After the post last week about Pirate Sue (another suggested title was Sue the Equalizer) I had a look around for an article about what happened to her. So far I haven’t been able to find out what her punishment was, but I did find some other articles about women pirates in the same area around the same time. Maybe it is the same woman…
Just in case you didn’t read the post the other day, the woman we have named Pirate Sue was a woman pirate who was caught in 1936 after terrorizing the Bias Bay area, and identified as Miss Sue Nakawura, a previously respectable teacher from Japan.
This article is about a young bobbed-haired pirate woman armed with two guns in 1929. I am not going to assume it is the same woman though, I was very happy to find out there was more than one woman pirate* plying the seas of Bias Bay!
Here is a link to another longer article about the 1929 attack on the Deli Maru where the woman pirate is described as ‘pleasant looking’ and about 20 years of age.
I was surprised and pleased to find that an article exactly the same as the one in my original post was included in the ‘Pages for Girls and Boys’ section of one newspaper. I wonder how many young girls read it and then secretly dreamed of a life of piracy?
Clearly pirates were something of a problem at that time, this article below details the lengths the British were going to in order to take care of the Pirate Queen. I wonder if they were referring to Miss Nakawura?
The woman pirate they were after had some pretty questionable tactics though. Once she had targeted a vessel she would conceal some of her men amongst the passengers. When all was quiet they would give a signal, kill the radio operator, and overpower the officers. If any passengers resisted they would also be killed. Once the pirates were done pillaging they would ruin the motors and leave the ship to drift uncontrollably. Not very nice were they?
The British had put a price on her head, and that of her crew, of 200 pounds for any of them dead or alive.
The involvement of Charles Corkran (below) in the search for the ‘pirate queen’ sounds a little like revenge doesn’t it. Eighteen months earlier he and Mrs. Pawley, a woman described as a ‘young British bride’ (although not his), were kidnapped by bandits and held for ransom before being rescued by Japanese troops.
I am disappointed that I haven’t been able to find out the fate of Miss Sue Nakawura yet, but I will keep on looking!
*Have a look at this article about Lai Choi San from 1943, described by a man recently returned from China as a rich, trouser-wearing, 47-year-old with two husbands and a preference for kidnapping. Best not to mess with her or she sent you home in pieces!