IJN Destroyers recues of  Pope / Encounter survivors

January 27, 2013

Hi there Mac!

I am going strong on my Guadalcanal/Tanaka Presentation, however there are a couple of details that I want to resolve that you may be able to help me with.

I have the story of LCDR Shunsaku Kudo's rescue of 'Pope'/'Encounter' survivors pretty much tied up, but the stories about other IJN Destroyer skippers rescuing Allied seamen seem to be not quite so clear cut!

March 1/3 1942. LCDR Hajime Takeuchi 'Inazuma' reportedly picked up 376 men from 'Exeter' & 'Encounter' -  then returned next day to pick up a further 151! FANTASTIC STUFF!  Is this story absolutely true? There seems to be a mixup with the Kudo's rescue of 'Encounter' people. The numbers also seem to to be rather large. not to have been more  widely reported!

In the same 48 hour period, LCDR Kazuo Wakabayashi 'Kawakaze' picked up another 35 people. Apparently all the  people picked up were treated with the utmost care and respect (which the IJN 'Big Brass' quickly put a stop to!)

My real problem is that somewhere in all this rescue work 'Perth' survivors were picked up by what seems to have been the same Destroyers! Hard to find any documentation! You'd think that any mention of the sinking of 'Perth' would mention this stuff!

The whole of these rescue stories is well worth documenting and publishing, but it also needs to be accurate!..Can you help me  clear things up?

Do you know any 'Perth' men who were involved, who can help me shed more light on these events?

Can you help me sort this stuff out please?

Kind regards 
Mike Dunne


It is difficult to name the IJN destroyers that rescued Exeter and Encounter crews.

Here is a note about the rescue:

See this URL: http://www.pows-of-Japan.net/articles/61.htm 

Some 400 survivors of EXETER were picked up after about one hour in the water by two Japanese destroyers, which then left the scene of the action on an Easterly course The remaining survivors were indeed fortunate to be picked up after about 24 hours in the water by a Japanese destroyer working in company with a cruiser or cruisers, the majority of survivors being subsequently transferred to the Dutch hospital ship OP-TEN-NOORT, then in Japanese hands.

Three days later this ship proceeded to Macassar where all prisoners on board her were transferred on loth March to the Dutch military barracks which had been turned into a P.O.W. Camp.

Regarding Perth, two of my 1936 RAN college entry were Sub Lieutenants in Perth, Jack Lester died in the battle, Norman White survived, was a POW and only recently died in Sydney.



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