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113' x 25
Martin Clemens c1939
On August 7, 1942 at 10:34am local time this vessel was spotted by Japanese submarine RO-33 and chased. By 11:00am, halfway across the Gulf of Papua at roughly 9° 11' S, 144° 12'E the submarine was spotted and the ship's wireless operator R. J. Furbank sent a Morse code message to Port Moresby to advise of the submarine's presence.
RO-33 closed at about 19 knots and began shelling with the deck gun. The first shot hit the radio room and killed Furbank. The second shot hit the bridge killing Captain J. McEachern and others hit the hull, killing and wounding the passengers and leaving the ship sinking.
Wartime accounts claim RO-33's captain Kuriyama ordered his crew to machine gun the survivors. Yet, the account of the sole survivor and Japanese sources dispute this claim, rather the submarine used only the deck gun.
A B-17 Flying Fortress located survivors and dropped life rafts to them. During the morning of August 8, 1942 S23 "Calypso" A18-11 attempted to land to rescue the survivors but is damaged landing in heavy seas and sank, killing one of the crew.Fates of the Crew
Only 28 survived the sinking. One survivor was Bill Griffin. Twenty-seven survived by drifting to the coast of New Guinea on the life rafts. One person was rescued by a RAAF aircraft.
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