HMAT A42 Boorara

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HMAT A42 Boorara.jpg
Name HMAT A42 Boorara
Builder/Built 1913 Bremer Vulkan
Type cargo ship.
Displacement 5,923 tons
Speed 10.5 knots


Prior to its capture in Port Phillip Bay the ship was the German cargo ship Pfalz. Owned by the Norddeutcher Lloyd Line for the Bremerhaven to Cape Town to Australia route.

It is said that the first shot in anger by any Commonwealth country was the Port Nepean artillery battery's shot across the Pfalz's bow as she sought to escape capture at the commencement of WW1.

It was manned by Australia officers and crew and transferred to Commonwealth Government Line, 24 June 1919.

Pfalz was fitted out as a troop transport, and renamed H.M.A.T. A42 Boorara. (Boorara is a former gold mining area south east of South Kalgoorlie in West Australia.)

She took part in the 2nd Australian convoy and later carried Turkish prisoners from the Dardanelles. While in the Aegean Sea, in July 1915, she was unintentionally rammed by the French Cruiser Kleber, but was beached and patched up at Mudros, then repaired at Naples.

Boorara later was twice torpedoed in the English Channel. On the first occasion, on 20 March 1918, off Beachy Head. She managed to reach Southampton and was made seaworthy for a tow to Newcastle for extensive repairs. However, she was torpedoed again off Whitby on 23 July 1918. Despite her engine room being wrecked twice, the sturdy vessel was repaired in time to help repatriate Australian troops in 1919. She completed three journeys from Australia carrying troops to war.

Wrecked in 1937.

Soldiers carried

Fremantle to Port Suez 22 May 1917 - 20 June 1917