Title: Cry Havoc – HMAS Kanimbla – A Postscript

Author: Sherman, Peter

Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1994

Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 59 pages

Comments: The history of HMAS Kanimbla during World War 2.

HMAS Kanimbla was a passenger ship converted for use as an armed merchant cruiser and landing ship infantry during World War II. Built during the mid-1930s as the passenger liner MV Kanimbla for McIlwraith McEachern Limited, the ship operated in Australian waters until 1939, when she was requesitioned for military service, converted into an armed merchant cruiser, and commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Kanimbla. In 1943, the ship was converted into a Landing Ship Infantry, and transferred to the Royal Australian Navy. Returned to her commercial owners in 1950, Kanimbla was sold in 1961 to the Pacific Transport Company and renamed Oriental Queen. She operated in the Pacific until 1973, when she was broken up for scrap.

The ship was laid down as motor vessel (MV) Kanimbla for McIlwraith McEachern Limited by Harland and Wolff Limited at Belfast in Northern Ireland in July 1933. She was launched on 15 December 1935 and completed on 26 April 1936.

The ship was named for the Kanimbla Valley, west of Blackheath in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

The ship operated a passenger service between Cairns, Queensland and Fremantle, Western Australia until the outbreak of World War II. Following this, she was converted to an armed merchant cruiser at Sydney and commissioned into the Royal Navy]as HMS Kanimbla on 6 September 1939. Kanimbla was one of several Allied vessels located in Sydney Harbour during the Japanese midget submarine attack of 31 May 1942.

She arrived back in Sydney on 2 April 1943, was converted to a Landing Ship Infantry (LSI) and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as HMAS Kanimbla on 1 June 1943. In this configuration, she could carry 1,380 troops, and carried 10 LCA type landing craft.

The ship earned five battle honours for her wartime service: “New Guinea 1944”, “Leyte Gulf 1944”, “Lingayen Gulf 1945”, “Borneo 1945”, and “Pacific 1945”.