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SS BUNGAREE bell

Date: 1937
Dimensions:
Overall: 514 x 145 x 145 mm, 1596.49 g
Medium: Metal, rope
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Robert Drew
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Ship's bell
Object No: 00049003

User Terms

    Description
    The ship's bell is traditionally used for marking time, signals and alarms. Luck and superstition are also associated with the ship's bell and it is often a highly prized memento of the vessel. The SS BUNGAREE was built in 1937 by the Coledon Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of of Dundee, Scotland for the Adelaide Steamship Co Pty Ltd.

    The coastal cargo vessel brought coke from Gdynia, Poland, to Australia on its commissioning voyage. It served as an iron-ore carrier, operating from Whyalla, South Australia, to steelworks around NSW. In October 1942 SS BUNGAREE was requisitioned by the RAN and underwent conversion to become an auxiliary minelayer during WWII.
    SignificanceThe bell is an important memento of a vessel that had a varied and interesting career.

    HistoryBuilt by the Coledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company of Dundee, Scotland for the Adelaide Steamship Co Pty Ltd, SS BUNGAREE, 3143 tons, served around the Australian coast until it was requisitioned in October 1940 for service with the RAN as an auxiliary minelayer. After fitting out, the BUNGAREE had capacity for 467 mines and an armament of two 4-inch, one 12 pdr anti-aircraft, eight 20 mm and eight .303 machine guns and 12 depth charges.

    HMAS BUNGAREE was commissioned on 9 June 1941. Its first task was to lay a defensive minefield at Port Moresby in August 1941, and later laid defensive fields in Torres Strait and the openings of the Great Barrier Reef in October and November. By mid-1942 BUNGAREE had laid a total of 3190 mines.

    From September 1943 to November 1944, BUNGAREE was employed as a survey ship after which it served as a stores carrier until paying-off on 7 August 1946. It was returned to its owners on 5 November 1947 and served on the coastal trade until 1957 when it was sold to the Kowloon Navigation Company of Hong Kong and renamed SS DAMPIER. It was resold to the Mariner Ocean Transport Company of Panama in 1960 and renamed EASTERN MARINER. In a somewhat ironic fate considering its earlier career, the BUNGAREE struck a mine and sank in the Saigon River, South Vietnam on 26 May 1966.

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