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  HMAS Kuttabul
Passenger Ferry

447 Tons
183' x 36' 9"
RAN June 1, 1942

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2006
Ship History
Built by Walsh Island Dockyard and Engineering Works at Walsh Island Shipyard in Newcastle as a steel hull with wooden superstructure and eighteen watertight compartments with a capacity of 2,250 passengers. Purchased by Sydney Ferries Limited. Completed 1922 as Kuttabul an Aboriginal word meaning wonderful and used as the largest ferry inside Sydney Harbor with service from Circular Quay to Milsons Point.

Wartime History
During November 1940, requisitioned by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). On February 26, 1941 designated HMAS Kuttabul. Starting in February 1941, used as an accommodation ship permanently moored along the eastern side of Garden Island inside Sydney Harbor.

Sinking History
On June 1, 1942 while anchored in Sydney Harbor at 12:30am HA-24b Midget Submarine (M24) fired two torpedoes at USS Chicago CA-29 but both missed, passed under Dutch submarine K-9 and exploded against the sea wall. The explosion lifted HMAS Kuttabul out of the water killing 21 sailors aboard and sinking the ferry to the waterline.

During 1942, the wheelhouse was salvaged and used as a guard house on Garden Island at the landing that was renamed in honor of the ferry.

Today, the wheelhouse is displayed at ANZAC Hall in the Australian War Memorial, on loan from the RAN.

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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