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  MV Laurabada (HMAS Laurabada)

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RAN April 9, 1942

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RAN April 12, 1942

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RAN October 5, 1945
Ship History
Prewar, operated by the Australian colonial administration in the Territory of Papua and Territory of New Guinea as a passenger and cargo vessel in New Guinea and New Britain.

Wartime History
During early 1942, this vessel was comandeered by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and renamed HMAS Laurabada and was armed with a machine gun for anti-aircraft defense.

During early April 1942, under the command of Lt. Ivan Chapman, RANVR sailed via the Trobriand Islands before arriving at Jacquinot Bay on April 10, 1942 to rescue 156 Australian soldiers and civilians that had gathered at Pal Mal Mal after fleeing Rabaul.

Evacuees included Pvt George Charles Russell, VX34177, Sgt Leslie Ian Hamilton Robbins, Rabaul Fortress Signals Unit. Sgt S. Costello, NGVR. Lt. A. G. Fischer, 17th Anti-Tank Battery. Lt. D. M. Selby, NX142851, Commanding Officer, Anti Aircraft Battery. Major W. T. "Bill" Owen, 2/22nd Battalion; Captain C. E. Goodman, 2/22nd Battalion; Major E. C. Palmer, 2/10 Field Ambulance. Pte Leslie William Fawcett, NX45605. Pte William Cook. LCpl John Maxwell Holah, NX59095. Major Edward Charles Palmer, NX35096. Pte George Charles Russell, VX34177. Private Leigh James Doyle, VX22944. Gunner Walter Alexander Richardson, NX57390. Private Vincent Lyons, VX24936. Private Frank Hall Kinnersley, VX44953. Private John Robert Copland, VX28345. Private Bruce Evans, VX23858. Private George William Britten, VX21868. Private Henshall, VX30541. LCpl William Chapman, VX24061. Cpl John William Appleton, NX51455. Pvt Douglas Arthur Gallahar, VX24932. Gunner Patrick Thomas Hampson, VX29050. Major E. C. Palmer 2/10 Field Ambulance; Captain C. E. Goodwin. Lt. J. D. Uzzell, VX44355. Civilians included: Mrs Watterman and her family, along with Mrs Janke. Mr. L. J. Froggatt, Government Entomologist.

On April 12, 1942 arrives Fairfax Harbor and unloads the evacuees at the main jetty of Port Moresby. Afterwards, the survivors boarded MV Macdhui and were transported to Townsville.

On April 28, 1942 east of Abau Island off the south coast of New Guinea spotted by A6M2 Zero 1575. Turning to strafe it, this Zero hit a coconut palm on Otamata plantation and made a crash landing in the plantation. Pilot Maeda survived the crash landing unhurt but stunned from the impact.

On May 26, 1942, rescued Lt(jg) Quigley and P.O. Wheelhouse crew members of ditched SBD Dauntless 4531 from Rossel Island (Yela).

During late May to early June 1942 with Lt Mac Rich and Ivan Chapman aboard visited Deboyne Lagoon including Panaeati Island. Panapompom Island and Nivani Island. During their visit, they interview natives and Chinese resident Ah Gow about the Japanerse occupation of the area and inspect the wreckage of G4M1 Betty 2271.

In June 1945, the vessel was returned to the department of external territory and returned to service with the Papuan administration.

During September to October 1945 made an inspection tour of the islands including Rabaul with Lt. Col C. Normoyle, C.O. Royal Papuan Constabulary and Major General B. M. Morris, commander of Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU). Ultimate fate unknown.

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Last Updated
December 29, 2020


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