A new monument was installed at Veterans Memorial Park in Riverton this afternoon dedicated to the POWs killed in World War II on the Japanese freighter ship, Arisan Maru on Oct. 24th, 1944.
The Arisan Maru was carrying 18,000 POWs from the Phillipines, many U.S. soldiers. The ship was not marked properly so that enemy ships would not fire because of POWs on board. The USS Shark, an American submarine, torpedoed the Arisan Maru killing everyone on board with only 6 survivors. Out of those killed, 9 were Wyoming soldiers.
The USS Shark was then torpedoed by a Japanese Destroyer killing the entire crew.
Veteran, Ed McAuslan came up with the idea for the monument while searching Wyoming casualties in the 2nd World War. He took the idea to Drew Bott of Bott Monument and together they designed the monument being installed today. It stands 9 feet tall and 7 feet wide. The front is dedicated to the POW soldiers on the Arisan Maru and the back to the crew of the USS Shark.
Huge cranes were used to lift the monument into position. It was quite a process. If you haven’t been to Veterans Memorial Park, it is a beautiful little piece of Riverton, especially now with this beautiful monument. Take a moment out of your day and visit it for yourself.
The monument was paid for by the American Legion Post 19 in Riverton.
There will be a special dedication of the monument on October 24th, the 75th Anniversary of the sinking of the Arisan Maru.
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