The Fall of Rabaul 
Peter Stone

For full details: HOSTAGES TO FREEDOM - The Fall of Rabaul.

Since the first printing of Hostages to Freedom - The Fall of Rabaul in 1995, and its reprint in 2000, and again in 2006, the author has received a wealth of further information from those interested and/or involved in events concerning Rabaul during the Pacific War. For this he is most grateful, as the story of Rabaul is a continuing one. Please feel free to contact Peter Stone with further imformation or comment.

For those of you who have the book, you may be interested in some of the material recently received. The website should have been created years ago and thus it will take some time to add further info. But at least we have made a start. Some of the information has been updated (corrected) in the second printing, as is indicated by [Reprint 1999]. It should also be mentioned that the second printing corrected many (but not all) of the annoying typos that seem to sneak by.

DOCKETTY, not Dockerty. 
One of the British POWs mentioned (on several pages) is Frank J. Docketty. This has been listed as Dockerty. Names are very important, and I am grateful to his son Colin Docketty for bringing this to my attention. 

DATE ERROR - Page 39.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000]. 
Seventh line from bottom - date of 4 January 1994 should read 4 January 1942. 

NAME - page 81.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000]. 
Eighth line from bottom - Cpl. H. Holmes. (initial missing in first edition). 

DATE ERROR - page 96.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000]. 
Colonel Kusunose died 17 December 1945, not 1946. 

PHOTO CAPTION - page 105.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000]. 
The trek made by Private Bill harry was 80 kilometres, not 140 kilometres. 

Re CAPTAIN J.T.McCALLUM - page 107.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000]. 
Second last paragraph - it is recorded that Captain J.T. McCallum was on the Lakatoi, escaping ffrom New Britain in March 1942. This was not so - he was a prisoner of war of the Japanese at the time and is seen in the photo on page 274 taken in Japan. This unfortunate error was picked up by the author immediately after the first edition had been printed. I contacted the relatives of Captain McCallum with an apology - they confirmed that he had been a POW. I made the error by accepting a copy of a diary purported to have been written by a Captain John McCallum. It had been in the files of Frank Holland who featured in the rescue of several men from the south coast. The diary is clearly labelled as those of John McCallum, but could not possibly have been - and I checked that there were not two John McCallums in Lark Force - but, he could have been a civilian!!. Anyway, it should have been picked up in the editing. The reprint merely states "a diary entry", as the author is unknown. 

DATE - page 214.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000]. 
In the first paragraph of the first printing, I state that Rabaul was being bombed right up to the surrender in September 1945. In the second I changed it to August 1945, when the Japanese actually surrendered. It was in September that the surrender was accepted in New Britain - I doubt if Rabaul would have been bombed after the actual surrender in Japan. It is a small, but relevant, point. 

PHOTO CAPTION - page 268.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000]. 
The photo at right is that of  Lt. J.H. ‘Jim' MacGregor Dowsett, who later became ‘officer-in-charge' of the Chinese resettlement in Rabaul, not Captain A.A. Roberts as indicated in the original printing. 

Page 275. Third paragraph. (Corrected in Third Edition, 2006)
The announcement by Minister Ward was made during a Parliamentary debate on 5 October 1945. (The incorrect date shown as July 1942 was in fact the date of the loss of the Montevideo Maru). 
The Australian government was not aware of the loss of the Montevideo Maru until after the surrender. 
Ref: (Victoria) State Library,  Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Debates, Book Number LT 328.9402. 
The following has been added to the third edition:

JOSEPH ROCCA - Page 278   (Correction in Third reprint, 2006)
I mention that Joseph Rocca was tried and hung after the war. I now do not believe this was so. Several people contacted me about this but none were convincing enough to change the information until a gentleman rang from Queensland who is friendly with the Rocca family, He stated that Joseph Rocca survived the war and died possibly of pneumonia sometime in the 1950s. The author's evidence that he had been hung came from New Guinea 1942-1944 by Timothy Hall, Methuen Australia Pty Ltd, 1981. 

PHOTO CAPTION - page 282.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000] 
Middle row: Irene Chan is holding Jeffrey Chan, not Francis Chan. 

PHOTO IDENTIFICATION - page 283.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000] 
As there were two 'Mows' in Rabaul prior to the arrival of the Japanese, there was some confusion, to say the least, in providing a positibe identification of those in the photograph, even amongst through from the Chinese community. I am indebted to Charles Yip in Sydney for the correct caption, as follows: 
This memorable photograph, taken in the late 1930s, was incorrectly captioned when  published in the first printing of this volume. Originally it stated that the man seated at front with the children was Mo Pui Sam, the Methodist reverend. This is not so. The man is Thomas Mow, a teacher, known as Mow Sin Sung, ie teacher Mow. He arrived in Rabaul in 1934 to teach at the Overseas Chinese School run by the Methodists. His son Paul, now living in Sydney, was one of the first Chinese boys to attend secondary school in Australia, where he continued on to University earning a Batchelor of Economics degree before returning to Rabaul. Europeans did not welcome an educated Chinese in Rabaul, so Paul moved on to the USA where he obtained a Masters degree. He returned to Rabaul but being over-qualified, ‘bowed to the inevitable' and opened a trade store. 
Others identified include: 
Lam Tung Hung, known as Tom Hung, (rear far left), 
Seeto Wing Cheong (standing second from left), 
Hui Ping Kim (far right), 
Chee Kwan Tai (lady, standing centre, dark top), 
Chee June Hey (to the left in the photo of lady above), 
Mack Sui Yeung (to the right in the photo of Chee Kwan Tai), 
Pang Chun Sing (young boy squatting third from keft), 
Pang Chun Wai (boy squatting third from right, partially obscured). 

PHOTO IDENTIFICATION - Page 314  (Added to Third reprint, 2006)
Information provided courtesy of Don Green, Queensland. 
The prisoners of war are civilians captured relatively soon after the invasion of New Britain in January 1942. One of the civilians has been positively identified, another a possibility. 
The white civilian gentleman fourth from left (of the civilians) with the beard and balding pate is Hugh Wheatley, a mixed race (British Solomons) medical assistant, probably captured at Pondo. (Note: he is standing immediately behind the Japanese second from left.) The civilian man standing second from left of the civilians (no shirt, full face), could be Jack Beaumont was was a mechanic at Carpenters in Rabaul.(Beaumont is the uncle of Don Green). 
The other men are possibly as listed, although no name to face was provided. These men were known to have been captured and intered with Beaumont and Wheatley under the Japanese Navy. They are: A. Chauncey, surveyor; Harry Badger, chainman; W. Fitzgibbon, master plumber; Ken Sherwood, telephone mechanic; Alan Cameron, electrican engineer; Ernest Buchmann, motor mechanic; Albert Evensen*, manager of Pondo plantation; Bill Korn, manager at Pondo; a Captain Klawe, Scandinavian ship's captain. 
The mixed-race gemtleman smoking a cigarette on far right is thought to be a friend of Joseph Rocca who features in the book. 
It is suggested that the civilians at the time the photo was taken (date unknown) were captives  of the Minseiwo, the Japanese adminisstration, under the management of a Mr Morimoto. Morimoto was known not to have worn badges of rank, and could be the man squatting second from left. 
It is thought that if the Japanese are indeed Minseiwo, the photo could have been taken at their camp at Pondo. It is thought that the civilian prisoners were later transfered to Japanese Navy control in a jail in Rabaul on Malaguna Road - the photo could have been taken at the time of the "hand over", possibly sometime later in 1942. It is also surmised that these civilian POWs were later transfered to the 6th Field Kempetai, where they were later executed, possibly at Matupi, later in the war. Don Green states there is evidence to suggest that the men were alive up to about two months before the surrender (in New Britain) in September 1945. It is a fact that none of the men survived the war, and there is no evidence that they were transfered to Japan or other POW camps away from New Britain. 
* Written, incorrectly, as 'Evenson' in the third printing. 

SURRENDER DOCUMENT DATE - page 338.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000] 
The copy of the surrender document shows a date of September 1942. If only it were so. Should be 1945 of course. 

PHOTO IDENTIFICATION - page 352  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000] 
It was Johnson Seeto who married Doreen Chan, so presumably that is Johnson, not Jackson his brother, holding hands with Doreen. 

SHIP NAME - page 369.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000] 
Caption indicates Kisargel Maru - should be Kisaragi Maru. 

WORD MISSING - page 371.  [Corrrected in Reprint 2000] 
The Commonwealth Marine Salvage Board was NOT averse to making a pound or two. 

DATE INCORRECT - page 474 (Corrected in second reprint, 2000)
Last line - should read 1947, not 1945 - date of suicide of Lt.General Adachi. 

PAGE 274. 
Caption on photograph. incorrect. 
Lt. J.H. Bowering should read Lt. J.H.Bowring.