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another candidate

June 24 2015 at 5:40 PM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to two WHY questions

Kevin (et alia),

Want you to read this posting with care and after doing so, give it thoughtful consideration, absent all previous predilections. While you await sufficient time to respond, enjoy your visit with your son (where does he live in the US of A?).

Until you provide compelling evidence that such suppositions do not have credence, I shall continue to believe that (1) at least two Japanese DDs that took part in Second Java Sea must remain candidates for the culprit in the Augustina massacre, and (2) the bombing that Augustina’s master could not quite see beyond the horizon to the south had to be that of USS Pope (my basis is the time of day and the two basic types of IJN aircraft carrying out the attack). I shall consider any evidence or hypothesis to the contrary you have with the same due consideration I request of you.

“Wait a minute,” you ask, “what two Japanese DDs that participated in Second Java Sea? I thought you were focusing in only on Akebono?”

Let’s consider the rescue efforts post-battle:

March 1, 1942: Still on the scene, Inazuma picks up or acquires 376 British survivors and Kawakaze picks up 35 survivors. CA Nachi, either by direct pick-up or transfer, obtains 90 British survivors (and read below).

March 2, 1942: Ikazuchi arrives on the scene and picks up 400+ British survivors, including those from Encounter.

March 3, 1942: Inazuma returns to the general area and rescues the 151 survivors from Pope.

Now from Nachi’s TROM this final entry for March 1, 1942: “Nachi and Haguro depart the area. Nachi has over 90 Allied naval POWs aboard. These are eventually transfered to destroyer Yamakaze before being put ashore at Makassar.” [warship italics mine]

The qualifier eventually is the key here. We don’t know what Yamakaze was doing, or what mischief she may have got into, before taking on the 90 survivors, and then, under strict orders, carrying them to Makassar. So, I say two candidates from Second Java Sea: Akebono and Yamakaze. Again, I stress that the word candidate hardly translates to guilt.

Your evidence to the contrary may blow my supposition out of the water and force me to concede we’re back to Square One. But I need to know what that specific evidence is.

And a closing note to ALL readers: This compelling mystery arose in the forum in early 2008, and was resurrected by Tom Womack six years later. In the nearly 70 years since the end of WWII, most of the commanding officers, junior officers, and/or NCOs carrying out or directing the many atrocities in the Pacific and CBI Theaters have been identified after diligent investigation, as have the formations, units, and ships involved in same. The Augustina massacre was by any definition a terrible atrocity. So, WHY the difficulty during these many years since in identifying the culprit (the ship and her C.O.)?


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  • Way forward - Nuyt on Jul 9, 2015, 4:31 PM
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