Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour


Don Isidro

Gutted by fire and raked by machine gun bullets, the Don Isidro was wrecked on the west coast of Bathurst Island.

Acapito Masankay was a pantryman on the Don Isidro. The Don Isidro was built in 1939 at Krupp Germania, Kiel for the De la Rama Steamship Company, Manila. It was 3261 gross tons in weight. In 1941 it was under contract to the US Army.

The Don Isidro left Brisbane on 27 January for Corregidor via South Australia. It stopped at Fremantle for engine repairs on 3 February. It left the following day, heading for Batavia. It arrived at Sourabaya, on 9 February, and departed 13 hours later.

On 18 February 1942, at noon, about 80 miles north of Wessel Island, an enemy bomber attacked the ship twice without damage. Captain Cisnero then changed course for Darwin.

On 19 February 1942, at about 9.15 am 25 miles north of Bathurst Island, seven fighter planes strafed the Don Isidro. Despite the defensive fire of the American army unit on board, all the life boats and rafts were destroyed and several members of the crew were wounded.

At about 1.30 pm a Japanese Float plane dropped two bombs which missed the Don Isidro. Some time later, nine dive bombers set the ship on fire. The ship drifted ashore at Bathurst Island, still burning, on 20 February.

Eleven crewmen died, and Lieutenant Kane of the 453d Ordnance Company was  severely wounded. He later died of gangrene in Darwin.

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