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Capture of SS Marie Moller 1941

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by Tony Whittaker, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Tony Whittaker

    Tony Whittaker New Member

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    I know that SS Marie Moller was a twin-screw salvage vessel registered in Shanghai, and captured by the Japanese off Ningpo on the day that UK declared war on Japan.

    I have been unable to find any reference to what happened to the crew. All I know is that my wife's great-uncle Ernest Richard Crafter, RNR engineer, was among the crew, and died in the County Hospital in Shanghai in July 1943. He was awarded the DSC in WW1 and had been on Royal Naval drifters, and was also captured by the Germans and imprisoned back then! He is buried in Shanghai.

    So if he was in a Japanese prison, why was he given the possibility of hospital treatment? Or was the hospital essentially a POW camp? Any ideas of where to look for more details? I understand that Shanghai had a curious status, since although occupied, there were extra-territorial foreign concessions in the city, which provided some level of independence and protection for foreigners.

    Grateful thanks
     
  2. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ....these were Merchant Marine civilians? from my readings, if a POW/civilian/etc was in critical/bad condition, they would, take him to a hospital [ if available ] which most certainly would have the better facilities/care than a POW camp
    ..for your ''normal'' everyday health problems, they would not need to go to a hospital
    ...with the POWs in the Philippines, so many died ''so fast'' --as the Japanese did not have the facilities/manpower/planning/etc to take care of those POWS
    ...and this was in China? I would think they had fewer western, military POWs to deal with = better/more facilities--easier to deal with than say like the Philippine military POWs
    .

    was it the County or Country Hospital?
    Huadong Hospital - Wikipedia

    looks like they had many hospitals [ as stated above, more facilities/etc ]
    List of Christian hospitals in China - Wikipedia
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    There were no POW camps in Shanghai at the time, so POWs, civilian & military, were sent to Hongchew, Kiang Wang and Woosung internment camps.
     
  4. Tony Whittaker

    Tony Whittaker New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. It was, by the way, definitely County Hospital according to the attached certificate. Thanks Takao for suggesting internment camps where he might have been. I am guessing that as he was RNR on a civilian boat, he would possibly receive more favourable treatment if he could convincely present himself as a civilian. His age - 63 at capture - might have also enabled more favourable treatment.

    The incident may be closely associated with the attack on HMS Peterel documented here: HMS Peterel (1927) - Wikipedia which shows crew as sent to those three camps.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019

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