HMAT A62 Wandilla

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HMAT A62 Wandilla at Port Melbourne.jpg
Men of the 3rd Pioneer Battalion at Port Melbourne destined for the Western Front. 6 Jun 1916. (AWM PB1150)
Name HMAT A62 Wandilla
Builder/Built 1912 William Beardmore & Co, Glasgow
Type passenger / cargo
Displacement 7,785 tons
Speed 14.5 knots


Built for the Adelaide Steamship Company and used on the Fremantle to Sydney run until acquired for military service.

The ship was initially used as a troop transport under the designation His Majesty's Australian Transport (HMAT) Wandilla, and on two round journeys delivered Australian soldiers to and from Egypt. Made one journey to England as a troop ship, before in July 1916, the vessel was converted into a hospital ship. While serving as a hospital ship, she was torpedoed by a U-boat in February 1918, although the torpedo failed to explode. Wandilla was manned by Australian officers and during part of her service, Australian crews.

After the war she was sold in 1921 to a series of owners, and as the SS Arno she was used by the Italian government as a hospital ship again. However, she was sunk by British aircraft on 10 Sep 1942.

It has been claimed by the British that a German radio message decoded on 31 August 1942 showed that the ship was being used to carry supplies to Benghazi in violation of the Hague Convention, making it a justified attack, while others have called the sinking of the hospital ship a war crime that was not investigated following the end of the war.

Medical Staff

Port Suez to Fremantle 13 December 1915 - 14 January 1916

Soldiers carried

Fremantle to Port Suez 25 June - 18 July 1915

Melbourne to Port Suez 9 November - 6 December 1915

Port Suez to Fremantle 13 December 1915 - 14 January 1916

Melbourne to Plymouth 6 June 1916 - 26 July 1916

West Beirut to Alexandria 30 November - 1 December 1918