John Abraham's story

John Abraham enlisted in January 1941 and was drafted to HMAS Manoora in May 1941.

Manoora made some trips up to New Guinea and conducted patrols near Nauru, guarding against German raiders. After HMAS Sydney was sunk in November 1941, Manoora was ordered to look for it. With no success, Manoora sailed on to Singapore.

John remembered being attacked by Japanese planes at Singapore and putting to sea along with the British battleships HM Ships Repulse and Prince of Wales. He recalled distinctly admiring the two ships and thinking, ‘Wouldn't you feel safe on one of those ships?’ They were both sunk a few days later.

John reflected on the sad fate of the troops they had delivered to Singapore, who were mostly captured by the Japanese.

One of John’s tasks was to take an old ferry up to New Guinea so it could be used to transport armoured tanks. At one time, John was stationed at Milne Bay, where he experienced Japanese air attacks.

John was discharged in November 1944 after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Last updated: 18 January 2021

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2021), John Abraham's story, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 22 January 2021,
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