The Japanese have been portrayed as merciless in their treatment of Military POW's and civilians so it is not unusual that they treated Merchant Navy/Mariners any different. Their atrocities just kept on coming throughout the war. From: American Merchant Marine in World War 2 The Massacre of the SS Jean Nicolet The Liberty ship SS Jean Nicolet was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on July 2, 1944, off Ceylon (Sri Lanka). She had a 41-man crew, plus 28 Armed Guard, 30 passengers and an Army medic. All survived the explosion. They were taken aboard the sub and their lifeboats and rafts were sunk. With their hands tied behind their backs they were forced to sit on deck. Japanese sailors massacred many with bayonets and rifle butts. Thirty survivors were still on deck with their hands tied when a British plane appeared. The sub crash-dived, washing the survivors into the sea. Only 23 were rescued. Another report on this atrocity! from: More Maritime Disasters of WWII 1944, 1945 SS JEAN NICOLET (July 2, 1944) Liberty ship, torpedoed and then shelled and set on fire off Ceylon by the Japanese submarine I-8. On board were 41 crew plus 28 US Armed Guards and 31 passengers. All were taken on board the submarine and with hands tied behind their backs, were forced to sit on deck while the Japanese sailors systematically killed most of them with bayonets and spanners used as clubs. With the last 30 survivors still on deck the submarine crashed dived when an enemy plane was spotted. The 30 survivors were left struggling in the water. A few managed to swim back to the burning hulk of the Jean Nicolet and launched a raft before the ship sank. Luckily, 23 of them survived to be picked up by the Indian Navy trawler 'Hoxa'. The I-8s captain ordered that three survivors be retained as POWs. Sadly, only one survived the war.