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  HMS Anhui (X-6)
British
Passenger
Cargo

? x ? x ?
3,494 Tons
4 x 50 cal MG
4 x 30 cal MG
1 x 3" deck gun

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Carl R. Thien 1944
Ship History
Built in 1925 as a two masted coal burning passenger vessel. Named "HMS Anhui" for Anhui Province in China and used as a passenger vessel. One of three ships purchased by China Navigation Company and registered in London, England. The other two vessels were HMS Hanyang and HMS Yochow. Sometime afterwards, acquired by Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM) / Royal Packet Navigation Company.

Wartime History
At the start of the Pacific War, HMS Anhui was operating as a cargo vessel off Australia. Between December 19, 1941 to December 21, 1941 with Aomr Cole at Thursday Island then on December 26, 1941 arrived in Moreton Bay at Brisbane then proceeds to Sydney Harbor arriving December 28, 1941.

On February 14, 1942 departed Sydney Harbor bound for Brisbane arriving February 16-22 then departed for Bowen arriving February 24 then to Thursday Island arriving February 28, 1942.

By March 1, 1942, enters Philippines waters as part of the "Robinson Mission" along with Coast Farmer and Dona Nati that departed Australian on a mission into Japanese occupied Philippines to deliver supplies to Cebu City on Cebu Island arriving on March 20, 1942.

Commandeered by the U. S. Army as a small ship designated "X-6" and also known as SS Anhui. The vessel was painted gray and armed with a 3" deck gun plus four .50 caliber machine guns and four .30 caliber machine guns for anti-aircraft defense. The ship remained under the command of Dutch officers with a Melanesian crew. Used as a passenger and cargo vessel to transport troops and supplies between Australia and New Guinea.

On June 26, 1942 arrived at Sydney Harbor then departed for Townsville arriving July 2, 1942.

On November 15, 1942 at Adelaide embarked U. S. Army 32nd Infantry Division soldiers then steamed to Brisbane arriving on November 17, 1942 then to Townsville arriving two days later then departed November 21, 1942 at 5:30pm as part of a convoy along with three Liberty ships. On November 26, 1942 arrived at Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby where the Army troops were transferred to Australian destroyers and transported ashore.

During 1943, under the command of Captain Evans. In December 1943, at Townsville embarked U. S. Army troops and supplies including I Corps, headquarters company and disembarked them at Goodenough Island during early January 1944. Until the end of the Pacific War, Anhui remained in U. S. Army service until September 1945 or late November 1945.

Postwar
On November 29, 1945 Anhui departed Sydney Harbor on a voyage to Hong Kong. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
Some sources refer to this vessel as simply "Anhui" or "Anhua" [sic], "SS Anhui" [sic].
Lloyd’s Register of Ships - HMS Anhui - Year of build 1925 Gross Tonnage 3,494 (1925–1929) [not available online]
Lloyd’s Register of Ships - HMS Anhui - Year of build 1925 Gross Tonnage 3,494 (1930–1945)
Australian Navy - WWII Merchant Ship Movement Records - Andrew Jackson to AS1806 [PDF]
Diary of Lt. Frank Cheatham. US Army 32nd Division, 1st Battalion, 'D' Company
"Nov 15, 1942 – We boarded the SS Anhui, a Chinese Tramp Steamer, bound for New Guinea. Our stay in Australia was exactly seven months having landed in Adelaide on May 15.  We received a grand send off considering it [was] a secret move.  All of the 127 Task Force left.  The first night out was very choppy and a high wind blowing – we slept very little.  There are four ships in our convoy and all small.  One US gunboat is our escort.
Nov 18, 1942 –  Still in the Reefs and more beautiful than yesterday.  We had AA practice this PM at 1400, which turned out pretty well. I listened to news over Captain Evans’ radio and it sounds pretty good - he is Captain of the SS Anhui. Took some pictures today for the first time of the Great Barrier Reefs and of the ship."
Pacific Island Odyssey by Carl R. Thien
"The crew of the ship were Melanesian and the officers were Dutch.”
Passengers In History - Anhui
Passengers In History - Anhui - Four official logs 1942 - 45 (Australian Archives Brisbane BP 200)
Passengers In History - Anhui - Five official logs 1941 - 44 (Australian Archives Sydney SP 290)

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Last Updated
December 28, 2020

 

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