The Japanese transport RAKUYO MARU was torpedoed and sunk by the USS QUEENFISH off the Philippines. The vessel was carrying 1317 Australian and British POW’s, including survivors of HMAS PERTH. US submarines picked up 152 of the prisoners. US Submarines GROWLER, SEALION, PAMPANITO, QUEENFISH, and BARB were involved. The remainder were lost. Stoker 2nd Class C. A. Petherbridge, RAN, was awarded the GM posthumously for gallantry following the sinking of the RAKUYO MARU. His citation read:- ‘For gallantry in saving life at sea at the cost of his own. When the ship on which he was a passenger was torpedoed, Stoker Petherbridge got away with 20 others on a raft. During the ordeal which followed, Petherbridge left this raft on several occasions, without a life belt, to go to the help of those who through physical weaknesses could not prevent themselves from slipping into the sea. The strain of this merciful work upon himself was such that he could not carry on, and during the night which followed the sinking of the ship, he himself disappeared’. The BEM for coolness and good leadership was awarded to ERA 3rd Class V. R. Duncan, who took charge of No. 2 hatch of the sinking RAKUYO MARU, which resulted in the release of prisoners battened below.
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