HMAS Kanimbla (F23)

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HMAS Kanimbla (F23)
HMAS Kanimbla.jpg
photo accessed 31 Jul 2019
Name HMAS Kanimbla (F23)
Owner McIllwraith McEachem Limited
Builder Harland & Wolff Ltd, belfast
Launched 15 Dec 1935
Completed 1936
Out of service 1973
Fate Scrapped in Taiwan 1973
General characteristics
Type Armed Merchant Cruiser / Landing SHip Infantry
Tonnage 10,985 tons
Length 468.8'(142.89m)
Beam 66.3' (20.21m)
Depth 24.4'(7.44m)
Propulsion Twin screw diesel
Speed 19 knots
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.

Soldiers carried

Brisbane to Morotai 2 - 11 May 1945

Kure, Japan to Sydney 4 - 18 November 1947