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  MV Canberra
Motor Vessel

7,710 Tons
410' x 57' 2" x 38' 4"

Click For Enlargement
RAN 1942
Ship History
Built by Alexander Stephen and Sons Limited (Stephens) in Glasgow, Scotland. Laid down as a motor vessel of 7,710 Tons. Completed 1913 for Australian Steamship Proprietary Ltd. as managing agents for Howard Smith Ltd and registered in Sydney.

Wartime History
During World War II, used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a transport and cargo vessel.

On March 17, 1942 at 7:30pm departs from Fairfax Harbor at Port Moresby bound for Australia. On March 18, 1942 at 3:00pm off Arden Island in the Torres Strait when twenty A6M2 Zeros from the 4th Kokutai (4th Air Group) returning from a mission against Horn Island spotted the ship and strafed the vessel with 700 rounds of machine gun and cannon fire, damaging the superstructure and injuring 13 crew members. Afterwards, the ship arrived at Townsville where five of the wounded required hospitalization.

On October 28, 1943 transports the Australian Army 2/1st Tank Attack Regiment from New Guinea to Australia.

Lloyd's of London Lloyd's Register of Ships - Canberra

Lloyd's of London Lloyd's Register of Ships - Canberra 1945-1946 [PDF]
War Diary 1942 (1984) "At 1:00pm, twenty Zeros patrol over Horn Island Airfield, attempting to lure any defending fighters into combat. Finding no aircraft, on the return flight they strafed Canberra off Cape York, 4 crew wounded. [sic 13]"
Horn Island (2002) page 23

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Last Updated
March 31, 2021


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