HMT Taroona

From Our Contribution

HMT Taroona.jpg
Name SS Taroona
Builder/Built 1934 Alexander Stephen & Sons, Glasgow
Speed 16 knots


Built for the Tasmanian Steamers Pty Ltd. She served the Melbourne –Bell Bay-Beauty Point – Melbourne – Devonport – Burnie then back to Melbourne route.

Taroona was requisitioned for service as a troop ship in World War II by New Zealand. She carried troops from Auckland, New Zealand to Suva in January 1942, and in March 1942. On her return to the Bass Strait run she was almost immediately again requisitioned this time by Australia and taken over as a fast troop carrier. During her first trip to Port Moresby she carried 480 troops and supplies; on leaving Moresby she ran aground on a reef at the entrance where she remained for three days, helpless hard and fast aground. All attempts to refloat her using both engines and the assistance of navy vessels proved useless. The situation became serious when on several occasions Japanese bombers swept in to attack the Seven Mile Aerodrome outside Port Moresby. Why they failed to attack Taroona remains a mystery. Finally aided by three naval vessels, she shook herself free.

In her war time career she travelled 204,535 miles and carried 93,432 troops. Although frequently under fire during her ninety-four trips she remained unscathed.

Taroona arrived in Sydney 4 February 1946, ending her career as an Australian troop carrier. She was handed back to Tasmanian Steamers [1]

Soldiers carried

Port Moresby to Townsville 19 -21 Oct 1942

Townsville to Milne Bay, PNG 28 - 31 March 1943

Townsville to Port Moresby 18 - 20 April 1944

Lae, PNG to Townsville 3 - 8 September 1944

Townsville to Jacquinot Bay, New Britain 9 - 12 April 1945

Jacquinot Bay to Brisbane 12 - 21 April 1945

Sailed 15 April

Brisbane to Port Moresby 18 - 23 July 1945

New Guinea to Sydney 30 July - 8 August 1945