The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Cross
First Name:
Frederick Victor
Nick Name:
Vic
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX7268
Company:
‘B’ Company, No. 8 Platoon
Enlisted:
1.08.1940
Discharged:
14.07.1945
DOB:
7.05.1905
Place of Birth:
Mt Magnet, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Thomas Henry Cross
Mothers's Name:
Emma Cross (nee Hall)
Religion:
Wesleyan
Pre-war Occupation:
Miner (Wiluna)
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, River Valley Road
Camps Burma:
Tavoy, Moulmein, Kendau, Thetkaw, Meiloe, Aungganaung
POW#:
1529
Japan:
Rakuyo Maru Party (rescued by USS Queenfish)
Return Details 1945:
Saipan-Brisbane-Perth 3.11.1944

General Description

Cross was a lucky man!

Vic Cross was selected in Singapore to work on the Burma end of the Railway with ‘A’ Force Green Force No. 3 Battalion.

Please read further

He survived working at the Burma end of the Railway and was evacuated with all the POWs in Burma to several large camps in Thailand.  Vic went to Tamarkan Camp where after a few months the Japanese decided he was one of many ‘fit’ POWs and would sail to work in Japan.  From the time of selection 27 March 1944, to the date they sailed out of Singapore in early September 1944 took many months.  The men were firstly sent by train to French Indo-China to wait for a suitable ship to Japan.  They worked on and around the docks of Saigon for several months before the Japanese decided the American blockade of the waters around Saigon were too dangerous to send ships to Japan.

The men were put back on trains to return to Singapore via Bangkok.  They were accommodated at River Valley Road Transit Camp and worked for several months around the docks and other locations before finally boarding the ‘Rakuyo Maru’ about 5th September 1944.

He survived the sinking of ‘Rakuyo Maru’ in the South China Sea, Vic survived 3-4 days on a raft and miraculously he survived long enough and with only a few other survivors was picked up by USS ‘Queenfish’. He was taken to Saipan and on 25/10/1944 flew to Guam, Los Negros, Queensland and arrived in Perth 3/11/1944.

Read the story Members of 2/4th nominated for Medal but not awarded.

And the story Surviving the Sinking of the Rakuyo Maru written by Roy Cornford NX44955 of the 2/19th Battalion, courtesy of Peter Winstanley.

Vic Cross was on a raft with Phil Beilby WX12765.

Vic was emplaned Saipan 25 Oct 1944 and arrived Los Negros via Guam 26 October 1944.  He left Los Negros (Admiralty Islands) and arrived Queensland 28 October 1944.

Vic arrived home in Perth on 3 November 1944.  The most difficult times for these survivors was they were sworn to secrecy by the Australian military;  however families of men in 2/4th learnt of their arrival back in Perth – would plead for information of their loved ones.

The Rakuyo Maru story

 

Vic and Percy Cross.

Vic Cross was one of 5 children born to Thomas Henry Cross and Emma Hall. They had married  in 1901 at Morning Star Mine (about 3.5 miles north of Mt Magnet).  Thomas was working as a miner and it appears several of his brothers were also living there.

There were 4 daughters and Vic was second son.  Other than than first child Percy who was born in Geraldton, the other four children were born at Mt. Magnet.

Vic married Myrtle Tamblyn in 1933 at Wiluna.   The couple initially lived at Wiluna where  Vic was employed as a miner.

After the war the couple resided Riley Street, Tuart Hill.   Vic was employed as a truck driver.  They had one son, Peter.

Vic died in 1974 in Perth and Myrtle in 1970.

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
  • Saigon - French Indo China
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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