"Exchange Ship" by Max Hill

Submitted by Admin on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 12:38

From Google: "The author, an Associated press correspondent, relates his experiences as a war prisoner in Japan, and as a passenger on an exchange ship."

Laura Ziegler Darnell has kindly typed up an extract that appeared in Liberty Magazine. The Americans who were re-patriated from Stanley in 1942 were on the same ship as Max Hill, and experienced the events described here.

Sample pages

The Indian Ocean finally ran out of water for us to cross. We were so far south of the equator it was early spring, not summer. Lightweight suits were comfortable again. Just after dawn on the morning of July 23, a Portuguese pilot came aboard to guide us into Lourenco Marques harbor, where we were to be transferred to the Gripsholm for the rest of our journey home. The Gripsholm, which had brought the Japanese who were to be exchanged for us, was already there.

The actual exchange of…

The Asama was far out in the Indian Ocean, a day’s voyage ahead of us, before the Gripsholm sailed on July 29 for Rio de Janeiro, almost two weeks away across the South Atlantic Ocean. The harbor and Delagoa Bay were still crowded with freighters and tankers of the United Nations, some newly arrived, and others which had been waiting for a week for us to get out of the way.

The old intimacy of the Asama was gone. We had been lifted out of the hardships of our equivalent of a back-…

Eighteen thousand miles of travel, three continents and four oceans were behind us early the morning of August 25, when we arrived in the Lower Bay off New York. The fourth continent, North America, was so close we would be able to see the shore lights in a short time. We had crossed the equator twice. It was summer when we left Yokohama. Then we drooped in the heat of the tropics. After that we enjoyed the mild weather of Lourenco Marques, followed by cold around the Cape of Good Hope. It…