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07 July 2011

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My uncle Rev. Dr. James Gerard Hennessy perished on the Montevideo, Maru. Father Jim as we have always called him. Was originally from Concord, Massachusetts, USA. He was a Roman Catholic Missionary on Buka Island off Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. He was seized by the Japanese for helping the Australian Military. I enjoyed reading the post of the 12 year old boy's eyewitness account. I have a booklet written by an American Cardinal Richard Cushing (who was a friend of my uncle) entitled "Where is Father Hennessy? Now we have the Answer". It features a a letter written on 15-10-45 by an Australian priest on Rabaul who witnessed my uncle boarding the Montevideo Maru on approximately June 22, 1942 at about 6 or 7 am. The priest was Rev. V.S. Turner, S.J. (a Jesuit Catholic Priest), whose address on the letter said Chaplain, Manresa, Hawthorn, Victoria Australia. I hope this helps to know about another eyewitness.

My age is 75 and I am proud to be a Life Member of the Rabaul & Montevideo Maru Association.

My late father, Stewart G. Nottage was one of the officers captured in Rabaul. He was a member of the small garrison posted there.

To my knowledge he and the late Lt Kenneth Robertson were the only two of the SX numbers [South Australkian troops] to return to Adelaide in late September 1945 and were quite unaware until late October 1945 that their young men were drowned in the hold of the Montevideo Maru when the then government in Australia released the names of the deceased.

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