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HMS KANIMBLA Ship's Company, 1940

Date: 1940
Image: 240 x 345 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Captain Donald Dykes
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00050542
Related Place:Indian Ocean, East Indies, Singapore, Malay Peninsula,

User Terms

    HMS KANIMBLA was an Australian merchant ship that was converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser and seconded into the Royal Navy during World War II. The ship was initially commanded by Royal Australian Navy Commander F E Getting. The ship's company consisted primarily of Australian naval personnel throughout the war years.
    SignificanceHMS / HMAS KANIMBLA played an important role in World War II. The photograph depicts the ship's company who served on the vessel during the early period of the war.
    HistoryFormerly a merchant passenger ship with McIlwraith McEachern Limited, KANIMBLA was requisitioned on 5 September 1939 for conversion to an armed merchant cruiser in Britain's Royal Navy. On 6 October 1939, the ship was commissioned HMS KANIMBLA and under the command of Commander Frank Getting, RAN. The crew patrolled the coasts of China and Japan, intercepting and searching ships for contraband and well as other general patrol and escort duties. The aim was to ensure that ships found in the Far East came under allied control. In June 1940 KANIMBLA was sent to Singapore and undertook patrol duties around Malaya and the East Indies, eventually extending out into the Indian ocean. In 1941 KANIMBLA was deployed to the Persian Gulf and Force B, consisting of RAN personnel participated in a successful naval operation to capture German and Italian merchant ships.

    In 1943 the ship was again converted, this time into a landing ship infantry (LSI) for operations in the Pacific and was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS KANIMBLA. Transport and troop landings followed and as part of task force 79 in 1945, KANIMBLA was involved in the battle of Lingayen Gulf. After the war ended, the ship was involved in the repatriation of Australian servicemen from the Pacific islands and also in returning Dutch dependents to the East Indies; and transporting troops of the British Commonwealth occupation forces to Japan. Decommissioned in 1949, KANIMBLA was returned to McIlwraith McEachern in 1950.

    In 1961 the vessel was sold to the Pacific Transport Company and renamed ORIENTAL QUEEN. The Indonesian government chartered the vessel for three years to transport pilgrims from Indonesia to Jeddah. A Japanese shipping company later chartered ORIENTAL QUEEN for service between Guam and Yokohama. The vessel was sold for scrap and broken up after 1973.

    This photograph of the ship's company includes identification of the following men:
    Front Row (seated) L-R: P.O Gibbings R.P.O; C.P.O Master-At-Arms; Midshipman S.P Cain RANR(S); Midshipman F.D. Simon RANR(S); Midshipman C.D. Dykes Asst Navigator RANR(S); C.P.O; C.P.O; C.P.O.

    Second Row (seated) L-R: Lieut. G. Henry RANR(S); Lieut. G. Walstab RANR(S); Lieut. G.H. Heyen Navigator RANR(S); Lieut. D. Richards Senior Water keeper RANR(S); Pay Lieut. Watsford Paymaster RANR(S); Surg. Lt. Cdr Mackenzie RANR Senior MO; Lt. Cdr G.L.F Branson RN 1st Lieut; Capt. F.E. Getting RAN; Eng Cdr McGuffog Ch. Engineer RANR(S); Eng. Lt. Cdr Carmichal 2nd Engr RANR(S); Eng. Lt. Cdr G. Milne Electrical RANR(S); Eng. Lieut. Brown RANR(S); Eng. Lieut. Clark RANR(S); Eng. Lieut. Sinclair RANR(S); Engr. Lieut. Shiedow RANR(S).

    Third row (standing): A.B; A.B; A.B; A.B; P.O; Warrant Gunner 'Digger' Lowry RAN; Sub. Lt. Money RANR; Sub. Lt. L.G. Palmer RANR; Pay Lt. Bruce Freeman RANR(S); Sub. Lt. Alan Farquhar-Smith RANR(S); Sub. Lt. G.S.H Champion RANR(S); Sub. Lt. E.C. Connor RANR; Sub. Lieut. E. Hackford RANR; Eng. Lt. Curry Elects RANR(S); Eng. Lt. Marshall RANR(S); Eng. Lt. Norton RANR(S); P.O; P.O; P.O

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