

After the British arrived in Malaya in 1945, they blasted away memorial stones that have been put by Japanese to remember the falling comrades in Kampar.

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Last Updated
September 18, 2017


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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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