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Lieutenant Carse aboard the KRAIT

Date: 1943
Overall: 294 x 254 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from J Millane
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: ANMS1379[043]

User Terms

    A black and white photograph of four men standing in a group on the KRAIT. The man in naval uniform in the doorway is Lieutenant Ted Carse, captain of the KRAIT during Opertaion Jaywick in 1943.
    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.
    HistoryLieutenant Hubert Edward (Ted) Carse was born on 28 May 1901 in Rutherglen, Victoria. He enlisted with the Royal Australian Navy at just 14 years of age, became Midshipman in 1918, and was eventually discharged on 22 January 1946, after over 30 years of service.

    Notably, Lieutenant Carse was a member of Z Special Unit, a joint Allied special forces unit during World War II. Carse was the commander and navigator for M V KRAIT during Operation Jaywick, a clandestine attack by a group of six allied operatives against Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour in 1943.

    During World War II, Australian civilian Bill Reynolds escaped the Japanese-occupied Singapore Harbour on 12 February 1942 aboard the Japanese fishing boat KOFUKU MARU and returned to Australia via India. The Australian government saw the fishing boat (renamed KRAIT) as a unique opportunity to get close to enemy lines under the guise of Japanese fishermen. The KRAIT was chosen to take Z Special Unit back to Singapore's Keppel Harbour in September 1943, in what was known as Operation Jaywick.

    Lieutenant Carse navigated the KRAIT through Indonesia past Bali, as close to Singapore Harbour as possible, then went to wait in a bay off Borneo. From there, six of the 14 crew got onto three folding canoes (folboats) which they paddled into the harbour. The men attached limpet mines to Japanese ships within the harbour, damaging some 40,000 tonnes of Japanese shipping. On the boat's return to Australia on 19 October 1943, it had travelled 6,500 km in 48 days, 33 of which were in Japanese occupied waters. The operation was deemed a success but was initially kept secret in case of similar attacks.

    Lieutenant Carse was awarded a Mention in Despatches for his contribution as navigator of the KRAIT for Operation Jaywick.

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