Denis Ford Patterson, one of the captured British people onboard the Wolf

August 24, 2009

Good morning.

I have reason to believe that my Great Uncle may have been one of the captured British people onboard the Wolf/IGOTZ MENDI in WW1.

Would you have any details about passenger names please?

His name was Denis Ford Patterson and he was returning from work in Malaysia (In Plantations) when he was captured.

The story goes his mother always believed him alive - even though the news appeared not good.

Any info you have would be brilliant.

Many thanks for your time



The new book titled The Wolf  by Richard Guilliatt and Peter Hohnen and published by William Heinemann Australia 2009 at page 321 under a list of Wolf's prisoners in general, and under Hitachi Maru in particular, lists Patterson, Denis Ford.

Here is an extract from my Marauders of the Sea WW1.

On the 23rd. of September 1917, the seaplane was again assembled, hoisted out over the side, started up, to slowly bounce across the waves, trying to gain flying speed, to at last stutter into the sky and become airborne. So much was expected of Wolfchen, and, in general she delivered, a great deal of the credit for Wolf’s success and survival, flow to the two pilots who steadfastly maintained their charge and then flew her with great skill and dedication.

Within an hour, the seaplane had returned to the ship with news of a large merchant man in the vicinity of the Maldive Islands. The Japanese 6,557 ton Hitachi Maru eventually came into view, ignoring warning shots from Wolf, and her order to "Stop immediately."

A gun mounted on the stern of the Japanese ship was observed to be prepared for action, so Wolf opened fire rapidly, four salvoes crashing into her quarry, killing 14 of her seamen and injuring a further 6 more. This brought the required response, and Hitachi Maru quickly stopped, a boarding party discovered she was loaded with silk, copper, and provisions, and that a number of women were amongst her passenger list.

A prize crew was put onboard, and the major part of her crew and passengers were taken on board Wolf.

The two ships now sailed together until the 6th. of November, when Captain Nerger decided to scuttle this Japanese ship, and Wolf sailed on alone. Before this time, the seaplane which had proven so useful for scouting ahead in the general area surrounding Wolf, was declared unserviceable, all attempts had been made to repair wing damage with material taken from Matunga, but the seaplane was declared not to be airworthy, and was pulled apart and stowed below decks.


August 25, 2009

Thank you SO much - I have spent hours and hours trying to find this out for my dad - he is going to be over the moon.


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