LIFE VEST FROM JAPANESE ‘HELL SHIP’

History of Sorts

46.-NIOD-180404

The Nitimei Maru, a Japanese troop ship with around 1,000 Dutch prisoners of war and 1562 Japanese soldiers aboard, departed from Singapore on 29 December 1942.

The prisoners of war were being taken to work on the Burma Railway.

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The Nitimei Maru was just one of many ‘hell ships’, given this name because of the deplorable conditions on board and the frequent beatings by the guards. American planes bombed the ship on 15 January 1943.

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Thirty-eight Dutch prisoners of war were killed. This Japanese life vest, a tangible reminder of that disaster, saved the life of a Mr A.B. Kresmer.

Below is the list of the victims.

Last NamesFirst NamesDate of BirthPlace of BirthPlace of Death
van den BergWilhelmus09-12-1914UtrechtGulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
BerkeveldWillem20-03-1919DjombangGulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
van den BiesheuvelAnthony Adrianus04-05-1914RotterdamGulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei…

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