Australian Embassy

Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown was Chief Engineer Officer [Australian Merchant Navy] on the S.S. Nankin. He was 58 and the husband of Mary Brown of St. Leonards, New South Wales.

The S.S. Nankin, a 6,853 GRT steam passenger / cargo ship, was attacked by German raider Thor on 10 May 1942. The Captain of Nankin ordered the ship to be abandoned and an attempt was made to scuttle her, but he was not successful and a boarding party managed to repair her. She was taken as a prize and renamed Leuthen and sent to Japanese-held ports. She was blown up with two other ships on 30 November 1942 whilst in Yokohama harbour during a bunkering operation, possibly an act of sabotage.

Thomas was interned as a prisoner of war at Fukushima, and died of pneumonia on 11 December 1943 aged 58 years. He was one of eight Australian prisoners of war from the Nankin who died in captivity at Fukushima.