Old Glox’ Ghost
By Capt. GW Mortimer
(The Compass Magazine Sept/Oct 1969)
Submitted by TASC Member George Wade
‘So you’re not superstitious – you don’t believe in ghosts’
Neither did the master of the Steamship Gloxinia.
Until I served in the old Gloxinia I was strongly opposed to any opinions that supported beliefs in ghosts and supernatural apparitions, spirits, and the restless dead. When I left that ship, I had an open mind on the subject and now will listen with some sympathy to narratives of experience with unearthly forces. Sailors as a group tend toward easy acceptance of superstition and belief in the hyperphysical. It has been written that ignorant people in general tend to these beliefs naturally, the supposition being that the educated mind can provide reason and explanation for most occurrences within the bounds of live agency.
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By David Sibley
(From SHIPPING Today and Yesterday)
IN SEPTEMBER, 1947, a British Military Court war crimes trial was held in Hong Kong in to the execution of crew members and passengers of the British cargo ship Behar, 7,840grt, owned by the Hain Steamship Co., a subsidiary of the P. & 0.Steam Navigation Co. The Behar had been sunk on Mar. 9, 1944, by the Japanese heavy cruiser Tone, under the command of Captain Mayazumi.
The cruiser was part of the Japanese 16th Squadron of the South West Area Fleet under the command of Vice-Admiral Sakonju, who flew his flag in the cruiser Aoba.
At the trial, Vice-Admiral Sakonju was charged with giving the order to execute the approximately 65 prisoners, and Captain Mayazumi was charged with carrying out that order. However, the owners stated to the court the official figure was 72.
The Japanese South West Area Fleet headquarters was located at Penang and at a conference held in February, 1944, it was decided that Allied shipping was to be attacked in the Indian Ocean with a view to disrupting the Allied supply routes.
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