SS Bantam (1930)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...

The SS Bantam (1930) was built by Mach. Fabr. & Scheepswerf P. Smit Jr. of Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1930 of 3322 gross weight and operated by Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij which was scuttled off Sydney, Australia.

Requistioned during World War II, the SS Bantam was operating as part of Operation Lilliput. On 28 March 1943, nine Imperial Japanese Val dive bombers attacked Oro Bay, New Guinea while SS Bantam was alongside a liberty wharf unloading. A total of seven bombs fell on or near SS Bantam. The forward of the bridge, No.3 hold and engine room scored direct bomb hits, while two bombs that hit the liberty wharf tore a hole in the ship’s side on the waterline and began taking water rapidly. The ship caught fire as well as the liberty wharf which was burning out of control. The two pontoons of the wharf sank.

The Bantam was sinking and it was decided to beach her and a couple of large motor boats assisted in pulling the ship away from the wharf. HMAS Bowen went alongside and began to fight the fires. SS Bantam was beached at the head of Oro Bay. The wreck was raised and towed to Sydney, where she was scuttled 36 miles off Sydney on 24 September 1946, after being filled with unwanted chemical warfare agents (CWA).