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Photographs of ships taken aboard HMAS KANIMBLA during World War II

Date: 1939-1943
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0301

User Terms

    This series of photographs were taken aboard HMAS KANIMBLA during World War II and belonged to Donald Cooper Blunsden. They depict cargo and passenger ships, warships and cruisers, wharf scenes, and other naval vessels.
    SignificanceThese photographs are significant in recording the experiences of Donald Cooper Blunsden aboard HMAS KANIMBLA during World War II.
    HistoryDonald Cooper Blunsden was born on 19 June 1906 in England and migrated to Australia with his parents, living in Enmore, New South Wales. In 1920 at the age of 15 Blunsden tried to register with the Australian Military Forces but was deemed unfit for service. His record shows a request by his father not to let him be enlisted because of his fractured skull.

    By the age of 33, Blunsden was married and World War II had broken out. With a second successful attempt he enlisted with the Royal Australian Navy and was mobilised on 2 September 1939. Blunsden served as a shipwright and achieved the rank of Leading Seaman. He served aboard HMA Ships PENGUIN II, HOBART and WESTRALIA, with the greatest time aboard HMS KANIMBLA from 23 September 1939 to 25 May 1943. Blunsden was demobilised on 22 March 1946 having been Mentioned in Despatches on 9 October 1945 for his actions aboard HMS KANIMBLA in the Persian Gulf.

    Formerly a merchant passenger ship with McIlwraith McEachern Limited, the 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, patrolled the China and Japan coasts and intercepted and searched ships for contraband and well as other general patrol and escort duties.

    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.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Probably taken by Donald C Blunsden whilst seving on HMAS KANIMBLA during World War II

    Web title: Photographs of ships taken aboard HMAS KANIMBLA during World War II

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