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HMAS NUSA alongside her capture KGS KOMET

Date: 1914-1915
Dimensions:
Overall: 85 x 137 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Photographer Frederick Garner Wilkinson
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00037862
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    Description
    This postcard features HMAS NUSA docked alongside the German administrative vessel KGS KOMET - captured during the first weeks of World War I. A caption at the bottom of the image reads "Australia's occupation of New Guinea - HMAS NUSA alongside her new capture KGS KOMET, now HMAS UNA".

    Published by Reeves & Ellis, this postcard features a photograph taken by Frederick Garner Wilkinson and printed by Kodak Australia.
    SignificanceThis postcard is an important record of the Australian naval offensive in German New Guinea during World War I.
    HistoryThe 977-ton German government steam yacht KGS KOMET was built in Bremerhaven in 1911. It was sent to German New Guinea as an administrative vessel for the German protectorate and was based at Rabaul, New Britain. The yacht was finely fitted out for senior German staff who undertook regular inspection trips of German holdings.

    War was declared in August 1914, finding KOMET at Morobe, New Guinea. It had transported the Acting German governor, Dr Eduard Haber, for an inspection. KOMET had narrowly avoided interception by the Australian Squadron and was able to sail to New Britain, landing Haber at Herbertshohe, near Rabaul.

    Haber put KOMET at the disposal of Admiral von Spee's German fleet where it was used as a supply vessel to the auxiliary cruiser PRINZ EITEL FREIDRICH until late September, 1914. Rabaul was captured by Australian forces, and because of other British ships in the vicinity, KOMET sought refuge at a far location on the north coast of New Britain which became unofficially known as 'Komethafen' (Komet Harbour)

    The ship's presence was reported to the Australian administrator in Rabaul, and at dawn on 11 October 1914, HMAS NUSA, an armed German steam yacht which had been captured from the Germans some weeks earlier, surprised and captured the KOMET. The crew of five Germans and 52 local sailors were removed and the yacht sent to Sydney for refitting.

    After refit, the yacht served in the Royal Australian Navy as a patrol boat HMAS UNA. In the post-war period it served in the islands as UNA until 1924, when it was privately sold and renamed AKUNA and became a pilot vessel in Melbourne. Under this name it served with the RAN during WWII as an examination vessel until late 1943, when it was returned to pilotage duties. The KOMET / UNA / AKUNA was finally broken up in 1959.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMAS NUSA alongside her capture KGS KOMET

    Assigned title: HMAS NUSA

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