SS Montevideo Maru shipwreck found 81 years later

Izzy Lee, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2023 05:55 PM

In what has been hailed as a major breakthrough, the SS Montevideo Maru which had been lost for 81 years, has finally been found northwest of the Philippines' Luzon island.

The SS Montevideo Maru was used by the Japanese as a prisoner transport ship during World War II. 

It has been reported missing since World War II after it was torpedoed and sunk by a US submarine on July 1, 1942, while carrying over 1,000 prisoners of war.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took to Twitter to express his gratitude to those who contributed to the search and discovery saying, "At long last, the resting place of the lost souls of the Montevideo Maru has been found. We hope today's news brings a measure and comfort to loved ones who kept a long vigil."

“Among the 1,060 prisoners on board were 850 Australian service members – their lives cut short,” he added.

The sinking of the ship became Australia's worst maritime disaster, and for many years the final resting place of the lost souls remained a mystery.

The discovery is a significant moment in Australia's history providing a closure on a painful chapter that affected many families.

The Philippine Coast Guard has no information yet about the discovery. 

ABS-CBN News is still trying to reach out to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for comment.