Ex-POW Ron Leamon (a COFEPOW Associate Member) was in the RAF during the War and spent most of his 3½ years captivity on Ambon at the Liang POW Camp.
He was then moved to a small POW Camp at Moona, a very remote area in the Celebes and when peace was declared, he and a few others made their way in a small boat sailing around the many small surrounding islands towards the incoming Allied troops. About two weeks later they were picked up at Maccasa in the Celebes by HMS Maidstone.
It is reported that HMS Maidstone was the first British ship to enter Hong Kong harbour at the end of the War to pick up surviving POWs.
After leaving Hong Kong she sailed down past the Philippines and stopped at Maccasa to pick up more POWs. She then went on to Freemantle in Australia where Ron remembers they were given a tremendous welcome.
Most of those on board were Navy POW survivors from HMS Exeter but Army and RAF prisoners were also on board including Ron Leamon.
After leaving Freemantle she went on to Sydney and then headed for home.
The following photographs were taken on the day HMS Maidstone arrived at Freemantle.