Feature

Murder At ‘Kings’: The Search For The US Military-Issued Ring.

Vernon Amos said the family did not know about any of these things until he carried out an extensive research as he grew older after the death of his father.
09 Aug 2019 15:27
Murder At ‘Kings’: The Search For The US Military-Issued Ring.
Bob Amos’ World War II ring. INSET: Bob Amos’ yacht.

Bob Amos’ military records show that he was trained at Yale in Harvard, United States of America.

He was trained in electronics, radar, counterintelligence and countermeasures.

After training in these specialised fields, he was assigned to the office of the Chief Signal Officer, which was responsible for communications and information gathering.

Mr Amos was assigned to a classified unit that operated under the code name of Section 22, which reported directly to General MacArthur who was the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in the South West Pacific.

He was assigned to the Southwest Pacific Area, general headquarters, based in Brisbane, Australia.

Section 22 was a signals intelligence unit, known as SIGINT, dealing with Allied electronic reconnaissance, collecting information on Japanese radio and radar systems and providing this information to forces out in the field.

Later, Section 22 conducted commando raids tasked with destroying Japanese radar installations to protect fighter and bomber units carrying out operations.

Signals intelligence was highly classified during WW2 that these SIGINT units were assigned a further level of secrecy known as Ultra, a code given to intelligence from decoded Japanese military transmissions.

Vernon Amos said the family did not know about any of these things until he carried out an extensive research as he grew older after the death of his father.

“He never talked much about his service during the war except that he wanted to be a pilot but was unable to due to his need for spectacles. But he still managed to fly as a radar officer on attack missions,” he said.

“These aircraft were most likely B-25 Mitchell bombers which had been modified at the major Allied airbase in Townsville, Australia for ground attack.

“He was engaged in the New Guinea campaign which is probably when he got the ring and coin collection blessed by the medicine man or witchdoctor.

“It was only when I obtained copies of my father’s military records that I discovered he had been part of this special unit.”

Mr Amos said for him and his brother, his father’s US military-issued ring was more than just a piece of metal.

He said his father had gone to war in service for his country and the ring was a symbol of that service and everything else that he had worked for all his life.

“If my father could go off to war, then I think the least I can do for him is recover the ring that was given to him by the military. I’m sure that anyone else would do the same for their father,” he said.

“From research into the significance of WW2 veterans and their rings, it can be noted that this matter is taken with great seriousness by the service men and women of all the countries who were engaged in World War 2.

“There are news stories of veterans missing rings being returned to their families up to 50 or more years later and of the gratitude of these families and their nations armed forces.

“But we have almost nothing left to remember our father by.”

Mr Amos said the Police went through Kings Hotel and their home in Suva after his father’s murder and took about 126 items as evidence but less than 10 were actually used in court.

“We have been searching and asking about my father’s ring and other items since we were children but none of the government departments listed in the documents respond to our requests for information,” he said.

“The only thing they tell me is to check other government departments who in turn tell me to check elsewhere, making me run in circles.

“One of my father’s wartime friends, Colonel Kirk, could not believe that my father’s military-issued ring had just disappeared.

“He had also made inquiries as to my father’s assets during our court cases to get our property back but was ignored despite being named in my father’s Will.

“I understand if a few of the 126 items could not be located. But in this case, everything just disappeared and no one can explain why or how despite the trail of evidence and documents.

“It’s interesting that WW2 only lasted for six years but decades later we still cannot get our father’s property back.

“Several parties have denied any responsibility whatsoever but I have documents proving that they were fully aware and knew they were responsible.”

Mr Amos said he had also raised his family’s concerns with the Prime Minister’s office and the Attorney-General’s office.

“I hope they will thoroughly investigate our concerns as we have spent decades searching for answers but to no avail as I have just been given the runaround by the various departments,” he said.

“The murder of my father obviously brings to light that such cases are not simply a murder case that ends in court.

“A man has died and we, his sons, have suffered for many years over his loss, his legacy and life’s work – and we continue to search for answers 34 years after his death.

“We, the Amos family, will appreciate if members of the public have any information on this case and the location of the ring given to my father by the US military,” said Mr Amos.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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