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'KRAIT crew back on board'

Date: c 1990
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Helen Stevenson
Object Name: Newspaper clipping
Object No: ANMS1285[022]

User Terms

    A newspaper clipping from an unidentified newspaoper titled 'KRAIT cerw back on board'.

    The article relates to the reunion aboard KRAIT of the four surviving members of Operation Jaywick - Horrie Young, Arthur Jones, Ron "Taffy" Morris and Mostyn Berryman. Part of the article reads:
    'The reunion wasnt emotional. The high point had been on Monday when the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, formally took possesion of the Krait on behalf of the nation at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

    "That was very touching," Horrie Young said. "The Governor-General was very impressed and spent a long time looking athe exhibits." The handover was symbolic, involving a 3m model of the ship. / The real Krait, a former Japanese trawler and the first enemy ship captured by the Royal Australian Navy in World War II, is moored at the Sydney Maritime Museum at Birkenhead Point. / Later she will be moved to Canberra an go on display near the Japanse midget submarine which carried out a raid just as daring on Sydney Harbour.

    "She's a lot cleaner now, " said Taffy Morris, who flew out from England fort he ceremony. The Krait disappeared after the war but in 1964 was found again and fully restored after a successful appeal.

    "Its a difficult task successfully concluded, " he said. "Its the result of arduous efforts and a credit to the Krait Trust."'

    SignificanceThe KRAIT has a long history of service in Australia and was very successful in WWII in an attack on Singapore Harbour known as Operation Jaywick. Despite its small size and age, KRAIT came to symbolise the extraordinary courage and resilience that characterised much of Australia's involvement in the war in the Pacific.
    HistoryOriginally a fishing vessel named KOFUKU MARU, KRAIT was built in 1934 in Japan and collected fish from fishermen and ports around the Rhio Archipelago, transporting the catch to markets in Singapore.

    In early World War II the vessel was confined to port and was used by Captain Bill Reynolds to evacuate hundreds of civilians to Sumatra and rescue survivors of ships sunk along the coastline of Sumatra and Malaya. It was renamed KRAIT, a deadly species of snake, and soon was central to the highly successful covert Operation Jaywick in September 1943. Under the cover of darkness and disguised as a Japanese fishing vessel, it took 14 men, 5 British and 9 Australian commandos and Z Special Force personnel, to within 20 miles of Japanese occupied Singapore undetected. Three pairs of operatives in folboats (folding canoes) used limpet mines to blow up and damage seven Japanese tankers and freighters, totalling 37,000 tonnes. A few days later the raiders and KRAIT met the rendezvous point successfully and all members of the unit were returned safely. It was commissioned HMAS KRAIT in 1944.

    After the war KRAIT was sold to a British saw miller for the Borneo timber trade and was renamed PEDANG (Sword). In the late 1950s two Australians, in Borneo for a business trip, recognised the vessel and set up a public appeal and trust fund to purchase the vessel. It returned to Australia in 1964 and was operated by the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol. In 1985 it was transferred to the Australian War Memorial and restoration work was completed by the Sydney Maritime Museum to return it to its wartime appearance. It has been on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum since 1988 and is the focal point for an annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

    In July 2011 one of the last surviving members of Operation Jaywick, RAN Leading Telegraphist Horace "Horrie" Stewart Young passed away.

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