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    Sydney Harbor New South Wales Australia
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AWM c1941

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Hague June 1942

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Richard E. Smith 1943
Sydney Harbor (Sydney Harbour) borders Sydney in New South Wales in Australia. Sydney Harbor includes Rose Bay and a number of islands including Garden Island. At the entrance are Sydney Heads and beyond to the east is the Tasman Sea. The Sydney Harbor Bridge built in 1923 spans Sydney Harbor between Milsons Point on the north shore and Dawes Point in The Rocks area of the south shore

Wartime History
During World War II, Sydney Harbor was used by Australian and American warships and vessels. On March 28, 1942 ocean liner RMS Queen Mary enters Sydney Harbor but is large to dock and personnel board a ferry to reach shore.

Japanese missions against Sydney Harbor
May 29, 1942–June 8, 1942

Japanese attacks against Sydney
On May 31, 1942 in the evening, three Japanese midget submarines attempted to enter Sydney Harbor to fire their torpedoes at Allied warships. HA-14 Type A Midget Submarine (M27) entered the harbor but became tangled in an anti-torpedo boom net and was scuttled killing the crew at 10:35pm. Meanwhile, HA-21 Type A Midget Submarine (M22) attempted to penetrate the harbor but was detected fired on and depth charged, with the crew attempting to scuttle then committing suicide. Only HA-24 Type A Midget Submarine (M24) managed to enter the harbor and fired two torpedoes at USS Chicago CA-29, but both missed. One ran aground without exploding. The other hit the sea wall at Garden Island, and the explosion sank HMAS Kuttabul and killed 21 aboard and damaged Hr. Ms. K IX.

On June 8, 1942 after midnight, Japanese submarine I-24 surfaced four miles off Sydney and fires her 140mm deck gun ten times at 30 second intervals aimed at Sydney Harbor Bridge. None hit the bridge. Only one shells explodes and demolishes part of a house in the eastern suburbs. The others are duds and cause only minor damage. Ashore, searchlights are illuminated but the submarine crash dives before any shore batteries can return fire. Although the shelling causes no casualties, but some of Sydney's residents panic and flee the city in fear of a Japanese invasion.

HA-21 Type A Midget Submarine (M22)
Scuttled by the crew May 31, 1942 at 10:35pm, later salvaged and displayed at AWM

HA-24 Type A Midget Submarine (M24)
Sunk May 31, 1942 discovered November 12, 2006

HA-14 Type A Midget Submarine (M27)
Scuttled May 31, 1942 later salvaged and displayed at AWM

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Last Updated
September 13, 2023


May 31-June 1, 1942

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