HMAS Kanimbla (F23)
From Our Contribution
photo http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-kanimbla-i accessed 31 Jul 2019
|Name||HMAS Kanimbla (F23)|
|Owner||McIllwraith McEachem Limited|
|Builder||Harland & Wolff Ltd, belfast|
|Launched||15 Dec 1935|
|Out of service||1973|
|Fate||Scrapped in Taiwan 1973|
|Type||Armed Merchant Cruiser / Landing SHip Infantry|
|Propulsion||Twin screw diesel|
|Capacity||345 crew plus 1,280 troops|
Built originally for McIlwraith McEachern Limited who from May 1936 until September 1939 used her to operate a passenger service between Cairns and Fremantle. With the outbreak of war she was requisitioned, and converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser. On 6 Oct 1939 she was commissioned into the Australian Navy. Her first voyage was to Hong Kong, and she spent the first half of 1940 patrolling the Chinese and Japanese coasts looking for German ships to impound. Next stop was Singapore, where she remained for some time patrolling local waters and into the Indian Ocean.
She was involved in an attack on shipping in the Iranian port of Bandar Shahpur, capturing eight German and Italian ships and their cargoes. From Singapore she escorted the first convoy to leave Singapore after the Japanese attack on Malaya. In April 1943 she underwent a refit to convert her into an Infantry landing Ship and spent time travelling back and forth between New Guinea and Brisbane before in April 1944 when she participated in the landing to capture Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea. She then participated in the Morotai, Leyte and Luzon Island landings before returning to Sydney in March 1945. In June 1945 she landed Australian troops at Brunei, and at Balikpapan before becoming a general transport ship for forces on the islands.
Between 1946 and 1948 the Kanimbla made a number of voyages in support of Australian occupation forces in Japan. In 1950 she underwent a major refit and was returned to her owners who in 1961 sold her to the Pacific Transport Company who renamed her Oriental Queen. Chartered by the Indonesian Government she transported pilgrims from the islands to Jeddah. Later a Japanese company bought her for service between Guam and Yokohama, with her final voyage in 1973 before being scrapped in Taiwan.