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  ML 825
B Type Fairmile Motor Launch

65 Tons

Ship History
Australian Patrol boat built in 1943 at Greenpoint Naval Boatyard at Sydney as ML 825. Assigned to Lt. Harold Venables. The vessel was up-gunned with an extra pair of 50 caliber machine guns, traded for a bottle of scotch each by Venables.

Wartime History
On March 9, 1945 the ship had a cracked exhaust manifold on one of the engines, limiting their speed to 12 knots while motoring to Jacquinot Bay attacked by an A6M2 Zero piloted by Kawato ten miles southwest of Cape Orford. Diving to attack, the Zero attacked and dropped one cluster bomb that exploded 30 yards away. Turning around for another run, the vessel fired back with 40mm, 20mm and machine gun fire as the Zero fired three bursts, hitting the gunboat nine times. The Zero was hit by anti-aircraft fire that exploded the right fuel tank and caused it to ditch into the sea a mile away. The entire attack attack lasted only 42 seconds.

On January 24, 1946 the ship was sold as war surplus. Ultimate fate unknown.

Sabretache: The Journal of the Military Historical Society of Australia "The Duel: Petty Officer Kawato flew in what is believed to be one of the last Zero fighter actions in the South West Pacific during World War II" by Robert Piper vol. 27 no. 3 (1986) pages 25-28
The Siege of Rabaul (1996) by Henry Sakaida pages 62-63, 73-78
Fairmile Ships of the Royal Australian Navy Volume II pages 143-148, 157 (footnote)

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Last Updated
August 10, 2019


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