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  HMS Hanyang

2,876 Tons
299' 7" x 44' 2" x 23' 2"
1 x 12 pounder gun
2 x 20mm cannons
Depth charges

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AWM c1942

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AWM November 27, 1943
Ship History
Built in 1940 by Taikoo D & E Company of Hong Kong Ltd. First registered in Lloyd’s Register of Ships in 1939. One of three ships owned by China Navigation Company. The other two vessels were HMS Anhui and HMS Yochow. Registered as HMS Hanyang in London, England. Named for Hanyang District in China and used as a passenger vessel.

Wartime History
Sometime afterwards, possibly at the start of the Pacific War, acquired by Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM) Royal Packet Navigation Company.

During the Pacific War, commandeered by the U.S. Army as a small ship, likely given a designation "X-?" (single digit number). Armed with a single 12 pounder gun on the stern and two 20mm cannons on the wings of the bridge plus depth charges.

Wartime History
On April 11, 1943 Hanyang was escorted by HMAS Pirie as part of operation Lilliput and arrived in Oro Bay. Attacked by Japanese D3A Val dive bombers escorted by A6M Zeros during Operation I-Go. Killed in the attack was Trimmer Edwin G. Southan. Also damaged was HMAS Pirie and MV Noora (S-136).

By May 1943 repaired and returned to convoy duty between New Guinea and the east coast of Australia.

On November 27, 1943 during the darkness and into the early morning, Hanyang embarked personnel and equipment including stores, ammunition and trucks from Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) No. 22 Squadron and No. 30 Squadron from Vivigani on Goodenough Island and transported them to Kiriwina Island. Extensive photographs were taken aboard the ship of the men and this movement. While at sea, the vessel was used for mock attacks and practice strafing runs by Beauforts from No. 8 Squadron.

Afterwards, steamed southward to Sydney Harbor. During late November 1943 until early December 1943 underwent a refit at Gardner Island.

Hanyang was registered until at least 1945. Afterwards, fate unknown.

Southan who was killed on April 11, 1943 during the air raid was later buried at Bomana War Cemetery at B5. D. 3.

Some sources refer to this vessel as simply "Hanyang" or "SS Hanyang" [sic HMS Hanyang].
CWGC - Edwin G. Southan
Lloyd’s Register of Ships - HMS Hanyang - Year of build 1940 Gross Tonnage 2,876 (1939–1945)
Passengers In History - Hanyang
Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional research and analysis

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Last Updated
May 13, 2021


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