HMAS Kanimbla (1936)
HMAS Kanimbla at Fremantle port, 1945
|Career (United Kingdom / Australia)|
|Builder:||Harland and Wolff Limited|
|Laid down:||July 1933|
|Launched:||15 December 1935|
6 September 1939 (Royal Navy)|
1 June 1943 (Royal Australian Navy)
|Decommissioned:||25 March 1949|
HMS Kanimbla (1939-1943)
HMAS Kanimbla (1943-1950)
Oriental Queen (1961 onwards)
Passenger vessel (1936-1939)|
Armed merchant cruiser (1939-1943)
Landing Ship Infantry (1943-1950)
Passenger vessel (1950 onwards)
|Fate:||Returned to civilian service|
|Length:||468.8 ft (142.9 m)|
|Beam:||66.3 ft (20.2 m)|
|Draught:||24.4 ft (7.4 m)|
|Propulsion:||Diesel engines, twin screws. 10,000 horsepower|
|Capacity:||1,380 troops (as landing ship)|
|Armament:||20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns|
HMAS Kanimbla was a passenger ship converted for use as an armed merchant cruiser and landing ship infantry during World War II. Between 1939 and 1945, the was commissioned in the Royal Navy, then the Royal Australian Navy.
The ship was laid down as motor vessel (MV) Kanimbla for McIlwraith McEachern Limited by Harland and Wolff Limited at Belfast in Northern Ireland in July 1933. She was launched on 15 December 1935 and completed on 26 April 1936.
World War II
The ship operated a passenger service between Cairns, Queensland and Fremantle, Western Australia until the outbreak of World War II. Following this, she was converted to an armed merchant cruiser at Sydney and commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Kanimbla on 6 September 1939. Kanimbla was one of several Allied vessels located in Sydney Harbour during the Japanese midget submarine attack of 31 May 1942. She arrived back in Sydney on 2 April 1943, was converted to a Landing Ship Infantry (LSI) and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS Kanimbla on 1 June 1943. In this configuration, she could carry 1380 troops, and carried 10 LCA type landing craft.
Kanimbla paid off at Sydney on 25 March 1949 and was returned to her owners on 13 December 1950. In 1961 the ship was sold to the Pacific Transport Company and renamed Oriental Queen. Oriental Queen served as a liner visiting various Pacific islands, and served on the Yokohama - Guam route. When arriving back in Yokohama on 6 October 1973, this would prove to be her final voyage. She was laid up and duly sold to Taiwanese breakers, arriving in Kaohsiung on 7 December 1973 to be broken up.
- Cruising Ships, W.H. Mitchell and L.A. Sawyer, Doubleday, 1967
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