I am indebted to Ian McLelland for supplying the information below about my Grandfather, Eric Walter Hare and his experience of being repatriated in WW2.
The first – and what became the only – Anglo-Japanese civilian exchange was held at Lourenço Marques in September 1942. On this occasion, around 1,800 Japanese were exchanged for a similar number of Allied government officials and civilians. Among those exchanged were 833 Japanese officials and civilians, including men, women and children, transferred from Australia. The overwhelming majority of the repatriates from Australia had been interned in Australia on behalf of other governments.
In 1942 the British and Japanese governments organised a prisoner exchange via the Portuguese East African port of Laurenco Marques.
One of the press clippings names E W Hare as one of those internees that was repatriated. (In this he was immensely fortunate as this was the only exchange of the war as far as the British/Japanese were concerned at least.)
The ship that brought him back was the NYK liner Tatatu Maru, which was spotted by an American submarine SS Kingfisher) that took a photo of the ship through the periscope, but didn’t attack because it was wearing colours identifying itself as a repatriation ship. I have attached this as well.
The majority of the British internees transferred to ships sailing for the UK, however some trying to return to India, Australia and NZ took months to get back as no formal arrangements had been made for them.
There is a book called ‘Lifeline Across the Sea’ by David J Williams which has a short chapter on this voyage.
Documents state that he arrived in Avonmouth from Sydney on the 28/9/1944, long before the Japanese surrender and that he was resident in Australia.
He then sailed out to New York on his way to Manila, Philippines on the 2/4/1945. The latter is certainly correct as Manila had just been liberated by US Forces.
This ties in with the electoral roll for Sydney in 1943 in which Eric Hare is listed .
Below is Petty’s Hotel, Sydney where he was living.